By Kent Larsen
Temple Workers Must be Clean-Shaven Says News Policy
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A recent change in the policy of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints requires that workers in its Temples be
clean-shaven -- no beards or mustaches, according to a report in the Salt
Lake Tribune this past weekend. According to the report,the policy change,
announced six or eight weeks ago, is more restrictive that that required of
BYU students and faculty and instructors in the Church's seminaries and
institutes. It is similar to the requirements for full-time missionaries of
the LDS Church.
Contacted by reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack, Church spokesmen refused to say
why the policy was changed, discuss what being clean-shaven has to do with
the requirements for Temple service, or even when the policy was issued.
Information about the policy change came from Church members familiar with
Recently released Logan Temple President Jack Kidd speculates that the
policy may have come because of "young folks [who] justify their bizarre
kinds of [facial hair] by looking at some of the elderly peoplewho have
beards." But Kidd also said he was surprised at the policy when it was
announced, "I was a little surprised when it came out. The only ones with
beards in Logan are elderly and they are good, faithful men."
The new policy came as a shock to many Temple workers, including older men
who had worn facial hair all their lives, and a few have even asked to be
released as a result.
The Tribune article also reviews the history of facial hair among LDS Church
leaders and various church-related policies on facial hair. Except for
Joseph Smith, every LDS prophet until David O. McKay became prophet in 1951
had a beard. Since then, General Authorities have generally not had facial
hair, and in 1969, Church-owned Brigham Young University, set grooming
standards that prohibited beards and shortened hair off men's collars and ears.
LDS Church Tells Temple Workers: Get a Shave or Get Out
Salt Lake Tribune 5May01 N1
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune