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JLHPROF

Word of Wisdom Poll of Personal Beliefs

Word of Wisdom opinions  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you personally consider the Word of Wisdom a commandment (regardless of Church position) as opposed to wise advice?

  2. 2. Which of the following do you personally consider prohibited by the Word of Wisdom (regardless of Church position)? Check all that apply.

    • Black Tea/Coffee - HOT
    • Black Tea/Coffee - ICED
    • Herbal Teas - HOT or ICED
    • Energy Drinks/High Caffeine Soda
    • Hot Drinks of any kind - to include Cocoa/Hot Chocolate, Pero/Caro, Postum, Chicory, and any others you can name.
    • Tobacco
    • Beer
    • Wine
    • Liquor
    • Strong drinks - to include ALL alcohol
    • Meat (not during winter/cold/famine)
    • Fruit and Vegetables out of season
  3. 3. Do you consider following the Church position on the Word of Wisdom more important than the instructions in the document itself?



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We've had many discussions on the WoW and many back and forth debates.
I was curious to see what sort of range we have among those on this board and among Church members.

Please note I am not asking what the Church official position is.  I am asking what we think personally.

Edited by JLHPROF

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Personally, I believe the WoW is a principle of living a healthy life, and I think the culture of the church has lost the core message through its application of that principle today.  

That said, I've never tried Tobacco, Alcohol, or even Coffee and Tea, and for the most part I'm thankful for how abstaining from those things has blessed my life.  But I think the church misses the mark with its emphasis today, the prohibitions on harmful substances are rules for the immature, and it totally misses the point of living a life of balance, health, and moderation.  

If I were prophet for a day, I would emphasize health, we know so much more about healthy living today than the culture did during Joseph's lifetime.  Exercise, diet, cleanliness, the medical community, emotional health, psychological health, there is so much missing from the specifics of this earlier revelation and so many things God would call us to do, but we unfortunately don't have leaders who are willing to update the texts in our cannon and therefore the only people benefiting from the light and knowledge that has been revealed are those with ears to hear.  

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I find it so interesting that people would say the Church position isn't as important as the scripture, but yet don't consider things prohibited in the scripture to be prohibited by the Word of Wisdom presumably because the Church doesn't say so.

The most fascinating thing to me about the Word of Wisdom is always the buffet approach taken by members, whether those who choose not to follow some or those who only follow the parts the Church emphasizes.

I don't think I've ever met anyone who actually follows the Word of Wisdom in scripture, myself included.
Does anyone know anyone who actually follows D&C 89 as it is written?

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36 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Personally, I believe the WoW is a principle of living a healthy life, and I think the culture of the church has lost the core message through its application of that principle today.  

I think the core message has been retained, but that while we have sufficient and prudent emphasis on certain proscriptions (no tobacco / drinking / coffee / tea / addictive substances), we are lacking in emphasis on things like exercise, sleep, hydration, and healthy eating.

Quote

That said, I've never tried Tobacco, Alcohol, or even Coffee and Tea, and for the most part I'm thankful for how abstaining from those things has blessed my life.  But I think the church misses the mark with its emphasis today, the prohibitions on harmful substances are rules for the immature, and it totally misses the point of living a life of balance, health, and moderation.  

I'm not sure "the Church" (meaning the general leadership, the teaching materials, etc.) is missing the mark.  The members, on the other hand...

Here is what the Church is teaching:

February 2012 Ensign article: "The Lord Has Given Us a Law of Health":

Quote

One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body. Our bodies are holy and so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16). He also tells us that none of His commandments are temporal but that all His “commandments are spiritual” (D&C 29:35). So His commandments concerning our physical health are also for our spiritual good (see D&C 89:19–21).

Because our Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies, He revealed essential information on how to do so. Much of this information is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89 and is known as the Word of Wisdom.

