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The Word of Wisdom


Katzpur

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes?

Exceptions have been made. I know of one personally which involved a middle aged physically handicapped man who smoked as part of his pain control. His doctor was of the opinion that trying to stop smoking would cause extreme stress on his body, possibly kill him. The Bishop gave permission for him to be baptized. As a side note the man died a few months later, I think all involved had no regrets on the decision. He was a good man and deserved to be part of the covenant, he was not fully accountable in regards to the smoking due to his damaged body (not by his smoking, but by his disease).

Addictions are different, imo, unless they are so addicted that any form of withdrawal will result in severe or life threatening events. If one can withdraw intelligently from a drug and it is emotional dependence that is preventing independence, then I see this as an appropriate reason to exclude someone from being baptized as if they are so dependent on the drug, it is likely they are either not as committed to the gospel as they think in that emotionally they are putting their addiction before their potential membership or if they are committed, but are for some reason emotionally disabled so that they cannot control the addiction then they will not be able to fully commit to the covenant they are making.

I do know that there are other areas of dependence that interfere with the covenant as well, but few are so easily identified and understood, imo.

I would have no problem with someone using the WoW as a guideline, but taking things on a case by case basis. In most cases, my understanding is that smoking is a choice, true addiction (such as being a genetically inclined alcoholic with a brain programmed for desiring alcohol) is much rarer and that would be the only real gray area, imo. Medically required drugs whether tobacco, marijuana, etc. where no other viable option exists could be given exceptions with no concern on my part.

Having said that, baptism is a privilege, not a right. Also those who sincerely desire it and who are worthy in God's eyes, if not judged so by God's less infallible servants, will receive all that they desire and more with the end result being as if they had been baptized at the time they were worthy of it, imo.

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No one is expected to be perfect/ They simply must intend to obey commandments and do so for a few weeks. Most of those addicted take years after their baptism to finally qualify for the temple (and some relapse even then).

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

It must be a matter of interpretation, I didn't even try to stop drinking or using tobacco until the day of my baptism. After all, that is when I made the covenant to follow the WOW. I put it off to the end.

I think quiting withy baptism really helped be quite tobacco, but i can envisage people having to keep working at it until they beat the addiction.

Also, a 1yr delay between baptism and visiting the temple gives you time to get your house in order.

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Considering the high rate of recidivism and the relative ease of getting baptized, I'd say this isn't much of a requirement at all. That is partly why I prefer doing what the early Christians did; waiting a year before baptizing to see if the convert had truly changed.

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

What has always puzzled me is that a person can be denied a temple recommend for violating some parts of the Word of Wisdom, but not others. The WoW stares that meat should be consumed sparingly, but have you ever known anyone who was denied a temple recommend or denied a baptism because they consumed too much meat?

Who determines which parts of the WoW are essentially "mormon law" and which parts are just some advice that can or cannot be heeded?

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What has always puzzled me is that a person can be denied a temple recommend for violating some parts of the Word of Wisdom, but not others. The WoW stares that meat should be consumed sparingly, but have you ever known anyone who was denied a temple recommend or denied a baptism because they consumed too much meat?

Who determines which parts of the WoW are essentially "mormon law" and which parts are just some advice that can or cannot be heeded?

The Doctrine and Covenants doesn't stipulate the requirements for temple recommends. It doesn't even talk about temple recommends. These requirements were put in place by later prophets, who are the only people authorised to make such decisions.

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

Basically you're asking why the requirements for baptism are different from the conditions that might lead a person to lose his/her membership. The main reason why converts can remain in the Church after their baptism, even if they break some of the lesser commandments that were requirements for baptism, is that they retain the gift of the Holy Ghost, which becomes fully operational as soon as they repent.

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

The obedience to the word of wisdom is just more of a test of repentance. If you are in violation and most people are giving up tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea shows outwardly that you are dedicated to following the commandments.

Also I think it is not correct to say that word of wisdom violations ban converts from baptism. If they are not adhering to the word of wisdom (a commandment of god) then theyxan be denied baptism but this is a decision that the Mission Presidet makes while guided by the Holy Ghost.

Also any cotinued violations of the any commandment is grounds for denial of baptism. It can be breaking the word of wisdom, breaking the law of chastity (which included dating couples cohabitating), being dishonst, ect.

If someone is not repentant they continue there sinful nature, they cannot be baptized.

If they are diligently trying (which means they give up smoking, alcohol, coffee, or tea, but the addictive nature makes them struggle with it) then they can be eligible for baptism. If they are not trying to give it up diligently then they cannot be baptized. Only the Mission President can determine what is diligent and not, as he looks at the merits of each canidante.

I hope my explanation helps.

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What has always puzzled me is that a person can be denied a temple recommend for violating some parts of the Word of Wisdom, but not others. The WoW stares that meat should be consumed sparingly, but have you ever known anyone who was denied a temple recommend or denied a baptism because they consumed too much meat?

