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It's Official: Vaping is a No-Go for Latter-day Saints

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Well I speak German and am not German either.  ;)

 

Had to ask this: how did you happen to learn to speak German?  I learned it for my mission, but I know you were an adult convert, so...?

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25 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Had to ask this: how did you happen to learn to speak German?  I learned it for my mission, but I know you were an adult convert, so...?

I had to learn German and French for graduate studies in philosophy. Reading knowledge at least.

But that was a long time ago, and I have gotten pretty rusty

 Helps in traveling though!

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14 hours ago, Tacenda said:

That is what gets me, energy drinks weren't even mentioned in the latest from the news room. 

Perhaps we are expected to consider the WoW as it is and draw conclusions for how we live it?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

One of my bishops told me his father almost died after drinking too many Monsters.  Which is my favorite energy drink, at least the "Monster Assault" flavor. 

I don't know what "too many" was in this case, however.  When I drink the things I restrict myself to no more than 2 per day, and that rather seldom.

Too much caffeine can definitely have problems although the typical way people run into health problems is via dehydration. So a lot of the time you'll hear of deaths with people in sports or at a dance club where they are sweating. People forget that you can't only make up the sweat with water but you're also losing salt, potassium, and magnesium that all need made up. Your sweat is 2% salt. So if you sweat 2 liters that's around 4 grams of salt you need to make up. Caffeine accentuates these electrolyte loses. At a certain point it's not hard to die. While this is a particularly big problem for athletes or clubbers, it's an effect going on in regular people as well.

In most cases where people die or are hospitalized due to the caffeine they typically have other health issues - often undiagnosed genetic abnormalities. I believe that the Monster Energy deaths all involved that.

However massive doses of caffeine aren't the typical use case. I think the bigger danger is the common mixing of energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc.) with alcohol or drugs with similar effects like MDMA, amphetamines etc.

The reason I'd distinguish things is because it's arguable caffeine in moderation is fine. I think the evidence is pretty strong that alcohol and tobacco are hard to do in full moderation and even in moderation have long term consequences. Ditto with drugs. Again, I think tea and coffee are quite different. But to be frank most of the abuse of energy drinks can be true of tea and coffee products as well. I think a compelling case could be made that the worry with the Word of Wisdom isn't the typical person but the weakest among us. As such addiction and abuse were the concern even if they could be used responsibly. 

Edited by clarkgoble
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Too much caffeine can definitely have problems although the typical way people run into health problems is via dehydration. So a lot of the time you'll hear of deaths with people in sports or at a dance club where they are sweating. People forget that you can't only make up the sweat with water but you're also losing salt, potassium, and magnesium that all need made up. At a certain point it's not hard to die.

In most cases where people die or are hospitalized due to the caffeine they typically have other health issues - often undiagnosed genetic abnormalities. I believe that the Monster Energy deaths all involved that.

However massive doses of caffeine aren't the typical use case. I think the bigger danger is the common mixing of energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc.) with alcohol or drugs with similar effects like MDMA, amphetamines etc.

You can take away my Mountain Dew Baja Blast and prescription amphetamines when you pry them from my cold (probably soon to be) dead hands.

Edited by The Nehor

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13 hours ago, Calm said:

They have been published about in church magazines for about 15 years now and counsel given to avoid them. 

That's fine.  And I don't touch them.  Nor would I let my kids drink them.

But, I don't consider them to be a violation of the Word of Wisdom.  Nor do I think they need to be "interpreted" or "clarified" into the WoW.

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4 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Why? (Not trying to be snarky - genuinely curious)

Because that's the process.  If something is to become binding on the Saints or if we're going to alter the revealed word of the Lord, it should be brought before the body of the church for common consent.  When Brigham Young wanted greater adherence to the WoW, he sought common consent to put the saints under covenant to follow it (since Section 89 is NOT a commandment).

4 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I should note that I don't think this applies in the current WoW case since it's clearly just clarifying existing practice. There's really nothing new here. Just people hoping coffee would be taken off the list. 

What's leaders have done to the WoW is far more than just clarify existing practice.  They've added to it... marijauna (not mentioned in Section 89), vaping (not mentioned in Section 89), etc.

