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Word of Wisdom Poll of Personal Beliefs


Word of Wisdom opinions  

66 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you personally consider the Word of Wisdom a commandment (regardless of Church position) as opposed to wise advice?

  2. 2. Which of the following do you personally consider prohibited by the Word of Wisdom (regardless of Church position)? Check all that apply.

    • Black Tea/Coffee - HOT
    • Black Tea/Coffee - ICED
    • Herbal Teas - HOT or ICED
    • Energy Drinks/High Caffeine Soda
    • Hot Drinks of any kind - to include Cocoa/Hot Chocolate, Pero/Caro, Postum, Chicory, and any others you can name.
    • Tobacco
    • Beer
    • Wine
    • Liquor
    • Strong drinks - to include ALL alcohol
    • Meat (not during winter/cold/famine)
    • Fruit and Vegetables out of season
  3. 3. Do you consider following the Church position on the Word of Wisdom more important than the instructions in the document itself?



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52 minutes ago, Button Gwinnett said:

Sorry but I disagree.  A member can and will receive their temple recommend even if they drink caffeine free coffee.  So drinking "coffee" is NOT the issue.  And as I stated earlier, you can drink Hot beverages such as hot herbal teas or hot chocolate and still receive your recommend. So "HOT" is not the issue. And you can drink caffeinated soft drinks so "Caffeine" is Not the issue.  It seems that ONLY when you combine Caffeine to Coffee ,either hot or cold, are you in violation to the Word of wisdom.  I'm going to go out on a limb and state that if one were to combine their Caffeine free coffee with a caffeinated cola that that combination would be OK, Which frankly makes zero sense with the exception that it make LDS people peculiar which may be the only point of the ban.

I second the obesity problem among the Saints, Why people are allowed to gain immense amounts of unhealthy weight and still qualify for a TR while the healthy coffee drinker is banned from temple attendance is beyond me.  Am I sounding like a rebel?  Sorry.  But this aspect of the WoW make no sense and the church ahs provided no logical answer or explanation except to trust and obey, but the entire WoW seems opportunistic and illogical and I can't imagine God being this illogical and nebulous. Did I say to much? I know I'm grandstanding. 

This is an example of why the relationship between you, the stake president, the bishop and the Lord is structured as it is: you answer the interview question according to the dictates of your conscience, and the attendant blessings will follow.

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I cannot understand how you could possibly claim that current leaders apply the WoW dos and don'ts consistently.

I think the part of the Word of Wisdom that gets short shrift is the part pertaining to the consumption of meat (that it is consumed "sparingly" and "only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine").

I think "sparing" is a relative concept.  Folks living on the American Frontier in the nineteenth century were sometimes wasteful in terms of the use of animals, which is how we ended up with pictures like this:

buffalo-slaughter.jpg

"This mountain of skulls piled up in the Midwest in the mid-1870s captures the extent of the buffalo slaughter carried out by American settlers."

%22Rath_&_Wright's_buffalo_hide_yard_in_

"Rath & Wright's buffalo hide yard in 1878, showing 40,000 buffalo hides, Dodge City, Kansas."

Such waste, moreover, was not limited to white folks (emphases added):

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Almost every schoolchild is taught that prior to the arrival of whites, Plains Indians lived in perfect harmony with nature as the ultimate socialist ecologists. According to the common tale, Indians had little private property-and certainly were not burdened by capitalism-and they hunted and killed only what they needed to live. Then Europeans arrived, and using the techniques of industrialized hunting, nearly exterminated the North American bison, also known as the buffalo. In the late 1800s, white hunters, such as William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody, slaughtered the animals to meet market demand until the bison were nearly gone. Then, at just the right moment, government stepped in to save the buffalo by sealing them off at Yellowstone National Park.

It’s a convenient and easily told story, but it has left students, well, buffaloed. It has certainly caused the story of the buffalo to be misunderstood. Several new scholarly studies have emerged, though, and they universally provide a much more complex picture of the Great Plains in the late 1800s. 

...

Myth of the Ecological Indian

It is doubtful any of the authors intended their research to have political overtones per se. Dan Flores, a professor of history at Texas Tech University before moving to the University of Montana at Missoula; Shepard Krech III, an anthropology professor at Brown University; and Andrew C. Isenberg, a professor of history at Princeton, all have produced challenging new studies about Indians, whites, and the Plains environment. Most of all, they all have offered significant revisions of the views that Americans have held regarding the destruction of the buffalo.

The first myth they explode is that of the "natural" Indian who lived in harmony with nature-unlike the greedy Europeans who conquered the continent. Instead, the authors unveil evidence of communal economies that engaged in large-scale burning to "clear" forests and also to kill game. "Controlled" burns by the Indians often got out of control, and without modern firefighting equipment, flashed through forests, destroying everything in their path. Deer, beaver, and birds of all sorts were already on a trajectory to extinction in some areas, because over and above the hunting done by Indians, natural predators and disasters thinned herds. Isenberg wonders whether the North American bison herd was already falling below replacement levels before white hunters arrived.

