Why Do LDS Leaders Care So Much About Grooming?

By: Mormon Heretic
February 28, 2011

7 of first 8 prophets don't follow the Current Grooming Standards of the Church

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Why do LDS leaders spend so much time looking at white shirts, beards, and short hair?

Apparently, General Authorities really care about how we look, even if some of the local leaders don’t want to make a fuss about it.  My former bishop told me a very interesting story about our stake president.  The stake president was called by Elder C of the Quorum of the Seventy.  Typically, the person that ordains a stake president never returns to the stake.  Well, apparently Elder C told our stake president that there were too many blue shirts and too much facial hair in our stake when he ordained our stake president.

A few years later, Elder C returned.  He reminded our stake president that he would be checking for beards, white shirts, and long hair.  Apparently, our stake president was quite nervous.  Now, if we are to emulate Jesus in all ways, why do the General Authorities care about facial hair?

Jesus doesn't follow grooming standards either

Apparently, the stake president is following Elder C’s advice.  In my new ward, I’m the home teacher to a guy with really long hair and a goatee.  (I’ll call him Fred.)  This guy is a great guy, got married in the Salt Lake Temple, comes to church every week, and honestly one of my best friends at church.  I learned that he was asked to be the Elder’s quorum secretary a few months ago.  When interviewed by the stake president, he accepted the calling.  Apparently the stake president told the bishop to tell Fred to cut his hair.  Fred refused, so they called someone else to be the Elder’s quorum secretary.  Now Fred is the Sunday School 2nd counselor.  Apparently the bishop felt that Fred’s long hair was not an impediment to serving.

As we discussed this, we talked about how stupid the grooming standards are.  Both Fred and I have a goatee.  I previously served in the bishopric with my goatee (albeit I was merely Membership clerk), under this same stake president.  Then Fred showed me a wedding photo of his outside the Salt Lake Temple with the former bishop.  The bishop had a moustache.

The Elder’s quorum president felt inspired to call Fred.  The Stake President found Fred worthy to serve.  Why is long hair a disqualifier?  I don’t understand why LDS leaders look at the shirt, while God looks at the heart, do you?

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162 Responses to Why Do LDS Leaders Care So Much About Grooming?

  1. Aaron R. on February 28, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    Max Weber discusses how theology can shape material practices, esp. through anxiety over our salvation. Mormons, like most other religions, struggle to feel saved and also to recognise those other people who are saved (and therefore trust-worthy, obedient and committed to the community). Using appearance as a measure of these things is often one mechanism by which these concerns can be (partially) alleviated in a community.

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  2. Left Field on February 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    The stake president isn’t even supposed to be involved at all in the calling of the EQ secretary. The quorum president himself calls the secretary after approval from the bishop.

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  3. hawkgrrrl on February 28, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Blue shirts and goatees are a gateway sin. It’s a slippery slope from there to worshipping Satan and having sex with goats. It could happen.

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  4. brandt on February 28, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    Just looking at pictures of the prophets in your post, you can tell there’s definately a change in direction from George Albert Smith to David O. McKay. It might have gone from the conservative clean-cut image of the 1950′s, seperating that from the hippie image of the 60′s, and continued on from there. I really don’t think God is going to deny someone entry to heaven because they wear a blue shirt, or because they have a beard, especially if that person is like your “Fred” friend, really trying to live a Christlike life.

    Then again, the clean-shaven white-shirt wearing MLM sales guy who shills a faulty product whose politically scheming to get into a stake presidency probably has a spiritual expressway that is unbeknownst to all of us.

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  5. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Why do LDS leaders spend so much time looking at white shirts, beards, and short hair?
    and
    I don’t understand why LDS leaders look at the shirt, while God looks at the heart, do you?

    B/c without the spiritual gifts manifesting among members [including the gift of discernment among presiding elders] — appearances rule the day and must become the measure of faithfulness.

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  6. Mike S on February 28, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Control

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  7. Jeff Spector on February 28, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    The shirt thing never really bothered me that much. Because I wear white shirts when i am out of my home office and actually get to see some of my customers. Not always a tie, but traveling sometimes it is just easier to have two white shirts for the week plus my travel garb. And I have seen the colored shirted used at Church as sort of a “mini-rebellion” by the youth and some adults. But I have no objection to colored shirts in general.

    The facial hair thing, according the the McKay bio by Prince was “instituted” to improve the image of the Church and its leaders to a more mainstream view from society in general.

    And as a guy who has had a full beard pretty much since 1976, I’ve only shaved it off to be Ward Mission leader because I was asked to. but I have also served a Ward/Stake mission with a beard as well as EQP, Bishop’s counselor and High counselor. I was also a veil worker for 5 years with a beard. When I moved to Colorado, I was told I could not be a veil worker with a beard. So I am not. And yet the two most important figures in the Temple endowment both have beards!

    So, it has never been logically explained to be why. There is nothing in either handbook about beards and no one has challenged me since the mission leader days about it.

    The full time Missionaries I can understand but restrictions on Temple recommend holding, worthy in every way, beard wearing males is a mystery being subjected to an oral law that makes no sense.

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  8. GBSmith on February 28, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Peggy Fletcher Stack had a piece in the SL Tribune when the man on facial hair and temple workers came out but I don’t recall a reason ever being given. I always assumed it was someone wanting to be more mormon than the prophet that put it in place. The thing that bothered me was that a man in my ward at the time denied it when I noted he was clean shaven but then later came and told me it was true but they’d been asked not to talk about it.

    And I agree with Mike S. Control and as a test of faithfulness.

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  9. Paul on February 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    The shift to clean-shaven, white shirted appearance was probably not to please the Lord (who doesn’t care), but to be more acceptable to men. And I don’t mean that in a derisive way: missionaries (esp at that time) needed to present an “image” of the church. One could argue that the image is outdated, of course.

    I have heard a similar story (though not from our stake president) in our stake about a visiting authority who was concerned about the many beards in our stake. Apparently our stake president (now former stake president as this happened a number of years ago) didn’t worry about it, since when he called me to be a bishop, he told me I could choose whether to keep my beard (and one of his counselors had a mustache the entire term of their presidency). (I did; I’d had it when I served as a bishop in South America, too.) As it happens, I shaved my beard part-way through my term of service as bishop, though not because someone asked me to.

    When we lived in Taiwan, I did shave my beard (I’d grown it back) again to serve in the temple.

    Years ago I had an EQP who asked all those who served in any way in the quorum to be clean shaven. Not a challenge for those of us who were BYU students, but one of our members wore a full beard and shaved it so he could serve as the head of a committee in the quorum.

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  10. Aaron R. on February 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    You might also enjoy this article (if you have not already seen it).

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a905067425~db=all~order=page

    I think Control is too simplistic an explanation Mike S. Though certainly that is one of the issues involved it is implicit and not neccessarily the one cited and I think this is significant and it is not just people being deceptive about their motives.

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  11. Douglas on February 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Citing examples of old prophets being bearded OR even more silly; citing an artist’s impression of Heavenly Father or the Savior is sillier. All were appropriately groomed for their time and social custom.
    Though at times the “white shirt and tie” thing is overdone, there is such a thing as being humble. I did once have the experience of having a temple worker admonish me for wearing a RED shirt to the temple.

    Having moonlighted as a model (though more for brochures, I never did fashion and certainty NOT “beefcake”), appearance is about making a statement. When one is representing the Lord, is it so hard to be naked of cheek and white of shirt?

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  12. Rebecca J on February 28, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    The thing that bothered me was that a man in my ward at the time denied it when I noted he was clean shaven but then later came and told me it was true but they’d been asked not to talk about it.

    This is the thing that bothers me more than anything else. I hate these secret rules and regulations.

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  13. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    I would say that when there are requirements that are not contained in the scriptures, then the burden of proof should fall on the requirers — not the requirees.

    Something ridiculous like clothing, facial hair, earrings, etc. are taught — and then those who find it ridiculous are told to “be humble”. The burden is on them to prove their “humility” by submitting to the ridiculous.

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  14. james on February 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Is the term ‘control’ equivalent to expecting conformity and obedience? These appearance issues, including also things like single-earrings and no tats always felt like ways of testing obedience AND also ways of trying to further set members apart from the rest of the world.

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  15. Dan on February 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I’m going to continue emulating the Jesus look personally. I think it’s good enough for me.

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  16. Dan on February 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    though that picture of me is from 2006 and does not reflect my current full beardage. :)

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  17. troy on February 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    The beard thing mostly goes back to McKay, who was trying to distance the church from the “bearded polygamists”. Now it’s maintained because it’s a mostly business look, and the church likes its members to present a certain public image.

    After I read this article on beards, and getting tired of the “clean shaven” look, I decided to grow a beard. This was 1+ years ago or so. I was also growing my hair out at the same time because I’d had the same hairdo since my mission days 10+ years prior.

    And, with the combination of long hair and a beard, I’ve never had so many weird looks and lack of conversations at church. It’s only anecdotal evidence, but the minute I began growing my hair long and having a beard, I was released from a calling and haven’t had one for nearly 1.5 years.

    A friend of mine who had sported a mustache for 20+ years was asked to shave as a prerequisite for serving in the temple (he had likewise sported that same mustache while serving in 2 separate bishoprics in 2 different wards). He did as he was told and shaved.

