Jump to content

Define word of wisdom.


Wname

Recommended Posts

INTRODUCTION. Joseph Smith announced a revelation February 27, 1833. It is a health code and adopted by several churches. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is published in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89, called the 'Word of Wisdom'.

The definition of 'Word of Wisdom' seems to be fluid and this confuses me. Here are some loose definitions I made.

Definition 1: 'Section 89' alone.

Definition 2: 'Section 89' with exterior influences such as interpretation for 'strong drink' and 'hot drink' and is binding on members.

Definition 3: Definition 2 with the addition of harmful drugs.

Logic 1: If 'Word of Wisdom' and 'Section 89' are interchangable, then Definition 1 is correct.

Logic 2: If 'Word of Wisdom' is binding on members, then Definition 2 is correct.

Of course, one definition is the intent of the author. Another definition is the interpretation of the reader. So if you are an author or reader, please tell me your definition. If you are reading this post, then you are a reader.

Link to post
8 hours ago, Wname said:

INTRODUCTION. Joseph Smith announced a revelation February 27, 1833. It is a health code and adopted by several churches. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is published in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89, called the 'Word of Wisdom'.

The definition of 'Word of Wisdom' seems to be fluid and this confuses me. Here are some loose definitions I made.

Definition 1: 'Section 89' alone.

Definition 2: 'Section 89' with exterior influences such as interpretation for 'strong drink' and 'hot drink' and is binding on members.

Definition 3: Definition 2 with the addition of harmful drugs.

Logic 1: If 'Word of Wisdom' and 'Section 89' are interchangable, then Definition 1 is correct.

Logic 2: If 'Word of Wisdom' is binding on members, then Definition 2 is correct.

Of course, one definition is the intent of the author. Another definition is the interpretation of the reader. So if you are an author or reader, please tell me your definition. If you are reading this post, then you are a reader.

The WoW is interpreted different ways around the world I think. Also it's changed over time, 20 years ago if I went to a Mormon party at someone's house in my area, bringing a caffeinated drink meant you were a rebel😂. Today, no one really cares. Some people in my family used to be against chocolate because of the caffeine, not anymore. We had a family move to our Ward from Utah and they thought we were crazy thinking caffeine in soda was against the word of wisdom. Do yes, the WoW is somewhat fluid, especially when it comes to fluids 😁

     

  

 

Link to post

The Word of Wisdom is a temporary law given only to this dispensation due to conditions in our time. Prophets have expanded its definition to include new things. Definition 3 is the most correct one but I am wary about a blanket ban of “harmful drugs” in general. I take harmful drugs every day but that is because the help they give outweighs the harm.

Edited by The Nehor
  • Upvote 2
Link to post

Thank you for your reply. It reinforces some things in the first post, but I am still confused. I now rephrase the question. If someone asks if I live the word of wisdom, should I answer yes or no? Exactly what are they asking? What does an apostle, profit, and non-member mean when they ask the question? The church officialy phrases the question for bishops to ask. What does the church mean? The church also asks if I understand the wow. Well, if they can not define it, then I do not understand it.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Wname said:

If someone asks if I live the word of wisdom, should I answer yes or no?

Depends on the context.  In a church interview, the Church has defined it in the Handbook and you can say yes or no to that.  Elsewhere if you have the opportunity I would ask them what they mean.  If the opportunity lacked, I would assume they mean the HB definition and answer in accordance to that.

Quote

38.7.14

Word of Wisdom and Healthy Practices

The Word of Wisdom is a commandment of God. He revealed it for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. Prophets have clarified that the teachings in Doctrine and Covenants 89 include abstinence from tobacco, strong drinks (alcohol), and hot drinks (tea and coffee).

Prophets have also taught members to avoid substances that are harmful, illegal, or addictive or that impair judgment.

There are other harmful substances and practices that are not specified in the Word of Wisdom or by Church leaders. Members should use wisdom and prayerful judgment in making choices to promote their physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

The Apostle Paul stated: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

The Lord promises spiritual and temporal blessings to those who obey the Word of Wisdom and the guidance of living prophets (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/38-church-policies-and-guidelines?lang=eng#title_number131

The bold is what I see is the definition.  However, in the past they include a comment about medical supervision, I forgot it isn’t there any more.  Wish it still was as I think it is needed....because I too take harmful drugs, but am harmed more by not taking them.  If I were editing it, I would remove the first “harmful” as a more accurate and complete reference to harmful substances occurs in the next paragraph. 

Edited by Calm
  • Upvote 1
Link to post

FYI, I like this as a WoW resource though it focuses on caffeine questions.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/archive/publications/word-of-wisdom-caffeine-and-hypocrisy

And it included in the official statements link the older handbook version:

Quote

The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee.

Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician

 

Edited by Calm
Link to post

Thank you Calm. You gave me exactly what I was looking for, an official definition from LDS church. I did not know it existed. Although my question is now answered, I still invite people to post to this thread if there is more to say. It looks like Definition 2 in the top post most closley matches the official definition.

Link to post
20 hours ago, Wname said:

Definition 2: 'Section 89' with exterior influences such as interpretation for 'strong drink' and 'hot drink' and is binding on members.

This is just an aside, but one problem with using D&C 89 to justify the modern understanding of the WofW, is that the proscriptions and prescriptions for strong drinks, hot drinks, and tobacco were concerning medicinal use, both through consumption and topical application. Hence, these applications it mentions:

7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill. [Note that it does not mention smoking or chewing; this is because it's discussing tobacco poultices and other topical applications, as well as consuming tobacco, which was sometime prescribed to cause purging.]

9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly. [This is cautioning against common prescriptions of the time to either consume or apply extremely hot beverages (usually coffee, tea, and the expensively prohibitive hot cocoa) to counter diseases, based on the pseudo-science-based humoral theory of medicine that was beginning to be discredited at this time. If chocolate wasn't so expensive, Hyrum would have likely included that in his definition of "hot drinks.")

While warning people against humorism may no longer be needed, given what the food industry and big pharma are up to for $$, the stated reason for the revealed WofW seems incredibly prophetic:

"Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation."

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post

That laughing rep point was meant to be an upvote, but since it was my last one at this moment, it is not allowing me to change it.  My sense of humor may be odd at times, but not that odd.

Edited by Calm
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...