Noemi "Noi" Kaiser
Rock & Roll Tattoo
2457 E Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, 33308 Florida
Call: 1-954-397-4882



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70 Cat Tattoo Ideas For Men – Feline Designs – nextluxury.com02.10.19

Love them or hate them, theres no middle ground where cats are concerned.

Aloof and independent, at turns icy and warmly affectionate, theres no figuring out the feline mind, which makes it all the more alluring.

Humans have been enjoying the company of their feline companions for thousands of years, with evidence seen everywhere from the inky paw prints in Da Vincis notebooks to ancient Egyptian tombs. A symbol of higher power and primitive grace, the cat as we know it today carries a long and rich iconography.

Whether youre honoring a beloved pet or the archetype itself, a cat tattoo speaks of the rare kind of man you are. You dont require the unquestioning loyalty and constant enthusiasm of, say, a dog, nor do you require similar conduct from your companions. You understand the cats secrecy, and fierce aversion to having its space invaded; conversely, you are endlessly generous with those who have put in the work to deserve your affection. A representation of the darker aspects of the psyche, the nocturnal cat isnt afraid to venture where others fear to follow.

The man who welcomes the cat into his lifebe it in the fur or on the skinis an exceptional soul. Patient and steadfast, with an ever-so-slight sarcastic glean in his eye, he takes on the world on his own terms. Just as the cat asks for neither permission nor forgiveness, so too does he proceed with hardly a second thought for his detractors.

One thing is certain: once youve won the cats love, its for life.

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100 Awesome Skull Tattoo Designs | Art and Design02.10.19

Human skull is one of popular subjects in tattoos as well as paintings and optical illusions. You may wonder why people get skull tattoos. Skull has long been considered as the vessel of the soul, or wisdom of ancestors. Skulls cannot be taken as a mere symbol of death, but as a symbol of rebirth, symbolizing eternal life which can only be achievable through spiritual death and rebirth.

There are a lot of such combinations which could enlighten your skull tattoo ideas when you decide to have a skull tattoo wherever on the arm, back, chest, etc. Moreover, its important to have your skull tattoo to be created in an artistic manner, esp. you love it not for these symbolic meanings but just for whimsical fun. In this post I have extended the number of awesome skull tattoo designs from 20 to 60. Let us any awesome one which you think should be on the list.n Just drop a link on the comment.

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Infamous Studio02.10.19

About Us

Established in 2004, Infamous Studio is built on over twenty five years of international tattooing experience.In providing high quality custom and classic tattooing we have earned a solid reputation within our local and the international tattoo community.With our professional and knowledgeable staff and unique environment we work hard to deliver the goods for a lifetime of satisfaction.

State regulated hygiene standards are maintained.

* Please Note; You must come in to make appointments, we dont provide price quotes via telephone or email. We prefer face to face interaction.

We are located on the island of Sdermalm in Stockholm, in the SoFo area- bars, restaurants, cafes, shopping and artsy shit.

Our doors are open to the serious collector & novices alike.

Most work and consultations are done by appointment, however we can often be caught for a drop-in.

Come as you are, we’ll help you change that!

– Please arrive on time for your appointment.- It is recommended to rest well and to of eaten prior to your appointment.- It is not recommended to bring a bunch of friends with you when you get tattooed, only you can come into the working areas.- If you have children it is best that they dont accompany you when you are to be tattooed.- We do not tattoo anyone under the age of 18, bring ID.- We do not tolerate drunks or people otherwise intoxicated.- You must give 48 hours notice to change or cancel you appointment in order to receive a refund of your booking fee. Our time is as valuable as yours.

Leave a bandage on until the following morning or 8-12 hours.Remove bandage & wash thoroughly warm water & mild soap.Gently pat dry with clean towel. Do not re-bandage.Clean tattoo with water 2 or 3 times throughout the 1st day.Use soap only if necessary.Do not apply any lotion/cream for the first day-the tattoo must have air.

For the next 7-14 days with clean hands lightly apply perfume free lotion/cream 2-3 times daily.You can use less, but not more.The tattoo must not feel wet or dry.Continue as above until healed.

Your tattoo will scab & peel lightly.It will be in the colors of the tattoo & look similar to fish food as it flakes off- this is completely normal.

-WHILE YOUR TATTOO IS HEALING-Do not pick at your tattoo! Picking and scratching at your tattoo will damage it!

Do not sunburn, sauna, swim or exercise strenuously with your fresh tattoo.

No wool, polyester or tight fitting clothing directly against your new tattoo.

Do not listen to tattoo experts in bars or on the street.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CALL US: 08 604 4066

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Infamous Studio

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45 Awesome Shark Tattoos for Your Inner Badass02.09.19

Sharks are great. Theyre fierce, fearless, and powerful. If youre one of those people who think theyre vicious killers, youve probably watched waaaay too many horror flicks. As a matter of fact, sharks only attack when their environment is disturbed or when they feel theyre in danger. In other words, they do it to protect themselves, which is completely understandable. Theyre actually gorgeous animals, worthy of our protection and respect. And what better way to showcase your admiration for these badass creatures than to get a shark tattoo?

While men would probably prefer more aggressive designs, women usually go for more graceful and subtle tattoos, which can be just as powerful. If youre looking to convey that youre a bold and strong individual, a shark tattoo is the perfect way to spread the message. Here are some awesome tattoo ideas to get you inspired.

Shark out of water! This mesmerizing creature seems particularly angry. Maybe he saw something he didnt like? Or maybe evil humans are after him. Whatever the case, he knows how to protect his turf. And whats more important probably the owner of this lovely tattoo know how to stand up for themselves as well.

Now thats what we call a classic. If you really want people to admire your ink up close and personal, a hand tattoo is the way to go. Such a scary (yet still marvelous) specimen will clearly make a long-lasting impression.

Sharks + typography = love, at least in our book. This is a more private tattoo a black and white design people will only see if youre a fan of crop tops. We cant really see what it says, but its something about survival, and sharks are good at that. So, great choice.

This tattoo looks unfinished, but were sure the end product will be amazing. Just look at that perfect shark silhouette and that bold shade of blue. We cant tell if the shark is angry or cheerful, but he seems to be swimming peacefully, which means hes very zen. Yay!

Aaaaargh! What better way to convey your love for the sea than get a tattoo of a pirate skeleton and one or a badass shark? We dont know. But the combination clearly works, as you can see on this creative fellow.

Hello, I am Shark. I like to cuddle with sea lions and make fun of awkward-looking fish. What is your story? We havent seen a happier shark in our lives and we doubt well ever see one before, so this specimen won our hearts in a jiffy.

Oops! This shark was hungry. Hes not anymore. We particularly appreciate the fallen flip-flop, as it makes the design look more realistic. That eye, however, will haunt us for days. Sharks are good guys. Except when theyre not.

Now this is one fierce animal, who looks like hes looking to revenge his pals death. At least he has a purpose. Side note: this is a great location for a shark tattoo, as you can display this interesting creature in all its glory. Sharks from all across the world will be in awe.