    A good family friend (former stake president) was constantly asking me to shave mine this summer and cut my hair. He even gave me $20 to get the hair cut. Most of the time it was in jest, but I think there was a bit more hope behind that jest. My brother, who happened to have much shorter hair than me, but did sport a beard (he is in his late 20s) was likewise asked to shave on more than one occasion, but mostly by family members.

    His response, which I loved, was this:

    “My job is to make you look on the inside, not the outside.”

    It didn’t work, but it was a clever line.

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  18. Stephen M (Ethesis) on February 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Well, given that I have a short beard, and shave it off, as work requires and as specific situations call for, I can see a great deal in appearance and grooming.

    I would note that once you get outside of LDS society, blue shirts and white shirts are seem as having the same degree of formality. Just FYI.

    Douglas, regardless of the negative votes, I gave you a positive one.

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  19. mh on February 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    douglass, you’re right it is silly. that is the point I was going for. god doesn’t care about beards. the first 8 prophets didn’t care about beards. why do ga’s care now? it is silly that they care so deeply to even mention it to a stake president. I don’t blame local leaders for the policy anymore, because the policy comes above their level.

    shouldn’t the ga’s look at the heart of a person, instead of the beard? shouldn’t ga’s lead by example that grooming standards are unimportant? didn’t jesus talk about ‘whited sepulchures’ housing dead carcasses? isn’t there a very important parallel here?

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  20. Will on February 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    God and Church are conditional and always have been and always will be — conditions are set on who can be baptized, on who can baptize, on who can hold the priesthood, on who can give the priesthood, on who can attend the Temple, on who can pay their tithing. The plan of salvation is a conditional plan. He is a conditional being, so why would dress standards not be conditional. They may change with the times, but the will always be conditional.

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  21. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    MH: “shouldn’t the ga’s look at the heart of a person, instead of the beard?
    Should — but can’t. What other method of discernment could they use? Only the physical metrics remain: clothing worn, money donated, substances abstained from, etc.

    Will: “God and Church are conditional and always have been and always will be
    Yes, and those “conditions” are given in D&C 10:67-69:

    Behold, this is my doctrine — whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

    Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

    And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

    Also: “so why would dress standards not be conditional.
    To quote the OP:

    1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    Why do LDS leaders spend so much time looking at white shirts, beards, and short hair?

    The burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate why hair/shirt color/etc. are the conditions of the plan of salvation and therefore binding on LDS.

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  22. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    ^
    Please excuse my inability to close a blockquote.

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  23. mh on February 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    will, I dare you to show me a scriptural reference that encourages beards as a condition for the lord.s service.

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  24. Rich Alger on February 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    What we wear tells others what we want them to think of us. I imagine that by wearing a white shirt, a tie, and a suit tells others that we agree with how the church is run. That we honor their request to dress like a missionary.

    That being said, I think leadership should be careful to be measured in their counsel. Members should strive to look past the costumes we all wear to the divine in each of us. How would we react to a person showing up to sacrament meeting full of tattoos or drunk? Do you think, “whoa is this person going to disrupt our meeting?” Or do we think, “Thank God he found us, I hope he feels the Spirit. I’ll make sure I shake his hand”

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  25. CatherineWO on February 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    As an older member of the Church, I saw the change that happened through the 50s, 60s and 70s with grooming standards. During this time period, beards were seen as a problem because of their connection to both the fundamentalists (polygamists) and the rising drug/anti-war culture of the 60s and early 70s. However, beards have become so mainstream now that it seems ludicrous to me to require men to be without them in the Church. Here in Montana, beards are very common, especially in our severe winter weather.
    Though there is a standard sent down from the general governance of the Church, the enforcement of that standard really varies between wards and stakes. I have a son-in-law in Utah who is a High Priest and currently serving as SS President who sports a long ponytail and full beard. Yet, another son-in-law (who has a medical reason for having a beard; he had a waver at Ricks) was asked to shave his beard to be EQP in his ward.
    The same applies to tatoos and multiple ear piercings. They are so mainstream, it seems odd that we don’t have them. As for white shirts, I think they’re quite sexy, but they are losing their appeal to me as they have become a symbol for authority and priesthood arogance.

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  26. Will on February 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Justin,

    “Behold, this is my doctrine — whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.”

    Agreed. Fully. And a large part of coming unto Christ includes heeding the word of his Prophets as indicated in D&C 1:38

    “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

    His servants, the Prophets, have set a standard and is should be heeded. Accepting his Prophets is part and parcel of coming unto Christ. Those who reject his Prophets, would have also rejected Christ.

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  27. Will on February 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    MH,

    See my response to Justin.

    I will add in the courting process all should be given a chance. I full fully expect my son who is on a mission in the Socialist Republic of California to approach all of Gods children. But as part of their coming to Christ, I would hope he would not baptize someone who was not willing to heed the word of the Prophet.

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  28. mh on February 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    will how does that sqaure with the scripture in 1 sam?

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  29. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    The cult of obedience.

    With outward things like beards and multiple earrings, you can see right away if a person is “quick to observe.” The weightier matters of the law are darn near impossible to measure, without spending way more time delving into things than the average functionary ever has. Is someone honest in his dealings? Is he charitable? Is he slow to wrath, when nobody’s looking? Does he dominate his silent wife? How on earth is anyone supposed to know any of this, absent a great revelatory discernment experience that is too sacred to talk about?

    When the emphasis is on “obedience,” per se — not just obedience to the fundamental moral law, but to any old thing that a divinely authority throws at you, to test your quickness to observe — it’s inevitable that the kinds of tests selected, will be those where a pass/fail grade is easily measured. Guy has a beard? Clearly not With The Program.

    This from a clean-shaven guy who virtually always wears a white shirt and suit to church.

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  30. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

    His servants, the Prophets, have set a standard and is should be heeded. Accepting his Prophets is part and parcel of coming unto Christ. Those who reject his Prophets, would have also rejected Christ.

    When Christ speaks through prophets, it is the same as if Christ had spoken directly.

    When prophets speak, on the occasions when they are not speaking the words of Christ, Christ isn’t speaking.

    What the Lord has spoken, He has spoken. What He has not spoken, He has not spoken. Read all of D&C 1 together. It absolutely does not say that every word that comes out of a prophet’s mouth — whether true or false, inspired or uninspired — is the word of God. You have to wrest the scriptures even further than you have to wrest the Second Amendment to turn it into a collective right (:)) to turn out that interpretation.

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  31. Will on February 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    MH,

    I never said a beard was bad, but that is not the issue. The issue is what is in the heart and has a desire to do good. Part of doing good is to heed the counsel of the living Prophet. If he says to look your best at sacrament service, I think he means look your best. Along these lines, I have sent Deacons home to change as their attire was not appropiat to pass the sacrament.

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  32. mh on February 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    will, you are so misguided. you can’t square this with the scriptures and we all know it. if the deacon becomes inactive because of you, the lord will hold you accountable. you are the definition of a mormon pharisee. the law is more important than the person’s heart. I feel sad for the deacon. you don’t even attempt to follow 1 sam, because it is too hard. please try to understand what christ would have done before you make more people inactive.

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  33. Will on February 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Thomas,

    I agree. In fact, in the scriptures prior to 38, he says the are men and are subject to error. With that said, policies that are made by the first presidency have gone through appropriate consideration and in my judgement meet the criteria found in 1:38. The proclaimation of the family is a good example as is the dress standard.

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  34. jks on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    My husband looks awesome in a beard (but I hate the mustache only look). He also has sensitive skin. He has had beards off and on for 20 years.
    No one gave him a hard time. But he has always been aware of the no beard if you are in a bishopric rule.
    I like to think that if he happened to have a beard and got a calling and was asked to shave it he would. He is currently wearing a white shirt for his calling. It is just a shirt and his other shirts can be worn at other times.

    It has always been a positive thing for our family when we have sacrificed in order to serve.

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  35. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    This one is kind of a sore spot to me, probably because I’m vain and I hate my chin :)

    But I also really take issue with the whole “obedience for its own sake” argument, as well as the “show your desire to serve” argument. If I’m asked to serve in a given calling, I’m being asked to sacrifice a significant amount of time. There’s also a good chance that I won’t be doing what I actually *want* to be doing, or what I think I might be best at doing, so I’m sacrificing my talents, too. By the time you factor in regular church attendance, and the financial sacrifices of tithing and fast offerings, and the lifestyle effects of the Word of Wisdom (I could sure use a cup of coffee before my 6:00 AM bishopric meeting), we are asking some pretty significant thing of our members.

    Why can’t these sacrifices be enough? Why do I have to change the way I look on top of it?

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  36. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    The more you sacrifice, and the more your religious tradition calls you to sacrifice, the better you are and the truer it is.

    Thus, the Moloch cult, which called upon its adherents to sacrifice their first-born children….

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  37. Mike S on February 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    When I think about these issues (ie. beards, earrings, white shirts, etc) perhaps the scriptures that best reflect my attitude are the New Testament. Throughout the 4 gospels, Christ continually railed on these types of issues. He condemned people who worried how many feet they could walk on Sunday. He condemned the philosophies of people who were so concerned with the minutiae that they lost complete sight of what was truly important.