4 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The reason I think it's less clear than you seem to is the history of how it became more dominant. At first it became a criteria for leaders. That is people who weren't keeping the Word of Wisdom weren't considered for leadership. That seems the way a lot of this develops. It's not necessarily a requirement for everyone in the sense of being a general restriction but it's looked at as something that's been warned about in talks and then people are seen as less problematic. That seems an unavoidable aspect. So say while racism has been condemned in conference and arguably you could point to scriptures with that implication, there's nothing talking about inappropriate jokes. (Which is on a blurry line) Yet if a GA knew a person told inappropriate jokes they would probably not be considered for a calling.

Part of the key issue seems to be temple worthiness. Historically that's been a complex judgment. You see that in how it became an issue with the Word of Wisdom. Originally Bishops just judged who was worthy without clear criteria. WoW was strongly suggested as something to consider but not really a criteria until 1921. 

It seems to me that the issue is these worthiness interviews and the relationship to scripture. I recognize some really don't like worthiness interviews - particularly the way Bishops have a fair bit of leeway.

I think that in practice the other issue is simply the problem of the early Church. What is or isn't inspired is a bit unclear when records weren't always kept in a systematic way. Even if you think they should be treated systematically you have the problem of what to do with 19th century teaching. Clearly that's how the priesthood ban came into effect. There's a de facto burden of proof going against existing practice simply because one isn't clear what is or isn't inspired versus merely trying to run things as best one can. This gets into the fact that as a practical matter a leader has to figure out what do to to try and guide the church, even when there's no clear revelation on a subject.

I appreciate you posting the Mormon Dialogue article.  What that illustrates is the confusion that all of the prophetic and apostolic "inspired interpretations" led to.  Revelation from God brings light, not confusion.

Similarly, you mention the race-based temple and priesthood ban.  Consider all of the "inspired interpretations" over decades and decades that led to doctrines and policies that had to be disavowed later.

I'm not suggesting that we should stop adhering to the WoW.  I follow it myself and have for my entire life (I'm pretty good at avoiding all the prohibited stuff but need to work on eating less meat and more veggies).  However, alterations to the WoW should come from the author himself and should be brought before the Saints as such.  Neither an anonymous New Era article nor the Church Newsroom should be allowed to alter the revealed word of the Lord.  Doing that will just lead to trouble down the road.

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20 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Because that's the process.  If something is to become binding on the Saints or if we're going to alter the revealed word of the Lord, it should be brought before the body of the church for common consent.  When Brigham Young wanted greater adherence to the WoW, he sought common consent to put the saints under covenant to follow it (since Section 89 is NOT a commandment).

What's leaders have done to the WoW is far more than just clarify existing practice.  They've added to it... marijauna (not mentioned in Section 89), vaping (not mentioned in Section 89), etc.

I appreciate you posting the Mormon Dialogue article.  What that illustrates is the confusion that all of the prophetic and apostolic "inspired interpretations" led to.  Revelation from God brings light, not confusion.

Similarly, you mention the race-based temple and priesthood ban.  Consider all of the "inspired interpretations" over decades and decades that led to doctrines and policies that had to be disavowed later.

I'm not suggesting that we should stop adhering to the WoW.  I follow it myself and have for my entire life (I'm pretty good at avoiding all the prohibited stuff but need to work on eating less meat and more veggies).  However, alterations to the WoW should come from the author himself and should be brought before the Saints as such.  Neither an anonymous New Era article nor the Church Newsroom should be allowed to alter the revealed word of the Lord.  Doing that will just lead to trouble down the road.

The only thing that is binding is an honest answer in the worthiness interview.

Adding particulars to the practice as time goes along is under the prophets’ and apostles’ purview, as is disavowing them.

Personal enlightenment and adherence consequential to receiving clarification from those with the keys to add and disavow are not automatic, compulsory or binding but voluntary, no matter the method of dissemination (e.g. New Era article).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, rockpond said:

Because that's the process.  If something is to become binding on the Saints or if we're going to alter the revealed word of the Lord, it should be brought before the body of the church for common consent.  When Brigham Young wanted greater adherence to the WoW, he sought common consent to put the saints under covenant to follow it (since Section 89 is NOT a commandment).

Sorry I should have been clearer. Why does clarifying an ambiguous text require common consent if the original text has already been accepted?

So later you treat vaping as if it were new, whereas to my eyes it's just clarifying what was already the policy for new circumstances. Likewise it'd seem obvious to me that lattes, cold coffee and other products at Starbuck's are pretty clearly coffee. Why should that clarification require a new vote? Further marijuana was already dealt with in the Grant administration. Why would it need a new vote today?

