The Pope smashed nude art, then later they endorsed it again. Was all of this right or wrong?
Some suggest that nude art is tasteful and that there is a grey line which differs from person to person regarding what is appropriate. But I declare that there is an eternal standard in heaven. The art galleries in heaven do not have nude art. Nudity is reserved for the privacy of marriage, where individuals can trust that their vulnerability is safely protected. Some say modesty in heaven is discontinued due to the removal of carnality. I disagree, and have a testimony that the symbolism & boundaries of clothing are used eternally.
Do you think David wanted to be on display in the buff? He read Genesis, he knew Gods standards of modesty, he would not approve.
Art and sculpture do not need to depict nudity in order to be genius and inspiring. In heaven, there is no nude art.
Nudity is expressly reserved for the marriage relationship. Marriage is, in fact, the culture of heaven, and it satisfies all longings for beauty.
Let us protect virtue and chastity of each individual by upholding the Lord’s standards of modesty!
President Nelson and his 2020 gratitude talk brief talk in November said we thank God for the arts which renew our souls. But these arts do not go beyond the bounds which the Lord has set.
God does watch over us and can see everything, but his interests in so doing are strictly parental and are like that of a physician. His choice memories of us are when we gave a crust of bread to the poor, and visited the sick. When we dressed the wound of a child, etc.
Access to the inspiration and beauty of the body of another person is one of the blessings of exaltation, and is not available to lower stations. Exaltation is the only setting wherein marriage and physical intimacy exist, and nudity only exists in the marriage relationship. Here in this fallen testing ground telestial world many abuse the body and display it in rebellion to the laws of God, but in the eternal kingdoms of glory, such things are not allowed. Each kingdom has a law, and residents of those kingdoms must abide those laws. Those who break the laws during this probationary state who aren’t even holding up a telestial standard will be sent to hell. Eventually if they agree to live the law of a telestial world they may graduate to that level, and remain there eternally, thanks to the grace of Christ, who puts an end to death and hell. In the lower degrees of glory, the law of chastity is enforce, and there are no sexual relationships whatsoever. The entire ability to functions sexually is removed in the lower kingdoms, as residents of them did not prove worthy for that divine privilege. This life is the opportunity to receive an eternal kingdom of glory, be it celestial, terrestrial, or telestial which is the lowest (other than the few sons of perdition who get no glory at all, namely Satan and his angels). May we make the choices needed to merit the great eternal reward.
God enjoys celestial beauty and the fullness of the body in his marriage relationship(s). He has no need for nude art due to his eternally married status. He experiences live art of the body regularly in marriage. Marriage is designed to fulfill those needs in all of us. Let us use the Lord’s plan of marriage to meet our needs for beauty, and not the ways of the world. Let us be patient for all blessings to be fulfilled in the due time of the Lord.
The following are some supportive comments on this topic shared with me as I was researching for this essay:
“Having pondered this through many classes at the university in art and art history as well as a study of the Renaissance, it is my opinion that nudity is not alright in art. One of the first acts of God during our first parents’ foray into mortality was to dress them. I think it is the harkening back to pagan arts, which indeed were often highly developed by talented artists, that Christian art went wrong. I think even the Reformers saw this problem in the “rebirth” that found people trying to free themselves from the apostasy/dark ages by reaching to the ancient Greeks and Romans wherein were seeds of destruction and apostasy instead of the dignity of man commanded by God in the Bible. Ultimately it seems we should be able to comprehend the absurdity of Adam and Eve being ashamed of their nakedness once their eyes were opened, and yet endlessly depicting Biblical scenes peopled with shamelessly naked saints. Imagine the real David seeing himself in represented in statuary striding to meet Goliath unclothed. Having taught school for a long time and having included art in much of my instruction, I have found cues from children to always be accurate in judging these things – they are uncomfortable with nakedness no matter how it may be explained, and I have not even shown the art to them (I let parents decide about that) but have explained about it. I have no discomfort about the beauty of the human body as appropriately treated in marriage, in health instruction and in medical fields of study, but I think that God has universally commanded us to be modest. Nakedness/nudity has no place in just for show, and certainly not in movies/shows with people violating the sacredness of behavior that is meant to be both sincere and private.”
“I’m not a fan of nude art. I don’t see its purpose. It’s distracting to me, even if it isn’t sexually arousing. It can make young people who are innocent uncomfortable as well.”
“A good rule of thumb would be to use the temple and church houses as a guide. Would it be appropriate to be in those places? If not, I’d it appropriate? Or, would you feel comfortable sharing or viewing it with the Bishop, Stake Pres, etc? I would feel comfortable watching sports with them, but viewing nude ‘art’? No thanks.”