"The answer, I suppose, lies in moderation," I wrote. "But rather than wrapping up my column with a neat and tidy call for temperance, I'd like to invite you to weigh in. I'm sure there are angles of this issue I haven't considered, so send me an e-mail if you like. If I get some worthwhile responses, maybe I'll write another column on this topic in the future."
I received several well-argued, thoughtful e-mails from readers. I can't say I've come to any sort of conclusion on this increasingly relevant cultural issue in our church, but I can say without a doubt that your responses have caused me to think.
Below, I've included excerpts from some of your e-mails, lightly edited for spelling and grammar. Read them, discuss them (when appropriate, obviously) and make up your mind for yourself. Ultimately, this is a very private decision. But it is tied to important principles that we would all do well to consider as Latter-day Saints.
(Note: Due to the obviously sensitive topic, the names of the letter-writers have all been withheld.)
"I think many LDS would be surprised if they stopped to consider all the cosmetic procedures they have either had or have considered. These procedures include LASIK surgery to lose their glasses or contacts, eyelid surgery to improve sight and appearance as we live longer, or even an unsightly mole removal.
"Even those who don't go under the knife of a medical doctor might be surprised to consider how many cosmetic procedures they do on their own quite often: eyebrow plucking, teeth whitening, even getting a hair cut -- could all be considered cosmetic surgeries.