Colorful, gracious, and utterly cute. When it comes to this particular design, we love everything, from the placement to the mesmerizing color combination. If youre a lady looking to get inked, you should add this to your list of potential designs for sure.

Menacing shark on your foot? Why not? Here, the creature seems to be yelling at the Pi sign located on the other foot, so maybe hes not a fan of math. We wont hold it against him. Math is hard.

Now this is what we call an eye-catching tattoo. Its big, manly, and perfect. If you enjoy danger, what better way to showcase that? The details on this design are flawless, so make sure to find a skillful artist with a keen eye for detail.

This Mr. Shark looks kinda nostalgic. We imagine hes thinking about his last yummy meal and looking forward to the next one. At least thats how we look when were craving fries. Were guessing his taste is more eclectic.

At first we though this shark looks a bit drunk, but then we noticed hes been cut in half. Uncool. Maybe a magic trick gone wrong? Whatever the case, were digging still this design (and mourning for the lovely fellow at the same time).

This is what we call interesting placement. While this kind of tattoo looks awesome though, you want to make sure its really what you want before you get one. Growing your hair is always an option, but better to be extra certain youll still like the design after a couple of years.

Wow. Is this an awesome design or what? Everything from the waves to the stylized sea creature to the twinkly stars is marvelous, and the amount of detail is truly fascinating. Were in love.

Is geometry your thing? Than this is the tattoo for you. Complex, eye-catching, edgy. Plus, the design kind of creates a 3D effect, right? We somehow cant take our eyes out of this one. Kudos for the great contrast as well.

We love tattoos that tell a story, so were obviously in love with this one. Someone has fallen of a ship and got attacked by a fearless creature. Sounds like a great idea for a movie. What, it was already done? Oh, well.

This shark looks like hes contemplating his next meal in the form of that sad looking fishy. This shade of blue is to die for and the details are great. But does the fishy escape? I guess we will never know. Although due to the sharks hungry eyes, we doubt it.

This shark is hella fancy. He has a hat for Petes sake, and he can see better than his fellow sea creatures. We can also see a trident, so maybe Mr. Shark is the ruler of the sea in the tattoo owners eye. We like whales as well, but we wont disagree.

The perfect proof that a small shark is still a fierce shark. And he looks dashing next to the anchor. Side note: an anchor tattoo symbolizes strength and stability, so it only makes sense to associate it with a mighty shark, which exudes power.

Weve seen Jaws, but this tattoo still made us gasp. Its very realistic and well-made. Were only sorry that the pic is black and white and we cant tell is the shark is colorful or not. Whatever the case, its stunning for sure.

A remarkable design that will surely grab the eye of everyone around. What more is there to say? Its truly perfect.

Angry shark is looking for blood. Meanwhile, innocent puppy is making puppy eyes and this contrast is mainly what makes this design stand out from the crowd. Oh, and those splashes of water? Thats what we call excellent craftsmanship.

Another tattoo of a seemingly menacing shark on an arm, because you can never have too many of these. Again, we applaud the artists attention to detail and were deeply jealous this design isnt resting on our arms instead.

If youre going for a scary but impressive tattoo, associating sharks with skeletons is the way to go. You dont even have to be a sailor. It just works. The dark waves are beautiful, and the Mr. Shark looks as pissed as a shark can get.

Rock and roll! Its not a saying, its a lifestyle. Even when youre being eaten by a shark. We love the symbolism of this design. Mainly because the day we give in is the day we day. Stay true to who you are.

The deep sea is full of gorgeous creatures, so if you want a unique tattoo, include as many as you can. Turtles are cure, sharks are wonderful, a jelly fish will add a touch of whimsy to the design. Looking at this art piece is quite relaxing, isnt it?

This particular shark is out to get you. If youre a person who scares easily, it might even cause some nightmares. Thankfully, were not, so we consider this a win. As weve already said, sharks only attack to protect themselves, so were safe.

Sure, you might have thought about getting a shark tattoo, but did you ever considered the possibility of getting a tattoo of a shark with its insides visible? No? Youre welcome.

Judging by the tattoo, the pants, and the beer, this person is very much into the sea. We understand. The sea is awesome. And sharks are pretty even when they look like theyre out to get you.

A shark with a riffle? Not thats a movie we would definitely watch. If hes released upon the world during a tornado, even better. Thats as compelling as it gets.

A small, subtle, and wonderful tattoo that goes particularly well with that heart piercing. Due to their shape, sharks make perfect ear tattoos, dont you agree?

So many colors! We love colors and we love sharks, so we definitely applaud the tattoo artist who put this together. The details are spectacular, the shades dazzling. Perfection.

Sharks everywhere! This particular fellow looks calm and peaceful. We especially appreciate the frame, as it gives the entire design a bit of an edge. And is that another shark tattoo on the other leg, or just a doodle? Care to speculate? We vote doodle, but you never know.

This shark is hiding behind the owners ear because he doesnt want to scare you, not because he is the one whos scared. Sharks dont get scared. They make the scaring. On a more serious note, we love the colors and the placement of this tattoo. Discreet, but still amazing.

Although we can only see a bit of this shark tattoo, we can help but gush over it. Its probably wonderful, as shark tattoos usually are. How far down do you think it goes?

Simple, black and white, highly effective. He looks like hes screaming though. Maybe the owner has something to say and wants the world to pay attention? This is our best guess.

A slice of sea life on your foot the perfect choice when youre obsessed with the waves. While we like the sharks in this design, were also in awe over the octopus and the sentiment of peace were filled with after looking at the image for a while. The sea is great guys.

When youre giving someone the finger, having a shark on it makes the whole gesture even more powerful. This shark might be tiny, but he will tolerate nobodys nonsense. Just look at those teeth.

Angry shark is out to get you! Beware! (That blue though is deep and wonderful and in total contrast with the sharks overall demeanor, which is very cool.)

This shark may look menacing, but hes probably only annoyed that youre invading his privacy *wink.*

Abstract sharks are great, red abstract sharks are even better. Were totally digging the flowery design as well, so this is a particularly compelling tattoo in our book.

Another discreet, but menacing design because we just cant get enough of tiny sharks who hide behind peoples ears.

A very interesting design, which will surely catch the attention of everyone around. The amount of detail is crazy good. Were actually applauding over here.

This shark looks kind of sad, but thats probably just because weve reached the end of our list. Hes pretty dashing though, with his lovely tail and those perfect stripes. The placement is also perfect considering the sharks silhouette, so were definitely in awe. Well done!

See? Sharks make awesome tattoos. Theyre can look fierce, convey strength, and even scare people away if youre going for a more gruesome design. What more could you wish for? If youre looking to get inked, you will be more than able to find a design that satisfies all your needs. Maybe one from above?