Who determines which parts of the WoW are essentially "mormon law" and which parts are just some advice that can or cannot be heeded?

The things prohibited are law, we are prohibited from tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee.

The guidance about eating meat sparingly is guidance that is wise to heed.

The Church's current stance is that it is fine to eat meat year round in moderation.

There is much discussion about this part of the revelation and much contention about if Mormons should eat any meat. Other revelations confirm it is ok to eat meat and the Church has not set a definition to what is sparingly and what isn't. It is left up to the individual to determine what is sparingly.

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The things prohibited are law, we are prohibited from tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee.

The guidance about eating meat sparingly is guidance that is wise to heed.

The Church's current stance is that it is fine to eat meat year round in moderation.

There is much discussion about this part of the revelation and much contention about if Mormons should eat any meat. Other revelations confirm it is ok to eat meat and the Church has not set a definition to what is sparingly and what isn't. It is left up to the individual to determine what is sparingly.

Then the law is based on obedience and not health, which is what I have always thought anyway.

If it were about health, then the admonitions to eat meat sparingly would certainly rank up their with the "laws" against tobacco, tea, alcohol and coffee when one takes into consideration that the number one killer in America is heart disease, and it has been shown that high rates of meat consumption lead to heart disease (which, ironically, moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to lower heart disease risks).

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Then the law is based on obedience and not health, which is what I have always thought anyway.

If it were about health, then the admonitions to eat meat sparingly would certainly rank up their with the "laws" against tobacco, tea, alcohol and coffee when one takes into consideration that the number one killer in America is heart disease, and it has been shown that high rates of meat consumption lead to heart disease (which, ironically, moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to lower heart disease risks).

what about other countries at other times?

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what about other countries at other times?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide....see this article

It's explosive growth and expansion over the past 50 years would lead one to think that maybe it is time the prophets make limited meat consumption part of the "law" of the WoW, rather than just the "advice"....though again, it is about obedience, not health.

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide....see this article

It's explosive growth and expansion over the past 50 years would lead one to think that maybe it is time the prophets make limited meat consumption part of the "law" of the WoW, rather than just the "advice"....though again, it is about obedience, not health.

The new handbook has a neat little paragraph on this topic:

The Lord has commanded members to take care of their minds and bodies. They should obey the Word of Wisdom, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, control their weight, and get adequate sleep. They should shun substances or practices that abuse their bodies or minds and that could lead to addiction. They should practice good sanitation and hygiene and obtain adequate medical and dental care. They should also strive to cultivate good relationships with family members and others.

You also mentioned the ironical finding that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risks of heart disease. I've posted about this "myth" before, and you rejected my articles by saying that you could produce articles saying the opposite. However, after I challenged you to produce such an article, you never replied.

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Below is an article from the Mayo Clinic that discusses the plus an minus of alcohol.

I think there are plenty of alternatives to the few health benefits (take a baby asprin)

I know there are severe negatives to alcohol abuse.

It's so easy to slip past moderation

Alcohol use: If you drink, keep it moderate

Alcohol use is a slippery slope. Moderate drinking can offer some health benefits. But it's easy to drink too heavily, leading to serious health consequences.

By Mayo Clinic staff

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The new handbook has a neat little paragraph on this topic:

You also mentioned the ironical finding that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risks of heart disease. I've posted about this "myth" before, and you rejected my articles by saying that you could produce articles saying the opposite. However, after I challenged you to produce such an article, you never replied.

Sorry I didn't take the time to post articles on what I considered to be a rather commonly accepted knowledge. But here are some articles on the beneficial affects of moderate alcohol consumption:

Mayo Clinic article

American Dietetic Association

Alcohol and Health

Health Benefits of Alcohol

Those links are from a three minute search on the internet....many more can be provided if you have further doubts that I can produce articles claiming the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

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It's always kind of bothered me that a person can be born and raised in the Church, somewhere along the line choose not to keep the Word of Wisdom and yet still retain his membership, while a potential convert cannot be baptized into the Church if he has a "Word of Wisdom problem." Obviously, keeping the Word of Wisdom is required in order to get a temple recommend, but I doubt anyone has ever been excommunicated for failure to observe this commandment. Smoking, for instance, is an extremely addictive habit. Why do we deny membership to a person who sincerely has a testimony and would like to be baptized, but who smokes? All of us probably know a teenager who was baptized at the age of eight, went through a rebellious stage, stopped attending church, and started smoking. If, as at the age of 30, that person wanted to return to activity -- while simultaneously working through the repentance process and giving up his smoking habit -- we'd welcome him with open arms. Not so with someone who wanted to convert. Any thoughts? (And no, I'm not going to leave the Church over this. :P )

I'm a bit confused. Are you suggesting that a person should be baptized if they have not expressed a willingness to keep the commandments? Or are you suggesting that the violation of any commandment should subject a member to excommunication?

