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

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4 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

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.

Why not?

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3 minutes ago, CV75 said:

How will you go about getting your question answered?

Well, @bluebell cites the gospel topics definition and she feels that it is clear that green tea is included in the "tea" prohibition.

I don't see it that way as I see the non-fermented varieties of tea as much more similar to yerba mate or herbal "tea" infusions.

I also think it is odd for the church to do an official clarification of the word of wisdom in an anonymous New Era article.  But, media outlets seem to be treating it that way.

Perhaps all this coverage will lead the Brethren to more of an official clarification (as with caffeinated soda some time back).

For now, I'm comfortable with my adherence to the WoW.

 

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29 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Why not?

Because Joseph said if it did we would know it was false.

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I still think it's interesting that

Quote

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. (D&C 58:26)

and

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A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—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—Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints. (D&C 89:1-3)

Yet the WoW has been transformed into a commandment - one that needs specific explanations and clarifications.

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3 hours ago, Thinking said:

I still think it's interesting that

and

Yet the WoW has been transformed into a commandment - one that needs specific explanations and clarifications.

Yeah, it does not speak well of the Saints who needed it to be a commandment.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rockpond said:

I also think it is odd for the church to do an official clarification of the word of wisdom in an anonymous New Era article.

What I strongly suspect Church leaders find odd is that, in defiance of basic biology, some members have recently taken to thinking that Camellia sinensis can change into a completely different plant depending on what colour its leaves turn when dried.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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16 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

What I strongly suspect Church leaders find odd is that, in defiance of basic biology, some members have recently taken to thinking that Camellia sinensis can change into a completely different plant depending on what colour its leaves turn when dried.

Drying of the leaves is not the difference between green and black tea.  It is fermentation. 

I’ve never once been taught by a church leader that camellia sinensis leaves are what is actually prohibited by the word of wisdom.

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14 hours 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!!

Agreed, this whole somewhat silly conversation about tea, coffee, iced tea, caffeine free iced coffee etc...etc.. seems so legalistic and dare I say ...like the Pharisees. Silly arguing about what one can put in their body when  we are told in Mark 7:15 nothing you put in your body can defile you.

 

 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

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14 hours 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!!

I think, as Bluebell has pointed out, that you misunderstand moral agency.  Agency is not choices without consequences, which is why many people, it seems, are confused by the concept.  If I believe that God, or that religion, says, "Do [X]" or "Don't do [X]," I'm absolutely free to follow or to not follow that edict.  However, if I also believe that God or that a religion says, "Do [X]" to achieve "Positive outcome [Y]," or "Don't do [X]" to avoid "Negative outcome [Y]," I cannot and should not expect to achieve a positive outcome or to avoid a negative outcome if I do not do (or do not avoid) what God or the religion tells me to to or to avoid.

If you don't believe God has told anyone not to vape, you're entitled to your opinion.  If you believe that God has told anyone to abstain from potato chips, you're entitled to that opinion, as well.  As for my part, I have covenanted to obey the Word of Wisdom, and I know that I am blessed as I keep that covenant, and that I cannot be blessed for keeping a covenant I do not keep in the same way that someone who has made that covenant is blessed who does keep it.

In any event, the crux of the Word of Wisdom is contained in vv. 18-21: whatever temporal benefits I do or do not receive from keeping the word of wisdom, its key benefits are spiritual, and it's no coincidence that those promises are similar to the ones made at a key point in the endowment ceremony conducted in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

As for what the "letter of the law" in the word of wisdom tells those who commit to it to use or to avoid, the word of wisdom doesn't expressly or explicitly prohibit diving headfirst into an empty swimming pool, either, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, snowflake said:

Agreed, this whole somewhat silly conversation about tea, coffee, iced tea, caffeine free iced coffee etc...etc.. seems so legalistic and dare I say ...like the Pharisees. Silly arguing about what one can put in their body when  we are told in Mark 7:15 nothing you put in your body can defile you.

 

 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

While I agree with you that anyone attempting to construct a massive list of "Do's and Don'ts" is missing the point entirely, your comparison is inapposite, especially to observant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And you must have a limited acquaintance (to be generous) with people who have issues with addiction to substances if you honestly think that nothing a person puts into his body can defile him.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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6 hours ago, rockpond said:

Drying of the leaves is not the difference between green and black tea.  It is fermentation. 

No, it's oxidation. The exact same process that causes a cut apple or avocado to go brown when it's exposed to the air. From Harvard Medical School:

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Black and green tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub that grows in mountainous areas in China, India, and other countries. The differences between them stem from what happens after the leaves are harvested and allowed to wilt.

