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

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Time for religion to grow up.  Free agency.  Sure, some things are good for you and some are not.  Your choice.  But you get to make it.  Don't let a religion tell you what to do all the times...gees, use science if you want and make intelligent decisions for yourself.  But whether one vapes or not...doesn't  matter to God in the whole picture...if that were true, we should take away potato chips!!

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10 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Reiss' article indicates that the Church considers statements in the New Era to be official positions of the Church.  And the media is reporting it that way as well.

 

I think the wording was that the article "represents the views of the church", not that the article itself is the church's official position, right?  In the way that the article represents the teachings of the church on the WoW, such a stance makes sense.  The article itself isn't the church's teachings on the subject though.  I think that's an important distinction.

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9 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Time for religion to grow up.  Free agency.  Sure, some things are good for you and some are not.  Your choice.  But you get to make it.  Don't let a religion tell you what to do all the times...gees, use science if you want and make intelligent decisions for yourself.  But whether one vapes or not...doesn't  matter to God in the whole picture...if that were true, we should take away potato chips!!

Are you under the presumption that when a church has a teaching on something being bad or good, that someone takes away our agency?  Who here doesn't get to make the choice to follow the WoW or not?

Besides that, how do you know that whether a person vapes or not doesn't matter to God?  I'm not being snarky, it's a sincere question.  What authority do you have to tell anyone else what matters to God (again, I don't mean that at all in a snarky way.  I'm sincerely asking).

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9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think the wording was that the article "represents the views of the church", not that the article itself is the church's official position, right? 

I don't see the practical difference in those two things.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Just asking because you said that iced green tea is a "hot drink" because it was hot at one point in its preparation regardless of the temperature at which one imbibes it.

Pasteurized milk is also hot during its preparation.

Who added the bracketed note "from the tea plant" in your Elder Widstoe quote above?   If the Brethren want to define it as anything that comes from the specific tea plant, in any form, that might be a good way to clarify.

I find the whole WoW tea discussion fascinating. 

The reason its interesting to me is because of how I see it interpreted by active faithful members.  For example, in Argentina (and likely some other South American countries) it is perfectly acceptable for members to drink yerba mate in all its forms.  In my home, my mother (who is as faithful and obedient a member as they come) regularly drank herbal tea.  I know still other members who wouldn't touch an iced green tea from Starbucks if their life depended it on it but they'll down cups of the Oolong tea at chines restaurants throughout their meal.

I’m glad to have answered your question!

I stole the bracketed phrase from a 1992 book by a BYU religion professor who identified the “tea” part of “hot drink” as black tea / green tea as coming from the tea plant [duh].

I wish you well in your continued search for clarification, and I wish all the members whose interpretations you find interesting every blessing according to their sincere intent in applying the Word of Wisdom, including the wisdom and intelligence on how to do that.

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6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I don't see the practical difference in those two things.

From my perspective, the practical difference between the article representing the views of the church and the article being the official position of the church is the same as the practical difference between a drawing of a flower and an actual flower.

 

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Just asking because you said that iced green tea is a "hot drink" because it was hot at one point in its preparation regardless of the temperature at which one imbibes it.

Pasteurized milk is also hot during its preparation.

Who added the bracketed note "from the tea plant" in your Elder Widstoe quote above?   If the Brethren want to define it as anything that comes from the specific tea plant, in any form, that might be a good way to clarify.

I find the whole WoW tea discussion fascinating. 

The reason its interesting to me is because of how I see it interpreted by active faithful members.  For example, in Argentina (and likely some other South American countries) it is perfectly acceptable for members to drink yerba mate in all its forms.  In my home, my mother (who is as faithful and obedient a member as they come) regularly drank herbal tea.  I know still other members who wouldn't touch an iced green tea from Starbucks if their life depended it on it but they'll down cups of the Oolong tea at chines restaurants throughout their meal.

I know this wasn't to me but I just have to add that herbal tea isn't actually tea and that's why it's allowed.  There are no tea leaves in herbal tea.  Herbal teas are actually herbal infusions.  Calling them tea is just slang.