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Flower Tattoos for Women – Ideas and Designs for Girls02.09.19

Art is the ability to look at reality through the lens of either a beautiful dream or a horrendous nightmare. It is extremely diverse and innovative and it keeps evolving into directions we wouldnt expect it to.

In this regard, flower tattoos for women express femininity in all of its intricate forms and colors and their complexity and immense variety only stands proof of how complex, mysterious and intriguing female spirit is.

With so many cultures offering so many different values and perspectives on the human nature, it was only natural that variety would also become part of tattoos meaning.

Flowers carry something profoundly sensitive within their nature, something that has always baffled and intrigued both artists and regular people alike. This has grown more obvious over time, as they started to be turned into art and imbued with deeper meanings than meets the eye.

Depending on the geographical region a certain belief resides in, and the type of the flower itself, a floral tattoo could express a wide variety of different values, encompassing most of the palette of human emotion.

Here are the most common types of flower tattoos that women tend to get:

Depending on its color, it can stand for: passionate love (red), excitement and enthusiasm (orange), genuine friendship (peach), fascination (blue), joy, familiar love and devotion (yellow) or even evil and death (black).

There are also other interpretations, as sailors would use rose tattoos to honor their girlfriends and wives, while far on the seas and, in Greek culture, it is considered a symbol of Aphrodite, the goddess of eternal love, transcending space and time.

The lotus is also a popular flower tattoo and that is because aside from its gorgeous visuals, it is also dripping with meaning. Mostly famous throughout Eastern countries and all over Asia, the lotus represents the triumph in the face of lifes vicissitudes and symbolizes spiritual rebirth as, in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is thought to stand for human spiritual growth.

Being an exotic and breathtakingly looking floral specimen, the orchid is also highly treasured among different cultures. Japan sees it as an embodiment of the samurai spirit, associated with bravery and honor over anything else. The ancient Aztecs saw it representing strength, while for Chinese it was all about fertility and a prosperous and fulfilling life.

These are just 3 examples out of countless others, comprising in hundreds upon hundreds of different flowers, with an equal number of interpretations.

That is up for you to decide. But if you make the decision to go for one, you need to know that the sky is the limit. Flower tattoos for women come in an immense palette of options to cover all tastes. Intricacy, color, design, size, signification, everything can vary hugely from one person to another.

All you need to know is what defines you as a person and find that relatable piece that will end up sticking with you for the rest of your life. The fact that flower tattoos have grown so popular that they have even been adopted by men shows how intimately we resonate with these jewels of nature, regardless of our gender.

Your skin is a virgin canvas and there is no better way to spoil it than carving a priceless and eternal floral gem on it.

This simple black and white flower design gives off a classic, clean vibe. The hand drawn aesthetic provides an artistic, intelligent feel, and the placement on the models body allows this delicate, yet highly detailed, flower tattoo to really bloom.

This immense and colorful back piece incorporates a wide variety of design and color. The almost animated, yet intricate, detail of the butterflies and flower petals give this tattoo a energetic, positive aura. Subtle shading is used to make this piece really pop.

These simple purple orchids instill a sense of power and dignity. Designed in a watercolor like style, this piece echoes traditional oriental flower tattoos. Inked in deep blacks and soft delicate purples, this tattoo is at once feminine and strong.

These ashen roses are an elegant and sultry tattoo idea. Done in hard black and grays, with detail on the hard lines of the piece, this tattoo speaks of rebellion, sophistication, and sex appeal, all at once.

A small, yet highly detailed, flower bouquet, this tattoo pops with bright color and intricate design. An small crest-like overall aesthetic, this bright bouquet would work as a solo ankle, or arm, piece, or a part of a larger work.

A classic take on floral tattooing, this sprig of bright flower ink gives of a vibe of sophistication and sexiness. The perfect tattoo to accentuate hips, breasts, or thighs, this tattoo is for the elegant woman with a free spirit.

An example of a different style of purple orchids, these classic tattoo designed flowers circle and curl to bring out the most of your natural curves. Deep and pronounced shading is used to bring out the softer purples and greens.

If youre considering simpler flower tattoo ideas, these colorful sky blue orchids may be for you. This subtle design is almost void of dark colors which allow the bright turquoise and neon greens to really take focus.

Another great piece if youre looking for a subtle flower tattoos idea. This set of four, lotus inspired, designs, are a small reminder of your inner peace. The acrylic like coloring and bright ink provides huge personality to this small tattoo.

These highly detailed ashen gray roses make a flattering piece for shoulders or hips. With focus on the exterior lines, the black and gray inks, and use of negative space, give this tattoo its entire attitude, and will do the same for you!

This simple orchid design gives a down south feel in its subtle green sprigs and violet blossoms. The delicate purple petals are perfectly scaled for this small piece and provide extraordinary detail and intricacy the perfect tattoo for wrists or ankles.

A superbly designed lotus flower situated inside an immaculately inked background, this flower tattoo design speaks of inner peace and enlightenment. Soft, yet brilliant, yellows, pinks, and blues, are offset by the deep black inks of the shading and background.

Red is all the focus in this flower bouquet tattoo. With deep and dark greens being used to shadow and shade this piece, the bright colors of the flower petals really pop a consistently flowing tattoo for sides and thighs.

This art inspired floral design makes use of its subject matter with pastel acrylic looking inks. The natural pinks, yellows, and greens, contrast perfectly with the silver and tans of the pencils and brushes, for an added layer of artistic flare.

This almost entirely violet inked tattoo is the epitome of flower tattoos for girls. Giving off an aura of female mystique, deep and light purples cascade into black definition lines and shading to provide a sultry, majestic design.

This sophisticated and geometric design provides a frame and shape for the detailed, black and gray flowers at its center. Shading takes precedence in this piece to fill out and define the focal orchids, and the black background serves to bring the flowers to the eye.

This simple purple rose tattoo is an excellent small piece for wrists and ankles. The soft purple petals contrast perfectly with the black stem and roses. An almost anime like design, this piece echoes daintiness and femininity.

An encompassing tattoo, this piece gives the feeling of natures bounty springing up on the models body. Done in pastel pinks, reds, and oranges, black stems root these roses to the skin. The open blossoms, and closed blooms, speak of growth and development.

A beautiful full back piece, this tattoo sparkles and glistens with color. Bright greens, blues, whites, yellows, pinks, and greens are offset by the black ink underlay. This immersive piece is an excellent larger option when deciding on flower tattoos for women.

A zen like black, white, and gray design, this geometric tattoo uses the framing shapes to make its lotus centerpiece the focus. An excellent piece for ankles, wrists, and shoulders, this tattoo reminds us to put our own enlightenment at the center of our lives.

Capturing the blooms of spring in pastel inks, this tattoo is a artistic expression of womans communing with nature. Soft pinks, purples, and reds, are offset by a subtle hand drawn background of stems, sprigs, and leaves.

If youre in search of more subtle, classic, tattoos ideas, this hand drawn bouquet sprig of orchids is an excellent option for chest, side, or thigh tattoos. Inked simply in black and gray, this tattoo is a humble expression of your inner wild flower.

