THE MORMON CURTAIN
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Mormons are counseled not to have facial hair. Mormon temple workers are not allowed to have facial hair and are not allowed inside the temple with any facial hair. While there is no official doctrine on the matter found in the Church Handbook Of Instructions, Mormons are continually commanded by their local authorities to be clean-shaven and to wear white shirts.
Because facial hair comes up so often in Recovery from Mormonism, a topic has been created for it.
The issue is not about facial hair, the issue is about obedience.
| Regarding the not unfrequently heard prohibitions of beards and mustaches in the temple or doing various church offices. And BYU still prohibits beards as far as I know.
So, can anyone tell me why, in this day and age, there is anyone who associates facial hair with something unsavory or unrighteous?
It's equivalent to condemning someone as unrighteous because they wear glasses.
I just have to shake my head in wonder.
BTW, yep, I have a beard, which my wife loves and I dig as well.
To old timers in the church -- like the Big 15 -- facial hair represents the polygamy period of Mormonism. The church was able to shake much of the image of crazed religious hicks from the wilds of Utah, and join the 20th century, when beardless David O. McKay ascended to the throne.
Then, in the '60s, facial hair equaled rebellion. LDS culture, which had started out as a radical movement, had become incredibly conservative. So individual expressions of nonconformity had to be suppressed. Besides, bearded Mormons would have dredged up that old polygamy image at a time the church was making inroads into mainstream conservative America. "See," the church wanted to say, "In a world of rebellion, social disorder and other assorted evils, we are the clean-faced representatives of goodness and morality."
On top of that, the hairless face had become the defacto uniform of the corporate world -- a world in which the brethren are most comfortable.
Then facial hair mostly passed out of syle for a while and the brethren relaxed. Then it came back, along with tattoos and piercings. Oh, the horror! (If only they were aware of the growing number of men shaving their pubes -- and the reason why.)
| Last year my Stake President stood up at Stake Priesthood meeting and stated that there is no reason anyone should have facial hair. He said the “brethren” have commanded us to be obedient to the Prophets request. Of course I often wear a beard.
Immediately, I called my TBM father and asked him if this was going on in his Stake. It wasn't then, but it is now. My TBM father and brother are both fighting this ridiculous rule. My father a former bishop and high councilman has been marginalized in his ward for his opinions on this issue.
My father told me that when he was a bishop, in the 1980's, he was not allowed to give temple recommends to brethren with beards. Apparently the policy didn't go over that well! About a year and a half later the policy was repealed. Revelation?
Recently in my brothers ward members stood and bore testimony about how their testimony has grown through their obedience to the "facial hair commandment".
In my fathers ward female members have in Sunday school said the "commandment" came from the prophet and we must obey!
In my ward I was confronted in the foyer by a member of my bishopric, he started confronting me about my facial hair; I quickly responded that “I wasn't drinking his cool aid any longer”. He was shocked- I told him “I was offended by the stake president and his opinions on this subject”. He responded that we have been asked to emulate the Prophet and that means look and behave more like him. I responded with, "It's difficult for me to look like a 90 year old man". I then told him, “I found it more offensive that he and my stake president both drive $80,000 luxury vehicles, when we have members of our ward who can’t afford to own any vehicle”.
At this point he began to blush and responded that it's "the small things that keep you out of heaven." My response to him was "No, it's the big things like murder, adultery, stealing etc... that keep you out of heaven".
The conversation lasted almost an hour. The good thing is it kept me out of Sunday school; sad thing is the stakes in this area (NW AREA) continues to teach this crap!
Nearly every Friday in defiance I grow my beard out and then on Sunday after church I shave it off. No one confronts me any longer and I continue to hold my calling in the young men's.
| It IS possible that the "clean shaven" mandate is spreading down that far in the ranks of the LDS members, but I personally believe this is a renegade bishop imposing his own rules. This is not a church policy (yet).
There IS a policy, however, for those in positions of authority where they are looked up to by congregations. These positions include any member of the bishopric in wards, and high council, stake presidency in stakes. And, of course, any position higher than a stake position. It also includes (now) any temple worker.