I agree though that there is a lot of disagreement among members about what teas are allowed.  I know a lot of members that almost live off of Chia tea, for example.  I think all of that confusion and "personal interpretation" on a question that impacts being able to get a temple recommend is part of the reason the church has decided to clarify the tea issue and say that all tea is off limits.

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It is a shame we do not have continuing revelation from heaven because then we could put forward the idea that the changes come from God.

It's really a shame God has nothing to say to us as a body and we are expected to assume that in addition to our doctrine all our policies are all the result of revelation.

Seriously, our concept of what constitutes continuing revelation is ridiculous.  Church used to teach XYZ but that wasn't revelation enough so we dropped it.  Church adds a ton of new ZYX policies and we are expected to believe they came by revelation.

Church once claimed more revelation and we believe it less.  Church now claims less revelation and we believe it more.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Are you under the presumption that when a church has a teaching on something being bad or good, that someone takes away our agency?  Who here doesn't get to make the choice to follow the WoW or not?

Besides that, how do you know that whether a person vapes or not doesn't matter to God?  I'm not being snarky, it's a sincere question.  What authority do you have to tell anyone else what matters to God (again, I don't mean that at all in a snarky way.  I'm sincerely asking).

Yes...to your first question...for some people..the thinking has been done and will do what is said...which is fine..but then they judge others for their own agency..

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2 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Yes...to your first question...for some people..the thinking has been done and will do what is said...which is fine..but then they judge others for their own agency..

I'm wondering if you are confused about what agency is.  Agency is the ability to choose for yourself.  Even if someone believes 'the thinking has been done,' they have still used their agency to make the choice to believe that. They are not being forced to do something.  They are choosing to do it, for whatever reason.  

Also, exercising our agency does not mean that whatever we decide to do is right.  We can still be judged when we use our agency (though most of us have no authority to do so so we need to knock it off unless we are speaking in generalities).  Neither does it mean that if someone tells you you should do something, or not do something, that your agency has been taken away. :) 

 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Are you under the presumption that when a church has a teaching on something being bad or good, that someone takes away our agency?  Who here doesn't get to make the choice to follow the WoW or not?

Besides that, how do you know that whether a person vapes or not doesn't matter to God?  I'm not being snarky, it's a sincere question.  What authority do you have to tell anyone else what matters to God (again, I don't mean that at all in a snarky way.  I'm sincerely asking).

I don't think that Jeannie is talking about agency, I think she is talking about the inherent problems with how Church members view the WOW.  Is it a revelation on living healthy?  Or is it a revelation on what not to eat or drink to be obedient to God's commandments.  It seems like the Church can't decide which one it is.  

If it is a health code, then there are a whole lot of worse things to drink than tea or coffee.  The science on those two beverages do not show them to be particularly bad for the body unless you have some medical conditions.  Even red wine has been proven to be a healthy drink when used in moderation such as only a cup a day.  So as a revelation on living healthy, the WOW actually falls short.  There are way worse things to eat and drink than what the WOW outlines.  By far, obesity causes way more health problems than tea, coffee, or even alcohol in moderation.  Yet one can certainly hold a temple recommend and be way over a healthy weight.  It appears health is not the reason for prohibiting alcohol, tea, coffee or tobacco.

If the WOW is about being  obedient to the revelations of God, then the WOW should only include alcohol, tea coffee, tobacco because that is all the WOW covers. I think this is Storm's point.   It doesn't matter whether these four things are healthy or not.  God prohibits them.  Nothing else should be added unless it is a revelation from God.  Has God revealed His opinion on vaping?   Oxycodone?  Marijuana? How about potato chips?  Let's ask God about every other unhealthy food out there.  Maybe He has an opinion on M&M's.  Or peeps.

Or maybe people should abstain from alcohol, tea, coffee and tobacco and use common sense on every other substance not commented on by God.  Church leaders should not have to decide what is healthy and what is not healthy for each individual in the Church.

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17 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don't think that Jeannie is talking about agency, I think she is talking about the inherent problems with how Church members view the WOW.  Is it a revelation on living healthy?  Or is it a revelation on what not to eat or drink to be obedient to God's commandments.  It seems like the Church can't decide which one it is.  