A tiny, but highly detailed and colored, tattoo, this piece is perfect for ankles, wrists, and foot pieces. Done in bright colors, and with little darks, this tattoo has a positive, happy, spring vibe.

This bright, red, and pink lotus tattoo speaks of the enlightened woman. Done in subtle defining lines to let the focal flower draw the eye, this piece achieves perfect balance on the darkly defined, black inked, rooting and stem.

If youre more interested in bigger tattoo ideas for women, this pieces curling design can accentuate the natural curves of the shoulders, hips, and chest. Done in darker colors, this tattoo is a perfect example of classic sophistication to bring out your favorite features.

This colorful floral, hand tattoo is ideal for women who want people to notice their hands. Its not the most subtle tattoo, but it is colorful and attractive. Also, its garden-like appearance will compliment most hand or wrist accessories as well as summer dresses.

This pink flower tattoo is a good design for women who want to tattoo their forearms with something beautiful and attractive. The floral design appears large, but also colorful and soft. The tattoo also looks great with various hand accessories, particularly floral ones.

These flower tattoos feature colorful pink lilies. They are large, detailed and quite colorful. The lilies look very vivid, and their size and appearance makes them a subtle back or shoulder tattoo. They are also a good choice for women who like sharp, but colorful floral tattoos.

This artistic flower tattoos idea features colorful white and violet flowers. The color contrast between white and violet is the tattoos most notable feature, but it also has a simple and elegant design. The lithe appearance of the flowers also makes this a good forearm tattoo.

This seemingly simple floral tattoo design features a single branch of flowers. The flowers orange color contrasts quite well with the green color of the leaves. However, due to its small size, its worth remembering that this tattoo design has a very minimalist appearance.

For those of you who are looking for flower tattoo ideas that feature a lot of curls then this is a good choice. This particular design features a lily-like red flower with curling stems. Its also quite large, which makes it a good choice for a back tattoo.

This particular design features an artistic rendering of a simple flower with bright, red petals. The petals have a very modern look, as does the stem and leaves. This particular tattoos appearance is subtle and very toned down; great for arms and limbs.

This rather large tattoo features a bright pink flower surrounded by toned down green leaves, and it has a very romantic aesthetic. Its also quite large and wide, which means that it can only be applied on the hip or back.

This cool, but colorful flower tattoo design features blue and violet flowers in the shape of a crescent. Although very simple, this design has a very simple but subtle appeal. And because of the green color of the leaves, the flowers look very charming.

For those of you who are looking for flower tattoo ideas with esoteric symbolism, this is a good choice. It features an elegant pink colored flower inside an upside-down triangle. Although the image is very simple, the addition of the triangle gives it an air of mystery.

Most flower tattoos for girls feature designs that dont take up a lot of space. This one is the exception. This particular design features several Hibiscus flowers, but due to the size of each flower, this particular design can only fit on a womans back.

Most tattoos ideas have simple, but elegant aesthetics and this one is no exception. Despite its simplicity, its also quite versatile, and looks good on the ankles, the wrists or the limbs. The only downside is that due to its black and white appearance, this particular tattoo works best on pale skin.

This colorful tattoo features a large pink flower surrounded by green leaves and small violet flowers. The tattoo is also neither big nor small, and can fit well into almost any part of the body; a good choice for those who prefer versatile tattoo designs.

This colorful tattoo features a series of multi-colored flowers along a vertical column. There are red, yellow, blue and violet flowers of different shapes and sizes. However, due to this particular tattoos shape and size, it only fits on the back.

This simple dual rose tattoo features two bright red roses. The roses petals are quite attractive, while the tattoos overall design is subtle. Although it works well on any part of the body, this particular tattoo looks best on the side of the arms.

This simple wrist tattoo is a good choice for those who want a small but elegant tattoo for their wrists. The tattoo itself looks like a colorful bracelet, and the flower and leaves are designed to appear very realistic. It also looks good on the ankles.

This full-sleeve arm tattoo features an orchid-like plant runs from the shoulder all the way to the wrist. The flower itself looks very warm and attractive, which is perfect for women who like to show off their shoulders.

This beautiful flower tattoo for women features a very magical aesthetic that is reminiscent of the rose in Beauty and the Beast. The tattoos elegant design also gives the flower a very jewelry-like appearance, while the pink and violet color gives it a very romantic feel.

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Tattoos and Your Mission02.09.19

Not only are tattoos a defacement of your body, but getting one could affect your ability to go on a mission.

Imagine you are standing outside a beautiful white temple. Its walls and grounds are immaculate. On the lawn near the front door is a painter. He has displays of his art for all to see.

A few minutes later, you see this painter turn around, pull out cans of paint, and start to paint on the walls of the temple. His painting isnt ugly, but it just doesnt belong there. Do you say anything to him? Do you ask him to make his picture bigger and more colorful and offer to pay him for his work? Or do you say, You cant do that! This is a holy temple!?

What would you do if it were your temple? The Apostle Paul said, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Cor. 3:1617).

A tattoo is graffiti on the temple of the body, said President Gordon B. Hinckley.1

Tattoos are permanent. They are not only physically damaging, but through disobedience to the voice of the prophets, choosing to get one causes spiritual damage also. On top of that, something you might not have thought about before is that having a tattoo will affect your application to be a missionary.

When Bobby Collins (name has been changed) sent his mission papers off, he was surprised that he did not get back a large white envelope containing his mission call. Instead, he received a letter from the Churchs Missionary Department asking about his tattoo.

When Bobby graduated from high school, he wasnt sure if he wanted to go on a mission. He moved away from home to work, and he liked the independence of not having his parents around all the time. At about the same time, his best friend and his cousin both got tattoos. That kind of lowered my guard, he says.

Bobby had always been good at art, so he designed his own tattoo. He knew tattoos were discouraged by the Church and that his mother wouldnt like it, and before he went to get it, he asked his brother what he thought about it. His brother had some good advice. He said, Life already gives us so many scars. Why would you want another one?

But Bobby had already made up his mind. Six weeks and 700 hard-earned dollars later, he had a huge tattoo all the way up one leg. It was really painful. It was bloody, he remembers. And getting one made it easier to think about getting more. He didnt get any more, but after strengthening his testimony of the gospel, he did decide he wanted to serve a mission.

As painful as getting his tattoo was, the pain of regret that Bobby felt was much worse. He was very worried about whether or not he would be able to serve a mission. He wanted to get the tattoo removed but couldnt afford to. He worried what his future spouse and children might think of it.

That letter from the Missionary Department scared me a lot, Bobby says. My biggest fear was that this one thing was going to hold me back from serving a mission.

Bobby had to do what the Missionary Department asks all missionary applicants who have tattoos to do. On his original application he told them a little about his tattoo. The letter he received later requested a few more details, including an explanation of when and why he got it and where it is located on the body as well as a description or photograph of it. He was also asked to describe how he felt about it.