Here we learn several things we should and should not do to keep our bodies healthy. The spirit of this law is to consume nutritious foods and to refrain from anything that is habit forming or harmful to our bodies. Among the things the Lord commands us not to take into our bodies are alcohol and tobacco, which are drugs (see D&C 89:5–8). We should not use any drugs except when they are necessary as medicine. Those who misuse legal or illegal drugs need to seek help so their bodies can become clean again and free from addiction. A clean body is more receptive to the Holy Ghost.

...

We should also avoid anything that is harmful to our bodies, such as overeating or refusing to eat enough healthy foods to maintain our health.

In addition to the things we should not do, the Word of Wisdom tells us things that we should do. Several of those things are shown here.

“Nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep are necessary for a strong body.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “That We May Touch Heaven,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 46.

For the Strength of Youth: Physical and Emotional Health

Quote

Your body is a temple, a gift from God. You will be blessed as you care for your body. Choose to obey the Word of Wisdom (see D&C 89). When you are obedient to this law, you remain free from harmful addictions and have control over your life. You gain the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. You will be prepared to serve the Lord. 

...

To care for your body, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Practice balance and moderation in all aspects of your physical health. Also, avoid extremes in diet that could lead to eating disorders. Do not intentionally harm your body. Avoid dangerous activities that put your body at risk of serious injury.

Do not drink coffee or tea. Never use tobacco products or any form of alcohol; they are addictive and harmful to your body and spirit. Being under the influence of alcohol weakens your judgment and self-control. Drinking can also lead to alcoholism, which destroys individuals and families.

Avoid any drink, drug, chemical, or dangerous practice that is used to produce a “high” or other artificial effect that may harm your body or mind.

...

Addictions harm your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They damage relationships with family and friends and diminish your feelings of self-worth. They limit your ability to make choices for yourself. If you are struggling with any type of addiction, seek help from your parents and your bishop now.

Your emotional health is also important and may affect your spiritual and physical well-being. Disappointment and occasional sadness are part of this mortal life. However, if you have prolonged feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, or depression, talk with your parents and your bishop and seek help.

In all aspects of your life, seek healthy solutions to problems. Do all you can to safeguard your physical and emotional health so that you can fulfill your divine potential as a son or daughter of God.

Gospel Principles, Chapter 29: The Lord’s Law of Health

Quote

Because our bodies are important, our Father in Heaven wants us to take good care of them. He knows that we can be happier, better people if we are healthy. The Holy Ghost can be with us if our bodies and minds are clean. Our Father knows that we face temptations to treat our bodies unwisely or to take harmful things into them. For this reason He has told us which things are good for our health and which things are bad. Much of the information God has given us concerning good health is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89. 

...

We must obey the Word of Wisdom to be worthy to enter the temple. If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us. If we defile the “temple of God,” which is our body, we hurt ourselves physically and spiritually.

...

The Lord commands us not to use wine and strong drinks, meaning drinks containing alcohol.

...

The Lord has also told us that “tobacco is not for the body” (D&C 89:8).

...

The Lord also counsels us against the use of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9). Church leaders have said that this means coffee and tea, which contain harmful substances. We should avoid all drinks that contain harmful substances.

...

We should not use drugs except when they are necessary as medicine. Some drugs are even more harmful than alcohol and tobacco (which are also drugs). 

...

We should avoid anything that we know is harmful to our bodies. We should not use any substance that is habit forming. We should also avoid overeating. The Word of Wisdom does not tell us everything to avoid or consume, but it does give us guidelines. It is a valuable temporal law. It is also a great spiritual law. By living the Word of Wisdom, we become stronger spiritually. 

...

Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are good for us. We should use them with wisdom and thanksgiving.

The flesh of birds and animals is also provided for our food. However, we should eat meat sparingly (see D&C 49:18; 89:12). Fish is also good for us to eat.

Grains are good for us.

...

In addition to Doctrine and Covenants 89, other scriptures tell us how to be healthy. They tell us that we should “cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; … cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124). We are also told, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:9). The Lord counsels us not to labor more than we have strength for (see D&C 10:4).

A latter-day prophet has told us that we should keep our bodies healthy. He counseled, “Nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep are necessary for a strong body, just as consistent scripture study and prayer strengthen the mind and spirit” (Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 60; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 46).

