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Looking beyond the mark...with the Word of Wisdom


frankenstein

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From the Gospel Principle manual Chapter 29.

The Lord commands us not to use wine and strong drinks, meaning drinks containing alcohol. The First Presidency has taught that strong drink often brings cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague into the home. It often is a cause of dishonesty, loss of chastity, and loss of good judgment. It is a curse to all who drink it. (See
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The First Presidency has taught that strong drink often brings cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague into the home. It often is a cause of dishonesty, loss of chastity, and loss of good judgment. It is a curse to all who drink it. (See
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What do you want them to say? As long as the Church policy is teetotalism, that's what gets printed in the manuals.

As for the details, they need to be specific enough so members know what is expected of them, but general enough that new developments in mind-altering substances can be incorporated (and also apply to the many different drinks found in other regions of the world).

The quotes you posted might not make the cut for a medical textbook, but they're just what I would expect for a "Gospel Principles" manual.

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This is hardly unnecessary fluff.

Though much of the statement is true (well, except for the use of the term "often" in the claim that "strong drink often brings cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague into the home"....I think that "often" implies it is the norm, rather than the exception, which it is), it is not the reason for the bans prescribed in the Word of Wisdom. Like polygamy, the only known explanation is that it is commanded by God. Everything else is just speculation as to the true reasons for the ban. In small, regular doses (think a glass a day), red wine has actually been shown to have a number of health benefits, yet god commanded that it be completely avoided. If it were really about health, wouldn't god allow a glass of red wine in moderation?

I think that LDS members do their cause a disservice by trying to apply rationale to that which is sometimes illogical, as much of god's edicts within Mormonism seem to be (and in other religions as well). When gods directives are at the mercy of inordinate amounts of human conjecture and guessing, I think that the true message gets muddled. Why not just say that the Word of Wisdom is a directive from God, the reasons for which have not been revealed, and let it go at that. It certainly is the standard response for polygamy.

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it is not the reason for the bans prescribed in the Word of Wisdom.

The manual makes no such claim.

And yes, it is the norm, not the exception. it may be the exception where you live, but I would say where you live is an exception.

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The manual makes no such claim.

And yes, it is the norm, not the exception. it may be the exception where you live, but I would say where you live is an exception.

Surely you cannot be serious in your statement that "cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague" are the normal results of alcohol consumption. If that were true, this country would be absolutely debilitated, not to mention what Europe would look like. There are 109 million alcohol drinkers in this country (according to US Dept. of Health and Human Services statistics). If the resulting "cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague" were the norm, as you state, that would mean that more than half of these people are afflicted by such evils, meaning that somewhere near 55 million Americans suffer from "cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague" brought on by alcohol consumption.

Come on, stating that "cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague" is the norm for those who consume alcohol is just crazy talk. Is there increased risk of these things with alcohol consumption...of course, but again, it is the exception and not the norm.

If this is the norm where you live, I would suggest you move, and quickly. I am in Los Angeles, CA where alcohol and drug consumption are fashionable and openly accepted (they have even added a measure to the state ballot this November to legalize recreational use of marijuana) and and it is still not the norm here.

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--it is not the reason for the bans prescribed in the Word of Wisdom.--

---------------------------------------------------------

The manual makes no such claim.

The manual does not make the claim directly but does make suggestion that those are the reasons for the WoW.

The reasons for the Word of Wisdom are to not get caught up by "conspiring" persons and God said. Anything more than that is just unsubstantiated opinion. By not just simply stating "God commanded" but adding "filler" or fluff, the authority of God in my opinion is undercut.

Sometimes we have commands or instructions and there is no reason other than "God said" the WoW is one of those.

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The WoW is a boundary-setting device to separate ingroup from outgroup.

This is partially true.

Except for the ban on tobacco, there is nothing in the WoW that has anything to do with health. Not then, not now.

Are you serious?

Go back and read section 89 again...slowly this time.

EDITED for unnecessary language

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From the Gospel Principle manual Chapter 29.

Everything in red is in the manual, however, everything in red seem unnecessary fluff that undercuts God commands concerning the substances. To me every thing in red is where falsehoods come from; for all we know "conspiring" people and God said are the reasons LDS do not consume alcohol and tea. Harmfull substances is speculation and should not be in a Church manual. Especially since someone will most assurderly say "And not caffiene too"; which begs the question of caffiene in all forms and chocolate, candies, etc or it is just soda (the caffiene, candies, chocolate is rhetorical)? As we were sitting in glass I over heard a missionary telling an investigator about "tanic acid"; for goodness sake - literally - teach the absolute know truths, we do not consume certain things because God said, there need not be a reason why. For instance, why don't the non-Christ believing descendants of Abraham consume pork or other meats; simply because God or Allah said, there are no other legit reasons why since peter was told he could eat everything.