Capitalism comes in for a huge share of the blame. Both Krech and Isenberg attribute changes in Native American farming/gathering lifestyles to increased trade with Europeans. Indians (reluctantly, in Isenberg’s view) became hunters, which transformed their entire society, making them more dependent on nature than ever before. Tribes had to follow herds and become even more wasteful, as the buffalo meat was their main source of food and the hides (and beaver pelts) their only product for trade.

Notions that "pre-capitalist" Indians lived in harmony with nature-especially the buffalo-are thoroughly exploded in the new works by these anthropologists and historians. Indians used the tools at their disposal, mostly fire and cunning, to hunt buffalo. "Box burning," a common tactic, involved setting simultaneous fires on all four sides of a herd. The French word "Brulé," or "burnt," referred to the Sicangu ("burnt thigh") Sioux division whose survivors of hunting fires were burned on the legs. Charles McKenzie, traveling the plains in 1804, observed entire herds charred from Indian fires. Another favored hunting tactic, the "buffalo jump," involved luring a herd after an Indian dressed in a buffalo skin. At a full run, the brave led the herd to a cliff, where he leapt to a small ledge while the buffalo careened over the edge to their deaths. Either of these methods led to horrible waste and inefficient use of resources.

Also consider these comments about 19th-century consumption of meat in the U.S. (emphases added):

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Drying and stewing fruit was a picnic compared to the elaborate rituals involved in the preparation and preservation of meat. If settlers lived near a sizable town or city, they relied on a meat market. Homesteaders who had been on their homesteads for a period of time might have a few chickens, but it took a substantial period of time to build up a sizable flock. Most homesteaders obtained their fresh meat by hunting. In an area such as Montana, homesteaders would have had access to deer, pheasant, wild turkey, rabbits, bears, and a variety of fish. However, once game was killed, it almost immediately had to be prepared or preserved. In summer months, meat would go bad in an afternoon

If meat was to be kept for a few days, settlers par-boiled or par-roasted it, and finished cooking it immediately before eating. If it started to go bad, women's magazines suggested to "try rubbing a little salt on it, to restore its nourishing qualities." 

Settlers had other means of preserving meats for longer periods of time. To pickle meat, homesteaders essentially salted it to the point that it would no longer rot. Catharine Beecher offered the following procedure in her Homekeeper and Healthkeeper's Companion: 

"To preserve one hundred pounds of beef, you will need four quarts of rock salt, pounded fine; four ounces of saltpeter, pounded fine; and four pounds of brown sugar. Mix these well. Put a layer of meat in the bottom of a barrel, with a thin layer of the mixture under it. Pack the meat into the barrel in layers, and between each layer put proportions of the mixture, allowing a little more to the top layer. Then, pour in brine till the barrel is full ... if the brine ever looks bloody, or smells badly, it must be scalded, and more salt put to it, and poured over the meat."

Brine was saltwater that was traditionally "strong enough to float an egg." Preserved in this way, homesteaders could keep meats for weeks and months at a time. However, like the other staple of pioneer diet, salt pork, "salted down" meat had to be laboriously rinsed, scrubbed, and soaked before consumption. One of the few positive aspects of winter on the frontier was that meat could be hung outside and frozen, or, as Catharine Beecher noted, "packed carefully with snow in a barrel." Settlers with access to wood also cured their meats in smokehouses, a process that involved feeding a smoky fire under the meat for days -- and weeks -- at a time. 

So meat was often abundantly available and free, but large-scale hunting probably adversely affected ecosystems.  And meat was perishable unless heavily salted, which was probably not the healthiest thing in the world.  

Also consider these remarks about meat as part of the diet of 19th century English folks (a very large portion of the Church came from English stock, so their eating habits would have been reflected in the habits of the early Saints):

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Meat made up a large portion of the diets of residents of eighteenth-century England.  An example of this is a meal served to Queen Anne in 1705 - selections included were: Oleo, Pigeons, Sirloin of Beef rost, Venison, Chyne of Mutton, Turkey, Snipes, Ducks, Partridge. The consumption of meat was hardly restricted to the upper classes, however: while Queen Anne was feasting on the aforementioned foods, her servants had two kinds of meat per person.   Similarly, in 1721 George the First ate a meal which included at least nine different varieties of meat.  However, unlike Queen Anne, he ate some vegetables as well (Artichokes and French Beans).

During the 1700s venison was the meat which was a symbol of the highest social status.    If a person could serve venison, it meant that he/she was the owner of a vast property, or knew someone who was.

A Swedish tourist is known to have said in 1748 that the English were good at cooking big pieces of meat, but did not seem to have talent in any other arenas of cooking.

Evening meals might have contained cold meats, sweets, fruit, and wine on ordinary occasions, a choice of hot dishes when company was present.  Hot food was generally only served when guests were visiting, and most English often ate cold meats for their evening supper.    In fact, tourists complained about the chilly temperature of the victuals they were served.

The caliber of food became rather poor during the 1700s in England, as meat rose in popularity.    Due to urbanization, large quantities of meat had to be transported from the farms to the cities.    Since the trip was by no means short or easy, the quality of meat was bound to be coarse and inferior.    A doctor who was the author of the 1788 book The Honours of the Table warned that the odor of meat was such that one should keep it away from his/her nose while eating it.

So meat seemed to be a tricky part of the 19th century diet.  And the problems of waste (associated with hunting, perishability, etc.), and health (excessive consumption is unhealthy, some preservation methods were not ideal, etc.) were real and ongoing.

With that context in mind, here are some thoughts about the Word of Wisdom:

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Question: Do Mormons who do not eat meat "sparingly" violate the Word of Wisdom?

As with the former members, the Lord is merciful and has not yet created a "standard" for meat consumption—each member and his or her conscience settles the matter with him or herself.

With respect to the question of why we do some things (tend to eat lots of meat) but not others (don't drink tea), the reason for that likely has much to do with the concept of following the counsel of living prophets. The current Church Handbook says "hot drinks" means tea and coffee, and it forbids the use of illegal drugs, even though neither "tea" nor illegal drugs are explicitly mentioned in the Word of Wisdom. Like other scriptures, we rely on guidance from living prophets to help us to know how Doctrine and Covenants Section 89 should be applied in our time. With respect to eating meat sparingly, that remains a "word of wisdom," but, unlike refraining from tea, is not mentioned in the current Handbook and has not been publicly mentioned by any General Authorities for many years.

Joseph Fielding Smith made the following statement with regard to eating meat:

Quote

While it is ordained that the flesh of animals is for man's food, yet this should be used sparingly. The wording of this revelation is perfectly clear in relation to this subject, but we do not always heed it. [1]

Thus, each member is encouraged to do better, but as in Joseph Smith's day we ought not to attack or dictate to others. If the Lord is displeased with us individually, he can make his will known by revelation. If He is displeased with the Church as a whole, prophetic authority will give the necessary correction.

The Word of Wisdom was enforced differently in the 19th century than today. It was not the strict test of fellowships that it is for the modern member. Members and leaders struggled with its application, and leaders of the Church were clear that while the Lord expected perfect adherence to the Word of Wisdom as an ideal, he was also patient and understanding of everyone—leader and member—who struggled to alter their habits.

In our day, the Word of Wisdom applies in ways in which it did not for Joseph Smith's era—the modern Word of Wisdom forbids a great many other illegal street drugs that received little attention in the 19th century.

Question: Does the Word of Wisdom prohibit the eating of meat except during periods of winter, cold or famine?

D&C 89:12. Flesh Is to Be Used Sparingly

“The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. Naturally, that includes animal products, less subject than meat to putrefactive and other disturbances, such as eggs, milk, and cheese. These products cannot be excluded simply because they are not mentioned specifically. By that token most of our foodstuffs could not be eaten.” (Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 3:156–57.)

D&C 89:13. “Only in Times of Winter, or of Cold, or Famine”

This verse has caused some to ask if meat should be eaten in the summer. Meat has more calories than fruits and vegetables, which some individuals may need fewer of in summer than winter. Also, before fruits and vegetables could be preserved, people often did not have enough other food to eat in winter. Spoiled meat can be fatal if eaten, and in former times meat spoiled more readily in summer than winter. Modern methods of refrigeration now make it possible to preserve meat in any season. The key word with respect to the use of meat is sparingly (D&C 89:12). [2]

This makes sense to me.  Moreover, the Word of Wisdom was not, I think, intended to be a static thing, but instead it is to be "adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints" (D&C 89:3).  This is why modern prophets and apostles are acting within their stewardship and purview when they apply the Word of Wisdom to substances not specifically referenced in the text (cocaine, meth, etc.).

I think changes in society and technology matter when we discuss things like this.  For example, about 1.5 years ago I purchased an in-home freeze dryer.  I have since made it a hobby to freeze dry foot on a regular basis.  One of the key staples I freeze dry is . . . meat.  I regularly cook meats (mostly lean chicken), then slice it up and freeze dry it, then store it.  No chemicals or preservatives (like tons of salt, which the 19th century folks used) is necessary.  The meat is shelf-stable for 25-30 years, which reduces waste (no spoliage, no electricity needed to keep it frozen, etc.), and is economical (since I buy chicken when it's on sale).  I also freeze dry leftovers of meals we make at home, which again reduces waste.  As I write this, I have a batch of corn and my wife's delicious sphaghetti sauce in the machine in my basement, freeze drying away.  The batch should be complete this afternoon.  Tonight after work I'll go home, transfer these items into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, seal the bags and mark them with the contents and storage date, and put them in my food storage pantry.  I now have very substantial stores of meats, dairy (cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, sour cream, yogurt, etc.), fruits (grapes, plums, strawberries, mangoes, pineapple, etc.), vegetables (corn, peas, stir fry mixes, etc.), dishes (chicken tikka masala, chicken stir fry, stews, etc.).

In other words, my food preparation and storage options in 2017 are very, very different from the options available to the 19th-century Saints.  I still strive to live the WoW, and I think it is a wonderful blessing in my life.

