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Obey wow which is not a commandment


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14 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

I am an alcoholic, sober more than thirty years now. Your brother's condition is so sad.

Congratulations. Honestly, that is something to be admired, but I don’t understand then why you think it is “not difficult”. There are posters on the board that have issues with addiction and others who have no choice but to live with it (I can personally testify withdrawal is nasty and I probably have symptoms that are very mild because of my minimal dosage).   I have had several friends who have had struggles for decades.  I don’t have a choice but to be addicted as I would not be able to function without my medication, but I assume many who are addicted believe that as strongly as I do even if the doctors might not agree with them while they agree with me and even if they don’t believe, their body effectively does.

One of my addicted friends was told by doctors not to quit smoking as the stress of withdrawal on his body would kill him. He had been using it for pain control of major injuries he had received in war for decades. Because of his situation, our bishop gave an exception and allowed him to be baptized without having to fulfill the usual commitment to try and stop smoking.

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8 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

 Indeed, we all have our weaknesses.  Wow has never been a challenge for me until suddenly I have had a deep need for coffee.  It’s so easy to justify. 

Why coffee all of a sudden?

When I was a coffee drinker the taste of the stuff was bad enough that I had to gussy it up with loads of sugar and cream(er) or else it was unpalatable. Reminds me of the scene from Bonanza where Pa Cartwright is having a heated discussion with someone as his coffee arrives, and he begins spooning sugar into it. He continues talking, while spooning sugar over and over, until Hoss Cartwright says, "Pa, would you like a little coffee with your sugar?" Tried to find a cut of the scene on YouTube, but no luck.

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15 hours ago, Wname said:

My purpose here is to learn enough so I can answer yes to the question

Is the Word of Wisdom something you are planning to commit to in the future or you wish to be more conscious about your current commitment?

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3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

When I was a coffee drinker the taste of the stuff was bad enough that I had to gussy it up with loads of sugar and cream(er) or else it was unpalatable.

I’ve seen this line of thought a few times here and I just don’t get it. One third of Americans drink their coffee black and it’s just over half that use a sweetener. (I’m a cream or milk but no sugar kind of guy). But here’s the thing. Chocolate is really bitter. A six ounce cup of stephens gourmet hot chocolate is loaded with 5 teaspoons of sugar not to mention the powdered milk. But in all my life I have never heard someone say - the taste of chocolate is so bad I have to “gussy it up” to make it palatable. 
 

Coffee tastes great. It is also really bitter. Chocolate tastes great. It’s also really bitter. Depending on your tolerance for bitterness you might add cream or sugar to enhance the taste. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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18 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

Personally I think Joseph Smith wouldn't be happy the Word of Wisdom is used to judge our character and neither am I. ...

 

The Word of Wisdom is used to judge "character"?  How so?  By whom?  In your ward or in your world, is it general knowledge among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at large that someone has a problem keeping the Word of Wisdom?  In my ward and in my world, I'm not likely to know unless someone shows up to a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ smelling of tobacco or of alcohol.  In any other case, the only person likely to know is the Bishop, if someone seeks his help. 

Certainly, it's not a hot topic of conversation among members of the ward in general.  And even if other people do happen to know, I don't know anyone who would treat it as though it were a "character" flaw.  More likely, it would fall under the category of "Everybody's Human," and/or "We All Have Our Crosses to Bear," or, "There, But for the Grace of God, Go I," or "What Can I Do to Help This Brother or Sister?" 

And how on earth do you presume to know the mind of Joseph Smith?  Eventually, every Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and President will have to answer to him as the Prophet of the Restoration.  Do you think he's simply standing by, impotent, hands in the air and heaving a heavy sigh while the modern Brethren have taken the Church of Jesus Christ "off the rails" (my phrase)?  I don't.  I'm sure he's perfectly capable of speaking for himself, and I doubt he needs you or anyone else to do that for him.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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12 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

The Word of Wisdom is used to judge "character"?  How so?  By whom?  In your ward or in your world, is it general knowledge among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at large that someone has a problem keeping the Word of Wisdom?

I'm not talking about confessing to the bishop, I'm talking about where I live people in the church and even people outside the church are looked at as if they're sinners, let's say if they have a beer in their hand, or a cigarette in between their lips. I can still remember going to a Christmas party at a relatives house and in 2 minutes getting back in the car because my mom didn't want us in the house because they were serving red wine. We went home, over red wine being in someone else's house. At that moment was my mom judging their lifestyle to be do unworthy and she couldn't let her kids be around the "sin" of drinking wine kenngo? Also, have you never looked at a non-member and thought, if they only knew what I did about the gospel? I'm honestly asking, is that a form of judgement?

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48 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’ve seen this line of thought a few times here and I just don’t get it. One third of Americans drink their coffee black and it’s just over half that use a sweetener. (I’m a cream or milk but no sugar kind of guy). But here’s the thing. Chocolate is really bitter. A six ounce cup of stephens gourmet hot chocolate is loaded with 5 teaspoons of sugar not to mention the powdered milk. But in all my life I have never heard someone say - the taste of chocolate is so bad I have to “gussy it up” to make it palatable. 

My mom drank hers black, no sugar, and scalding hot. 

Chocolate in the form the Aztecs (or whoever it was) used it was drank without sweetener, too. I'm not sure why you think it's relevant to the matter of coffee, unless it's for comparison's sake? I'm well aware that its taste for most people is so bad that it has to be gussied up with sugar and milk - but chocolate isn't a subject of the WoW. 

It's not a "line of thought". Thinking doesn't enter into it. When I was a coffee drinker, I found it unpalatable black. It's a matter of taste, which is of no accounting. Or so it is said. 