    Just because something is done in the Church doesn’t mean it is “of God”. Take something as significant as blacks and the priesthood, which literally kept a whole class of people out of the temple and denied the priesthood. As McConkie later said, “I was wrong”.

    I think the reason things like this get perpetuated is obvious. At some point, there was someone who thought the color of someone’s shirt had any significance whatsoever (or beard or whatever). The people who surrounded him all wanted to look like him. They promoted people in the church hierarchy that looked like them. And the people that were promoted continued this.

    It is NOT unique to the LDS Church. Look at pictures of Saddam Hussein. All of the people around him have the same bushy mustache that he did. Look at pictures of the King of Saudi Arabia. His “entourage” has the same goatee that he does. Look at any organization. People who want to be noticed in the organization and seen as “one of the team” tend to dress like and act like the people above them in the hierarchy.

    So, is the white-shirt, clean-shaven mentality normal – absolutely – the Church is an organization just like any other organization of people with the same tendencies. Is the white-shirt, clean-shaven mentality DOCTRINAL – absolutely NOT. And, to be honest, I bet if Christ was here He would rail against it as missing the mark just like He did in His time with other similar practices.

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  38. Will on February 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    MH,

    Who is the one being judgmental? Do you know the circumstances? No, you don’t. It wasn’t about the dark Purple shirt, it was about the attitude. If he were poor and struggling, it would have been different. We asked all the deacons to wear white shirts out of respect for the ordinance. He wore a dark purple shirt out of defiance. He admitted as much. His mother and father were on our side after we explained our objective.

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  39. BeansDude on February 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I don’t believe that God is all that concerned about the length of the hair on my body.

    Plus, judging from the fact that he designed it to GROW, perhaps he’s a fan of the shaggy look?

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  40. mh on February 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    mike, that was well said, especially the part about jesus railing against appearances.

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  41. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    The proclaimation of the family is a good example as is the dress standard.

    Will, I think you’re comparing two entirely different things. The Proclamation is a single document which was released through official and very public channels some fifteen years ago. It is a single document, and has been quoted from extensively by every GA who has ever given a talk about families.

    None of that can be said for the dress code. There is no document about any dress code that applies to the entire church (as opposed to full-time missionaries, CES employees, and BYU students). There are only a few talks given here and there with varying degrees of emphasis on what is “appropriate.” In fact, I remember Pres. Hinckley talking in a general priesthood session about deacons passing the sacrament, and how wonderful it is to see them wearing white shirts. But in the NEXT SENTENCE, he said, “But to me, the color is not nearly as important as the fact that it is clean.”

    BTW, I can’t find the quote referenced above. A search at lds.org for the phrase “white shirt” returns exactly 9 general conference addresses since 2005. Eight of those, by my count, were either describing an individual person or missionaries in general. So again, I don’t think this fits into the same category of official pronouncement as the Proclamation on the Family.

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  42. Will on February 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Harpchil,

    So if a Bishop allowed his deacons to pass the sacrament in tank tops, shorts and flip-flops; and an Apostle came to the meeting, do you seriously think he would say nothing.

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  43. Jeff Spector on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    I think that is the biggest issue here. the whole thing is a big secret until you “cross the line. Only hen are you told you are not conforming, can’t do this calling or cannot serve in some other manner, even though you qualify in every other way.

    As I said, you cannot find any mention of breads or facial hair in the new handbooks.

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  44. mh on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    no will, but are you saying the beard and long hair disqualified an otherwise worthy, temple recommend holding brother to serve in the eq presidency? and was your deacon wearing a tank top and flip flops when you sent him home?

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  45. Jeff Spector on February 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Will,

    “So if a Bishop allowed his deacons to pass the sacrament in tank tops, shorts and flip-flops; and an Apostle came to the meeting, do you seriously think he would say nothing.”

    so, Will, if the Prophet told you to jump off the roof…..

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  46. GBSmith on February 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    It’s probably appocraphyl but when this came out I heard from my then brother in law’s wife that their neighbor, a temple president, had ignored the ban saying he was having a hard enough time getting people to come to the temple as it was.

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  47. GBSmith on February 28, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    “so, Will, if the Prophet told you to jump off the roof…..”

    I would, and be blessed for it, but of course it wouldn’t matter unless I lived in which case it would be interesting to see if Deseret Mutual Insurance would pay the bills.

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  48. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Will [#26]:

    His servants, the Prophets, have set a standard and is should be heeded.

    The “standard” set by “prophets” are the standard works. Now, your use of capital-P “Prophets” leads me to believe that you have in mind men who have been the sole members of the Corporation of the President of the Church(TM) — perhaps that is our misunderstanding.

    Accepting his Prophets is part and parcel of coming unto Christ. Those who reject his Prophets, would have also rejected Christ.

    Which, by extention, you mean to say that LDS dressed slopply clearly don’t care about Jesus.

    Besides the plug-my-ears-and-hum-Follow-the-Prophet tactic — you cannot justify your dogmatic position.

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  49. Will on February 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    MH/Jeff,

    And now we come full circle. As a matter of fact, there are probably wards or branches where deacons and others have vey casual attire — some of the islands of the pacific or Indian reservations. And, it is about what is in the heart. And in some hearts there is defiance. They don’t where what they are asked because of there hard hearts. As I said, sometimes it is not about the attire, but a reflection of ones attitude. It is the attitude that calls for the rebuke, not the attire.

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  50. Paul on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Er, Will (or anyone else), where has the prophet said that men should not have facial hair?

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  51. Will on February 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Sorry, wear instead of where

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  52. mh on February 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    will, nice side step. was the deacon wearing a tank top and flip flops when you sent him home?

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  53. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Will, this post was specifically about the attire, not the attitude. The problem with these dress standards is that it makes it waaaaay to easy to conflate the two. When I show up wearing a blue shirt, people don’t assume that I think white shirts look dumb (which I do), but that I have a rebellious attitude.

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  54. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Oh, and from the new Handbook 2 section on the Sacrament:

    “Ties and white shirts are recommended because they add to the dignity of the ordinance. However, they should not be required as a mandatory prerequisite for a priesthood holder to participate.”

    I’m sure the incident with the purple shirt happened before the new instructions came out, but I have a sneaking suspicion that that second sentence will be routinely ignored throughout Arizona, Utah, and Idaho.

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  55. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    (That’s Handbook 2, section 20.4.1, for those of you following along at home.)

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  56. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Which is worse: defiance, or usurpation?

    Both may involve disrespect to properly-constituted and appropriately-exercised authority — the one by defying it, the other by stealing it.

    The difference is that usurpation is always unrighteous, whereas defiance — provided one is defiant to attempts at exercising power without authority — can sometimes actually be a good thing. Obedience (to properly constituted authority) is a virtue; servility (to anybody with a loud voice or a big stick) is a vice.

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  57. Will on February 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Paul,

    Please read my comments before commenting, I said I don’t see a problem with a beard.

    MH,

    I am not side stepping anything. I have explained why he was asked not to pass and what he was wearing. By the way, he is not inactive. In fact, he is a great kid and will be putting in his papers soon to serve a mission. With a new calling, I don’t talk to him as much, we we still communicate with one another in the hall.

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  58. mh on February 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    so the point about tank tops is really a ridiculous exaggeration, right will?

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  59. Dan on February 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Thomas,

    The weightier matters of the law are darn near impossible to measure, without spending way more time delving into things than the average functionary ever has. Is someone honest in his dealings? Is he charitable? Is he slow to wrath, when nobody’s looking? Does he dominate his silent wife? How on earth is anyone supposed to know any of this, absent a great revelatory discernment experience that is too sacred to talk about?

    Riiiight. Beardless men never beat their wives or abuse their kids. They never cheat their fellow man. I bet Bernie Madoff had a beard…oh, wait. You know, I think some of those priests who abused children for the Catholic Church…wait, I think NONE of them had beards. How can you tell which priest is going to sexually abuse your child and which won’t? Is it the slight stubble on his chin? Does that differentiate him?

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  60. Dan on February 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Thomas,

    The more you sacrifice, and the more your religious tradition calls you to sacrifice, the better you are and the truer it is.

    hehe, so if a religion asks you to sacrifice your virgin daughter, the truer that religion is, because obviously that’s a pretty steep sacrifice to make…

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  61. Latter-day Guy on February 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Two words: brand image.

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  62. Will on February 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    MH,

    An hyperbole, sure; but the point is the same nonetheless. It is reasonable to set standards, and unreasonable to question the need for standards. The only thing left then to debate is what standards are appropriate. That is left to local leaders under the direction of the general officers of the church.

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  63. mh on February 28, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    will, did you read the post? it is not left to the local leaders discretion when a general authority says he will be checking for facial hair and blue shirts.

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  64. Jettboy on February 28, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    “13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

    14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

    15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

    16But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

    Now THAT comes from 1 Corinthians 11 in the Scriptures. Nothing about beards and white shirts mind you, but grooming requests by Church authorities is not without Scriptural president. In fact, by the arguments made for growing beards it would seem long hair at the least is out.

    I am not saying that I agree with the whole necessity of white shirts and clean shaven. However, I must say that there is a defiance in the responses that verse 16 warns about.

