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The New WoW Question

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9 hours ago, JAHS said:

I have a hard time understanding why some members feel they need to drink things(like tea) that the Word of Wisdom proscribes.  There are just a few things specified in the word of wisdom and there are so many other things that one can drink instead.  If someone only wants to drink it because they like the taste, can't they find something else they can like so they don't have to worry about breaking the word of wisdom? 
 

I can only speak for myself.  What bothers me about this is that the words of the lord were changed.  A policy was put into place that circumvented canonized scripture, and no body can point to any kind of revelation that changed the original.  It just kind of evolved.  To me it is obedience for obedience sake.  Which means blind obedience. 

With that said, when I was a member, I obeyed the word of wisdom policy completely. And I do feel that if someone is going to claim belief in the church, then they should be all in.  If not, then move on.  I moved on.

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9 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

I can only speak for myself.  What bothers me about this is that the words of the lord were changed.  A policy was put into place that circumvented canonized scripture, and no body can point to any kind of revelation that changed the original.  It just kind of evolved.  To me it is obedience for obedience sake.  Which means blind obedience. 

With that said, when I was a member, I obeyed the word of wisdom policy completely. And I do feel that if someone is going to claim belief in the church, then they should be all in.  If not, then move on.  I moved on.

It is to some degree it is obedience for obedience sake. It's part of our test in this life. But I don't consider it blind obedience. It's called having faith and trusting in God.  There are plenty of times in the scriptures where people obeyed, not know how they were going to do something but they trusted in God and did it anyway.
When Nephi was commanded to get the plates of Brass:

"I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. (1 Nephi 4:  5-6)

He had no knowledge of how he was going to do this but he obeyed anyway and trusted that God had a reason for him to do it.

 

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

  It just kind of evolved.  To me it is obedience for obedience sake.  Which means blind obedience.

I think this would be true if the only reason you obeyed it was because church leaders told you to obey it.  But if you had your own personal spiritual or even other form of witness this was the way you were to live, that isn't blind obedience to me, but informed obedience.

 

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

It is to some degree it is obedience for obedience sake. It's part of our test in this life. But I don't consider it blind obedience. It's called having faith and trusting in God.  There are plenty of times in the scriptures where people obeyed, not know how they were going to do something but they trusted in God and did it anyway.
When Nephi was commanded to get the plates of Brass:

"I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. (1 Nephi 4:  5-6)

He had no knowledge of how he was going to do this but he obeyed anyway and trusted that God had a reason for him to do it.

 

That is all well and good, and I don't disagree.  It is good to trust in god.  God said that the WoW is not by commandment.  Do we trust what God said or do we go with the " no its really a commandment not to drink tea policy"?  A policy by the way that evolved over the years that no one can seem to nail down.  If you change scripture than you should be able to produce a revelation that authorized you to do so.  My beef is that there is no revelation on this.  It is just the the racist priesthood "policy".  

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8 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

If you change scripture than you should be able to produce a revelation that authorized you to do so.

I think what you're trying to identify here is what Margaret Barker in her Old Testament research noted was the persistent peskiness of prophets to be constantly updating the Lord's instructions to His people. From her perspective, the Jews who faced the Exile had made the choice to privilege static law over the inevitable chaos of prophets doing their thing. I appreciate your being upset on our behalves, but as you noted above, you've 'moved on' from believing in latter-day prophets, and I'm quite happy to have them doing what prophets have always done. It is, in my opinion, the hallmark of a 'living church'.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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15 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

That is all well and good, and I don't disagree.  It is good to trust in god.  God said that the WoW is not by commandment.  Do we trust what God said or do we go with the " no its really a commandment not to drink tea policy"?  A policy by the way that evolved over the years that no one can seem to nail down.  If you change scripture than you should be able to produce a revelation that authorized you to do so.  My beef is that there is no revelation on this.  It is just the the racist priesthood "policy".  

I am not convinced that written revelation is necessary for most changes. Why would it be?

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

The Church has come out and said caffeine isn't against the WoW, so it is strange to me that so many use its presence in coffee and tea as the reason for their exclusion.

https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/lds-church-clarifies-stance-on-caffeine/article_e4e357d0-ba5d-5a6c-8e78-dd1e791a34b2.html

In point of fact, there has been no reason given why <any> the of the substances proscribed under the Word of Wisdom are on the do-not-partake list. Didn’t President Oaks observe that the Lord rarely gives reasons for His commandments?