LDS Newsroom: "Health Practices"

Quote

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are known for their healthy lifestyles. A health plan for the Church was first written down in 1833 by President Joseph Smith, and he presented it to early members specifically as a revelation from God. Today, Latter-day Saints refer to these health guidelines as "the Word of Wisdom” (Doctrine and Covenants 89).

Among the provisions of the health code: no alcoholic drinks, no smoking or chewing of tobacco, and no "hot drinks" — believed to refer specifically to tea and coffee. "Wholesome herbs," along with fruits and grains, are specifically recommended. Meat is to be used "sparingly." The Church also interprets the misuse of drugs — illegal, legal, prescription or controlled — as a violation of the health code.

"The health code ... of over a hundred years ago exactly mirrors the recommendations that are now being made in the scientific world in terms of improving health and maintaining quality of health," says Ted Adams, Ph.D., program director at the LDS Hospital Fitness Institute in Salt Lake City.

A 14-year UCLA study completed in 1997, tracked mortality rates and health practices of 10,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California. Specific findings: Church members who adhered to the health code had one of the lowest death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease in the United States — roughly half that of the general population. The study also indicated that Church members who followed the code had a life expectancy eight to 11 years longer than the general white population of the United States.

And so on.

I think the teachings of the Church are good.  I think individual members could do a better job at things like sleeping, hydration, exercise, and healthy eating.

Quote

If I were prophet for a day, I would emphasize health, we know so much more about healthy living today than the culture did during Joseph's lifetime.  Exercise, diet, cleanliness, the medical community, emotional health, psychological health, there is so much missing from the specifics of this earlier revelation and so many things God would call us to do, but we unfortunately don't have leaders who are willing to update the texts in our cannon and therefore the only people benefiting from the light and knowledge that has been revealed are those with ears to hear.  

I think there is quite a bit of emphasis on these things, but there's always room for improvement.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I find it so interesting that people would say the Church position isn't as important as the scripture, but yet don't consider things prohibited in the scripture to be prohibited by the Word of Wisdom presumably because the Church doesn't say so.

The most fascinating thing to me about the Word of Wisdom is always the buffet approach taken by members, whether those who choose not to follow some or those who only follow the parts the Church emphasizes.

I don't think I've ever met anyone who actually follows the Word of Wisdom in scripture, myself included.
Does anyone know anyone who actually follows D&C 89 as it is written?

I think it can only be lived as it is read and interpreted, and I think the Lord gives additional, individual insight and clarification ("wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures") to those who do so in good faith. The living prophets help us to interpret, and individual insight and clarification might be beneficial to another if properly shared.

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

I would suggest altering (though it is probably too late) number 1 to a combination...some of it is a commandment and some is not.

Probably too late given about a dozen responses.
They'll just have to comment.

I have to say I am finding the disconnect between the scripture and personal belief fascinating.  Far more focus on current Church position than the canonized scripture.  I asked for personal belief concerning the Word of Wisdom and the vast majority of members are going with Church position over scripture.

Edited by JLHPROF

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Does the "out of season" apply to where the fruits and vegetables are grown or to where one lives...makes a difference.

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Just now, CV75 said:

I think it can only be lived as it is read and interpreted, and I think the Lord gives additional, individual insight and clarification ("wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures") to those who do so in good faith. The living prophets help us to interpret, and individual insight and clarification might be beneficial to another if properly shared.

I agree with that.
But I don't see how prophetic interpretation of a piece of scripture can include ignoring part of it.

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Just now, Calm said:

Does the "out of season" apply to where the fruits and vegetables are grown or to where one lives...makes a difference.

Agreed.
Maybe we should all be on the 100 mile diet. ;)
 

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1 minute ago, Calm said:

Does the "out of season" apply to where the fruits and vegetables are grown or to where one lives...makes a difference.

I think being 'in season" has to do with it not being rotten, or not at an isalubrious stage of its life-cycle (or interrupting proper husbandry), or given to eat in the wrong season of life (for example children, elderly cannot tolerate some things). I think storing /preserving things while they are in season to eat later is perfectly fine.