I think FAIR has done a pretty good job here of summarizing the incremental and gradual application of the Word of Wisdom.  I think the Latter-day Saints are demonstrably better off adhering to the as-adapted-and-interpreted-by-the-leaders-of-the-Church Word of Wisdom, rather than the only-the-text-and-nothing-but-the-text approach.  I revere the role of scripture in my life, but I also revere the role of living prophets and apostles.

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If they enforce WoW adherence for temple recommends by not allowing people who drink, smoke, etc to have recommends yet they don't deny recommends to the morbidly obese who eat a slab of ribs at every dinner, then obviously adherence to certain parts of the WoW are more important than others.

You make a fair point.

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How can you claim otherwise. It's a nonsensical claim. Separate WoW requirements, as found in scripture, are not followed equally, which means some are being ignored.

Well, not quite.  I commented on this issue here:

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How would most people who are overweight, not exercising, and neglecting their emotional and physical health answer that WoW question?  

In the law, there are two general approaches to how a government can craft a law.  On one hand, it can create a law that has a "bright line rule."  These are easier to understand and enforce, but they can also come across as a bit arbitrary.  For example, safety on public roads is made easier to understand and maintain with speed limits.  There's a bit of fudging in how strictly it's enforced, but everyone knows that you can't go too much past it.  So a Bright Line Rule can work well in some, but not all, contexts.

On the other hand, the government can create a law that has a "balancing test."  For example, a judge in a divorce case will often be tasked with granting primary physical custody of the couple's children.  There is no Bright Line Rule here (always the father, always the mother, always the parent with the bigger salary, etc.).  Instead, the judge takes a "what is in the best interests of the child{ren}" approach, and balances all appropriate factors in rendering that decision.  This allows more discretion to the decisionmaker (as compared to the Bright Line Rule, which doesn't), but it also leaves more room for abuse of that discretion, and for ambiguity and difficulty in predicting how things will turn out.  Still, the Balancing Test in this context is going to be better than a Bright Line Rule.

Regarding the Word of Wisdom, I think it has components which are "Bright Line Rules" (no coffee/tea, no alcohol, etc.), and other components which are "Balancing Tests" (exercise, medical/mental health maintenance, healthy eating, etc.).

You are referencing "morbidly obese" people and whether they should be barred from the temple.  Perhaps in some circumstances, yes.  But there is no "Bright Line Rule" for such a thing (as opposed to things like consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, etc.).  It's a "Balancing Test" left to the discretion of bishops.  

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You can claim that ignoring it is justified because those with priesthood keys have the right to ignore it, but you can't claim it isn't being ignored. It simply is not being followed. 

I don't think "ignoring" things is justified.  I think discretionary decisions are the order of the day.  I will also concede that perhaps more bishops and stake presidents should be addressing morbid obesity more than they are now.

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The WoW is administered as a church policy based loosely on parts of a revelation.

It is being administered by those in authority.  Could that administration be improved upon?  Yes.

Funny, though, how some critics are eager to see (and even call for) discipline of overweight Mormons for eating too much, but then turn around and complain when the Church disciplines members for apostasy and violation of the Law of Chastity.

It's almost as if the welfare of the individual is secondary to the overarching need to attack and demean and tear down the LDS Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Answer my questions so that I will answer yours -- I think that will help (or at least take the conversation in a direction that will help) you understand what I am trying to say.

You do seem to understand that we have a Church worthiness standard used by the judges in issuing recommends and callings based on some of the sayings in D&C 89. But do answer my questions for the rest.

Dang! Awfully demanding, aren't you? ;) 

The only questions I found from your post are...

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1- How many commandments to do break and yet have a temple recommend in good faith?

2-Do you view the Word of Wisdom as a commandment?

3-Do you go further, and what are your blessings as a result?

 

1- Your typo makes it hard to understand the question.

2- No. The WoW is not a commandment though I believed for 40+ years that it was. Then I read the text again and amazingly found that it states it is not given by way of commandment. The WoW is a policy implemented by leaders as a form of loyalty test. It is only a test of worthiness insofar as it tests loyalty to the non-scriptural requirements by the church and leaders.

3- I'm not inclined to answer your personal questions beyond saying that I am in the best shape and health of my adult life and I don't attribute it to the WoW.

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Quote

Smac- Funny, though, how some critics are eager to see (and even call for) discipline of overweight Mormons for eating too much, but then turn around and complain when the Church disciplines members for apostasy and violation of the Law of Chastity.

Did I call for more discipline or did I simply point out the inconsistency of the application of WoW principles? That's all I'm trying to say. I don't want anyone disciplined, or held out of a child's temple ceremony etc because they don't perfectly follow the WoW. 

What does it mean to "keep the word of wisdom" anyway?

Don't drink any forbidden beverage and consume any tobacco product even once during a week, month, year, decade? Can I drink a beer in January and get a recommend in March? Can I drink a glass of Champaign at an annual gala and still renew my recommend the next year? Can I smoke a cigar when my son is born but still get a recommend 2 years later when I'm asked about the WoW?