With that understood, though, we are capable of reasoned extrapolation as to why the Lord might have taught that these substances are not for our consumption. 
 

We can observe, for instance, that alcohol use in modern times leads to disease such as sorosis of the liver, causes traffic fatalities and brings on debilitating addiction that ruins homes and lives. We can reason therefrom that a loving God does not want his people beset with these ills. 
 

We can observe that lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema result from tobacco use and reason that the Lord desired to protect us from these consequences. 
 

We can observe that coffee and tea have in common the psychoactive stimulant caffeine. We can then observe the unwholesome effects that come from the sustained and copious consumption of this drug and reason that perhaps it is at least one reason why the good God would teach His people to curtail their consumption of these pervasive beverages. With further reasoned extrapolation, I can observe the caffeine content in popular soft drinks and make a personal decision, not binding on anyone else in any way, that I will avoid these soft drinks. 
 

When the Lord said in Section 89 that the Word of Wisdom is adapted to the capacity of the weakest of the saints, perhaps that was prescient. By that, I mean that it became clear over time that some of the saints were too weak in their self control to follow the precepts without compulsion, so certain of the more harmful substances were forbidden under penalty of being unworthy of temple attendance. But other aspects — such as being sparing in meat consumption and eating vegetables in season — are still left up to the individual. For me, the colas fall into that latter category. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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36 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

My beef is that there is no revelation on this.  It is just the the racist priesthood "policy".  

It does not surprise me that people have become more cautious in accepting what is and isn't revelation.  There are good reasons (such as the ban and theperpetuation of the ban the most obvious one).

I happen to think there are enough good reasons to be cautious, but to stay fully invested (.as opposed to partial investment or walking away).

Edited by Calm
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22 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In point of fact, there has been no reason given why <any> the of the substances proscribed under the Word of Wisdom are on the do-not-partake list. Didn’t President Oaks observe that the Lord rarely gives reasons for His commandments?

With that understood, though, we are capable of reasoned extrapolation as to why the Lord might have taught that these substances are not for our consumption. 

If one could show where church leaders are okay with us taking our reasoned extrapolations and making claims this must (as opposed to "may") be why the Lord commanded it to others, I would be more comfortable with some of the more vigorous speculations being presented as the actual reasons God commands.

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48 minutes ago, Calm said:

If one could show where church leaders are okay with us taking our reasoned extrapolations and making claims this must (as opposed to "may") be why the Lord commanded it to others, I would be more comfortable with some of the more vigorous speculations being presented as the actual reasons God commands.

Did I say “must” rather than “may”? If I did, it was not intentional. 
 

Edited to add:  Nope. I re-read my post, and I never said “must”.  My message was couched in “might have” and “prrhaps.” 

You had me worried for a minute. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I am not convinced that written revelation is necessary for most changes. Why would it be?

I think the only reason is because it gives people space to reject what is taught to them otherwise.

Here is Brigham Young on 17 August 1867:

Quote

I said to the Saints at our last annual Conference, the Spirit whispers to me to call upon the Latter-day Saints to observe the Word of Wisdom, to let tea, coffee, and tobacco alone, and to abstain from drinking spirituous drinks. This is what the Spirit signifies through me. If the Spirit of God whispers this to his people through their leader, and they will not listen nor obey, what will be the consequences of their disobedience? Darkness and blindness of mind with regard to the things of God will be their lot; they will cease to have the spirit of prayer, and the spirit of the world will increase in them in proportion to their disobedience until they apostatize entirely from God and his ways.

This is no new or strange thing that you are required to do. Thirty-five years ago we were called upon to reform in our lives, by giving heed to the same Words of Wisdom; and if any man comes to you and tells you that you must have a little tea and a little coffee, by the same rule he may urge you to take a little tobacco and a little intoxicating liquor, or a little of any other substance which is hurtful to man. This destroys their claim and right to the spirit of revelation, and they go into darkness.

 

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

I think the only reason is because it gives people space to reject what is taught to them otherwise.