What is your opinion on the text in red? Is it necessary for teaching the "Lords Law of Health" (would appreciate responses that explore the subject beyond "The manual is church approved material")

so does this mean non-misuse of medical marijuana is acceptable - as all "drugs" medical and illicit are drugs that are otherwise separated into categories or classes?

So your saying that Fetal Alochol Syndrome is speculation in regards to pregnancy? Smoking while pregnant is not harmful to babies either? Toward myself these are. However having a drink of an ounce of wine for the heart has shown it helps as does beer. Pokololo for pain meds to me is far better than some of the pain killers used now that actually caused deaths and brain damage. However these should be used in regard as medicinal purposes and not abused. Apparently there are those who think routinely smoking, and drinking are not indications that they have an unhealthy habit. We eat to live also, but shoving down a pack of twinkies a day will put on weigh. Leading to diabetes, coronary artery disease, etc... The thing the church needs to emphasize is that it's the Words of Wisdom. Note WISDOM! Most people lack such of moderating substances that can do harm in the long run. That is IMO misinterpreted and that is what your OP quote from the manuals is saying.

D&C 89:4, 18

3 Given for a principle with apromise, adapted to the capacity of the bweak and the weakest of all csaints, who are or can be called saints.

18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones;

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Surely you cannot be serious in your statement that "cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague" are the normal results of alcohol consumption.

Please note that the quote said strong drink. We aren't talking about a bit of wine with your meal.

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Please note that the quote said strong drink. We aren't talking about a bit of wine with your meal.

Are you serious?

You would not get a temple recommend in the US if you do that.

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Harmfull substances is speculation and should not be in a Church manual. Especially since someone will most assurderly say "And not caffiene too"; which begs the question of caffiene in all forms and chocolate, candies, etc or it is just soda (the caffiene, candies, chocolate is rhetorical)?

I disagree. I think it gives us the model and commands us to go forth and make good judgements for ourselves as to what is and is not harmful. By not specifying further, we ourselves cannot dictate to others that our own judgements on the matter are required doctrine and thus the WoW is flexible enough to handle all personal circumstances and needs.

As for caffiene, we have judged for our family that drinks containing the stuff are bad and that which is in chocolate not necessarily so. The reasoning is in part by observation. We see a lot of bad effects in others who are addicted to soft and energy drinks. In that form, it is a gateway drug. We don't necessarily see any bad effects in those who consume chocolate. Therefore, we have the family rule. So we follow the model and obey. However, we do not teach it for doctrine or expect others outside our immediate family to obey because there is no such expectation in the commandment. The expectation on caffiene applies only to us because the Lord has given us that wisdom.

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We don't necessarily see any bad effects in those who consume chocolate.

Look around you in Church in a week and a half. Notice how fat everyone is?

Chocolate (and other candies) and fast food.

A recent study a few days ago argued that sugars and fats were more addictive that most drugs.

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I've decided that for myself, I drink caffinated drinks such as Coke and energy drinks, however I am aware that caffeine is addictive and that I try to set a daily limit so that I don't go too far. It's certainly not the most optimal, but realising that with energy drinks people tend to drink them like water, I am determined to use them with prudence, even though I recognize it as unnessicary.

Now lately I've relaxed my usage of green tea. Some members seem to be fine with it, and depending on who you ask, it's either acceptable or not. The main reason for the lax rules is because I am sick of obsessing over what is okay and what is not, when clearly I've accepted that I drink things that are worse than that.

Of course worthiness has never come up seeing as how it's been 9 years as I still haven't be ordained to be an Elder.

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Are you serious?

What's with that question? am I wearing a silly wig and floppy shoes or something?

You would not get a temple recommend in the US if you do that.

I wouldn't get a temple recommend anywhere if I did that.

This is not about temple interview questions, it is about a quote from the manual listing many of the evils brought about by strong drink.

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Now lately I've relaxed my usage of green tea. Some members seem to be fine with it, and depending on who you ask, it's either acceptable or not. The main reason for the lax rules is because I am sick of obsessing over what is okay and what is not, when clearly I've accepted that I drink things that are worse than that.

Of course worthiness has never come up seeing as how it's been 9 years as I still haven't be ordained to be an Elder.

This came up a lot on my mission, because tea is a major part of people's culture. Green tea is the same plant as black tea. The only difference is in the oxidation. If it is not Camellia sinensis it is not tea, but an infusion.

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What's with that question? am I wearing a silly wig and floppy shoes or something?

Lol.

Couldn't see.

It must have been the bubblegum stuck to my shades :P

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This came up a lot on my mission, because tea is a major part of people's culture. Green tea is the same plant as black tea. The only difference is in the oxidation. If it is not Camellia sinensis it is not tea, but an infusion.

This is true. If your going to drink green you might as well do black also. However I found several brands of herbal tea not made of the Tea plant. It is just as good as green and black. Also the Japanese drink barely tea. That too can taste either like coffee if you make it strong or tea if you dilute it. It is just mind over matter.

