Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe in the sacredness of the body. We consider it a gift necessary to experience mortality and to live a worthy life preparatory to eternal glory. We believe with Paul that we “are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in [us],” and that defiling our body is inappropriate and offensive to God (1 Corinthians 3:16–17). As a result, Mormons do not pierce their body for cosmetic purposes, and are encouraged to pierce only one ear, to accommodate modest earrings.
Tattooing mars the body and is discouraged as a whimsical way of imprinting an identity or showing allegiance to a particular gang. President Hinckley 15th President of the Church, remarked:
Now comes the craze of tattooing one’s body. I cannot understand why any young man—or young woman, for that matter—would wish to undergo the painful process of disfiguring the skin with various multicolored representations of people, animals, and various symbols. With tattoos, the process is permanent, unless there is another painful and costly undertaking to remove it. … A tattoo is graffiti on the temple of the body.
Likewise the piercing of the body for multiple rings in the ears, in the nose, even in the tongue. Can they possibly think that is beautiful? It is a passing fancy, but its effects can be permanent. Some have gone to such extremes that the ring had to be removed by surgery. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also ‘the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.’ We do not, however, take any position ‘on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings’ ” (Ensign, Nov. 2000, 52).