Here is Brigham Young on 17 August 1867:

 

And if you give written revelation many nitpick it or try to judge all the sayings of the living oracles by it.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Did I say “must” rather than “may”? If I did, it was not intentional. 
 

Edited to add:  Nope. I re-read my post, and I never said “must”.  My message was couched in “might have” and “prrhaps.” 

You had me worried for a minute. 

And I never said you did.  I didn't use "you" or "Scott" for a reason.

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I think what you're trying to identify here is what Margaret Barker in her Old Testament research noted was the persistent peskiness of prophets to be constantly updating the Lord's instructions to His people. From her perspective, the Jews who faced the Exile had made the choice to privilege static law over the inevitable chaos of prophets doing their thing. I appreciate your being upset on our behalves, but as you noted above, you've 'moved on' from believing in latter-day prophets, and I'm quite happy to have them doing what prophets have always done. It is, in my opinion, the hallmark of a 'living church'.

Or the hallmark of fallible men constantly putting their own opinions pet peeves and prejudices into the word of God.  Given the Saviors reaction to what the Pharisees were requiring of the Jews while He was on the earth, there is certainly enough evidence for that being true.

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4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I think the only reason is because it gives people space to reject what is taught to them otherwise.

Here is Brigham Young on 17 August 1867:

I

Quote

 

said to the Saints at our last annual Conference, the Spirit whispers to me to call upon the Latter-day Saints to observe the Word of Wisdom, to let tea, coffee, and tobacco alone, and to abstain from drinking spirituous drinks. This is what the Spirit signifies through me. If the Spirit of God whispers this to his people through their leader, and they will not listen nor obey, what will be the consequences of their disobedience? Darkness and blindness of mind with regard to the things of God will be their lot; they will cease to have the spirit of prayer, and the spirit of the world will increase in them in proportion to their disobedience until they apostatize entirely from God and his ways.

This is no new or strange thing that you are required to do. Thirty-five years ago we were called upon to reform in our lives, by giving heed to the same Words of Wisdom; and if any man comes to you and tells you that you must have a little tea and a little coffee, by the same rule he may urge you to take a little tobacco and a little intoxicating liquor, or a little of any other substance which is hurtful to man. This destroys their claim and right to the spirit of revelation, and they go into darkness

 

 

Didn't Brigham Young build a distillery at the mouth of Parley's Canyon and owned the first salon in SLC?  And I vaguely recall Brigham Young starting a vineyard to make wine in St George.  

Maybe we should lay all the cards on the table and see if things really match up.

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38 minutes ago, california boy said:

Given the Saviors reaction to what the Pharisees were requiring of the Jews while He was on the earth,

He was reacting to the hypocrisy. Not denying hypocrisy is present at times among church members and leaders, but I can’t think of any policies or commandments that were given that were used to get around other, higher commandments.

Edited by Calm

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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I had a caffeinated soft drink once as a missionary in America. I had no idea something orange flavoured might have a drug added! So when a ward missionary offered it to me, I drank it. Then I had no idea why I was so sick that night. I got in bed but couldn't sleep. In fact, I couldn't stop moving, my muscles twitching and quaking. And I could heard the blood flowing through my ears with every beat of my heart. I took my pulse, and it was 197 BPM! I woke my companion up and told him to ring the ward mission leader to come take me to hospital; I was certain I was going to die!

My companion didn't really want to do anything, so he suggested I have some more of the soft drink, which had been sent home with us. I walked into the kitchen to pour myself a glass, and that was when I noticed somehow the word caffeine in the ingredients list. I still had a hellish night trying to sleep it off, but at least I knew the cause ... and that I wasn't going to die.

I still can't comprehend that people do this to themselves. Or give it to their children and then wonder why they act like little monsters!

Those are all questions you must answer for yourself, but that such questions exist clearly indicates that tea is not some neutral substance like water.

But this is an irrational response to the issue.  Your reaction is certainly not normal.  Should we add peanuts and milk to the canonized scripture?

I don't have any problem with members obeying the Word of Wisdom because of their beliefs.  But I do tend to have a problem with these kind of arguments supporting their reasoning.  