Second in relation to the OP and what some others view also. Chocolate is not banned nor candy. Except it should be taken in very limited amounts. I found that eating a bunch of it is just as addicting as any alcohol. Go look at my profile pic and you'll see what I mean. I was once a skinny fit young man who ran 5 miles a day and benched my own body weight 25 times. Now because of my weight gain it's walk not run 3 miles a day and barely do my body weight three times. When I spearfish I have a hard time sinking even with lead weights on. Hunting isn't as nearly enjoyable as it once was, and neither is getting to the lava flows. So when your 50 and crying out about missing all the youthful things it's due in part of not adhering to the WoW. There is an 80 year old tri-athlete locally. We should all be fit like him. Then our healthcare costs would go down etc...

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One more thing. The WoW is defined and given as updates by the GA's. Some items they dictate I don't agree with either. However they are not going to change because someone gets upset they can't have a little wine or a cup of coffee. That is the revelation they received through prayer. I'm quite sure it weighed heavily on their minds to say tea is bad for you. They are quite aware of the repercussions of the feedback. Therefore you can whine about this and that, but it won't change the rule. Deal with it, and decide if you want to have a Temple recommend or PH. Your choice as the GA's and the Lord give free will. It's the Lords Church and they revelate for him, and set the rule. If you don't like it then tough. Heaven forbid if anyone served in the military and bitched in front of a superior officer who told you couldn't do this or that.

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The WoW is a boundary-setting device to separate ingroup from outgroup. Except for the ban on tobacco, there is nothing in the WoW that has anything to do with health. Not then, not now.

Please allow me to elaborate a bit; my laptop's battery went dead yesterday...

In the 19th century, the main health challenges for LDS were cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, whooping cough, malaria, smallpox, influenza and diarrhea (particularly dangerous for children).

Most of these diseases can be significantly reduced by good hygiene, clean (or at least boiled) water, draining swamps (think Nauvoo), a good diet (lots of fruit and veggies) and isolating infected persons. The WoW says nothing on these subjects, even though the Saints were succumbing to these illnesses by the thousands. In fact, mortality in Nauvoo was twice as high as in the rest of the US. Had the pioneers drunk coffee instead of unboiled water, a lot of suffering could have been prevented.

Today, the main health challenges of the developed world are heart and coronary disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer. It is thought that obesity, lack of excercise, cholesterol, low fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking are all of influence on these diseases. Again, the WoW has nothing to say on these matters (except for the smoking).

It is my contention that the health benefits derived from livivng the WoW is entirely due to not smoking. The rest is just 19th century thinking about health and medicine (which would be called quackery by modern medical standards).

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Please allow me to elaborate a bit; my laptop's battery went dead yesterday...

In the 19th century, the main health challenges for LDS were cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, whooping cough, malaria, smallpox, influenza and diarrhea (particularly dangerous for children).

Most of these diseases can be significantly reduced by good hygiene, clean (or at least boiled) water, draining swamps (think Nauvoo), a good diet (lots of fruit and veggies) and isolating infected persons. The WoW says nothing on these subjects, even though the Saints were succumbing to these illnesses by the thousands. In fact, mortality in Nauvoo was twice as high as in the rest of the US. Had the pioneers drunk coffee instead of unboiled water, a lot of suffering could have been prevented.

CFR those statistics that the Saints were more higher than anyone else. Second - If they had boiled their water then drank it why would they still need coffee. Also pioneers used to drink hot buttered rum as that was prevalent in the US from the rum trade. Why not that instead of coffee? That is irrelevant. If they were dying by the droves in the country from drinking untreated water. Why were not the Native Americans as well? That is a mute supposition.

Today, the main health challenges of the developed world are heart and coronary disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer. It is thought that obesity, lack of exercise, cholesterol, low fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking are all of influence on these diseases. Again, the WoW has nothing to say on these matters (except for the smoking).

D&C 89: 12-17

12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or b.

14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

15 And athese hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

16 All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the b of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground

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It is my contention that the health benefits derived from livivng the WoW is entirely due to not smoking. The rest is just 19th century thinking about health and medicine (which would be called quackery by modern medical standards).

Oh, I don't know. If you actually followed the WoW as it's recorded in the D&C, I think you'd have a pretty decent foundation for healthy living. Obviously cigarettes are carcinogenic and cause all sorts of other health problems (who would have thought inhaling smoke could be bad for you?). I have no religiously inspired opposition to alcohol, but let's be honest--you're better off not drinking it. When you wake up with a splitting head-ache, a stomach ache, and quivery legs after a night of drinking, that's a sign that alcohol is not doing your body any favors. The WoW recommends grain as the primary source of calories, and suggests that you eat meat "sparingly." Again, good advice on both counts. Coffee and tea are benign, but abstaining from either wouldn't kill you.

Add fruits and vegetables, a little exercise, and lay off the processed junk food, and you're left with a dietary plan any nutritionist would recommend. Considering some of more far-out diets that sprang up in the 19th century (I'm looking at you, Kellogg), JS's plan ain't half bad.

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