2 hours ago, rockpond said:

Because that's the process.  If something is to become binding on the Saints or if we're going to alter the revealed word of the Lord, it should be brought before the body of the church for common consent.  When Brigham Young wanted greater adherence to the WoW, he sought common consent to put the saints under covenant to follow it (since Section 89 is NOT a commandment).

Some argue the 1880 vote was just a vote based upon the text, and thus the vote was for it not being a command. That to me seems problematic but I at least understand it. (Alexander mentioned this in his article) 

Regarding the "additions" of illegal drugs, it's an interesting question. I suspect it's the illegality as much as anything there. Now that marijuana is becoming legalized it's the first real place where the Church really might have to do more. Clearly rhetorically they've included illegal drugs for quite some time as part of the Word of Wisdom. But rhetorically the Word of Wisdom (as well as your body as a temple) all relate to general health and substances. And, by and large, they've left the details up to individuals. (Thus not harping on things like obesity or consuming too much sugar which folks have brought up in this thread) I suppose it's been more of an issue in Europe since some countries have legalized drugs. I suspect the Church is still grappling with this. Who knows, maybe Nelson will bring it more formally up at conference.

I do think you raise some interesting questions about common consent though. Certainly some things (like the temple ceremony) have changed without common consent. Although that goes back to Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Likewise some structural changes don't seem to traditionally involve common consent. I don't know enough about the history of the Church towards illegal drugs to really know much there. The Alexander article doesn't get into it and I don't think anyone else has written on it. (Surprisingly) 

Since I assume the brethren are just folks like you and I, they may just assume the prohibition on common drugs was voted about decades ago.

2 hours ago, rockpond said:

I appreciate you posting the Mormon Dialogue article.  What that illustrates is the confusion that all of the prophetic and apostolic "inspired interpretations" led to.  Revelation from God brings light, not confusion.

Similarly, you mention the race-based temple and priesthood ban.  Consider all of the "inspired interpretations" over decades and decades that led to doctrines and policies that had to be disavowed later.

I think revelation from God frequently leads to more questions than it answers. There's lots of passages even independent of apocalyptic type writings that are pretty unclear at best. Unless you think D&C 88 & 93 are completely clear. Paul's very statement about seeing through a glass darkly seems to assume a degree of confusion.

I think the race issue is a bit trickier simply because the early church was very poor at record keeping. So you had a lot of people going by memory or so forth while trying to be true to what was said before. That's not ideal. Likewise in the backlash to what I'd call liberal and atheistic interpretations of scripture in the 20's and 30's some bought into scriptures meaning what literalists interpreted them to mean. (JFS being the obvious example) While it's easy to be critical of that, it's worth noting that the texts in question don't exactly clarify their meaning. When there's not a clear reason to inquire in a difficult fashion to the Lord on this (particularly when Apostolic tradition is unanimity) I think it's understandable why certain readings come to be the fixed interpretation. I think you're just downplaying how vague most scripture is.

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Sorry I should have been clearer. Why does clarifying an ambiguous text require common consent if the original text has already been accepted?

Not all of the pronouncements have been only clarifications of the existing text...

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

So later you treat vaping as if it were new, whereas to my eyes it's just clarifying what was already the policy for new circumstances.

Vaping is new.  It it not a tobacco product.

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Likewise it'd seem obvious to me that lattes, cold coffee and other products at Starbuck's are pretty clearly coffee.  Why should that clarification require a new vote?

They are coffee.  But remember, coffee was a previous clarification of "hot drinks".  So now we've taken the clarification of hot drinks and expanded it to include cold ones.  Getting into new territory IMO.

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Further marijuana was already dealt with in the Grant administration. Why would it need a new vote today?

Fair enough -- should have introduced the addition of marijuana to the Word of Wisdom by common consent back then.

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Some argue the 1880 vote was just a vote based upon the text, and thus the vote was for it not being a command. That to me seems problematic but I at least understand it. (Alexander mentioned this in his article) 

Regarding the "additions" of illegal drugs, it's an interesting question. I suspect it's the illegality as much as anything there. Now that marijuana is becoming legalized it's the first real place where the Church really might have to do more. Clearly rhetorically they've included illegal drugs for quite some time as part of the Word of Wisdom. But rhetorically the Word of Wisdom (as well as your body as a temple) all relate to general health and substances. And, by and large, they've left the details up to individuals. (Thus not harping on things like obesity or consuming too much sugar which folks have brought up in this thread) I suppose it's been more of an issue in Europe since some countries have legalized drugs. I suspect the Church is still grappling with this. Who knows, maybe Nelson will bring it more formally up at conference.