If it is a health code, then there are a whole lot of worse things to drink than tea or coffee.  The science on those two beverages do not show them to be particularly bad for the body unless you have some medical conditions.  Even red wine has been proven to be a healthy drink when used in moderation such as only a cup a day.  So as a revelation on living healthy, the WOW actually falls short.  There are way worse things to eat and drink than what the WOW outlines.  By far, obesity causes way more health problems than tea, coffee, or even alcohol in moderation.  Yet one can certainly hold a temple recommend and be way over a healthy weight.  It appears health is not the reason for prohibiting alcohol, tea, coffee or tobacco.

If the WOW is about being  obedient to the revelations of God, then the WOW should only include alcohol, tea coffee, tobacco because that is all the WOW covers. I think this is Storm's point.   It doesn't matter whether these four things are healthy or not.  God prohibits them.  Nothing else should be added unless it is a revelation from God.  Has God revealed His opinion on vaping?   Oxycodone?  Marijuana? How about potato chips?  Let's ask God about every other unhealthy food out there.  Maybe He has an opinion on M&M's.  Or peeps.

Or maybe people should abstain from alcohol, tea, coffee and tobacco and use common sense on every other substance not commented on by God.  Church leaders should not have to decide what is healthy and what is not healthy for each individual in the Church.

Remember when a glass of wine a day was good for you?  Here's why that changed.

I hear you, but I don't personally find your arguments very persuasive.  I think that the WoW can be about health, obedience, and also protection from evil and conspiring men, all at the same time.  I don't think we have to choose either/or.  I also think that the WoW can be specific with some things and vague in others.  I don't see that as a problem.

Edit to add:  As far as the church is concerned the Word of Wisdom "is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children."  That would seem to cover needing it for both health and obedience, among other things.

Edited by bluebell
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10 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Vaping is not against the Word of Wisdom scripture. 

It does call out tobacco though, and vape juice is tobacco extract. 

Do you think that doesn't apply?

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Are you under the presumption that when a church has a teaching on something being bad or good, that someone takes away our agency?  Who here doesn't get to make the choice to follow the WoW or not?

Besides that, how do you know that whether a person vapes or not doesn't matter to God?  I'm not being snarky, it's a sincere question.  What authority do you have to tell anyone else what matters to God (again, I don't mean that at all in a snarky way.  I'm sincerely asking).

Some people think agency only operates in morally neutral choices with no advice or counsel from the divine.

I suspect that vaping is not horrible for most people who do it but we have counsel not to. In the same way most people could drink a glass of wine with a meal once a week and be fine but God has asked us not to. Partially because of the evil and designing people Section 89 tells us about, partially for health concerns, and partially to set us apart as a way to create a differentiation between the saints and everyone else. That last one is very important for missionary work.

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48 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don't think that Jeannie is talking about agency, I think she is talking about the inherent problems with how Church members view the WOW.  Is it a revelation on living healthy?  Or is it a revelation on what not to eat or drink to be obedient to God's commandments.  It seems like the Church can't decide which one it is.  

If it is a health code, then there are a whole lot of worse things to drink than tea or coffee.  The science on those two beverages do not show them to be particularly bad for the body unless you have some medical conditions.  Even red wine has been proven to be a healthy drink when used in moderation such as only a cup a day.  So as a revelation on living healthy, the WOW actually falls short.  There are way worse things to eat and drink than what the WOW outlines.  By far, obesity causes way more health problems than tea, coffee, or even alcohol in moderation.  Yet one can certainly hold a temple recommend and be way over a healthy weight.  It appears health is not the reason for prohibiting alcohol, tea, coffee or tobacco.

If the WOW is about being  obedient to the revelations of God, then the WOW should only include alcohol, tea coffee, tobacco because that is all the WOW covers. I think this is Storm's point.   It doesn't matter whether these four things are healthy or not.  God prohibits them.  Nothing else should be added unless it is a revelation from God.  Has God revealed His opinion on vaping?   Oxycodone?  Marijuana? How about potato chips?  Let's ask God about every other unhealthy food out there.  Maybe He has an opinion on M&M's.  Or peeps.