    Women were no less without request of clothing options:

    “7Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

    8I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

    9In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

    The letter specifically acknowledges in 1 Timothy 2 his Priesthood authority. Hard to dismiss as simple silly requirements. If we are honest, according to the arguments made so far, few seem to be following the written Scriptural admonishments of how to groom or cloth ourselves. That is for the New Testament where the Old Testament is even more severe, especially with Temple attendance.

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  65. Mike S on February 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Here is the essence of the argument:

    We have commandments. They are doctrinal. And, for the majority of them, they make perfect sense as well, whether they were commandments or not. Examples: Don’t commit adultery – makes sense whether LDS or not. Be honest. Same thing. Pay tithing/sacrifice/give to others/etc. – There are valid reasons and benefits to not being consumed by possessions. This list goes on and I don’t think anyone on this site or in most of the world has any issue with these things.

    We have tests. This is when we are asked to do something by God merely to see if we’ll do it. Sometimes it’s more direct like Abraham’s sacrifice. Other times it’s through someone else, but here it gets problematic. Who is asking? And is what they are asking truly from God?

    And, finally, we have opinions. Just like you and me, everyone in the church is allowed to have their opinion. We teach that even the prophet speaks sometimes as a prophet and sometimes as a man. I accept that. When Brigham Young talked in an official talk about what the inhabitants of the moon would look like when we sent missionaries there, I’m fine with that. He is a man entitled to his opinion. It wasn’t prefaced with “God saith…” or anything like that.

    Now apply that to this situation. Take earrings, for example. The first time this even became an issue was after President Hinckley’s talk. Here is the entire extent of what he said:

    May I mention earrings and rings placed in other parts of the body. These are not manly. They are not attractive. You young men look better without them, and I believe you will feel better without them. As for the young women, you do not need to drape rings up and down your ears. One modest pair of earrings is sufficient.

    Note: he didn’t say it was a commandment. He didn’t say it was from God. He didn’t say God cares. He merely stated his own personal opinion. And, to be honest, I bet any man in his generation would feel the same way about earrings in men, or multiple earrings in women. It is simply a generational thing.

    The problem comes after. By 2005, Elder Bednar had taken this simple opinion and inflated it to a story about a man who broke off an engagement because his finance had an extra set of earrings that she didn’t remove. It is inflated to the point where my daughter can’t go to EFY at BYU this summer if she has more than one set of earrings (she doesn’t, mostly because she doesn’t like it either). It is inflated to where people like Will (not to be demeaning, but just as an example) honestly believe that having two sets of earrings is a sign of apostasy.

    And all because of an opinion. This is how things get started and take on a life of their own. Hence, beards, white shirts, earrings, tattoos, etc. We get absolutely focused on these superficial and meaningless things. It is crazy.

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  66. mh on February 28, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    bravo mike. jettboy, nice scripture. so how do you rationalize that with 1 sam?

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  67. Will on February 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    ‘it is not left to the local leaders discretion when a general authority says he will be checking for facial hair and blue shirts’

    Not true. Mission and State Presidents make exceptions to account for environs. For example, some missionaries around the world are allowed to deviate from the missionary norm. The last time I was in a church in Hawaii the dress was fairly casual.

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  68. Jen on February 28, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I’d much rather have a husband with longer hair and a loving heart than a clean shaven one who is a jack ass.

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  69. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Jettboy, to the extent your ward allows women to offer prayers or give testimonies in meetings, do they have to wear hats when they do it?

    Because that’s the point of that 1 Corinthians 11 scripture. The object wasn’t to tell men not to wear their hair like a bunch of dirty hippies. It was to make an analogy from an existing custom, to the idea that a women should have her hair covered when she prays.

    (Because women are second-class beings; the man wasn’t created for the woman; but the woman for the man.)

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  70. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Jen,

    I resemble that remark.

    Dan,

    Maybe I should be a little less subtle.

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  71. Will on February 28, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Dan/Thomas:

    You two quit taking the credit, she was referring to me.

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  72. Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Will,

    I’m so vain, I think every post is about me.

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  73. Jettboy on February 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Thomas,
    Perhaps you missed my point and one that your question seems to at least hint at understanding. Who gave the command that women can now give prayer and testimonies without covering their heads with a hat? I certainly don’t know of any such allowance from the CHI, and certainly nothing that I know of said from the pulpit.

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  74. mh on February 28, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    will, I am not talking about hawaii. I live in utah county. the local leaders here don’t have discretion because the visiting ga checks for beards and blue shirts. quit changing the subject to tank tops and hawaii. your exceptions do not apply to this conversation. do you live in a tropical setting where these are a problem?

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  75. Will on February 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Jeffboy,

    AND, a priesthood holder should open every meeting. A woman should pray last.

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  76. Will on February 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    MH,

    Again, you missed the point. Mission or Stake Presidents, UNDER THE AUTHORITY of the general officers of the church, can make exceptions. Exceptions have been made in some of the pacific islands, Indian Reservations and some of the poorer nations of the world.

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  77. mh on February 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    will, you’ve missed the point of the entire discussion. why do stake presidents in outlying areas have more discretion than utah county?

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  78. adamf on February 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    As far as I understand it, stake presidents EVERYWHERE have all kinds of “discretion” just like mission presidents do. I think the “less discretion in Utah County” have more to do with the culture of Utah County and the individual stake presidents there than anything else.

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  79. mh on February 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    adam, elder c would disagree.

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  80. mh on February 28, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    truth be told, most of the people in my stake are descendants of pioneers that still farm. they look, talk, and act like porter rockwell or j golden kimball. sure, they may be gruff, but they have good hearts. if god looks on the heart, these people will do well, despite the long hair and beards. but elder c wants them all to shave and get a haircut. as I said earlier, the stake president wouldn’t care except for the unrighteous dominion of elder c.

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  81. Will on February 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    MH,

    What Adamf said.

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  82. adamf on February 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    mh

    Perhaps Elder C is from a similar culture… or perhaps he needs to give his Stake Presidents a little more space.

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  83. Geoff-A on February 28, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Where I live in Australia nearly half of the ward are Polynesians, many of whom have quite heavy tatoos, nearly every sunday we have a deacon wearing a skirt and flip flops, but with a white shirt and tie. Our Bishop requires a white shirt and tie but no mention of the rest.

    Other wards don’t require white shirts for anyone. I had a stake president back in the 70s who wore coloured shirts.

    One of the elders in our ward came to church this week in a smart shirt (not white) and dress shorts. I was jealous but not brave enough to join his fasion. The temperature was in the mid 30s and we are all wearing ties.

    I lived in areas where the colour of shirts was not important for years (a liberal ward) and then moved to a more conservative area, and continued to wear colours. When we again moved wards I tried wearing a white shirt to see if I was treated differently, and I was more accepted until I raised questions in class that were unacceptable.

    I was in California during Prop 8 and have since worn only coloured shirts because I don’t want anyone mistaking me for a conservative mormon.

    I thing it has nothing to do with the Gospel but is part of the conservative culture that comes with the church, and is therefore optional.

    People above have talked about being tested to be seen as LDS. I believe the only test we have to pass is to be worthy to take out our endowments and remain worth. Any other test are man made and optional.

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  84. mh on February 28, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    elder c is a city boy (like me). I knew him when I attended college away from utah county. I personally don’t like the farm culture, but there is nothing wrong with beards. I trust brigham young over elder c on this issue.

    facial hair (or lack of it) isn’t a sign piety, despite what elder c would have us believe. elder c would do well to follow the scripture in 1 samuel.

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  85. adamf on February 28, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    mh – I wish you were in my ward. 2nd counselor has a full beard. Colored shirts abound. No one cares. I will hate to leave this place.

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  86. Jettboy on February 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    “jettboy, nice scripture. so how do you rationalize that with 1 sam?”

    Because I believe there is more than one way the Lord can look at the heart. In this instance, the Lord was teaching a lesson that happened to do with the looks of two possible candidates for Kingship. Interesting enough, both of them ultimately failed the Lord no matter what choice was made. Dress and grooming standards (and if you read the Old Testament, there were lots of them in Samuel’s time) applied by or judging an individual is one way to determine character. There are those who disregard the standards as proclaimed by the Lord’s servants as a rebellious action. Then, there are those who take the standards and use it alone to judge the worth of a soul. Both of them, I believe, is out of spiritual balance to what the Lord would want.

    It isn’t that Jesus was against what the ascribes and Pharisees were teaching. As he says in Matthew 23, he didn’t like that they weren’t even following their own rules and regulations:

    “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

    2Saying, The ascribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ bseat:

    3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    4For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”

    He was aware of the rules and kept them himself. The times he broke the “rules” was when a higher rule overrode lower ones, a situation that he points out in John 7 the critics understood and practiced:

    “19Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

    20The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

    21Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

    22Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

    23If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

    24aJudge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

    Again the appearance as a way to judge is found wrong. This time its not how a person looks, but how a person’s actions look that comes under scrutiny. Yet, his argument isn’t that following the Law of Moses is the mistake, but a too quick decision that the Law was broken.

    Some commentators have noted that, at least in every day behaviors, what Jesus asked of his followers was even harder. Remember, he declared that divorce or requiring equal justice for wrongs was to be abandoned. I have a feeling these two portions of his Commandments have been by many modern Saints ignored.

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  87. Will on February 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    MH,

    And you would do well to sustain Elder Christofferson as an Apostle of the Lord.