 

Edited by california boy

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40 minutes ago, california boy said:

Didn't Brigham Young build a distillery at the mouth of Parley's Canyon

One possibility of intent is alcohol had very useful, medicinal purposes (rational) besides recreational drinking.  Would have been very expensive to import just that amount and for just that use into the then more isolated country.

When there was no whisky to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works I did not make a gallon of whisky at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property.”

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_Why_did_Brigham_Young_build_a_whiskey_distillery_in_Utah%3F

Brigham was prepared to produce a limited amount for such uses—the Saints were isolated in Utah and had to either produce or import everything they needed. He was not pleased, however, at the influx of whiskey and attendant over-use which accompanied the U.S. army.”

As for the vineyard, it was meant to produce wine for the sacrament and a cash crop to be exported, not recreationally used locally. Didn’t work out to be so restrained, tithes in grapes and wine from private vine growers were paid to the point the Church became the biggest producer.  Stronger policies and condemnations were passed down, but eventually they just got completely out of the business even for sacramental wine.  The costs too high, benefits too low  

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/003-74-84.pdf

Edited by Calm

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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

He was reacting to the hypocrisy. 

I disagree.  There were many instances where he was breaking down the false rules and policies that had been put in place over the years by those who claimed to have some divine relationship with God.  This was actually one of the core reasons why the Pharisees were so intent on getting rid of Him.

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6 minutes ago, Calm said:

One possibility is alcohol had useful, medicinal purposes (rational) besides recreational drinking.

When there was no whisky to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works I did not make a gallon of whisky at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property.”

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_Why_did_Brigham_Young_build_a_whiskey_distillery_in_Utah%3F

Brigham was prepared to produce a limited amount for such uses—the Saints were isolated in Utah and had to either produce or import everything they needed. He was not pleased, however, at the influx on  of whiskey and attendant over-use which accompanied the U.S. army.”

So Brigham Young didn't own a salon in SLC?  And he didn't start a winery in St George?  

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23 minutes ago, california boy said:

So Brigham Young didn't own a salon in SLC?  And he didn't start a winery in St George?  

I added info about the winery. Haven’t got to the saloon yet. Was getting sleepy finally and was thinking of signing off. If I can find it quickly, I will put up a link and then someone else can harvest it. If it takes longer, probably will have to wait till evening. Remind me if I forget.  

Added:  Nothing with any detail to make it worth it. Later...

Edited by Calm

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28 minutes ago, california boy said:

those who claimed to have some divine relationship with God

Are you claiming the Rabbis and others who reasoned out the rules that were to prevent violation of the commandments that at times included technically correct versions while surely not abiding by the spirit (creating a temporary ‘home away from home’ to make it possible to travel farther on the Sabbath, for Instance) claimed they were prophets in creating the hedge? 

Or are you talking about a different set of rules?

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8 hours ago, sunstoned said:

That is all well and good, and I don't disagree.  It is good to trust in god.  God said that the WoW is not by commandment.  Do we trust what God said or do we go with the " no its really a commandment not to drink tea policy"?  A policy by the way that evolved over the years that no one can seem to nail down.  If you change scripture than you should be able to produce a revelation that authorized you to do so.  My beef is that there is no revelation on this.  It is just the the racist priesthood "policy".  

I believe our leaders have received revelation on what they tell us; it just isn't recorded in the scriptures, but is recorded in other places. I am not going to ignore what they say simply because it isn't in the scriptures.
If we don't follow what they tell us what good are they to us?  Of course some things have to evolve over time as the world changes and evolves. We have to keep up with it to know what to do to prevent ourselves from putting in jeopardy our eternal lives. 

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7 hours ago, The Nehor said:

And if you give written revelation many nitpick it or try to judge all the sayings of the living oracles by it.

 

Gal 1: 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

 

1 Thes 5:20-21 Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Are you claiming the Rabbis and others who reasoned out the rules that were to prevent violation of the commandments that at times included technically correct versions while surely not abiding by the spirit (creating a temporary ‘home away from home’ to make it possible to travel farther on the Sabbath, for Instance) claimed they were prophets in creating the hedge? 

Or are you talking about a different set of rules?

I am claiming that there is a long history of men claiming to speak for God or were under divine guidance as they made policies and claims of directions from God that were a product of their time more than in communication with the Divine.

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