When a missionary candidate with a tattoo applies, General Authorities review each case and decide whether that candidate will be allowed to serve a mission. Some cannot.

Bobby did receive his mission call. He is grateful to be a missionary and sorry that, now a representative of the Lords Church, he once decided to get a tattoo.

For some missionaries, having a tattoo means being assigned to serve in a place where their tattoo is either culturally accepted or to a colder climate where long sleeves, and tights for women, will cover their tattoos. A tattoo can limit not only where you can serve, but, depending on its content and your feelings about it, it could also determine whether you can serve at all.

I just hope people will follow President Hinckleys counsel, Bobby says. I know that he is a prophet of God. If he says its important, then its important.

Bobby has some counsel of his own too, the same counsel his brother gave him: Even though we can be forgiven through the Atonement, why do something else thats going to leave us scarred?

You are a child of God. Your body is His creation. Would you disfigure that creation with portrayals of people, animals, and words painted into your skin?

I promise you that the time will come, if you have tattoos, that you will regret your actions. They cannot be washed off. They are permanent. Only by an expensive and painful process can they be removed. If you are tattooed, then probably for the remainder of your life you will carry it with you. I believe the time will come when it will be an embarrassment to you. Avoid it. We, as your Brethren who love you, plead with you not to become so disrespectful of the body which the Lord has given you. President Gordon B. Hinckley, A Prophets Counsel and Prayer for Youth, Liahona, Apr. 2001, 37.

Inna Prokopenko is a registered nurse and licensed master aesthetician in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has attempted to remove many tattoos in her years of work. Here is some of what Inna has to say about tattoos:

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Polynesian Pearls – ensign – lds.org02.09.19

Pearls are the product of patience. They grow layer upon layer, gaining luster with time. In French Polynesia, faith in the restored gospel has also grown in such a manner. That growth began in 1844, when the first missionaries arrived, and generation by generation, it has provided hope and meaning. Today Latter-day Saints make up 8 percent of the population20,000 members in 79 congregations. They are known as people who care for each other and for those around them. Like pearls, their glow is gentle. But as they reflect the light that comes from Christ, they truly shine. Here is a glimpse at some of these Saints.

Just off the road on the far end of the island of Tubuai, Ronny Harevaa and his wife, Sandrine, tidy up the ground around a small stone monument. It is dedicated to the memory of Elder Addison Pratt, the first Latter-day Saint missionary to visit this island 450 miles (700 km) south of Tahiti. Addison Pratt grew up in New Hampshire in the United States of America, but at age 19 he became a seafarer. He traveled to what are now the Hawaiian Islands, then sailed the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean before marrying and settling in New York. In 1838 he and his wife joined the Church. By 1841 they had gathered with the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. In May 1843 Addison Pratt was called by the Prophet Joseph Smith to help begin missionary work in the Pacific. On April 30, 1844, he and two other elders, Noah Rogers and Benjamin Grouard, arrived on Tubuai.

The islanders were eager to have a missionary among them, and Elder Pratt remained. He began learning Tahitian and preaching. The first convert was his interpreter, another American. Six of seven sailors on the island were also baptized and confirmed. Then on July 22, 1844three years before Latter-day Saint pioneers arrived in Utahthe first Polynesian converts were baptized. By February 1845, 60 of the 200 inhabitants of Tubuai had joined the Church. From these beginnings and from the work of Elder Rogers and Elder Grouard on other islands, the Church spread throughout what is now French Polynesia.

Today on Tubuai, Ronny Harevaa is the president of the Tubuai Australes District, which numbers 593 members in five branches. Quite a few of the members are his relatives, and President Harevaa has learned much from them. There is a deep heritage and history here, he says, a great love of the Church and family.

Most people on Tubuai dont have a lot of material things, but they have all they need to be happy, says Lucien Hoffmann, president of the Mahu Branch. Here you can get fruit from the trees, vegetables from the ground, and you can go fishing whenever you want. And when you ask people to help those who are sick or in need, they are always ready.

My wife and I chose to live on Tubuai to be close to our parents, President Harevaa says. Its a wonderful place to be together as a family. In fact, he has a brother who lives next door, another brother who lives in the house beyond that, and his father serves as one of his counselors. There are enough Harevaas on Tubuai that many people refer to President Harevaa as President Ronny, just to keep things straight.

In front of the Mahu chapel, one of three meetinghouses on Tubuai, Sandrine points out another monument honoring Addison Pratt. I think Elder Pratt would be pleased to know that after more than 160 years, the Church is still strong here, she says. And it is still growing.

One recent convert is Johan Bonno, who was born in the Marquesas Islands, the northernmost part of French Polynesia. Although he had led a rough life, he became interested in the restored gospel because of a schoolteacher who had moved to the Marquesas from Tubuai. Maimiti spoke to me of the true Church, he explains. She taught me about the Book of Mormon. Little by little, I let go of the bad things in my life. She invited me to church, and little by little good things entered in.

They married and moved to Tubuai. My father-in-law invited me to a missionary open house, and there I felt a powerful, comforting feeling, Johan explains. It filled me with a desire to know the truth. I prayed in earnest about Joseph Smith. I came to understand that the Lord had restored the Church through him. Johan was soon baptized and confirmed.

Today Johan and Maimiti are preparing to be sealed in the Papeete Tahiti Temple. Having the light of the temple in our life will be like trading a 15-watt bulb for the brightest sunshine, he says. For Johan, learning of the restored gospel required building a layer of faith. So did getting married, moving to Tubuai, and joining the Church. Now going to the temple will add yet another layer to a pearl that keeps on growing.

When 23-year-old Spencer Moroni Teuiau received his mission call, he couldnt stop smiling. After four years of delays waiting for dental procedures to be completed, this young man from the island of Raiatea received his call on his birthday. He remembers reading aloud phrases from the letter: minister of the restored gospel, advocate and effective messenger of the truth, ambassador of the Savior, and thinking, Wow! With all my weaknesses Im going to have to trust in the Lord.

But that is something he is used to doing. Moroni grew up in the Church. He is the third of six children to serve a full-time mission, and he recalls dreaming about serving a mission ever since I was a little boy. He remembers memorizing missionary scriptures during his four years of seminary and listening to returned missionaries talk about their missions. But he also remembers dental examinations, adjustments, and years of wearing an apparatus. There were times when I almost gave up, he says. However, with the encouragement of his family and his own perseverance, he kept hope alive. Today he is faithfully serving in the Tahiti Papeete Mission.

For Moroni and other young Latter-day Saints like him, the Church on Raiatea is a haven of strength. Garry Mou Tham, 16, a third-generation Latter-day Saint from the Avera Ward, explains. Here, he says, we are different from the outside world. We have good relationships with friends and parents. We have the teachings of the prophets to remind us to stay close to our family, to read our scriptures together, and to have home evening. We know the Church is going to progress, and we choose to be part of the Lords great work.