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  88. mh on February 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    I do sustain christopherson as an apostle. this post isn’t about him, and I never knew christopherson in college. nice guess, but you’re wrong again will. (why am I not surprised?) oh, i purposely left the ga somewhat anonymous, because it is the issue I am trying to discuss, not the person. but yes, the seventy is still serving. and no, I won’t reveal him to the internet.

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  89. Will on February 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    And the point is the same, you chose not to sustain the general authorities. That is your decision with it’s associated consequences.

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  90. adamf on February 28, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Will – I admit, I haven’t read through everything here, but I’m not sure how disagreeing with a general authority = not sustaining him… or maybe I just never learned how to properly sustain.

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  91. Will on February 28, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Adamf,

    Here are some words from President Smith:

    “It is a serious wrong in the presence of the Almighty for one to vote to sustain the authorities of the Church and then to go away and oppose them and trample under foot the counsels that they give; and we will be judged of the Lord for it.”

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  92. Stephen M (Ethesis) on February 28, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Samuel also told Saul that the Lord preferred obedience to the fat of rams. Samuel was a stickler for the details of the religion he had at the time he had it — a religion with a pretty strict dress code (down to no cotton polyester blend [or other type of blend] shirts).

    That fits in well with Paul who stated that he would eat, and dress and act to avoid offense. If eating meat butchered at a pagan institution offended people, he would not eat meat butchered that way.

    Ah well …

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  93. adamf on February 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Will – so what you’re suggesting is “opposing” and “trampling under foot” is the same thing as “disagreeing.”

    I can’t buy that. Actively preaching against/”opposing”/”trampling on” a GA’s counsel is NOT the same thing as loyal disagreement. The Lord does not want his GAs to be followed by a bunch of Yes Men. That is not humility. Humility is not weak or “servile” as President Kimball taught. I have met many great church leaders (e.g. bishops) who welcomed opinions, different views, etc. Any leader that doesn’t want anyone to disagree is the one full of pride.

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  94. Will on February 28, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    It is reasonable to disagree. It is reasonable to ask for clarification from the leader. These are reasonable things to do.

    Publishing your discontent on the world wide web is an in your face gesture.

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  95. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Elder Oaks does not seem to think we necessarily have to agree with our leaders on everything

    “Our Father in Heaven has not compelled us to think the same way on every subject or procedure. As we seek to accomplish our life’s purposes, we will inevitably have differences with those around us—including some of those we sustain as our leaders. The question is not whether we have such differences, but how we manage them.

    Here is the rest of the address, if you want to check it out.

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  96. Mai Li on February 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    “The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism… the haircut becomes the test of …virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.” -Hugh Nibley

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  97. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    And Will, MH has not identified the seventy in question, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s not any sort of “in your face” gesture. And what should he do instead? Write a letter to the First Presidency and complain that Elder C is making people shave? After we have been repeatedly asked to send all correspondence through our local leaders, who will send it “up the chain” – including through Elder C? It doesn’t strike me as plausible.

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  98. Will on February 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Marphil,

    Thank you fir the quote which is exactly what I am saying ” The question is not whether we have such differences, but how we manage them.” exactly, exactly, exactly……

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  99. harpchil on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Will,

    I’ll assume you’re talking to me.

    You present a very interesting moving target. Most of your comments have nothing to do with whether a blog is the proper forum. They all present the same idea (at least from where I’m sitting): If you don’t conform to the white shirt rule, you either need to repent or leave the Church.

    But now, it’s suddenly about whether we should discuss stuff like this on a blog? It’s not the same thing.

    Incidentally, I really can’t think of a better place to discuss this (and other such sensitive) topics. If for no other reason, they give those of us who may disagree with a policy the knowledge that we’re not the only people in the Church who think the way we do. It helps us feel much better to know that there are others out there who continue to be active in the Church yet still have the same concerns. As one who has stopped participating in many Elders Quorum and Gospel Doctrine discussions because so many people are all-too-willing to follow the “party line” up to and including saying things like “If you don’t like it, leave,” I can honestly say that discussions like this are a very big reason I don’t feel completely ostracized. They’re a reason I’m active at all.

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  100. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Ive had long hair and a beard since i’ve gotten out of the military. It’s actually a really personal issue to me. If I was a mormon and someone told me to get a haircut and shave i’d do like Nancy Reagan said and just say NO.

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  101. Rich Alger on February 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    How do I unsubscribe from comments getting to my email?

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  102. raedyohed on February 28, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Pardon the lengthy comment, but I just thought this was a fun discussion. It’s clearly important to a lot of people. I never really thought much of it, but I’m glad I read through everyone’s comments. So I did a little digging…

    From Handbook 2 section 20.4.1
    “Ties and white shirts are recommended because they add to the dignity of the ordinance. However, they should not be required as a mandatory prerequisite for a priesthood holder to participate. Nor should it be required that all be alike in dress and appearance. Bishops should use discretion when giving such guidance to young men, taking into account their financial circumstances and maturity in the Church.”
    From this it seems clear that the responsibility for sacrament administrative attire as well as the responsibility to council with Aaronic (or Melchizedek) priesthood holders on the dress standards for officiating in other ordinances which fall under the keys of the Bishop solely falls to the Bishop. The standards are set out clearly that certain attire is recommended but not required, and that the experience of the individual officiating is of the utmost importance. Several other changes to regulations of officiation reflect this principle. Since you officiate under the direction of the Bishop it’s best to just follow his lead. Outside of officiating there isn’t much else to say.

    Also see Handbook 2 sections 9.10.2 & 13.2.4

    Grooming standards are discussed only in sparse detail, and in connection specifically with an applicant to a church school or prospective missionary. As far as I can tell this means that at best only a limited number of ward and stake leaders have any say over what clothing you wear and how you wear your hair, beard, etc. For the most part these are only recommendations anyway. There is nothing that I can find in either handbook which would condone or suggest that a Bishop or Stake President require that a beard be shaved or a shirt be white for service in any calling. However, General Authorities may possibly be instructed to have Bishop’s and Stake Presidents follow these guidelines, but this instruction does not show up in the policies which we as general members are expected to follow.

    All that being said, if my bishop or stake president or area president ask me to shave, I’ll do it. I’ll shave my eyebrows too, just for good measure.

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  103. hawkgrrrl on February 28, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    #94 – give me a break. Our readership’s not THAT big. I mean, I wish . . . But I would also say, these are just discussions, not rallying cries of dissent.

    When we build hedges about the law, the problem is that people develop a rebellious mindset over trivial matters. It’s kind of pathetic that a Mormon will get the same rebellious charge out of wearing a blue shirt that it would take drug use or fornication to achieve in another religion.

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  104. Will on February 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    harpchil,

    sorry, autocorrect….

    I am not a moving target; I have been consistent through the blog. Let me reiterate, with my main point being attitude 1) It is not the attire, but the attitude. 2) Disagreement is about attitude more than anything. This blog comes across as in your face to the GA in question. To me at least.

    I think the best, or worst example I have ever come across in terms of attitude towards church leaders was at a recent General Conference. I was at the U to pick up a book for one of my kids between sessions. Some people, it looked like mostly women, had a counter-point conference at the U. Their objective, from what I gleaned from one of the people attending was to listen to conference and then present counterpoints. I thought holy cow, I’ll walk all the way around the business center to get to the book store in case there is meteor. I thought if this is your attitude, apply your energy to something you can believe in instead of something you oppose. It seemed unproductive to me. Clearly, these people are an extreme example and don’t sustain the leaders, but I think some of these blogs come real close to this in my opinion.

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  105. Will on February 28, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Hawk,

    So what you are saying is ‘WILL is cheesing people off. Here. All this week.

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  106. raedyohed on February 28, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    One other quick thought:
    In an article we recently studied in a stake leadership training we read: “A successful shepherd or leader is willing to leave the comfort and security of the usual physical, social, or procedural patterns of life to actually “go after that which is lost, until he find it” (Luke 15:4), to bring a lost sheep back to the fold.” This article was from 30 years ago and we still have problems with being able to look past the “usual physical patterns” e.g. style. What a barrier it can be to reaching out and befriending and strengthening those around us when we judge others who differ a little in outward appearance!

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  107. Justin on February 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    It is reasonable to set standards, and unreasonable to question the need for standards.

    I thought if this is your attitude, apply your energy to something you can believe in instead of something you oppose.

    I wonder if it ever occurs to people like Will that the church does not belong to them? As I observed in #13:

    The burden of proof should fall on the requirers — not the requirees.

    Something ridiculous like clothing, facial hair, earrings, etc. are taught — and then those who find it ridiculous are told to “be humble”. The burden is on them to prove their “humility” by submitting to the ridiculous.

    Besides, none of this is the fault of the leaders — even if we could grant that they are in possession of the gift to discern all the best gifts of the Spirit among members [lest there shall be any among us professing and yet be not of God]–

    –no members [in my experience] are in possession/manifesting any of the best gifts for the leaders to be able to discern.

    I mean — how else are to supposed to discern justified believers in Christ from professed believers in Christ — when the signs don’t follow them that profess to believe? White shirts are all people like Will have left.