One might suggest it's up to the individual to decide and declare for themselves whether or not they feel like they adequately keep the WoW but that doesn't really mean much when there is no teaching or standard about timelines. Individuals can misjudge themselves just as easily as being misjudged by another person. The problem comes when trying to use the WoW as a way to judge self or others. I don't believe it was intended to be used in such a way.

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5 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Dang! Awfully demanding, aren't you? ;) 

The only questions I found from your post are...

1- Your typo makes it hard to understand the question.

2- No. The WoW is not a commandment though I believed for 40+ years that it was. Then I read the text again and amazingly found that it states it is not given by way of commandment. The WoW is a policy implemented by leaders as a form of loyalty test. It is only a test of worthiness insofar as it tests loyalty to the non-scriptural requirements by the church and leaders.

3- I'm not inclined to answer your personal questions beyond saying that I am in the best shape and health of my adult life and I don't attribute it to the WoW.

1. OK -- How many commandments do you break and yet have a temple recommend in good faith?

2. If I were compelled to remove all nuance, I would agree it is not a commandment. But it is what it says it is (a “revelation … showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days… a principle with promise”; a warning and a forewarning)

, and given for the reasons it says it is (the benefit of the council of high priests… [in] consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days…”). Note the bolded part: these are scripturally-manadted officers with the keys for administering the various spiritual blessings of the Church (e.g D&C 107), and they carry out their scriptural-manadted responsibilities in part by setting the bar for worthiness questions.

3. That answer is kind of relative -- you can still be unable to answer the temple recommend questions honestly and yet be in the best shape of your adult life (and compared to what?) :)

... What I am trying to get at is: What blessings do you attribute to keeping the Word of Wisdom, whether you answer the question as you personally interpret D&C 89, or as you see it in the worthiness interviews?

 

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Very interesting.  Among the 45 members that have responded to my extremely scientific and accurate poll ;) 1 in 3 don't consider the WoW a commandment.

Imagine if this poll actually represents an accurate cross section of the general membership.  Millions of Church members who don't consider the WoW a commandment.

Setting aside standard issue debates over the kind of tea or meat in summer, this thread has provided some very interesting insights into the view of the Word of Wisdom held by members.

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15 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Did I call for more discipline or did I simply point out the inconsistency of the application of WoW principles? That's all I'm trying to say. I don't want anyone disciplined, or held out of a child's temple ceremony etc because they don't perfectly follow the WoW. 

What does it mean to "keep the word of wisdom" anyway?

Don't drink any forbidden beverage and consume any tobacco product even once during a week, month, year, decade? Can I drink a beer in January and get a recommend in March? Can I drink a glass of Champaign at an annual gala and still renew my recommend the next year? Can I smoke a cigar when my son is born but still get a recommend 2 years later when I'm asked about the WoW?

One might suggest it's up to the individual to decide and declare for themselves whether or not they feel like they adequately keep the WoW but that doesn't really mean much when there is no teaching or standard about timelines. Individuals can misjudge themselves just as easily as being misjudged by another person. The problem comes when trying to use the WoW as a way to judge self or others. I don't believe it was intended to be used in such a way.

I mentioned this idea above, but I'll say it in another way: the first 2 verses in D&C 89 explain that it was given "for the benefit of the council of high priests, showing forth the order and will of God, and adapted, including by their judgement in their callings (this is where the worthiness question comes in), for the benefit of the saints.

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7 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Very interesting.  Among the 45 members that have responded to my extremely scientific and accurate poll ;) 1 in 3 don't consider the WoW a commandment.

Imagine if this poll actually represents an accurate cross section of the general membership.  Millions of Church members who don't consider the WoW a commandment.

Setting aside standard issue debates over the kind of tea or meat in summer, this thread has provided some very interesting insights into the view of the Word of Wisdom held by members.

I think it depends on how one decides to distinguish between and treat commandments, standards, principles with promises, the order and will of God, revelations, and the Lord's sayings in relation to their aligning themselves with what they believe the Lord wants of them, or with other principles such as consecration, broken heart and contrite spirit (are these commandments?), etc.

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16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Did I call for more discipline or did I simply point out the inconsistency of the application of WoW principles?

So you are complaining about the inconsistency in how the WoW is administered, but you aren't calling for any change in that inconsistent administration?

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

That's all I'm trying to say. I don't want anyone disciplined, or held out of a child's temple ceremony etc because they don't perfectly follow the WoW. 

Well, okay.  You are criticizing how the Church, but you do not want the Church to change the behavior being criticized.  

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

What does it mean to "keep the word of wisdom" anyway?

Again, the WoW has components which are "Bright Line Rules" (no coffee/tea, no alcohol, etc.), and other components which are "Balancing Tests" (exercise, medical/mental health maintenance, healthy eating, etc.).

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Don't drink any forbidden beverage and consume any tobacco product even once during a week, month, year, decade? Can I drink a beer in January and get a recommend in March? Can I drink a glass of Champaign at an annual gala and still renew my recommend the next year? Can I smoke a cigar when my son is born but still get a recommend 2 years later when I'm asked about the WoW?