Or maybe people should abstain from alcohol, tea, coffee and tobacco and use common sense on every other substance not commented on by God.  Church leaders should not have to decide what is healthy and what is not healthy for each individual in the Church.

The thing the purpose encompasses both and more besides, probably some reasons we cannot anticipate. Some people are offended by the idea of a God that cares about the minutiae of our lives because it is beneath such a vast being but on the other hand caricature God as operating according to only one motive for every command or action He takes. Reading the Torah the counsel to wash before eating seems incredibly insightful for the day for health reasons but the command not to mix fabrics or foods seems inane. I suspect the Word of Wisdom has reasons for existing we do not understand.

And yeah, obesity is worse but there is no book of prohibitions and exhortations long enough that can compel someone to eat healthily if they are deadset against it. We also have to be careful about targeting the afflicted who have problems through less fault than we suspect. For the last few years I had been stuck on the higher end of the healthy range of weight and could not seem to drop it because I would binge a few times a week. I later realized it was a coping mechanism for ADHD, a strange form of medicine to alleviate the symptoms. If I was not working out five times a week and only eating one meal a day most days I would have ballooned up much much higher. Once I got it treated it started falling off like crazy (25 pounds in two months).

We are also dealing with food being more calorie dense and more readily available then at any time in history. Government subsidies and food research have driven down the price of food where almost anyone can afford to overeat and have made food more enticing then ever. Restaurants and fast food places have realized the food is among the lowest of the costs of doing business so it makes sense to push up portion size and, especially for fast food particularly, encourage you to just buy more.

But yes, I agree with you. My irony meter almost exploded when a guy who I would guess is about 150 pounds overweight slowly and wheezily got up to bear his testimony and included a bit about the blessings of keeping the Word of Wisdom. My mind went uncharitably to: “Really? Is this just abstract unapplied knowledge?”

I disagree that only written revelations apply and believe the same spirit of revelation is present in these decisions as was with Joseph when he dictated the original. And yeah, those who stick to the letter of exactly what is prohibited and what is allowed should be using good judgement about everything else.

59 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

It's really a shame God has nothing to say to us as a body and we are expected to assume that in addition to our doctrine all our policies are all the result of revelation.

Seriously, our concept of what constitutes continuing revelation is ridiculous.  Church used to teach XYZ but that wasn't revelation enough so we dropped it.  Church adds a ton of new ZYX policies and we are expected to believe they came by revelation.

Church once claimed more revelation and we believe it less.  Church now claims less revelation and we believe it more.

I think you are too married to written revelation. Of course there is an end run around the whole church administration. You could appeal to God directly for clarification of what is revealed and what is not.

Edited by The Nehor
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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I’m glad to have answered your question!

You haven’t.  But that’s ok... not your responsibility. 

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I stole the bracketed phrase from a 1992 book by a BYU religion professor who identified the “tea” part of “hot drink” as black tea / green tea as coming from the tea plant [duh].

I don’t this a BYU professor speaks for the Church. 

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I wish you well in your continued search for clarification, and I wish all the members whose interpretations you find interesting every blessing according to their sincere intent in applying the Word of Wisdom, including the wisdom and intelligence on how to do that.

Thank you. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

From my perspective, the practical difference between the article representing the views of the church and the article being the official position of the church is the same as the practical difference between a drawing of a flower and an actual flower.

 

So the view of the church (the “drawing of the flower”) is that green tea is prohibited by the WoW but the official policy (the “actual flower”) is something different than that?  

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I know this wasn't to me but I just have to add that herbal tea isn't actually tea and that's why it's allowed.  There are no tea leaves in herbal tea.  Herbal teas are actually herbal infusions.  Calling them tea is just slang.

I agree though that there is a lot of disagreement among members about what teas are allowed.  I know a lot of members that almost live off of Chia tea, for example.  I think all of that confusion and "personal interpretation" on a question that impacts being able to get a temple recommend is part of the reason the church has decided to clarify the tea issue and say that all tea is off limits.

Where is that clarification that “all tea” is off limits?

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:

So the view of the church (the “drawing of the flower”) is that green tea is prohibited by the WoW but the official policy (the “actual flower”) is something different than that?  