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  108. Mike S on February 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Will: apply your energy to something you can believe in instead of something you oppose

    This is actually a common thing and is even done throughout conference. The whole earring thing, for example, started because Hinckley opposed earrings – not on any doctrinal basis, but because 80 & 90 year-old men have different tastes than 20 & 30 year-olds. He could have “applied his energy” to merely saying – look nice, but I’ll leave nice up to you – but instead gave a list of things that he personally opposed – that somehow went WAY beyond the mark.

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  109. Mormon Heretic on February 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Will, are you bipolar? Everything you say gets turned into hyperbole. We go from white shirts to tank tops and flip flops. Then “opposing” and “trampling under foot” is the same thing as “disagreeing.”

    Ok, I get it. You just like to stir the pot. Well, now that it’s clear, let me advocate that I now think all deacons (and deconnesses) should be required to wear tank tops and flip flops to pass the sacrament. Additionally, I now publicly advocate homosexual polygamy as the only true form of marriage, and that abortion should be available to all regardless of whether they have a good reason.

    Wow this hyperbole stuff is kind of fun! Maybe I can get really creative….

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  110. Roger on February 28, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    It’s too bad the GA named Elder C wasn’t more focused on finding out whether the people of that stake loved and served each other more as opposed to displaying facial hair. But maybe the Church isn’t in to that so much anymore.

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  111. Mormon Heretic on February 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Jettboy, I like your answer in 86–reasonable and well-reasoned. It’s exactly the kind of thing I was trying to express.

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  112. AdamF on February 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Will 94 – Thanks for the clarification. We disagree then not in “disagreement being okay” but in whether or not MH “publicly” attacked a GA. I don’t think he did.

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  113. Mormon Heretic on February 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I should also add that Fred and my goatee look most like George Albert Smith. (minus the white hair.) We’re just trying to follow the look of a well-dressed prophet–sort of a retro look. (My goatee is shorter than Smith’s–Fred’s is about the same as Smith.)

    I have a missionary haircut, while Fred looks like he could have a Steven Seagal ponytail (but Fred never has a pony tail.) I’m also thinking that Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith and Brigham Young have the ZZ Top look. (Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man…)

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  114. Will on February 28, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    MH,

    Are you mocking me, because I sense a bit of sarcasm in your words? I am not bipolar, I have only been to the North Pole. Well, not exactly the North Pole, but as far north as Benchoko, due north of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. What does that have to do with the conversation?

    Seriously, I think I have stated my position clearly. Sometimes, people dress a certain way because they have a bad attitude. Sometimes they wear certain clothing or wear earrings as an act of defiance. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. And, sometimes people ask questions and question things because they just want to know why and others challenge authority because they have a chip on their shoulder. You come across as the later to me.

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  115. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on February 28, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    I suppose if there was an unwritten policy that mullets or rat-tails were severely frowned upon I could see the reasoning behind that…

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  116. troy on February 28, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    “Seriously, I think I have stated my position clearly. Sometimes, people dress a certain way because they have a bad attitude. Sometimes they wear certain clothing or wear earrings as an act of defiance. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. And, sometimes people ask questions and question things because they just want to know why and others challenge authority because they have a chip on their shoulder.”

    And who is to say that you are the one to judge them for their defiance? I honestly get a kick (sometimes) out of people who take it upon themselves to regulate everyone who crosses their paths.

    You know why people have a bad attitude? Because they are always told what to do, how to act, what to wear and, when they aren’t conforming to some “leaders” standards, they’re told they’re defiant, apostate, that they have a bad attitude and otherwise in need of a good trammeling.

    You know why people are defiant? Because sometimes they are just fed up with the “system” and act out because that’s what they know how to do. That system can be school, church, or something else. They’re tired of being told what to do, how to act, how to dress, how to cut their hair and how often they should bathe.

    One of the problems I have with church (and some leaders) these days is our collective inability to question, defy, disagree and otherwise ignore teachings that simply aren’t rooted anywhere in scripture. As Will as frequently stated (both here and elsewhere), questioning and disagreeing are altogether synonymous for “not sustaining” your leaders. Defying their “orders” is a sign of rebellion that simply must be stopped. Attitudes will be corrected, fixed and replaced with one of conformity.

    One of the problems I see with our youth programs is that we teach them “all the answers” and encourage a state of dependency on the Church(tm), forgetting that the church is nothing more than her members, forgetting that the church is not a collection of assets and “leaders” who work up at the COB and talk to us 2x/year via general conference. Our youth (and entire church for that matter) are taught that defiance/questioning is next to outer darkness, and that conformity is next to Godliness.

    Love God. Love your neighbor. Everything else is just garbage – only its that garbage that is too frequently pass around as salvation itself. Beards, long hair, white shirts, colored shirts, manicured nails, pressed suits, shined shoes, etc., are all “fluff.” None of them matter, yet we treat them as if they’re signs of the apocalypse. Whether a guy has long hair and a beard or a missionary hairdo and a baby’s face doesn’t matter at all, what matter’s is the heart. People hate hearing that because you can’t measure it, it’s hard to see, it’s hard to “judge.” And yet, there it is.

    The Hebrew word for “appearance” in the 1 Sam 16 is ‘ayin. This word relates directly to the eye and that which we see with our physical eyes, or, as one Hebrew dictionary states it: “as many passions of the mind, such as envy, pride, pity, desire, are manifest in the eyes…”

    The question really does become one of individuality and how we seek Christ in our own lives. Expecting others to live up to our skewed (or leaders skewed) expectations is rife with disappointment and will only further promote our Babylonian system of relying on the “outward appearance” as a judge and meter for spirituality.

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  117. troy on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    P.S. A long while back I read a blog post by someone over at M* about the “Church of Casual Saints.”

    Some of the comments that followed were appalling:

    “While at the Recommend Desk at our temple, if I see members arriving in casual dress, I make a note for the Temple President who calls the Stake President and/or Bishop and reminds them that dresses, tie and white shirt, and shoes are recommended to enter the temple.”

    “Our stake president will turn members away for a temple recommend if they do not show up wearing Sunday dress.”

    “I don’t know if the standard for men is a matching suit, or if a nice sport coat with dress pants would suffice. But [he] did the right thing, with the temple pres sending the info back to the Stake Pres, so that it would be kept confidential, where the Stake Pres and the person’s bishop could confidentially educate the person without embarrassment, or help them out monetarily to buy some nicer clothes at Goodwill.”

    Are we really any different as individuals and as a church than the Jews at the time of Christ? Comments critiquing people because of their clothing, what they wear, how they dress and implying (if not worse) that somehow this is indicative of a casual relationship with Christ. Can someone please show me where Jesus ever rebuked someone because they weren’t wearing what we’d consider proper Sunday attire (i.e. a business suit, cufflinks, a nice tie and shoes that were shined that morning)? Does anyone really think that the Lord cares if I wear, for example, a tie to church? Or, a white shirt? Or, a blue shirt? Or, dress slacks vs. khakis? Most clothing, in essence, is little more than an attempt to satisfy our vanity. To have a stake presidency turn someone away from a temple recommend because they didn’t meet their standards of dress is a shame – an act that, in essence, is barring someone from access to the temple NOT because they were unworthy, but because they didn’t dress-up to someone’s standards of Sunday attire.

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  118. Mormon Heretic on February 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Troy, you are right on the money. Jesus was accused of being a “wine-bibber.” Why? Because he hung out with drinkers. I once heard a minister say that if Jesus were alive today, he would hang out in bars, because those are the people that need to repent.

    Ray at StayLDS gave a talk last Sunday as part of his high council address and said,

    End with a request for each member to consider those in their lives whom they naturally see as lepers, Samaritans, publicans and sinners…

    Ask point blank that they each consider what their initial reaction would be if a man staggered into the chapel in the middle of the administration of the sacrament muttering and reeking of alcohol – or if two men walked in holding hands and sat in a pew with their arms around each other – if a young woman entered in a mini skirt, visible tattoos and a nose or eyebrow ring. Would that immediate reaction be, “Ooooh, get out of here. You’re interrupting our worship service” – or would it be, “Thank God you found us!!” Would they recoil or embrace?

    Until we can embrace all, especially those who are rejected and seen as irredeemable by others, we can’t say honestly that we are exercising faith in the redemption of Jesus.

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  119. hawkgrrrl on February 28, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    That comment about turning people away at the temple is appalling. We are supposed to invite all to come to Christ. Being judgmental is not inviting. The NT cautions against both being easily offended and against giving offense. To me that means that the only good course of action is to live and let live and to ignore stupidity (such as conformity for its own sake) regardless the source.

    Is it true that some might wear a blue shirt as a sign of defiance? Maybe (although as I said it’s a kind of pathetic victory). But they aren’t child pornographers, for crying out loud. As sins rank, it doesn’t even constitute a blip on the radar. If you have to be defiant, defy what is trivial and silly. The color of your shirt, number of earrings, and so forth, these all certainly qualify as trivial, silly things.

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  120. Justin on March 1, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    Is it true that some might wear a blue shirt as a sign of defiance?
    It is only made into a “defiant act” b/c people like Will and the commenters troy quoted in #117 make the “white shirt” thing such a big deal that it pushes people to lash out.

    Then we reach a point where we argue over the most ridiculous things — I like Roger’s comment at #110:

    Will, et al. end up focusing on clothing worn, hair removed, substances abstained from, money donated, etc. [thinking it is how you “follow the Prophet(TM)” — rather than on loving and serving each other more and seeking the spiritual gifts to edify our congregations.