These are all discretionary matters left to those with stewardship and authority.

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

One might suggest it's up to the individual to decide and declare for themselves whether or not they feel like they adequately keep the WoW

And it's up to the individual's bishop and member of stake presidency, as well.  They are, after all, there to perform an adjudicative function through the Spirit and counsel, not just rubber-stamp the individual's personal preferences.

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

but that doesn't really mean much when there is no teaching or standard about timelines.

Again, these are discretionary matters left to those with stewardship and authority.  Do you . . . resent this?  Find it problematic?  You'd prefer to strip the boots-on-the-ground priesthood leaders of any discretionary authority, and instead impose stringent and specific (and, it seems, arbitrary) "guidelines?"  Is that what you want?

16 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Individuals can misjudge themselves just as easily as being misjudged by another person.

Hence the value of that individual, and the bishop, and the member of the stake presidency, all working together to discern the Lord's will and the best way to proceed.

Thanks,

-Smac

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19 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

 

  • Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works.

Also brigham young said in 1856, that it's what the prophet teaches that matters, not his personal behavior or actions (smoke a pipe after a discourse on wow, drink a beer at Moessers, wine at carthage, refill the bottle of whiskey, share wine with sister lyon's etc.)  "The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I do not care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor's wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. "

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"Funny, though, how some critics are eager to see (and even call for) discipline of overweight Mormons for eating too much, but then turn around and complain when the Church disciplines members for apostasy and violation of the Law of Chastity."

I wonder how many pushing for greater observance of weight requirements for the temple would also start calling for refusal of the opportunity of an obese kid to be baptized at the age of eight.

Should membership really become dependent on one's BMI?

If leaders started to discipline people for being overweight, this would lead, imo, to too much interest in what is happening in other members' lives....unless there are no exceptions due to valid medical or emotional issues. There are many in number, if not in percentages, that have much less control over their weight than others.  No one wants to be fat that I have run into.  Often people have been set up for problems because of parents who were not educated in nutrition.  If one has had weight issues as a child, it can be much harder to keep it off than someone who never had the issue to begin with.  There are women who put on weight during pregnancy and due to the stress and demands of their postpartum lives, it can take years to lose the baby fat.  And if they have a number of pregnancies, that means the lag can be extended over decades.  My mother in law put on weight after receiving brain damage in a car accident.  Steroids prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, lupus, etc. and has the nasty side effect of weight gain.  Diabetics who use insulin can have issues with weight control because if they misjudge their insulin needs they have to eat to ensure they don't go low plus it can make them hungrier.  It is a balancing act that can take years for some to figure out.

Then there are those whose medications add weight, medications that may be required to live or at least function.  I had one that put on 50 lbs in three months.  Since I had been the same weight for years prior to taking this drug and since the drug is know for this effect, I highly doubt this was a case of lack of willpower.  And because poor quality sleep is linked with obesity and my genetic disorder only allowed a low quality of sleep (the medication was for that issue in fact, unfortunately Canadian doctors refused to give me a more effective medication with less side effects because it went against their typical practices), even after I was finally able to change meds (through a move to the States), the weight didn't come off even when eating decently (thankfully, surgery and adding syn throid and a few supplements into the mix appears to have change the way my body reacts to exercise so it is finally starting to come off if I cut my calories down to around a 1000 a day...).  Would it have appropriate for all those decades where I could point to drug after drug putting on ten lbs here, five lbs there...fifty lbs pretty much every where you look...to pull my temple recommend?  What about now it appears my body is more 'normal'?  Should it get pulled until my BMI is out of the overweight category?

And if I don't get my temple recommend pulled because leaders determine I have valid medical reasons for being overweight and I am not an excessive eater of meat, try to focus on eating fresh foods and make most of my food from scratch (or did before pain levels got too high to move well at the beginning and end of the day) among other things and therefore show up at the temple in all my generous dimensions, how is the person who was just turned away for having a waistline that exceeded the limit going to react as I sail past him through the sacred doors and instead he gets to wait outside the temple while his kid is getting married because he is an anxiety eater and he lost his job last year, has a kid in college and another on a mission and another needs special tutoring due to learning disabilities?

Does the Church add to the already unreasonable stress level of all these medical issue sufferers by making them worry about their spiritual worthiness as well?  If not, if we allow a subset of people struggling with obesity to attend the temple, to take the sacrament (anyone want to go as far as discipline for eating too much as might happen if someone started smoking or drinking for consistency?) what are we to say to the person next to them, who also struggles with weight, but has no discernible medical problem to blame it on...at least until they find a doctor who looks a little deeper.

Does anyone actually believe the Church should start having scales at the temple doors or in the bishop's office and require a physician's signature next to the bishop's for the medical exceptions?

Should overweight kids not be baptized, ordained, and allowed to go on temple trips with their more slender friends?

-----

Or maybe the Church should just encourage education and taking care of oneself.

