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Dear Gramps,

I’ve written before and I have another question. Is there an official church position in regard to tattoos? Before I joined the church I had one and am considering having it removed. Also, how about things like rhinoplasty and other cosmetic surgery? I can see how it would be considered wrong but just wondered if there was any official statement. Thanks,





Dear Tanya,

If we consider who we are as children of our Father in Heaven, we come to understand that the body itself is a sacred organism, as it is made in the very likeness of God. It then becomes rather obvious that mutilation or desecration of the body in any form is a sacrilege and should be avoided. I would imagine that tattooing and body piercing (so much in vogue today) would be considered as defiling the body, against which Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians 3:17.

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

In some cases, to correct deformities or other abnormalities, cosmetic surgery would seem to be an appropriate procedure. However, if a person would change his or her appearance merely out of vanity, the vanity itself would be the sin. I would imagine that the decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery would rest with the individual involved; and, as suggested above, may be justified in some cases and not in others.






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