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  121. Paul on March 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Blue shirt as defiance?? Half our congregation would be in defiance (and half of those don’t have ties…). Heck, I’m just happy they’re in church!

    I think I need to start wearing non-white shirts to church. (But not, Will, out of defiance. I feel no defiance toward any instruction I’ve received from local or general authorities; I’ve just never been told to wear a white shirt and go clean-shaven to church.)

    As for dress standards when attending the temple, Elder Nelson said the following in the last conference: “You prepare physically [to go to the temple] by dressing properly to go to the temple. It is not a place for casual attire. Latter-day prophets have emphasized self-respect for our physical bodies. That respect should be observed especially by those who would enter a holy temple.” Pretty non-specific counsel.

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  122. Rich Alger on March 1, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    I still haven’t found a way to unsubscribe from comments to my email. It seems like a shame that we (those on this thread) would focus on such things as this.

    What we wear sends messages to those around us. What is the message we want to send? The Lord has said that it is not meet that He command in all things. So why do those in this thread feel the need to so vociferously oppose each other. Why not extend to each other some understanding and empathy. Perhaps we all have the best intentions.

    I see this thread as a sign that our energy in the bloggernacle are spent on things that stir each other up. That is the opposite of what Jesus said in 3 Nephi 11. He told us not to have disputations among ourselves. As we focus on the doctrine of Christ all these other things will fade away. We will be unified in our love for God and our neighbors.

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  123. Rich Alger on March 1, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    I just now see the “Manage your subscriptions” link at the bottom.

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  124. Thomas on March 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Although I generally sympathize with the idea that the turning of clean-shaving faces and white shirts into Gospel issues is going a bit overboard, I wonder if we might want to be a little less outraged by it.

    The Church is partly a human institution. Human institutions invariably set up more rules than are strictly necessary in the eternal scheme of things.

    To some extent, good sports go along with this. Even if you think a practice is completely ticky-tacky, and would do things differently if you were in charge, you don’t make a huge fuss over things that aren’t a huge deal.

    I suspect some of the prouder Church leaders would be appalled at the thought that some Mormons follow their prescribed standards more or less to humor them, but they’ll probably take what they can get.

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  125. Will on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    “. I feel no defiance toward any instruction I’ve received from local or general authorities”

    Then it is not defiance and we agree, but that is not my point. My point is WHEN you are asked to live up to a standard and refuse to follow that counsel, then you are being defiant. Would you not agree?

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  126. Thomas on March 1, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    My point is WHEN you are asked to live up to a standard and refuse to follow that counsel, then you are being defiant. Would you not agree?

    No, I wouldn’t. (Not that you were talking to me, but here I go butting in.)

    The key word is “asked.” If someone asks me to do something, and I respectfully decline, I’m not being “defiant.” If I’m “asked,” I have the moral option of saying no.

    If on the other hand I am ordered or commanded to do something, and I refuse, then yes, I am being defiant.

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  127. Paul on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Will, if I were asked to do something and did not do it, then I am disobedient. I may not do it out of laziness or defiance or geniune concern that it is the wrong thing to do or perhaps some other motivation.

    For instance, I’m asked to do all my home teaching every month. Some months I fail at that task, Rarely do I fail because of defiance. I may fail because I plan poorly, or because my plans fall through, or because I’m nervous to meet a new family.

    If my bishop came to me and asked me to wear only a white shirt to sacrament meeting, I’d happily comply, though I sustpect I’d ask him why. (It’s not a stretch for me: I wear one anyway.) If he asked me to shave my beard, I’d also probably comply, but I would certainly ask him why. And I might need to consider the matter prayfully before complying. My desire to consider the matter prayerfully is not an act of defiance.

    I cannot judge whether another is defiant or not, and especially not by the clothes he wears.

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  128. Nick Literski on March 1, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    #33:
    With that said, policies that are made by the first presidency have gone through appropriate consideration and in my judgement meet the criteria found in 1:38. The proclaimation of the family is a good example as is the dress standard.

    I really like the fact that Will places the Proclamation Against Certain Families on the same par with wearing white shirts. I’m glad he agrees that they’re both equally valid and “inspired” by deity!

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  129. Will on March 1, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Paul,

    You are right and I change my views accordingly.

    Thomas,

    I am still thinking about your comments. On a cursory glance, I think ask by as GA is a command

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  130. Thomas on March 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Will,

    I would disagree, but if that is the case, let there be no pussyfooting around it, disguising orders as polite requests.

    It reminds me of “Office Space”: “Yeeaaahhhh, if you could come in this weekend, that would be greeeaaaat.” If you’ve got orders to give, spit ‘em out.

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  131. Thomas on March 1, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    I see a certain, perfectly innocent expression is a bit too close to something else to get past the autofilter. So here goes again, suitably Bowdlerized:

    Will,

    I would disagree, but if that is the case, let there be no [soft]footing around it, disguising orders as polite requests.

    It reminds me of “Office Space”: “Yeeaaahhhh, if you could come in this weekend, that would be greeeaaaat.” If you’ve got orders to give, spit ‘em out.

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  132. Nick Literski on March 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Will’s Random General Authority ™:
    “Would you please pass the salt?”

    Will’s Deity of Choice ™:
    “THOU SHALT pass the salt, lest I smite thee with the strength of my right arm!”

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  133. troy on March 1, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    “On a cursory glance, I think ask by as GA is a command”

    Will:

    Asking someone is never a command unless you specify it as a command. Do you really understand what “command” means? [to order; to direct; to charge; implying authority, and power to control, and to require obedience.]

    No one, not even Christ would “require” our obedience, nor control us in the way you’re implying. I’m hesitant to bring Christ’s name into this conversation, but the very foundation of the religion you profess to follow crumbles the instant you command obedience. Whether it’s passing the salt, wearing a specific color of shirt, cutting your hair, what car to drive, how much you’re to read your scriptures each night, etc., it’s all the same. The gospel is never about compulsion or control or commanding another individual. The instant you seek compliance by control or compulsion or command, you lose the Spirit, the heavens withdraw and you’re left seeking to establish your own little fiefdom, all while thinking you’re on the Lord’s errand.

    “…or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

    38Behold, ere he is aware [I'd recommend looking up what "ere" means, too], he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.”

    That sounds about right.

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  134. Mike S on March 1, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Rich #122: The Lord has said that it is not meet that He command in all things. So why do those in this thread feel the need to so vociferously oppose each other. Why not extend to each other some understanding and empathy. Perhaps we all have the best intentions.

    Here is the issue – the “understanding” only seems to go one way. Someone who accepts that white shirts or earrings is non-doctrinal and just someone’s opinion really doesn’t care if someone else CHOOSES to wear a white shirt or only have one pair of earrings. They really and truly don’t care.

    But it doesn’t go the other way. Someone who gets hung up on white shirts or earrings EXPECTS everyone else to choose the same way as them. And if someone else doesn’t come to the same interpretation of things as they do, they consider them to be “ignoring the prophets” or on their way to apostasy.

    I think people with attitudes similar to Will do much more to promote disunity and conflict in the Church than whatever potential good may come from what color shirts someone may be browbeated into wearing.

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  135. Will on March 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Thomas,

    When was the last time you heard “I command you” from any church leader. I know when I have held leadership positions in the past it was ‘i encourage you’ or “I remind you it is near the end of the month”.

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  136. Justin on March 1, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    it was ‘i encourage you’ or “I remind you it is near the end of the month”.

    Exactly — as Thomas said:

    If you’ve got orders to give, spit ‘em out.

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  137. Roger on March 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Will — I prefer to listen to my conscience rather than leaders

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  138. Will on March 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Over 210 thumbs down on my comments on this subject. It gives me the impression my comments are rubbing people the wrong way.

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  139. Sarcasm on March 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    It took you this long to figure that out?

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  140. Will on March 2, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    I wear it with a badge of honor comming from some of the bloggers (Dan for instance — for a pacifist he sure picks a lot of fights) others, it made me realize I can still stand my ground, but need to use a different approach.

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  141. Dan on March 2, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    ah reveling in victimhood. The true characteristic of right-wingers.

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  142. Franz on March 2, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    “it made me realize I can still stand my ground, but need to use a different approach.”

    Or, perhaps you could change the ground you’re standing on and realize that – just maybe – you might be wrong on this issue. Just a thought from reading the comments, but maybe that’s what should come out of this conversation…

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  143. MH on March 2, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Will, I am noticing that you and Dan have a lot in common when it comes to how people perceive your comments. Funny that you come from completely different perspectives, but have the same reactions. Perhaps you both could work on your power of persuasion? Or perhaps you could moderate your positions away from the extremes?

    It seems to me that the people that frequent this blog seem to be moderates, and are turned off by extremists. Of course by maintaining your bluster, you do seem to have a bit of popularity, albeit probably not the kind to get you voted “most likable.”

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  144. Dan on March 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    MH,

    I think the dislike over my comments is not that I come from an extreme position (I don’t. I’m rather moderate politically), but because I lay in so hard against those like Will and Jon. I think when you say people on this blog are “moderates” you mean more that they prefer a more civil discourse. It does seem that politically those on this blog are generally in the middle with some sprinkles of extremists, more so from the right than the left though. There certainly is not an extremist on the left anywhere near as extreme as Jon and Will are on the right.