Edited by Calm
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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

"Funny, though, how some critics are eager to see (and even call for) discipline of overweight Mormons for eating too much, but then turn around and complain when the Church disciplines members for apostasy and violation of the Law of Chastity."

I wonder how many pushing for greater observance of weight requirements for the temple would also start calling for refusal of the opportunity of an obese kid to be baptized at the age of eight.

Should membership really become dependent on one's BMI?

If leaders started to discipline people for being overweight, this would lead, imo, to too much interest in what is happening in other members' lives....unless there are no exceptions due to valid medical or emotional issues. There are many in number, if not in percentages, that have much less control over their weight than others.  No one wants to be fat that I have run into.  Often people have been set up for problems because of parents who were not educated in nutrition.  If one has had weight issues as a child, it can be much harder to keep it off than someone who never had the issue to begin with.  There are women who put on weight during pregnancy and due to the stress and demands of their postpartum lives, it can take years to lose the baby fat.  And if they have a number of pregnancies, that means the lag can be extended over decades.  My mother in law put on weight after receiving brain damage in a car accident.  Steroids prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, lupus, etc. and has the nasty side effect of weight gain.  Diabetics who use insulin can have issues with weight control because if they misjudge their insulin needs they have to eat to ensure they don't go low plus it can make them hungrier.  It is a balancing act that can take years for some to figure out.

Then there are those whose medications add weight, medications that may be required to live or at least function.  I had one that put on 50 lbs in three months.  Since I had been the same weight for years prior to taking this drug and since the drug is know for this effect, I highly doubt this was a case of lack of willpower.  And because poor quality sleep is linked with obesity and my genetic disorder only allowed a low quality of sleep (the medication was for that issue in fact, unfortunately Canadian doctors refused to give me a more effective medication with less side effects because it went against their typical practices), even after I was finally able to change meds (through a move to the States), the weight didn't come off even when eating decently (thankfully, surgery and adding syn throid and a few supplements into the mix appears to have change the way my body reacts to exercise so it is finally starting to come off if I cut my calories down to around a 1000 a day...).  Would it have appropriate for all those decades where I could point to drug after drug putting on ten lbs here, five lbs there...fifty lbs pretty much every where you look...to pull my temple recommend?  What about now it appears my body is more 'normal'?  Should it get pulled until my BMI is out of the overweight category?

And if I don't get my temple recommend pulled because leaders determine I have valid medical reasons for being overweight and I am not an excessive eater of meat, try to focus on eating fresh foods and make most of my food from scratch (or did before pain levels got too high to move well at the beginning and end of the day) among other things and therefore show up at the temple in all my generous dimensions, how is the person who was just turned away for having a waistline that exceeded the limit going to react as I sail past him through the sacred doors and instead he gets to wait outside the temple while his kid is getting married because he is an anxiety eater and he lost his job last year, has a kid in college and another on a mission and another needs special tutoring due to learning disabilities?

Does the Church add to the already unreasonable stress level of all these medical issue sufferers by making them worry about their spiritual worthiness as well?  If not, if we allow a subset of people struggling with obesity to attend the temple, to take the sacrament (anyone want to go as far as discipline for eating too much as might happen if someone started smoking or drinking for consistency?) what are we to say to the person next to them, who also struggles with weight, but has no discernible medical problem to blame it on?  

Does anyone actually believe the Church should start having scales at the temple doors or in the bishop's office and require a physician's signature next to the bishop's for the medical exceptions?

Should overweight kids not be baptized, ordained, and allowed to go on temple trips with their more slender friends?

-----

Or maybe the Church should just encourage education and taking care of oneself.

Which . . . is pretty much what the Church is doing now.

And yet we have a critic complaining about what the Church is doing now, but is not suggesting that the Church ought to do anything to change what it is doing.

So criticizing for the sake of criticizing.  That's what we seem to be getting.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Having  joined the Church as a 36 year old, I have tried many things now prohibited by the WoW. I smoked for years but gave it up about 6 years before joining - thankfully, Its a nasty habit.  Drinking alcohol - I had no problem with that, I was a social drinker only. I do admit I think wine and beer are not actually prohibited by the WOW but do abstain except for the fact I will cook with wine at times (and yes we can debate forever whether all the alcohol burns off - it doesn't 100% but so little is left that there is zero effect). I never liked tea and coffee so that was very easy to give up.

These days fruit is never "out of Season" as you just get it from different parts of the world.

Meat -- well, thats one thing I do eat, year round. 

I think Church members, in general, are good about the "do not's" but need to work on the "do's"

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"Don't drink any forbidden beverage and consume any tobacco product even once during a week, month, year, decade? Can I drink a beer in January and get a recommend in March? Can I drink a glass of Champaign at an annual gala and still renew my recommend the next year? Can I smoke a cigar when my son is born but still get a recommend 2 years later when I'm asked about the WoW?"

