1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Why do LDS leaders spend so much time looking at white shirts, beards, and short hair?
Apparently, General Authorities really care about how we look, even if some of the local leaders don’t want to make a fuss about it. My former bishop told me a very interesting story about our stake president. The stake president was called by Elder C of the Quorum of the Seventy. Typically, the person that ordains a stake president never returns to the stake. Well, apparently Elder C told our stake president that there were too many blue shirts and too much facial hair in our stake when he ordained our stake president.
A few years later, Elder C returned. He reminded our stake president that he would be checking for beards, white shirts, and long hair. Apparently, our stake president was quite nervous. Now, if we are to emulate Jesus in all ways, why do the General Authorities care about facial hair?
Apparently, the stake president is following Elder C’s advice. In my new ward, I’m the home teacher to a guy with really long hair and a goatee. (I’ll call him Jeff.) This guy is a great guy, got married in the Salt Lake Temple, comes to church every week, and honestly one of my best friends at church. I learned that he was asked to be the Elder’s quorum secretary a few months ago. When interviewed by the stake president, he accepted the calling. Apparently the stake president told the bishop to tell Jeff to cut his hair. Jeff refused, so they called someone else to be the Elder’s quorum secretary. Now Jeff is the Sunday School 2nd counselor. Apparently the bishop felt that Jeff’s long hair was not an impediment to serving.
As we discussed this, we talked about how stupid the grooming standards are. Both Jeff and I have a goatee. I previously served in the bishopric with my goatee (albeit I was merely Membership clerk), under this same stake president. Then Jeff showed me a wedding photo of his outside the Salt Lake Temple with the former bishop. The bishop had a moustache.
So, the Elder’s quorum president felt inspired to call Jeff. The Stake President found Jeff worthy to serve. Why is long hair a disqualifier? I don’t understand why LDS leaders look at the shirt, while God looks at the heart, do you?