Jesus had one. Brigham Young had one. And Joseph F. Smith's [pictured] was particularly fine. So why is it that beards are virtually nonexistent among LDS churchmen?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never adopted an official, outright ban on beards. But, during the past several decades, facial hair on men has certainly been considered outre -- if not downright sinful -- among the LDS cognoscenti.
According to Peggy Fletcher Stack's recent Trib story, however, all that might be changing. An ambitious Church cinematographic project requires lots of Mormon actors to grow beards, adopting handsome New Testament grooming standards. Who knows? If the beard trend catches on, the harshly "clean"-shaven missionary image may grow less restrictive. We can only hope.