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5 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I agree with that.
But I don't see how prophetic interpretation of a piece of scripture can include ignoring part of it.

Have we been counseled to ignore anything?

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think the core message has been retained, but that while we have sufficient and prudent emphasis on certain proscriptions (no tobacco / drinking / coffee / tea / addictive substances), we are lacking in emphasis on things like exercise, sleep, hydration, and healthy eating.

I'm not sure "the Church" (meaning the general leadership, the teaching materials, etc.) is missing the mark.  The members, on the other hand...

Here is what the Church is teaching:

February 2012 Ensign article: "The Lord Has Given Us a Law of Health":

For the Strength of Youth: Physical and Emotional Health

Gospel Principles, Chapter 29: The Lord’s Law of Health

LDS Newsroom: "Health Practices"

And so on.

I think the teachings of the Church are good.  I think individual members could do a better job at things like sleeping, hydration, exercise, and healthy eating.

I think there is quite a bit of emphasis on these things, but there's always room for improvement.

Thanks,

-Smac

Those are really good articles and I think you make some good points.  I wonder where the big disconnect is then.  Maybe the church should have a bar for physical fitness before allowing people to serve missions and get a temple recommend?  How do members typically treat the temple recommend question about keeping the WoW?  Would most people consider one drink of wine a few weeks before the interview a disqualifier?  How would most people who are overweight, not exercising, and neglecting their emotional and physical health answer that WoW question?  

Now, I'm not advocating for stricter temple recommend requirements (personally I'd prefer they got rid of the interview all together), I just think that this hypothetical highlights something about the culture, where most people know that the WoW is about an overall healthy lifestyle in general, but in specific they value certain prohibitions as emphasized by church leadership over the years, and the rest of the principle of the WoW is much less important.  This needs to change.  

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14 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think being 'in season" has to do with it not being rotten, or not at an isalubrious stage of its life-cycle (or interrupting proper husbandry), or given to eat in the wrong season of life (for example children, elderly cannot tolerate some things). I think storing /preserving things while they are in season to eat later is perfectly fine.

It was essential to pioneer life to do so.  What would be in season during winter?  Tree bark?  A four month or longer diet of only meat and grains might enjoyable for those who hate their peas, but it makes bad nutritional sense.

I think drying fruits may be a better option than attempting to keep them appearing as if freshly picked with canning techniques that use excessive preservatives, especially sugar.  Perhaps "out of season" was meant to refer to that.  Allowing natural ripening for sweetness would cut down on the sugar needed to add flavour.  Frozen strawberries are often quite tasteless compared to fully ripened on the bush, got to wonder how early they get picked, my husband says the fresh pineapples taste nothing like a fully ripened one (he picked pineapples the summer before we got married, still has the half eaten by acid knife) as fully ripened ones would be rotted by the time they traveled.  

Edited by Calm

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I think the church has come to interpret it very differently from what a close reading of the text suggests. At the heart of it I think it's about physical health. Anything that promotes physical health is in keeping with the spirit of the WOW.

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35 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I find it so interesting that people would say the Church position isn't as important as the scripture, but yet don't consider things prohibited in the scripture to be prohibited by the Word of Wisdom presumably because the Church doesn't say so.

It is also interesting that people who say that the Church position isn't as important as scripture would also say that it is a commandment. 

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Have we been counseled to ignore anything?


No, nor have we been counseled to follow the scriptures.

Well, this one.
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

But not this one.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

And then this one.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

But not this one.
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

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53 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Those are really good articles and I think you make some good points.  I wonder where the big disconnect is then. 

The same disconnect that exists between doctors and patients.  And lawyers and clients.  And parents and children.  The patients/clients/children sometimes don't listen to sound counsel.

Another problem is that . . . we are really, really busy.  Some of that is within our control, and some is not.  