On a lighter note, we recently listened to a talk in sacrament meeting about the Word of Wisdom, and the speaker made a comment to the effect that it was not adopted as a commandment for many years so the saints could get used to it. My wife, a member since 2006, turned to me, smiled, and remarked, "So, I can have 30 years to get used to the idea of not drinking coffee?" To which I replied, "if you want to be counted among the weakest of saints, sure." The following week we were sealed, so I think she's ok. ;)

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The things prohibited are law, we are prohibited from tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee.

The guidance about eating meat sparingly is guidance that is wise to heed.

The Church's current stance is that it is fine to eat meat year round in moderation.

There is much discussion about this part of the revelation and much contention about if Mormons should eat any meat. Other revelations confirm it is ok to eat meat and the Church has not set a definition to what is sparingly and what isn't. It is left up to the individual to determine what is sparingly.

Either the whole thing is true, or none of it is true. Since when do we get to pick and choose which parts of a revelation we will follow?

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Either the whole thing is true, or none of it is true. Since when do we get to pick and choose which parts of a revelation we will follow?

We don't. We will be held accountable before the Lord in accordance to the laws we have knowledge and understanding of. That does not mean the Church has to do the same thing.
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Sorry I didn't take the time to post articles on what I considered to be a rather commonly accepted knowledge. But here are some articles on the beneficial affects of moderate alcohol consumption:

Mayo Clinic article

American Dietetic Association

Alcohol and Health

Health Benefits of Alcohol

Those links are from a three minute search on the internet....many more can be provided if you have further doubts that I can produce articles claiming the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

None of these address the article I gave you. Let me summarise for you, since you apparently haven't read it or others like it.

Let's say that there were 100 studies claiming that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial compared with no consumption. All these studies share a similar methodology.

Then a few studies (called meta-analyses) scrutinise the methodology of these 100 studies, and show that it has some issues that lead to the wrong conclusions. In fact, when these methodological "artefacts" are removed, health benefits of alcohol are no longer observable. This is the kind of study I asked you to find an article about.

Instead, you just dish out a selection from the 100 studies aforementioned. Hardly a rebuttal.

Even if you manage to find studies that post-date the article I gave you, if their methodology is still flawed, then they still don't make a valid case against my article.

Commonly accepted knowledge doesn't mean truth, it actually includes all the myths, folklore and superstitions of our society.

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We don't. We will be held accountable before the Lord in accordance to the laws we have knowledge and understanding of. That does not mean the Church has to do the same thing.

So the church is cool with denying blessings to someone who, fighting the habit, has a cigarette once in a while, but allowing full blessings to one who engorges themselves on animal flesh on a daily basis?

If the members will be held accountable to the laws they have in their possession why is the church not raising a similar voice of warning against gluttony as it does against even moderate drinking?

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So the church is cool with denying blessings to someone who, fighting the habit, has a cigarette once in a while, but allowing full blessings to one who engorges themselves on animal flesh on a daily basis?

If the members will be held accountable to the laws they have in their possession why is the church not raising a similar voice of warning against gluttony as it does against even moderate drinking?

LOL, claiming compliance with the WoW is based on what you state in your temple recommend interview.

Whether you lie or are honest is between you and God.

One who is addicted to animal flesh, perscription drugs, etc should consider such when in their interview.

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So the church is cool with denying blessings to someone who, fighting the habit, has a cigarette once in a while, but allowing full blessings to one who engorges themselves on animal flesh on a daily basis?

If the members will be held accountable to the laws they have in their possession why is the church not raising a similar voice of warning against gluttony as it does against even moderate drinking?

Members decide themselves whether they are worthy of holding a temple recommend, you know that very well. The interview is designed to help members engage in introspection about their testimony and application of the doctrine in their daily lives. The last question is: "Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the temple and perform sacred ordinances therein?".

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Then the law is based on obedience and not health, which is what I have always thought anyway.

If it were about health, then the admonitions to eat meat sparingly would certainly rank up their with the "laws" against tobacco, tea, alcohol and coffee when one takes into consideration that the number one killer in America is heart disease, and it has been shown that high rates of meat consumption lead to heart disease (which, ironically, moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to lower heart disease risks).

I agree, and one should eat meat sparingly the Church currently supports this. What most tend to argue though is that the Word of Wisdom say to never eat meat just like it says to never consume tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee. There is no ban on eating meat though, only the guideline to eat it sparingly.

That is what makes a world of difference, God commands no Tobacco, Alcohol, and Hot Drinks,

God goes on to recommend fruit, vegetables, grains, and meat (eaten sparingly) there is not commanment to not eat meat or even to eat it sparingly only a guideline. This is why the policy of previous Presidents of the Church to try and ban meat are not longer followed.

You can't enforce a law that doesn't exist, I agree that it is wise to eat meat in small proportions and to avoid red meat at all costs. Any devout saint would follow this wise council from God, it isn't a commandment though.

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