Yes, we wouldn't want to add "illegal drugs" to the Word of Wisdom as it would be a moving target.  If there are drugs that the Lord desires to be specifically proscribed by the Word of Wisdom, He is capable of revealing that to our Prophet and then the Prophet can bring forward that revelation to the Saints for consent.

Marijuana could just as easily be described as one of the "wholesome herbs... ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man" as a harmful drug.

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I do think you raise some interesting questions about common consent though. Certainly some things (like the temple ceremony) have changed without common consent. Although that goes back to Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Likewise some structural changes don't seem to traditionally involve common consent. I don't know enough about the history of the Church towards illegal drugs to really know much there. The Alexander article doesn't get into it and I don't think anyone else has written on it. (Surprisingly) 

Since I assume the brethren are just folks like you and I, they may just assume the prohibition on common drugs was voted about decades ago.

Entirely possible.

18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I think revelation from God frequently leads to more questions than it answers. There's lots of passages even independent of apocalyptic type writings that are pretty unclear at best. Unless you think D&C 88 & 93 are completely clear. Paul's very statement about seeing through a glass darkly seems to assume a degree of confusion.

I think the race issue is a bit trickier simply because the early church was very poor at record keeping. So you had a lot of people going by memory or so forth while trying to be true to what was said before. That's not ideal. Likewise in the backlash to what I'd call liberal and atheistic interpretations of scripture in the 20's and 30's some bought into scriptures meaning what literalists interpreted them to mean. (JFS being the obvious example) While it's easy to be critical of that, it's worth noting that the texts in question don't exactly clarify their meaning. When there's not a clear reason to inquire in a difficult fashion to the Lord on this (particularly when Apostolic tradition is unanimity) I think it's understandable why certain readings come to be the fixed interpretation. I think you're just downplaying how vague most scripture is.

I don't mean to downplay how vague scripture is nor do I seek to be harshly critical of past leaders.  I do, however, seek to learn from our past mistakes.  (You make good points here but I'm trying to avoid responding in great detail so as not to derail the thread.)

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47 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Yes, we wouldn't want to add "illegal drugs" to the Word of Wisdom as it would be a moving target.  If there are drugs that the Lord desires to be specifically proscribed by the Word of Wisdom, He is capable of revealing that to our Prophet and then the Prophet can bring forward that revelation to the Saints for consent.

At the end of the sustaining vote:

”We now present to you the following list of variations of new designer street drugs created since last conference that God has forbidden for your sustaining vote. We apologize but this will take about 60 minutes. Please try to stay awake.”

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

At the end of the sustaining vote:

”We now present to you the following list of variations of new designer street drugs created since last conference that God has forbidden for your sustaining vote. We apologize but this will take about 60 minutes. Please try to stay awake.”

 

Edited by ksfisher

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39 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

At the end of the sustaining vote:

”We now present to you the following list of variations of new designer street drugs created since last conference that God has forbidden for your sustaining vote. We apologize but this will take about 60 minutes. Please try to stay awake.”

Me, sitting far away from Salt Lake City: 'Woohoo, he didn't mention our local drug. Yay, now I can use it without violating the Word of Wisdom!'

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48 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

this will take about 60 minutes

Humanity is very creative in its vices. 😛

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Humanity is very creative in its vices. 😛

I know I can be. :vader: 

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Just now, The Nehor said:

I know I can be. :vader: 

Me....boring vices, but creative in excuses. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

At the end of the sustaining vote:

”We now present to you the following list of variations of new designer street drugs created since last conference that God has forbidden for your sustaining vote. We apologize but this will take about 60 minutes. Please try to stay awake.”

Yup.  That would be rather juvenile. 

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19 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Me, sitting far away from Salt Lake City: 'Woohoo, he didn't mention our local drug. Yay, now I can use it without violating the Word of Wisdom!'

Driving without a seatbelt isn’t a violation of the Word of Wisdom and yet I never do it. 

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6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Driving without a seatbelt isn’t a violation of the Word of Wisdom and yet I never do it. 

Oddly, I don't eat, drink, smoke, snort or inject seatbelts. 

