The Amlicites changed their appearance to look like the Lamanites. Many Latter-day Saints today feel pressured to follow the dress trends of the world. Extremes in clothing and appearance serve to distinguish the disobedient from the disciples of Jesus Christ. Those who follow these worldly trends “disobey the prophet and, instead, follow the fads of the world” (see “Questions and Answers,” New Era, Mar. 2006, 14; For the Strength of Youth, 14–16).
Elder M. Russell Ballard taught young men who hold the priesthood that worldly trends in dress and appearance will chase away the Spirit of the Lord:
“There is an entire subculture that celebrates contemporary gangs and their criminal conduct with music, clothing styles, language, attitudes, and behaviors. Many of you have watched as trendy friends have embraced the style as something that was ‘fashionable’ and ‘cool,’ only to be dragged into the subculture. …
“… I do not believe that you can stand for truth and right while wearing anything that is unbecoming one who holds the priesthood of God” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 51–53; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 38–39).
The Amlicites Marked Their Bodies
The Amlicites “marked themselves with red in their foreheads” to distinguish themselves from the Nephites (Alma 3:4, 18). In our time, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) admonished young men and women to keep their bodies sacred by not marking themselves with tattoos:
“Now comes the craze of tattooing one’s body. I cannot understand why any young man—or young woman, for that matter—would wish to undergo the painful process of disfiguring the skin with various multicolored representations of people, animals, and various symbols. With tattoos, the process is permanent unless there is another painful and costly undertaking to remove it. Fathers, caution your sons against having their bodies tattooed. They may resist your talk now, but the time will come when they will thank you. A tattoo is graffiti on the temple of the body.
“Likewise the piercing of the body for multiple rings in the ears, in the nose, even in the tongue. Can they possibly think that is beautiful? … The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also ‘the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.’ We do not, however, take any position ‘on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings’—one pair” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2000, 70–71; or Ensign, Nov. 2000, 52).