Garrys friend Fari Le Bronnec, 14, agrees. He talks about two things that keep him safe from the world: seminary and prayer. Seminary gives you a spiritual boost each morning, he says. And prayer can give you a boost anytime you pray with faith. The seminary and institute program is strong in French Polynesia, with a total of 740 seminary and 524 institute students in 20042005.

Another source of strength is the example members provide for those who are interested in the gospel. Such an example helped bring Adrien and Greta Teihotaata and their children into the Church. Although they had been without religion for years, we decided we wanted to change, Sister Teihotaata says. We asked the Lord to guide us. Just a few days later, neighbors invited them to an open house at the Uturoa Ward. We decided to come back on Sunday, Brother Teihotaata recalls, and at church, we were impressed that everyone was involvedteaching, going to classes, taking care of children. They really seemed to love each other.

It was fast Sunday, and when testimony meeting began, we felt something peaceful we had never felt beforethe Holy Ghost. We said, This is something we need, Sister Teihotaata says. The family met with the missionaries and continued learning. Though their oldest son did not join the Church, Brother and Sister Teihotaata and their five other children were baptized and confirmed in 1998. Since then, keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures, and going to the temple have strengthened us in our testimony, and so has the continuing example of members who have taught us and helped us, says Sister Teihotaata.

Another member is at the stake center this day, one who was baptized in 1956. The Church wasnt so well known on Raiatea back then, says Harriet Brodien Terooatea. There werent many members, and meetings were held in a little house that had one room for a chapel and one room for the missionaries. But little by little, the Church grew. Kind of like a pearl.

One way to see how far the Church has come in French Polynesia is to talk with the public affairs council in Papeete, Tahiti. At a recent meeting, they reminisced about some significant events:

The Church in French Polynesia celebrated its 160th anniversary in October 2004. Events included (1) public exhibits about the Church; (2) a spectacular in the stadium, featuring dancing, singing, choruses, and multimedia presentations; (3) a sports day including traditional competitions such as carrying bananas on a bamboo pole; and (4) a fireside with speeches from Church and government leaders, as well as a 500-voice choir. Many activities were covered by newspapers and broadcast on national television.

Church officials have paid several courtesy visits to government officials, and several Latter-day Saints presently serve in the national assembly. The government has expressed thanks for the benefits the Church brings, especially its role in teaching family values.

A 400-voice LDS choir performed before an audience of 30,000 during French president Jacques Chiracs visit to French Polynesia in July 2003. The event was televised not only in French Polynesia but also in France. The choir left many in tears when they sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Hymns, no. 136) and God Be with You Till We Meet Again (Hymns, no. 152).

The Papeete Tahiti Temple celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2003. To mark the event, members of the Paea Tahiti Stake did temple work from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. so all endowed members could perform at least one ordinance.

The Church has come of age here, says Marama Tarati, the Churchs national director of public affairs. Throughout French Polynesia it is recognized as a force for good. On Tahiti the Church has beautiful meetinghouses, congregations filled with faithful Saints, andas the brightest jewel of allthe temple, a well-known landmark in the capital city.

The light of the temple has come into many lives. Before I became a member of the Church I did not know what my life would be after death, explains Marguerite Teriinohopua. Her family learned of the Church because another family prayed to find them. Ernest Montrose, now first counselor in the Faaa Tahiti Stake presidency, was at that time bishop of the Heiri Ward. When missionaries encouraged members to pray to find investigators, I figured our family should go first. Inspiration came. Bishop Montrose invited a coworker, Danielson Teriinohopua, to bring his family to a home evening with the missionaries.

We were at the same time praying to be guided to the truth, recalls Danielson, who is now a member of the high council. At the end of the evening, we told them we wanted to know moreimmediately. Bishop Montrose scheduled another meeting the next night, then the next and the next. Within weeks the Teriinohopuas were baptized and confirmed, and a year later they were sealed in the temple. Today I have a response to my questions, Marguerite says. In the temple I feel great peace and joy.

Chanterel Hauata of the Heiri Ward also knows the joy of attending the temple. Although a benign brain tumor caused him to go blind six years ago, in the temple he sees clearly. It is a place of clarity, he explains. In the temple we learn of eternity. It lifts us beyond this mortal life.

The Pepe Mariteragi family has also felt the blessings of the temple. When they gathered at the family home in Paea in October 2003, they spoke about Tepahu, Pepes wifetheir mother and grandmother. She passed away seven months ago, explained Lucien, one of her sons, but our hearts are still turned toward her.

It is thanks to the gospel that we are able to deal with such things, said Jean-Marie, another son. The blessings of the temple give us the understanding that we can be an eternal family.

This spreading of the gospel across generations is another indication of the maturity and strength of the Church. Bishop Moroni Alvarez of the Tavararo Ward and his wife, Juanita, talk about heritage that stretches back to his grandfather. They spread out seminary and institute diplomas for all six of their children and photos of all six while they were serving full-time missions. They talk about children married in the temple and grandchildren being raised in the Church. We talked and studied and prayed together and shared our testimonies, Bishop Alvarez explains. Now they do the same with their children.

Talk with Jared Peltzer, 21, of the Matatia Ward, Paea Tahiti Stake, as he prepares to leave for a mission in the Philippines, and youll meet his older brother Lorenzo, 30, who served in French Polynesia several years ago, and two younger brothers, Narii, 18, and Hyrum, 14, who plan to be full-time missionaries. We didnt have a missionary tradition in the family until now, says Jared. But when Lorenzo went, it made me want to go, and now were encouraging our younger brothers too. Layer upon layer, the pearl keeps growing.

If you live on Takaroa, you know about pearls. Many of those who live on the island owe their livelihood to pearl farming. Some raise the oysters in which the pearls grow. Others clean the shells, attach the oysters to cords, insert pearl starts, hang oysters in the water, harvest the pearls, or make jewelry and souvenirs.

We take things Heavenly Father has given us and bring out the beauty that is in them, explains Tahia Brown, who works at one of the dozens of pearl farms that dot the island. She and Marie Teihoarii, both former branch Relief Society presidents, love to display necklaces, table decorations, and other crafts made by Latter-day Saints. I learned to do this from my mother, Sister Brown explains. Most of the sisters here do this or some other craft that requires skill. We work to earn food and to make good use of our time but also to create things of beauty.

Pearls and shells arent the only things of beauty created here. Sisters like Tera Temahaga weave plant strands into exquisite fans, hats, and baskets, while others like Tipapa Mahotu use cloth and thread to sew brightly colored quilts and pillows. Tradition holds that quilt making was first taught by Addison Pratts wife, Louisa, who came to the islands in 1850.

Another evidence of the craftsmanship of the people of Takaroa is the tallest building on the islanda beautiful white church built starting in 1891. The building is remarkable for the heritage it represents. Political situations in French Polynesia and the United States forced missionaries to withdraw from the islands in 1852. Missionaries did not return until 1892. But when they did, they found a congregation of 100 on Takaroa that had remained faithful. And these Latter-day Saints were in the process of building a large chapel where they could worship together. Within a month, missionaries baptized and confirmed 33 new members, and the congregation began growing again.