Part of the business-that-is-not-within-our-control is callings in the Church.  On this point the Church can work to reduce the number and duration of meetings and other church-related obligations.  That seems to be happening.  My stake has "strongly encouraged" ward leaders (who tend to have the most time-consuming callings in the Church) to not schedule any meetings on the second Sunday of every month, as this allows the leaders to spend that Sunday with their families.  I just spoke with my BIL last night, and he mentioned that his stake has a similar policy.  Also, the bishop in our ward has reduced the overall number of meetings in which he participates, and he keeps all such meetings to less than 40 minutes, and he encourages the quorum/auxiliary leaders to likewise limit the number and length of their meetings.

Parts of the business-that-is-within-our-control are things like spending too much time online, or gaming, or watching TV, or sleeping too much, or staying up late, or sleeping in, or not doing enough in terms of exercise, hydration, healthy eating, health check-ups, addressing mental health issues, and so on.

In other words, we are busy.  And to the extent the Church is contributing to that business, it is trying to mitigate that.  And to the extent the members are busy, many are not doing enough to manage their time well.  I think that's the disconnect.

53 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Maybe the church should have a bar for physical fitness before allowing people to serve missions and get a temple recommend? 

The Church already has fairly high physical and mental health requirements for serving missions.

As for restricting temple recommends, I dunno.  What metrics would be used for that?  Moreover, we ask a lot of our people, and this sounds rather punitive.  

The TR questions already include an inquiry into compliance with the WoW.  There are clear aspects of that law (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.), and some where some latitude is probably appropriate (weight, exercise, healthy eating, etc.).

53 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

How do members typically treat the temple recommend question about keeping the WoW?  Would most people consider one drink of wine a few weeks before the interview a disqualifier? 

Yes, I think so.

53 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

How would most people who are overweight, not exercising, and neglecting their emotional and physical health answer that WoW question?  

In the law, there are two general approaches to how a government can craft a law.  On one hand, it can create a law that has a "bright line rule."  These are easier to understand and enforce, but they can also come across as a bit arbitrary.  For example, safety on public roads is made easier to understand and maintain with speed limits.  There's a bit of fudging in how strictly it's enforced, but everyone knows that you can't go too much past it.  So a Bright Line Rule can work well in some, but not all, contexts.

On the other hand, the government can create a law that has a "balancing test."  For example, a judge in a divorce case will often be tasked with granting primary physical custody of the couple's children.  There is no Bright Line Rule here (always the father, always the mother, always the parent with the bigger salary, etc.).  Instead, the judge takes a "what is in the best interests of the child{ren}" approach, and balances all appropriate factors in rendering that decision.  This allows more discretion to the decisionmaker (as compared to the Bright Line Rule, which doesn't), but it also leaves more room for abuse of that discretion, and for ambiguity and difficulty in predicting how things will turn out.  Still, the Balancing Test in this context is going to be better than a Bright Line Rule.

Regarding the Word of Wisdom, I think it has components which are "Bright Line Rules" (no coffee/tea, no alcohol, etc.), and other components which are "Balancing Tests" (exercise, medical/mental health maintenance, healthy eating, etc.).

53 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Now, I'm not advocating for stricter temple recommend requirements (personally I'd prefer they got rid of the interview all together), I just think that this hypothetical highlights something about the culture, where most people know that the WoW is about an overall healthy lifestyle in general, but in specific they value certain prohibitions as emphasized by church leadership over the years, and the rest of the principle of the WoW is much less important.  This needs to change.  

Again, I think this is more attributable to the "disconnect" discussed above.

It's understandable, I think, for the Church to spend more time emphasizing those aspects of the Word of Wisdom that pertain to risky/destructive behaviors.  A member of the Church can be a bit overweight but still be a fantastic father.  However, if that same guy is consuming mind-altering and addictive substances, that can have far more destructive effects on his life and those of his family members and friends.  So I can see why those parts of the WoW get disproportionate emphasis.