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8 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Driving without a seatbelt isn’t a violation of the Word of Wisdom and yet I never do it. 

h4lLFnS.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Oddly, I don't eat, drink, smoke, snort or inject seatbelts. 

I’m glad you made that decision without it needing to be noted in the Word of Wisdom. 

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27 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I’m glad you made that decision without it needing to be noted in the Word of Wisdom. 

So I am not sinning with my choice. Good to know.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

So I am not sinning with my choice. Good to know.

Kidding aside.  I assume you got my point.  Not wearing a seatbelt is a clear danger to my health and well-being but I don’t need that to be in the Word of Wisdom. 

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5 hours ago, rockpond said:

Vaping is new.  It it not a tobacco product.

I thought it was nicotine mixed with glycerin. I suppose you can say it's not tobacco the way caffeine isn't coffee, but the key addictive and problematic substance in tobacco is nicotine. I'm not sure it's as different as caffeine vs. coffee, although certainly the reason some going back to the 30's thought Coca Cola was against the Word of Wisdom was due to the caffeine. Oddly for a certain period decaffeinated coffee was deemed OK by the 12.

My response would ultimately be that it seems a matter of interpretation over whether vaping is the same as smoking.

5 hours ago, rockpond said:

They are coffee.  But remember, coffee was a previous clarification of "hot drinks".  So now we've taken the clarification of hot drinks and expanded it to include cold ones.  Getting into new territory IMO.

Well it was more than a clarification - it was Hyrum Smith's interpretation which stuck. So it was contemporary with the revelation. That's why it has had such weight even though I personally suspect just temperature was meant. But that long of an interpretation that goes back pretty well to the source with no correction has the burden of proof (IMO).

5 hours ago, rockpond said:

Yes, we wouldn't want to add "illegal drugs" to the Word of Wisdom as it would be a moving target.  If there are drugs that the Lord desires to be specifically proscribed by the Word of Wisdom, He is capable of revealing that to our Prophet and then the Prophet can bring forward that revelation to the Saints for consent.

Marijuana could just as easily be described as one of the "wholesome herbs... ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man" as a harmful drug.

Well except for the psychotropic effects IMO. Again though I'm largely ignorant of the history of drugs and the Word of Wisdom here so it's hard to say much. As I said it was largely moot since it would keep you from the temple for other reasons. So it is ultimately a difference without a difference - at least until legalized. And the Church has already said if used medicinally it's fine.

 

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I thought it was nicotine mixed with glycerin.

That is my understanding of most vape liquids (I'm no expert) but there are also vape liquids without nicotine.

9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I suppose you can say it's not tobacco the way caffeine isn't coffee, but the key addictive and problematic substance in tobacco is nicotine. I'm not sure it's as different as caffeine vs. coffee, although certainly the reason some going back to the 30's thought Coca Cola was against the Word of Wisdom was due to the caffeine. Oddly for a certain period decaffeinated coffee was deemed OK by the 12.

This. 

It's not hot drinks, it's coffee and tea.  So iced tea is okay?  No, it's the addictive and problematic substance caffeine that is what we should avoid.  So many members (myself included) thought that caffeinated soda was prohibited by the Word of Wisdom.  I once had a bishop's interview as a teenager where my bishop compared my drinking a pepsi that was served to me at school with drinking a beer at a party.  Now it turns out that it isn't the caffeine and it's still not the temperature at which it is served... its the plants from which it is derived.

Section 89 tells us to avoid tobacco.  We've now decided the reason for that is due to the nicotine content and so we're interpreting it as also prohibiting vaping.  Feels like we're headed down the same road again.

9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

My response would ultimately be that it seems a matter of interpretation over whether vaping is the same as smoking.

Doesn't sound like we're letting members make such an interpretation.

9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Well it was more than a clarification - it was Hyrum Smith's interpretation which stuck. So it was contemporary with the revelation. That's why it has had such weight even though I personally suspect just temperature was meant. But that long of an interpretation that goes back pretty well to the source with no correction has the burden of proof (IMO).

We could always go back to the source.

9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Well except for the psychotropic effects IMO. Again though I'm largely ignorant of the history of drugs and the Word of Wisdom here so it's hard to say much. As I said it was largely moot since it would keep you from the temple for other reasons. So it is ultimately a difference without a difference - at least until legalized. And the Church has already said if used medicinally it's fine.

Worthiness interviews are a downstream effect of whatever "inspired interpretations" are converted to policy in the church.

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