Today the chapel presides over the village, just as the Church presides over our lives, says Sister Mahotu, 82. She traces her LDS roots back to her great-grandparents. The chapel, she says, reminds us of the heritage our ancestors have given us. It reminds us that we can be faithful like they were.

At the Family History Center located in an addition to the chapel, director Suzanne Pimati labors to honor those ancestors. She regularly organizes firesides and spends many hours on the phone encouraging everyone on the island to attend. I am eager for everyone to find his or her ancestors, she says. The Spirit of Elijah is strong on Takaroa. And with a computer to help the work along, Sister Pimati plans for many names to be sent to the temple.

At one time, the population of Takaroa was 90 percent LDS, explains Thierry Teihoarii, president of the Takaroa Tuamotu District. By the 1950s population was in decline, but in the 1960s the cultured pearl industry brought people back. Today there are two branches on Takaroa, with a total of 380 members out of 1,000 residents on the island. There are also four branches with an additional 450 members on neighboring islands.

Our greatest challenge is still those who leave our islands, President Teihoarii explains, particularly the young. Though many of the youth go away to boarding schools, for those who remain, seminary and institute become their main source of education. Seminary helps them not to forget the gospel, President Teihoarii says.

So does going to the temple. Every year we make trips to perform temple ordinances, and the youth do baptisms for the dead, President Teihoarii says. It encourages the youth a lot. It isnt just the accomplishment of saving enough for the trip. They know that if they want to go to the temple they must be worthy, and that helps them to stay strong.

Though his calling sometimes requires him to be gone on visits to other islands, President Teihoarii says his family has been greatly blessed. The first thing I do when I come home is to share the faith and testimonies of the members with Marie and my two daughters. These are uplifting times for my family. We truly feel the Spirit is with us. His wife agrees. There is so much to learn in the Church, she says, and also many blessings. There is sweet work to do, and as we do it, the Church will prosper.

It is evening on the island of Takaroa. The sun is going down. The shadows lengthen around the white chapel as the Saints gatherteens for seminary, Sister Pimati to do family history work, President Teihoarii to meet with two branch presidents. It is the crepuscule, a time of gentle light. Light like that which shines from a pearl.

Photography by Richard M. Romney, except as noted; photography of pearls and water by Christina Smith

Throughout French Polynesia, Latter-day Saints build on a heritage that began here in 1844. Top: Tera Temahaga of Takaroa shows handmade crafts. Heiana Teriipaia, Garry Mou Tham, and Fari Le Bronnec (above) and the Teihotaata family (left) of Raiatea say the gospel helps them stay strong. Bottom: On Tubuai, Sandrine and Ronny Harevaa care for the monument to Elder Addison Pratt.

Top: The Taumihau family joined the Church in Tahiti. Above right: Jewelry carver Johan Bonno (shown with his wife, Maimiti) joined the Church in Tubuai.

Above: Iosua Brothers, a patriarch in Tahiti, was baptized and confirmed on Moorea in 1968. Like many others, he has seen the Church become a force for good all over the islands. Below: On Takaroa, the rising generation includes Ranitea and Vehina Teihoarii and Vaimiti Nyjland.

Right: In a place known for craftsmanship, the temple is revered as the brightest jewel of all. Opposite page, top: On Tahiti, patriarch Tiatia Teio and his wife, Imihaa, feel the temples influence. So do deacons Jesse Pereitai and Jean-Philippe McGrevy. Below: The French Polynesian flag flies over Raiatea and Spencer Moroni Teuiau.

Tahia Brown of Takaroa works at one of the dozens of pearl farms dotting the island.

Left: On Tahiti, Bettey Tama prepares to baptize Eddy Tama.

Clockwise from above: The Takaroa chapel. This chapel presides over the village, says Tipapa Mahotu. Church leaders Pierre Tumarae, James L. Brown, and Thierry Teihoarii meet at the chapel. Suzanne Pimati runs the Family History Center.

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Chapter 23: Alma 1402.09.19

As Church members became proud, their negative examples became a stumbling-block to those who did not belong to the Church (see Alma 4:912; 39:11). President GordonB. Hinckley related the story of a young man who faced terrible odds to learn about the gospel because of the way Church members treated him:

He was not a member of the Church. He and his parents were active in another faith.

He recalls that when he was growing up, some of his LDS associates belittled him, made him feel out of place, and poked fun at him.

He came to literally hate this Church and its people. He saw no good in any of them.

Then his father lost his employment and had to move. In the new location, at the age of 17, he was able to enroll in college. There, for the first time in his life, he felt the warmth of friends, one of whom, named Richard, asked him to join a club of which he was president. He writes:

For the first time in my life someone wanted me around. I didnt know how to react, but thankfully I joined. It was a feeling that I loved, the feeling of having a friend. I had prayed for one my whole life. And now after 17 years of waiting, God answered that prayer.

At the age of 19 he found himself as a tent partner with Richard during their summer employment. He noticed Richard reading a book every night. He asked what he was reading. He was told that he was reading the Book of Mormon. He adds:

I quickly changed the subject and went to bed. After all, that is the book that ruined my childhood. I tried forgetting about it, but a week went by and I couldnt sleep. Why was he reading it every night? I soon couldnt stand the unanswered questions in my head. So one night I asked him what was so important in that book. What was in it? He started to read where he had stopped. He read about Jesus and about an appearance in the Americas. I was shocked. I didnt think that the Mormons believed in Jesus.

On a subsequent occasion this young man and his friend were traveling. Richard handed him a Book of Mormon and asked that he read it aloud. He did so, and suddenly the inspiration of the Holy Spirit touched him.

Time passed and his faith increased. He agreed to be baptized.

That is the end of the story, but there are great statements in that story. One is the sorry manner in which his young Mormon associates treated him.

Next is the manner in which his newfound friend, Richard, treated him. It was totally opposite from his previous experience. It led to his conversion and baptism in the face of terrible odds (in Conference Report, Apr. 2006, 6263; or Ensign, May 2006, 5960).

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Dress and Appearance02.09.19

Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him.

Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others. Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act.

Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.

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Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lords standards will not change.

Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.

Show respect for the Lord and yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities. This is especially important when attending sacrament services. Young men should dress with dignity when officiating in the ordinance of the sacrament.

If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help. Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God. Ask yourself, Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lords presence?

How does my testimony of the gospel influence my choice of clothing?

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Hope, an Anchor of the Soul – James E. Faust02.09.19

My dear brothers and sisters and friends, I come to this pulpit grateful for the inspiration and dedication of those who built this sacred, holy, historic Tabernacle. I pay tribute to President Brigham Young, who was the guiding genius in building this unique edifice and marvelous organ. At the same time I rejoice that, under the inspired leadership of President Hinckley, we are building a magnificent house of worship to accommodate the needs of an ever-growing Church. This new building is an expression of hope for the Church in the coming century.