To make green tea, the leaves are quickly steamed or heated to stop oxidation, the chemical process that causes browning. To make black tea, the leaves are crushed, torn, curled, or rolled and allowed to oxidize before being dried.

The difference between green tea leaves and black tea leaves is therefore exactly the same difference as between a freshly cut banana and one that has sat out on the kitchen bench for 20 minutes.

Quote

I’ve never once been taught by a church leader that camellia sinensis leaves are what is actually prohibited by the word of wisdom.

You've repeatedly been taught by Church leaders that tea is prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, tea is 'the dried and cut leaves of the tea plant, or a drink made by pouring hot water onto these', and the tea plant is, well, Camellia sinensis.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Hu.  I thought green tea was prohibited anyway. 

It is. None of this is a novel concept; it's basic botany with a little basic chemistry on the top.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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12 hours ago, rockpond said:

Well, @bluebell cites the gospel topics definition and she feels that it is clear that green tea is included in the "tea" prohibition.

I don't see it that way as I see the non-fermented varieties of tea as much more similar to yerba mate or herbal "tea" infusions.

I also think it is odd for the church to do an official clarification of the word of wisdom in an anonymous New Era article.  But, media outlets seem to be treating it that way.

Perhaps all this coverage will lead the Brethren to more of an official clarification (as with caffeinated soda some time back).

For now, I'm comfortable with my adherence to the WoW.

I suggest the best way to obtain clarification is to live the principle to the best of one’s understanding, and through grace obtain spiritual guidance on the subject. Sometimes such guidance is actively sought and sometimes not (those who are comfortable typically do not seek clarification, though it may be offered).

Making official clarifications is not the purpose of Church magazines, and making one about green tea is, in my opinion, unnecessary. Let the ethos steep among the membership, I say. Church magazines are one good means of cultivating the ethos.

The purpose of the New Era is to help youth of the Church “prepare for their future by providing the teachings of Church leaders and real-life example of other youth.” It seems the article in question meets that purpose for youth. https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-magazines , as opposed to making an official clarification.

Assuming “the original rationale for its creation” is still in force, the New Era “will reflect those qualities that have given rise to the Lord’s confidence in youth: sincerity, authenticity, intellectual stimulation, and inspiration.” I think the subject article accomplishes and stimulates those qualities for engaged readers aged 12-18 and other good-faith parties and acknowledges their ability to think for themselves without relying on a constant expansion of the letter of the law which is often the misguided expectation for official clarification of principle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Era_(magazine)

I think good journalists would understand the purpose and scope of Church magazines. If a Church magazine is the only place something is mentioned, it is offered up primarily for the consideration and edification of those Church members who have access to it and the inclination or the interest and faith to read a Church publication in the first place. Some people would receive the same impression as the article without ever reading it, some wouldn’t; what is done with any impression is up to the individual.

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59 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

No, it's oxidation. The exact same process that causes a cut apple or avocado to go brown when it's exposed to the air. From Harvard Medical School:

The difference between green tea leaves and black tea leaves is therefore exactly the same difference as between a freshly cut banana and one that has sat out on the kitchen bench for 20 minutes.

You've repeatedly been taught by Church leaders that tea is prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, tea is 'the dried and cut leaves of the tea plant, or a drink made by pouring hot water onto these', and the tea plant is, well, Camellia sinensis.

Interesting.

I was working off of the information in the New Era article cited in the OP which states that the only difference between green and black tea is fermentation of the leaves.  I understand fermentation to be a chemical break down of an organic substance through yeast or bacteria. 

Your Harvard quote prompted me to dig into what the tea fermenting process is.  I found one article that stated that “fermenting” when it comes to tea is a misnomer.  That it is actually being oxidized. That oxidation is stopped along the way by pan frying or steaming the leaves.  The degree of oxidation determines the type of tea. 

Green tea is not oxidized.  Black tea is fully oxidized. 

I have been taught throughout my life that black tea was prohibited by the WoW.  Other teas were permitted (Yerba mate, herbal teas).  Until this thread I had no idea that black, oolong, and green teas all came from the same plant.  That was not something that was ever taught in any church meeting or literature to which I was exposed. 

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42 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I have been taught throughout my life that black tea was prohibited by the WoW.  Other teas were permitted (Yerba mate, herbal teas).  Until this thread I had no idea that black, oolong, and green teas all came from the same plant.  That was not something that was ever taught in any church meeting or literature to which I was exposed. 

So I presume you made a choice as to which teas to drink and which to avoid, and as life went on you became more informed.

I grew up drinking all kinds of tea with my family: Lipton for iced, Constant Comment for hot, various traditional Chinese teas. So I was accustomed to reading the labels. It wasn't until they were more commercialized in the 70s that I became exposed to the "herbal teas" and for awhile in college I made my own (raspberry, rose hip, mint, camomile, chicory, etc.). It was in 1971 that I became converted to the Church, and lived the Word of Wisdom for years (once I found out about it, that is, see below) before I actually joined.