The "clean shaven" mandate IS spreading (like a cancer). When I was growing up, bishops could have a beard. Just a few years ago temple workers could have mustaches. But no longer.
Two of the most common ways to be looked down upon in a Mormon congregation is to wear facial hair and a non-white shirt.
| One of the things that alerted me to the BS, was the beard policy. I just couldn't get it through my head that wearing a beard had ANYTHING to do with a relationship with god. If they had been reasonable about the little things, I might still be a brain-washed little molly.
Let's hope they keep up the nit-picking. I remember discussions about whether it was acceptable to keep rice in your year's supply or not. My thought was that you should keep whatever food is useful, isn't too hard to prepare, and that you like to eat. But NOOOO, I was told that we should have WHEAT in our year's supply. God wanted it that way. And all I could think was, what about LDS from Asian countries? If this is a religion for all people, from all cultures, shouldn't it be a bit flexible about God's Chosen Grain. I thought the person was a nut, so I overlooked it, but it started me thinking, and the beard issue started me thinking. And we all know what happens when a person starts to THINK. I know a lot of people study their way out, but I took it seriously, and so I didn't read any "anti" stuff. It was only the crazy behavior of the members that made me get far enough away to look at it rationally.
And so I say we need the mormons to stay as crazy as possible. We need beard and earring policies. We need church leaders who say that colored shirts are wrong. We need mandates that at church funerals you are not to speak about the deceased. We need huge discussions about whether wheat bread is acceptable for the sacrement, when we KNOW that they didn't have soft-squishy-white wonder bread 2000 years ago. Not even JS had wonder bread. The early church used home-baked wheat bread, but now it is too impure for the sacrement. And, WAIT A MINUTE, isn't wheat God's Chosen Grain, that we are commanded to keep a year's supply of so we can grind it and make home-baked bread (yummy). But still, not good enough for the sacrament. Do the GA's have stock in the wonder bread company?
The TBMs, like we all used to be, are not going to come visit this web-site, so their only hope is what they see themselves within the confines of the morg. I pray it stays crazy.
| Lest anyone confuse the Daily Universe's article yesterday about beards with endorsement of "rebellion", the worst newspaper on earth had an editorial today summing up their position:
To print is not to endorse, it is merely a recognition that such sentiment exists on our campus. Whether the beard card is required as a result of a medical condition is irrelevant. We all resolved with one another, as a university, that we would adhere to certain standards of conduct and dress and grooming. Because we as students, faculty and administrators make up the university, cantankerous statements that denote a subversive attitude are a slap in the face to all of us.
And we all know how BK Packer feels about "sticking it to ourselves". I won't even mention what Mr Packer thinks about those who "stick it to the man or men".
It speaks volumes of a person's character if he or she can only distinguish himself or herself by how they appear physically. This line of reasoning runs contrary to the counsel offered by President Packer who said the decisions students face each day are part of the war being waged against the adversary.
"Today's generation is living in that great and spacious building [as Lehi described in the Book of Mormon]," he went on to say. "You will be safe if you look like and act like an ordinary saint."
Sometimes the difference between holding to the iron rod, as described in Lehi's vision, and letting go is as simple as our attitudes toward the choices we make. Those choices include how we groom ourselves; hold ourselves up, or the words and language we use. When we're sticking it to the man, we're only sticking it to ourselves. http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/6261...
"It speaks volumes of a person's character if he or she can only distinguish himself or herself by how they appear physically. This line of reasoning runs contrary to the counsel offered by President Packer who said the decisions students face each day are part of the war being waged against the adversary."
Isn't the act of mandatory face shaving an attempt to distinguish themselves from the bogyman known collectively as "The World"? Is this hypocrisy actual policy?
I know for a fact that there was a big stink in Queensland Australia about the Brisbane temple banning attendance by men with facial hair. I assume Christ would be exempt from that policy if he would ever lower himself to hang with these nutjobs.
I'm not sure how it played out, but I heard a rumour that Salt Lake told Brisbane to stop preventing "worthy" men from attending just because of their beards.
Can anyone say "Taliban"? They mandate beards. Same ilk really.
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