This morning I would speak unto you, as Moroni said, concerning hope.1 There are tremendous sources of hope beyond our own ability, learning, strength, and capacity. Among them is the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through the marvelous blessing of this member of the Godhead, we can come to know the truth of all things.2

Hope is the anchor of our souls. I know of no one who is not in need of hopeyoung or old, strong or weak, rich or poor. As the prophet Ether exhorted, Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.3

Nephi admonished those of his day, Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men , feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.4

Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope.

Few activities are safer than serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Missionaries are literally in the hands of the Lord. We wish that all of them could be kept totally out of harms way all of the time, but that is not realistic. Missionaries, their families, and leaders trust fully in the Lords watch care, and when a rare tragedy strikes, they are sustained by the Spirit of Him whom they serve.

Last summer I visited Elder Orin Voorheis at his parents home in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He is a big, handsome, splendid young man who served in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. One night, about 11 months into his mission, some armed robbers accosted Elder Voorheis and his companion. In a senseless act of violence, one of them shot Elder Voorheis in the head. For days he hovered between life and death, unable to speak, hear, move, or even breathe on his own. Through the faith and prayers of a host of people over a long period of time, he eventually was taken off life support and brought back to the United States.

After months of extensive hospitalization and therapy, Elder Voorheis became stronger, but he was still paralyzed and unable to speak. Progress was slow. His parents decided that they should bring their son home and care for him in the loving atmosphere of their own family. However, their modest home lacked the space or equipment to give the needed therapy. Many kind neighbors, friends, and benefactors pitched in to build an addition to the home and provide physical therapy equipment.

Elder Voorheis is still almost completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but he has a wonderful spirit and can respond to questions with hand movements. He still wears his missionary badge. His parents do not ask, Why did this happen to our noble son, who was serving at the call of the Master? No one has a certain answer except perhaps in circumstances where higher purposes are served. We must walk in faith. We recall the Saviors reply to the question, Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? The Savior answered that no one was at fault but that the works of God might be manifest in him.5 Rather than harbor bitterness, the members of the Voorheis family bow their heads and say to the Lord: Thy will be done. We have been grateful for him every day of his life, and with the help of others we will willingly bear the burden of caring for him.

My purpose in visiting Elder Voorheis was to join his father, his bishop, his home teacher, and others in giving him a blessing of hope. Some may ask, Is there hope for Elder Voorheis in this life? I believe there is great hope for everyone! Sometimes we ask God for miracles, and they often happen but not always in the manner we expect. The quality of Elder Voorheiss life is less than desirable, but the influence of his life on others is incalculable and everlasting both here and in Argentina. Indeed, after his accident the Kilmetro 26 Branch, where he served in Argentina, grew rapidly and quickly qualified for the construction of a chapel.

Hope is trust in Gods promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. Abraham against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. Contrary to human reason, he trusted God, fully persuaded that God would fulfill His promises of giving Abraham and Sarah a child in their old ages.6

A few years ago, Sister Joyce Audrey Evans, a young mother in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was having trouble with a pregnancy. She went to the hospital, where one of the nurses told her she would probably lose the baby. Sister Evans replied: But I cant give up. You have to give me hope. Sister Evans later recalled: I couldnt give up hope until all reason for hope was gone. It was something I owed to my unborn child.

Three days later she had a miscarriage. She wrote: For one long moment, I felt nothing. Then a profound feeling of peace flowed through me. With the peace came understanding. I knew now why I couldnt give up hope in spite of all the circumstances: you either live in hope or you live in despair. Without hope, you cannot endure to the end. I had looked for an answer to prayers and was not disappointed; I was healed in body and rewarded with a spirit of peace. Never before had I felt so close to my Heavenly Father; never before had I felt such peace.

The miracle of peace was not the only blessing to come from this experience. Some weeks later, I fell to thinking about the child I had lost. The Spirit brought to my mind the words from Genesis 4:25 [Gen. 4:25]: And she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed.

A few months later, I became pregnant again. When my son was born, he was declared to be perfect. He was named Evan Seth.7

Peace in this life is based upon faith and testimony. We can all find hope from our personal prayers and gain comfort from the scriptures. Priesthood blessings lift us and sustain us. Hope also comes from direct personal revelation, to which we are entitled if we are worthy. We also have the security of living in a time when a prophet who holds and exercises all of the keys of Gods kingdom is on the earth.

Samuel Smiles wrote: Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.8

The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death. How can we know that Jesus truly is our Savior and Redeemer? In human terms His reality is almost undefinable, but His presence can be known unequivocally by the Spirit if we continually seek to live under the shadow of His influence. In the Book of Mormon we read the account of Aaron expounding the gospel to Lamonis father. He told him, If thou wilt bow down before God and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.9 The old king followed this to the letter and received a witness of the truth that Aaron had imparted. As a result, he and all his household were converted and came to know the Lord.

Our greatest hope comes from the knowledge that the Savior broke the bands of death. His victory came through His excruciating pain, suffering, and agony. He atoned for our sins if we repent. In the Garden of Gethsemane came the anguished cry, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.10 Luke described the intensity of the agony: And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.11

All of us can find hope in Peters experience during the events leading to the Crucifixion. Perhaps the Lord was speaking to all of us when He said to Peter:

Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Peter responded, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

Then the Savior told him, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.12

As Peter watched the events unfold, he was identified as a disciple of Christ. A maid said, This man was also with him, and Peter answered that he knew Him not. Two others identified Peter as His disciple. Peter again denied knowing the Savior. And while he was speaking a cock crowed.

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.13

This experience strengthened Peter to the point that he would never fail again and was known as the rock. His hope became firmly anchored to an eternal Rock, even our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.14 As the chief Apostle he carried the work forward faithfully and valiantly.

As Peter gained hope after a moment of weakness, you, I, and everyone can enjoy the hope that comes from the knowledge that God truly lives. Such hope springs from the belief that if we have faith, somehow He will help us through our challengesif not in this life, then surely in the life to come. As Paul said to the Corinthians, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.15 In the eternal scheme of things, wrongs will be righted. In the perfect justice of the Lord, all who live worthily will be compensated for blessings not enjoyed here.

In my opinion, there has never been in the history of this Church a reason for so much hope for the future of the Church and its members worldwide. I believe and testify that we are moving to a higher level of faith and activity than there ever has been. I pray that each of us will be found holding up our end of the line in this great army of righteousness. Each of us will come before the Holy One of Israel and account for our personal righteousness. We are told that he employeth no servant there.16

There has come with my apostolic calling a sure witness of the life and ministry of the Savior. I declare with Job, I know that my redeemer liveth.17 My witness of this is in heaven.18 Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of all mankind. Joseph Smith was the inspired Prophet who restored the saving keys, authority, and organization delegated to him under the direction of God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Of this I testify in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Excerpt from:
Hope, an Anchor of the Soul – James E. Faust

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