I never liked coffee (plus i saw some bad effects from kids drinking it all night long on camp-outs), and when my converted older brother brought Postum home one day, I thought, "boring." I got wonderfully drunk twice in my life, at ages 13 and 14 respectively, and smoked cigarettes once or twice at that same age until I overdid it and got really, really sick. Around that time I read about the Word of Wisdom from "A Marvelous Work and Wonder" by LeGrande Richards. Lucky I read it before I had the chance to  try pot or anything illegal.

This why I think if someone understands the basics and learns from experience (I include having read the labels as part of that) their faith will be rewarded with increased knowledge will over time.

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14 minutes ago, CV75 said:

So I presume you made a choice as to which teas to drink and which to avoid, and as life went on you became more informed.

Obviously still becoming more informed.

14 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I grew up drinking all kinds of tea with my family: Lipton for iced, Constant Comment for hot, various traditional Chinese teas. So I was accustomed to reading the labels. It wasn't until they were more commercialized in the 70s that I became exposed to the "herbal teas" and for awhile in college I made my own (raspberry, rose hip, mint, camomile, chicory, etc.). It was in 1971 that I became converted to the Church, and lived the Word of Wisdom for years (once I found out about it, that is, see below) before I actually joined.

I never liked coffee (plus i saw some bad effects from kids drinking it all night long on camp-outs), and when my converted older brother brought Postum home one day, I thought, "boring." I got wonderfully drunk twice in my life, at ages 13 and 14 respectively, and smoked cigarettes once or twice at that same age until I overdid it and got really, really sick. Around that time I read about the Word of Wisdom from "A Marvelous Work and Wonder" by LeGrande Richards. Lucky I read it before I had the chance to  try pot or anything illegal.

This why I think if someone understands the basics and learns from experience (I include having read the labels as part of that) their faith will be rewarded with increased knowledge will over time.

Reading the labels wouldn't have made a difference.  I was never taught that Word of Wisdom prohibitions were based on the plant from which a tea was derived.

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I suggest the best way to obtain clarification is to live the principle to the best of one’s understanding, and through grace obtain spiritual guidance on the subject. Sometimes such guidance is actively sought and sometimes not (those who are comfortable typically do not seek clarification, though it may be offered).

Agreed.

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Making official clarifications is not the purpose of Church magazines, and making one about green tea is, in my opinion, unnecessary. Let the ethos steep among the membership, I say. Church magazines are one good means of cultivating the ethos.

It's too bad that isn't the answer that the public affairs rep gave to Reiss.

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

The purpose of the New Era is to help youth of the Church “prepare for their future by providing the teachings of Church leaders and real-life example of other youth.” It seems the article in question meets that purpose for youth. https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-magazines , as opposed to making an official clarification.

I don't think this article, which draws conclusions that cannot be backed up by scripture nor prophetic teachings, is truly helpful to our youth.

I've taught my children about how harmful and stupid vaping is but I didn't need to wedge it into Section 89 to do so.

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Assuming “the original rationale for its creation” is still in force, the New Era “will reflect those qualities that have given rise to the Lord’s confidence in youth: sincerity, authenticity, intellectual stimulation, and inspiration.” I think the subject article accomplishes and stimulates those qualities for engaged readers aged 12-18 and other good-faith parties and acknowledges their ability to think for themselves without relying on a constant expansion of the letter of the law which is often the misguided expectation for official clarification of principle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Era_(magazine)

Funny because I see this article as an "expansion of the letter of the law".

1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I think good journalists would understand the purpose and scope of Church magazines. If a Church magazine is the only place something is mentioned, it is offered up primarily for the consideration and edification of those Church members who have access to it and the inclination or the interest and faith to read a Church publication in the first place. Some people would receive the same impression as the article without ever reading it, some wouldn’t; what is done with any impression is up to the individual.

And yet, Public Affairs is apparently telling people that this article does represent the official view of the church.  If a "good journalist" is told this by the church's public affairs department, I assume they would believe them.

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14 hours ago, rockpond said:

 

I also think it is odd for the church to do an official clarification of the word of wisdom in an anonymous New Era article.  But, media outlets seem to be treating it that way.

 

This, and the way the article is written. The use of "That’s way, way far from the truth." is a tad annoying

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22 minutes ago, provoman said:

This, and the way the article is written. The use of "That’s way, way far from the truth." is a tad annoying

Or "Vaping is clearly against the Word of Wisdom".  No citation, no reference... just the anonymous author(s) conclusion that since vaping liquids contain nicotine and/or harmful chemicals it must "clearly" be against the Word of Wisdom.  Philosophies of men, mingled with scripture comes to mind.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Obviously still becoming more informed.

