I have two tattoos. I got one when I was 18 and on my own for the first time. It is a sun/moon/stars symbol on my mid-back. I got the other when I was 21 and on a trip to Texas. It is abstract lightning bolt-like markings with a blue heart in the middle and is on my lower back. I drew them both myself, and was really proud of this fact. They are both hidden from view. It was kinda like my little secret.
Now it has been 12 years since I got the first one. It still looks the same, faded a bit. But my feelings about it have changed dramatically. Instead of being a symbol of my rebellion, it is a reminder of hard times and unhappy experiences. Not things I want to remember everytime I look in the miror.
It was after I had both of them that The Church came out with a statement against tattoos and peircings. (Time to mention that I have 5 holes in one ear, 4 in the other, and a nose ring hole, too. However it has been years since I wore anything but one pair of earings) It was too late for me. Thank goodness I had put them on a spot where they are covered by clothing all the time. I'm not one to show off my sins to just anybody.
I really wish that I had know then what I know now. Our bodies are holy. They are a gift to us from our Heavenly Father, entrusted to our care. They are a part of our mortal test. How we respect them and manage their desires is a real challenge of this life. I feel like I have failed a small part of the test. As I work towards accepting that they will always be there, I also feel like getting them removed would help me to complete the repentance process. The children would no longer ask me about them, and the view in the mirror would no longer haunt me.
Catch me if you can~