While it would be up to the leader, my 'rule' would be based on attitude.  Were they generally obtaining to be obedient, but felt it okay to break the commandment of special occasions just for the fun of it?  After explaining the principle needed a deeper level of commitment, did they repent of their casual attitude and vow to do better in the future or were they of the opinion still an occasional indulgence was permissible and shouldn't be made into a big deal?  If the first, I would not deny it if they had indulged the previous day,  If the latter, if they refused to commit, but left themselves open to partaking if it seemed appropriate, I would be denying a recommend most likely even if it had been years since they had done so.  For me it is not about keeping tally of the frequency or quantity, but the commitment to the covenant.

I had a bishop who allowed the baptism of a man who smoked a pack a day.  He had dropped in his use significantly, but he had severe medical issues and had been smoking for so long (in part because of severe pain), his doctors believed the stress of withdrawal and the need to replace the nicotine with additional pain drugs would make him sicker, not healthier...in fact, they were concerned that the withdrawal could kill him.  He had to be baptized at the local hospital with a therapy pool that could accommodate a wheelchair.  He was fully welcomed into the ward for the three months he lived.  No one I knew had the least bit of problem with it, in all else he was a true Saint, including enduring to the end with a joyful and loving heart in the peace of the Lord.

I love that my bishop was inspired to bring this man fully into our faith community.  I would not be so enthusiastic if he had been a healthy 20 year old who smoked incessantly because he wanted to and when informed he would need to quit as part of the covenant of living as a Saint, responded with a shrug and "if it is convenient, sure, why not".  It would be wiser in that case, imo,to wait until a fuller understanding of the covenant was written on the man's heart.

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19 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Which . . . is pretty much what the Church is doing now.

And yet we have a critic complaining about what the Church is doing now, but is not suggesting that the Church ought to do anything to change what it is doing.

So criticizing for the sake of criticizing.  That's what we seem to be getting.

Thanks,

-Smac

Perhaps he is suggesting they change not for obesity, but remove its requirements for drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea and smoking?

It seems strange to me to be so focused on the details of timing rather than the reasoning behind the acts.  If it is a willful choice in full knowledge of the requirements of the Church and there is no sincere commitment to refrain in the future even for 'special occasions', what does it matter if it was yesterday or ten years ago?

Edited by Calm
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20 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Only 4 out of 26 voters personally believe that eating meat outside the defined situation in the Word of Wisdom scripture violates the Word of Wisdom.
4 out of 26!

Yet 19 out of 26 voters believe that the scripture is at least equal in authority to the Church official position.

I am honestly mystified.
I think many of those 19 people need to go back and change their vote for question 3 to Yes - following the Church is more important than the scripture.

Or that they read the WOW as "not by commandment or constraint" 

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16 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

. I do admit I think wine and beer are not actually prohibited by the WOW but do abstain except for the fact I will cook with wine at times (and yes we can debate forever whether all the alcohol burns off - it doesn't 100% but so little is left that there is zero effect). 

 

If you don't personally think beer and wine are prohibited in the WoW, why did you mark that you personally believed they are on the survey?

The survey is all about personal belief, not official Church position.

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Just now, mnn727 said:

Or that they read the WOW as "not by commandment or constraint" 

It does say that.
Interestingly those who refer to that clause tend to ignore the second half of the verse - "showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—"

What do we think God's will has to do with commandments in that case if we can separate commandment from God's will.

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16 hours ago, Button Gwinnett said:

So caffeine free coffee hot or cold is ok while caffeinated coffee hot or cold is not, cold drinks whether caffeinated or not are ok.  So it's not the temperature,  nor the caffeine, nor that it's coffee, I'm so confused. Can someone make sense of why caffeinated coffee is forbidden again? And if someone combines a  hot caffeine free coffee with their caffeinated soda does that then make the beverage prohibited?

Caffeine has nothing to do with it. Never has.

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23 minutes ago, Calm said:

Perhaps he is suggesting they change not for obesity, but remove its requirements for drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea and smoking?

Perhaps.  I'll wait for his clarification.

23 minutes ago, Calm said:

It seems strange to me to be so focused on the details of timing rather than the reasoning behind the acts.  If it is a willful choice in full knowledge of the requirements of the Church and there is no sincere commitment to refrain in the future even for 'special occasions', what does it matter if it was yesterday or ten years ago?

Quite so.  The motive matters more than the number of days.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 hours ago, Button Gwinnett said:

Funny you specifically mention Dr. Pepper.  Dr Pepper was my "entry drug"  I had lived my entire life caffeine free through my mid 20's, then in a moment of weakness I had a Dr Pepper.  I can't even explain why I had that rebellious moment and broke what I then believed was the WoW but after that dam broke I was off the wagon.  From then through to today I have been a cold caffeine drinker of Diet Coke and the like.

Why would anyone every drink diet Coke? That has got to be one of the foulest beverages.

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3 hours ago, Button Gwinnett said:

Sorry but I disagree.  A member can and will receive their temple recommend even if they drink caffeine free coffee.  So drinking "coffee" is NOT the issue. 

If I was conducting a temple recommend interview and the member mentioned to me that they drank coffee I would stop the interview and recommend that they meet with the bishop.  Coffee is defiantly an issue.

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