Reading the labels wouldn't have made a difference.  I was never taught that Word of Wisdom prohibitions were based on the plant from which a tea was derived.

Yes, different experiences lead to different applications as we approach a unity in the faith. I think we see the same thing in how people vary in how they learn to and practice tithe, yet they attest to blessings as they become more perfect along the way, one of the most important being the companionship of the Holy Ghost in my opinion.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Agreed.

It's too bad that isn't the answer that the public affairs rep gave to Reiss.

I don't think this article, which draws conclusions that cannot be backed up by scripture nor prophetic teachings, is truly helpful to our youth.

I've taught my children about how harmful and stupid vaping is but I didn't need to wedge it into Section 89 to do so.

Funny because I see this article as an "expansion of the letter of the law".

And yet, Public Affairs is apparently telling people that this article does represent the official view of the church.  If a "good journalist" is told this by the church's public affairs department, I assume they would believe them.

RE: the Reiss comment, do you mean, “Church magazines are official publications and do represent the views of the Church.” --? Yes, and supporting the ethos (which is what the New Era article does) is as much an expression of her view as an “official clarification” (which is not what the New Era article provides). It has been part of the ethos (depending on where and how you abide, I guess, and we’re getting more global) that black and green tea are “hot drink”, tobacco use includes nicotine products, and that the Church pursues knowledge for the times and shares her informed view.

As far as the helpfulness of the article, different strokes for different folks to achieve the same end. That is the beauty of the Lord using diverse but congruent voices (D&C 128:21). The article is there to help youth using an informed appeal to the Word of Wisdom, and you are helping your children by appealing to the reasoning you see fit. Some parents do both, and there are certainly many more helps and detractions for kids to sort through, so good luck!

A really good journalist would research (and evaluate for opinion and feature articles) the purpose of Church magazines as I did :). I understand the hurry and the tendency to gloss over and thereby read more into such brief statements than is actually there. But blogs are far more about influence than facts.

The "expansion of the letter of the law" would require an official clarification, which the article is not...
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Are there areas in the US that generally don’t consider sweet tea to be on the Nope list? 

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9 minutes ago, CV75 said:

The "expansion of the letter of the law" would require an official clarification, which the article is not...

KUTV:  LDS Church clarifies 'Word of Wisdom' on vaping, green tea, coffee, marijuana, opioids

LDS Living (a division of Deseret Book):  Church Clarifies Word of Wisdom, Stance on Green Tea, Mocha, Vaping in "New Era"

Daily Herald:  LDS Church clarifies vaping, lattes and recreational use of marijuana as against its Word of Wisdom

Idaho Statesman:   LDS has long forbid hot coffee and cigarettes. But what about iced lattes and vaping?

 

Media outlets seem to want to portray this New Era article as the Church clarifying the "letter of the law" with respect to the Word of Wisdom.

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18 minutes ago, rockpond said:

KUTV:  LDS Church clarifies 'Word of Wisdom' on vaping, green tea, coffee, marijuana, opioids

LDS Living (a division of Deseret Book):  Church Clarifies Word of Wisdom, Stance on Green Tea, Mocha, Vaping in "New Era"

Daily Herald:  LDS Church clarifies vaping, lattes and recreational use of marijuana as against its Word of Wisdom

Idaho Statesman:   LDS has long forbid hot coffee and cigarettes. But what about iced lattes and vaping?

Media outlets seem to want to portray this New Era article as the Church clarifying the "letter of the law" with respect to the Word of Wisdom.

My case in point! :)

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On 8/13/2019 at 11:08 PM, smac97 said:

Yep.  I thought Jana Riess's complaints about the Church's position on this to be . . . odd:

I wonder if she also finds time to complaint about the Jewish/Muslim prohibition against pork.  Has she characterized that as "bizarre?"

Moreover, what's with the "guilt-by-association" thing?  If the prohibition is against tea (as in camellia sinensis), then what difference does it make, from a WoW perspective, as to how the tea leaves are processed (black tea is oxidized, green tea is not)?

Thanks,

-Smac

As I understand it, gelatin is highly processed pork connective tissue. But it is apparently so highly processed that it bears sufficiently little resemblance to pork that it is acceptable to Jews according to some authorities.  Don't ask for a CFR cuz it's something I heard quite some time ago, and I could be wrong.

Maybe if the black tea is sufficiently processed, it would be OK?  🙂

And of course, those antioxidants have no other source?  And do we find an increased rate of Alzheimers among WoW-compliant LDS?  Because they don't get any green tea antioxidants.  What BS.

 

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