In my view the article, which is a representation of the official position of the church, is the drawing of the flower.  The actual flower is the official position of the church.  

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18 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Where is that clarification that “all tea” is off limits?

"Green tea and black tea are both made from the leaves of the exact same tea plant.  They’re both tea and against the Word of Wisdom." 

It seems pretty clear.  Something can only be classified as tea if it contains parts of the tea plant (typically the leaves).  Tea is against the word of wisdom.  Which kind of tea do you think the statements above don't cover?  

Edited by bluebell
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20 minutes ago, bluebell said:

In my view the article, which is a representation of the official position of the church, is the drawing of the flower.  The actual flower is the official position of the church.  

I'm sorry @bluebell, usually your points make a lot of sense to me but this one isn't.

If the article is representing the official position of the church and it is in an official publication of the church, how is it not also the official position of the church?  Where would I find the official position of the church on green tea?

10 minutes ago, bluebell said:

"Green tea and black tea are both made from the leaves of the exact same tea plant.  They’re both tea and against the Word of Wisdom." 

Here you are quoting the New Era article.  So is this the official position of the church?

10 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It seems pretty clear.  Something can only be classified as tea if it contains parts of the tea plant (typically the leaves).  Tea is against the word of wisdom.  Which kind of tea do you think the statements above don't cover?  

I think the statements above cover all tea made from the tea plant.  But I'm trying to find out if the New Era is where they are anonymously publishing the official position of the church on green tea, vaping, marijuana, etc or if there is another source.

Edited by rockpond

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32 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I'm sorry @bluebell, usually your points make a lot of sense to me but this one isn't.

If the article is representing the official position of the church and it is in an official publication of the church, how is it not also the official position of the church?  Where would I find the official position of the church on green tea?

Here you are quoting the New Era article.  So is this the official position of the church?

The official position of the church can be found on lds.org.

Quote

 

In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord revealed that the following substances are harmful:

Tea and coffee (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:9; latter-day prophets have taught that the term “hot drinks,” as written in this verse, refers to tea and coffee).

When people purposefully take anything harmful into their bodies, they are not living in harmony with the Word of Wisdom.

 

 Tea is prohibited in the WoW.  Does green tea have tea in it?  Yes.  Then, as it says on lds.org, if we drink it we aren't living in harmony with the WoW.  The New Era isn't teaching anything new.  People were justifiying their use of green tea because the church hadn't specifically said it wasn't allowed.  The New Era article removes that justification.  The teaching hasn't changed though.

Also, if you think a representation is the same thing as the actual thing that I'm fine with that.  I disagree and explained why, but I don't see any reason to argue about it.  :) 

Edit to add:  I might see this differently in part because of my training when getting my history degree.  In history, you have secondary and primary sources.  Primary sources are essentially from people who experienced something firsthand and secondary sources are from those who are writing about stuff that other people experienced.  Secondary sources can be incredibly accurate but will still never be as effective or important as a primary source.  Secondary sources are inferior to primary sources.  First hand witnesses are always better than something that has been filtered through someone else, even if the filtering is accurate.

I see a representation of official church positions as being the same as a secondary source, while the actual church position is a primary source.

 

Edited by bluebell
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10 hours ago, rockpond said:

Reiss?

ETA:

The part about fermentation is the New Era article, not Reiss.

I got into this side topic because of her comment that green tea shouldn’t be forbidden just because it was derived from the same plant black tea was and then me and others saying it was more than just derived from same plant, etc, etc....that the only difference was fermentation (thus the apple juice and hard apple cider suggested example for her argument was not referencing how the Church presents theirs).

Edited by Calm

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

You haven’t.  But that’s ok... not your responsibility. 

I don’t this a BYU professor speaks for the Church. 

Thank you. 

How will you go about getting your question answered?

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I think you are too married to written revelation. Of course there is an end run around the whole church administration. You could appeal to God directly for clarification of what is revealed and what is not.

Perhaps I am.  But in the absence of God's new word I will stick to God's previously revealed words.  Especially since doctrinal revelation cannot contradict prior doctrinal revelation.

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