That said, we can and should do better.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Other than hard core drugs...I believe some things can be okay...in moderation.    Tobacco has a lot of backup to abstaining..but I know people who don't smoke on a regular basis..but like to light up once in awhile.  Common sense...this is where ages of individuals are a concern.  As far  as coffee/tea...I am more concerned about the energy drinks and pop..sweet pop.  But God gave us minds to choose wisely...this is where I most rely on science.  I don't think a church or state you tell me what I can do ...but I am wise...and fully understand the responsibility of each decision. 

Edited by Jeanne

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23 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:


No, nor have we been counseled to follow the scriptures.

Well, this one.
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

But not this one.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

And then this one.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

But not this one.
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

Well, that's good -- I'd be worried if we told to ignore anything.

I don't think we need to be commanded and instructed by the First Presidency and Twelve on every single saying covered in D&C 89, though. The worthiness implications, and the points of worthiness of the "principle with promise" is the prerogative of the key-holders who teach us how to keep it for that purpose as members of the body of Christ and for the purpose of obtaining even more on a personal level (verses 18-21), which only further contributes to the body of Christ. But we are certainly free to do more with the Word of Wisdom than the worthiness requirements.

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20 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Well, that's good -- I'd be worried if we told to ignore anything.

I don't think we need to be commanded and instructed by the First Presidency and Twelve on every single saying covered in D&C 89, though. The worthiness implications, and the points of worthiness of the "principle with promise" is the prerogative of the key-holders who teach us how to keep it for that purpose as members of the body of Christ and for the purpose of obtaining even more on a personal level (verses 18-21), which only further contributes to the body of Christ. But we are certainly free to do more with the Word of Wisdom than the worthiness requirements.

I find it funny that it only matters if things are ignored IF people are explicitly told to ignore them.

Next time you speak with your Stake Pres. or Bishop ask them about the TR question about keeping the word of wisdom. There are parts (no coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco) that they are enforcing and other areas they are clearly ignoring. Ask them why they are ignoring the other aspects of the WoW and see what they say. Is it just common knowledge that we don't hold people accountable for how much meat they eat or has some direction been given about how to interpret what it means to "keep the word of wisdom"?

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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Is it just common knowledge that we don't hold people accountable for how much meat they eat or has some direction been given about how to interpret what it means to "keep the word of wisdom"?

Only 4 out of 26 voters personally believe that eating meat outside the defined situation in the Word of Wisdom scripture violates the Word of Wisdom.
4 out of 26!

Yet 19 out of 26 voters believe that the scripture is at least equal in authority to the Church official position.

I am honestly mystified.
I think many of those 19 people need to go back and change their vote for question 3 to Yes - following the Church is more important than the scripture.

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59 minutes ago, smac97 said:

It's understandable, I think, for the Church to spend more time emphasizing those aspects of the Word of Wisdom that pertain to risky/destructive behaviors.  A member of the Church can be a bit overweight but still be a fantastic father.  However, if that same guy is consuming mind-altering and addictive substances, that can have far more destructive effects on his life and those of his family members and friends.  So I can see why those parts of the WoW get disproportionate emphasis.

Good post, and I agree with most everything you said, but I would challenge this piece.  I know many people in my family and friends who partake of tobacco and alcohol who are excellent parents.   I think there are risks to using those substances, just like there are risks to over eating.  I believe the current cultural conditioning that has placed a taboo on these substances and that gets people to associate use of these substances with the evils of sin is an gross overreaction and actually creates much of the problem with the imbalance in application of the WoW. 

I think we'd be better to go back to the days when this WoW was thought of as good advice, but not by way of commandment.  

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16 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Only 4 out of 26 voters personally believe that eating meat outside the defined situation in the Word of Wisdom scripture violates the Word of Wisdom.
4 out of 26!

Yet 19 out of 26 voters believe that the scripture is at least equal in authority to the Church official position.

I am honestly mystified.
I think many of those 19 people need to go back and change their vote for question 3 to Yes - following the Church is more important than the scripture.

Are these the same people who claim the WoW is a "commandment" when it specifically states...

Quote

To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days

Clearly the canonized scripture doesn't mean much to the church today because current leaders trump past leaders or even scripture.

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