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  145. LDS Anarchist on March 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    There certainly is not an extremist on the left anywhere near as extreme as Jon and Will are on the right.

    Isn’t anarchism considered to be on the left? What is more extreme than anarchism?

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  146. Dan on March 2, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    There are right-wing anarchists and left wing anarchists. :)

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  147. Justin on March 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    So on either end — we’re the most extreme?

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  148. Roger on March 2, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    You guys have left the reservation. You’re now debating which point of the spectrum should be home to anarchism. I thought we were trying to fathom why certain (I fervently hope not all) leaders feel that one can discern whether someone is tring to follow the path of the Savior and the admonition of Paul by wearing a white shirt and shaving one’s beard

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  149. Justin on March 2, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    I felt like discussion on the post was generally wrapped up somewhere in the 130′s or so — Seems that from comment 138 on, discussion departed from the reservation.

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  150. hawkgrrrl on March 2, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Perhaps we need a popularity contest to sort this out once and for all . . .

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  151. The Healing Gifts « LDS Anarchy on March 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    [...] we have a church where something ridiculous like clothing, facial hair, earrings, etc. are taught — and then those [...]

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  152. Byron on June 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Stake Presidents do not call and interview Elder’s quorum secretaries.

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  153. ed wilson on June 17, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I for one feel it is a bit silly to be put on double secret probation for violating an unwritten unspoken non-specific law….

    I grew up in the 60′s in Salt Lake. Our Bishop was really terrific. He was Pres McKay’s son in law.. Had a nice well groomed mustache. I know he would have shaved the ‘stache if Pres McKay had even given it a second glance. I think Pres McKay was clean shaven because he was an extremely handsome man and looked great clean shaven.

    I’d like to have a satisfactory explanation of how a white shirt is more holy than a blue shirt, or a yellow one. Holiness matters!

    If the Church would publish a dress code guideline for attendance to meetings, I’d be more than happy to be obedient. Until then I’ll endeavor to feel the spirit in my yellow dress shirt..or the blue.

    I look awful in a beard, so I don’t bump into anything there.

    As to tattoo’s and piercings, I agree with Pres Hinckley. Some tatts, imho, definitely cross the line into idolatry.

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  154. [...] hawkgrrrl, commenting on Mormon Heretic’s post “Why Do LDS Leaders Care So Much About Grooming?” at Wheat & Tares: Blue shirts and goatees are a gateway sin. It’s a slippery slope from there to worshipping Satan and having sex with goats. It could happen. [...]

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  155. Zack on April 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    If this hair thing is such an important issue concerning our Salvation, then I have a couple of questions…

    When it comes time to pass through those pearly gates, will Noah be asked to shave His beard, or will I be asked to Grown one ?

    And if Jesus meets me there with long hair will I be required to grow mine ?

    And what if I can’t grow a beard…Am I screwed ? And what about those bald radicals with no hair at all ? What a bunch of non confomist dirt bags.

    I would think a clean beard and clean hair or clean bald scalp would suffice with the Lord, who gave each of us our own pecular qualities of hair for us to cultivate into what WE deem is our BEST LOOK.

    I have a member friend who without his beard looks rather unique in a not so good way. Is causing him to shave for a Bishopric job a test of loyalty to God ?

    Let me tell you something people, without beating around the bush. The reason you won’t find specific instructions on these matters in the hand book is because these rediculous requirements ARE a form of control & measure of ones OBEIDIENCE to AUTHORITY…The authority of MEN attempting to CONTROL these aspects of our lives that lead us to BLIND OBEDIENCE.

    I spent 21 years in the Marines and through the course of 2 wars. YES…Causing people to conform to an exact standard of OUTWARD appearance is a MAJOR TOOl in getting people to move and do what you want them to do.

    While a not so bad tool to be using on Marines designed to opperate as a single minded killing machine, it’s not such a hot idea to incorporate this as GOD’S way to persuade His Children to Righteousness & as a measure of their individual worthiness before God.

    DOM adopted MAN’S appraoch to making us more palitable to a world which we were never encourage by God to immulate in ANY of it’s variations.

    Your dad gummed hair is one of the most personal accruments that God has given us to play with & make ourselves feel attractive.

    Why would ANYONE, ESPECIALLY TRUE PROPHETS of God, want to DENY you that priviledge ?

    Go ask a Marine Commander…He’ll tell you WHY. And his answer would be…A lack of hair STRIPS one of a self identity and removes their power to see themselves as an individual when placed among a crowd of shaven heads & faces…You ALL become the Same Green Machine.

    Look what happened to SAMPSON…

    This whole thing may have started out as a well intentioned idea of MAN, but it has taken on the pretence of forcing us to conform to the staus Quo or be found unofficially unworthy.

    THIS is WHY you won’t find this in any rule book…IT’S BOGUS ! And that’s the ONLY WAY they can half way cover themselves by requiring us to perform an act of OBIEDNCE that DOES NOT conform to God’s Way of looking at us…As per the scripture initially cited for this subject….They don’t RECORD IT and make it “OFFICIAL”.

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  156. Zack on April 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    One more comment on this subject. I like the comment of the person who said that maybe because so many people of the past had long hair, that maybe THAT is the style God prefers…Seeing that He gave us hair that GROWS quite well if we are not continually trying to impead it’s growth.

    I have meadium hair, not because I feel I need to fit in with the Norm. But rather because any shorter and I look like a mug shot…Any longer and it curls like a girls hair.

    It’s MY D___ business what I think looks BEST on me and no PROPHET has the right to cause me to feel less than worthy because of that.

    And restricting one from a particular call for that reason is DAMNED EVIL and manipulative toward the cause of Blind Obeidience designed to get us to eventually buy off on MUCH BIGGER issues.

    Trust My Judgment on this…Something BIG will eventually be required of us as a result of all these smaller tests of obiedience.

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  157. Zack on April 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Our Leaders premier test of Obeidience comes in a form that was NEVER prescribed by God when our leaders came up with the Grand Notion that a Prophet can, nor will ever lead us astray.

    I GARAUNTEE it was NOT the Lord who proclaimed that as Doctrine. There are too many failed prophets of the past who refute that as being something written in stone.

    That very statement precludes us from ever having to establish our own relationship with God because we have prophets to fill that perfect and unflawed position of God.

    And attemps to exclude us the free agency of persuing a personal relationship with God IF we ACCEPT their premise…It makes THEM God.

    That is the exact inferance to this False Doctrine taught by our Highest Leaders.

    Wilford Woodruff & those who have adopted that malarchy are insanely pretentious and arrogant with regard to mans ability to slip and fall.

    How about those High Leaders of Joseph Smith’s day who fell? Does common sense regarding mans ability to fall from ANY position in life NOT apply to our day ?

    Give me a break. These guys are up to NO GOOD. Yes the Church IS of Christ and the Church itself WILL prevail & survive as the Lord says it will. But He NEVER sugested that most of it’s members WOULD.

    Quite the contrary..For He says that only a Small Remanant go on to build His Kingdom.

    And from the looks at some of the scriptures left to us by Joseph Smith, that would certainly include and beginning with those at the TOP, who CAME UP with this garbage to ENSURE the Blind Obedience they seek to promulgate their plans upon a Corps of conditioned Marine Mentality Members, who are all encouraged to keep their hair & beards short and wear the same uniforms while in performance of their duties.

    I’m telling you people…This is going to BITE the membership where it hurts most…Their LOOSING their membership in the Lord’s TRUE Kingdom that He must CLEANSE as He has PROMISED.

    Don’t take these signs of requiring unrighteous blind obedience on our parts as a grain of salt. This has grown into something VERY SERIOUSLY SINISTER.

    Joseph said that when men began to assume power & obedience unto THEMSELVES as opposed to God and HIS requirements…You can be SURE that they are up to NO GOOD.

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  158. Zack on April 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    When Neal A. Maxwell in the Fall Conference of 1996 proclaimed that… “When the Brethren have done the thinking, the thinking has been DONE”, this should have been a RED WARNING FLARE to the membership that God’s Rule of us establishing our OWN releationship with God was being OPENLY VIOLATED & NOT ENCOURAGED.

    Yet the membership in large, swallowed this hook, line & sinker. Just WAIT until these guys decide to SET THAT HOOK !

    Ignorance to this violation of God’s Law and expectations of us by God to put NO ONE above Himself, is going to prove that the vast majority of a Spiritual Sleepy Membership will eventually experience the PAIN of not being able to cry ingnorance, when EVERY WARNING has been given…By those who VIOLATE God’s Laws right in front of our eyes & ears, to those who have attempted to point those violations out to an UNBELIEVING bunch of Dumb Blind Sheep. WAKE UP !

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  159. Chris on February 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Jesus would be shunned at the door! LOL

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  160. Juston on March 9, 2013 at 10:08 PM
  161. Juston on March 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Zach’s comment he claims Neal Maxwell said,”When the Brethren have done the thinking, the thinking has been DONE.”…not there: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1996/10/according-to-the-desire-of-our-hearts?lang=eng

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  162. MH on August 7, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I just wanted to post an update on Fred. He recently moved to another stake…and was called to be Elder’s Quorum secretary!

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