SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made another groundbreaking announcement that will immediately affect half of all church membership just days prior to the Church’s 191st Annual General Conference.
The announcement was made to a small, masked group of media and church representatives in the lobby of church headquarters early Thursday morning.
“We are pleased to announce that male members of the church may now freely grow facial hair without judgment or punishment,” Elder Juan A. Barba stated while sporting a stylish, well-groomed mustache. “Temple workers, bishops, missionaries, as well as church employees, and students at church schools may now grow facial hair. Missionaries will receive facial hair grooming standards from their mission presidents in the coming days.”
Elder Barba continued, “With the celebration of the 200th year of the restoration of the church, we feel now is the right time to embrace our pioneer heritage ancestry, most of whom sported wonderfully manicured beards and mustaches.”
Brigham Young, the Church’s second prophet has become somewhat of a cultural icon due to his large beard.
Bart Kinn, of Alpine Utah was asked by church leadership to shave his face just six months ago when he received the call to be the new bishop of his ward.
“I can finally look like some of the other hipsters that I work with at my tech job in Lehi. All these young guys are getting into these grooming creams and stuff, it sounds kinda fun! I’ll fit in a little better and feel like I’m part of their group, and be able to sit on the stand guilt-free on Sundays,” Bart said laughingly.
However, not all were on board with the new grooming updates.
“I support changes within the church, but I have always been clean-shaven and believe that the younger generation should be as well,” said a BYU professor who asked to remain anonymous due to his current role within the university. “It’s a shame that we are going to now look like everyone else. Beard cards have been a staple of this university for years, and as someone that enforced the clean-shaven honor code, I will miss it. I feel like this is something that made us stand out in a good way.”
Previously, employees and students of church-operated schools were required to be clean-shaven, carry an authorized “beard card”, or take one on the chin in the honor code office and potentially face disciplinary action. Others are seeing this as a prophecy being fulfilled from a devotional given 50 years ago by then Elder Dallin H. Oaks, president of Brigham Young University.
“Our rules against beards and long hair are contemporary and pragmatic. They are responsive to conditions and attitudes in our own society at this particular point in time.” Elder Oaks then declared, “The rules are subject to change, and I would be surprised if they were not changed at some time in the future.”
It appears that time is now. Let’s face it. This change has been a long time coming.