48 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Coffee tastes great. It is also really bitter. Chocolate tastes great. It’s also really bitter. Depending on your tolerance for bitterness you might add cream or sugar to enhance the taste. 

It has a certain charm, I'll admit that. I love how freshly roasted coffee smells. But it wasn't difficult for me to give up. Same for black tea, which I also liked, preferably with sugar.

I never smoked nor drank, legally anyway, having joined the church at age 14. When I was eight years old, my little brother (5 years old) had me try a puff of dad's pipe (dad was at work). I decided at that time that smokers were out of their freaking gourds. Later, I occasionally snuck sips of beer, wine and liquor from my parents. Interesting, I thought, but it didn't hold much fascination in my mind. I rather liked wine, though; I could see becoming a bit of a connoisseur. Had a sip of whiskey once, but found it gag-worthy. It might have been the brand, or it was past its prime, or something. I won't object if the Lord ever rescinds the WoW as a semi-commandment, but I doubt I'd take advantage of it. I've seen plenty of people destroy their lives abusing alcohol, and I like being able to think clearly.

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18 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

I'm not talking about confessing to the bishop, I'm talking about where I live people in the church and even people outside the church are looked at as if they're sinners, let's say if they have a beer in their hand, or a cigarette in between their lips. I can still remember going to a Christmas party at a relatives house and in 2 minutes getting back in the car because my mom didn't want us in the house because they were serving red wine. We went home, over red wine being in someone else's house. At that moment was my mom judging their lifestyle to be do unworthy and she couldn't let her kids be around the "sin" of drinking wine kenngo?

I think your mother was doing her best not to have you exposed to what she felt was a bad influence. I certainly wouldn't condemn her for it -- I might have done the same in similar circumstances. Maybe. I wouldn't call that "judging".  But if she followed it up by condemning your relatives to you as "vile sinners" then I would say that's going too far. But I suppose that just the act of removing you from the situation might have seemed condemning, even if not expressed verbally. 

Note that I grew up in a household that normalized smoking, drinking, and light vulgar speech (you know, like J. Golden Kimball). My parents frequently had family and friends over, and they all smoke and/or drank. To me, it was never "sinful" to smoke or drink, even after I joined the church. It was just something that I didn't do.

18 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Also, have you never looked at a non-member and thought, if they only knew what I did about the gospel? I'm honestly asking, is that a form of judgement?

In those terms, not at all. 

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9 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Some might consider driving on the right side of the road a commandment because it is such a huge part of our lives.

One can define words in any helpful way that conveys intended meaning. A commandment can be defined as something which is commanded. I can command you to never misuse the word "whom". Does this make it a commandment? If it does, you're all in trouble, because few seem to know how to use it properly these days.

We're talking about a specific type of commandment, which is a commandment (or law) given by God. <-- This is for @The Nehor.

Is the WoW a commandment? No. The Lord specifically said it was NOT a commandment. That the Church has chosen to require it of all who would be considered members in good standing does not turn it into a commandment. Driving on the left side of the road is likely to land one in traffic court in most countries in the world, but there are a few countries where doing so is required. As such, neither driving on the left or right, or imbibing beer, is a malum in se, but a malum prohibitum. If Christ could drink wine in his mortal life without committing a sin, this should make it abundantly clear that partaking of an alcoholic beverage is not sinful in itself. And therefore doing it cannot be violating a commandment -- or a commandment at the same level of the Ten Commandments, or the Laws of Noah. 

I keep the Word of Wisdom, not because it is a commandment, but because I have covenanted to keep it. It's also wise, which is another reason to do so.

And for those not familiar with the Latin phrases above:

Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

The wrongs forbidden in the Ten Commandments are mala in se. Those in the Word of Wisdom are mala prohibitum.

Mala prohibitum can still be commandments.

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My son, when a very young Bishop (age 28), was confronted with an elderly couple coming in for recommend renewal, was truly confounded. The couple assured him that their doctor recommended it for their health, so their Bishop signed off.

When my dying adult daughter requested I stopped drinking, I did: right then and forever. It was so easy.  I wish I had known that before.

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26 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Mala prohibitum can still be commandments.

Maybe. It does hinge on the precise definition of what a commandment is. If precision is important, and I'm not sure how precise it needs to be.  Your definition can certainly be yours; it seems like a minor point to disagree over.

And I may be trying for a degree of precision that could qualify as "looking beyond the mark." When considering the Law of Moses as found in the Pentateuch, there are some commands in there that no longer apply. They were fulfilled and the expectations have changed. I tend to think of those as less than commandments, and more policy or regulation. Such as not eating pork, which I would call a malum prohibitum.

Perhaps you're right as to definitions. I just think that things that are not eternal in their application don't quite qualify as commandments. And I'm increasingly getting the feeling that I'm arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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To Calm.  You asked Is the Word of Wisdom something you are planning to commit to in the future or you wish to be more conscious about your current commitment?

Now that you ask, I think my answer is yes to both. But the reason I started this thread is to learn some things for a report I was writiing. I am done.  It is rough but I think it fills it's purpose. It is one page pdf text. Would you like me to post it here or upload it somewhere? I would like other people to make an improved version of it.

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4 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Maybe. It does hinge on the precise definition of what a commandment is. If precision is important, and I'm not sure how precise it needs to be.  Your definition can certainly be yours; it seems like a minor point to disagree over.

And I may be trying for a degree of precision that could qualify as "looking beyond the mark." When considering the Law of Moses as found in the Pentateuch, there are some commands in there that no longer apply. They were fulfilled and the expectations have changed. I tend to think of those as less than commandments, and more policy or regulation. Such as not eating pork, which I would call a malum prohibitum.

Perhaps you're right as to definitions. I just think that things that are not eternal in their application don't quite qualify as commandments. And I'm increasingly getting the feeling that I'm arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Yeah, I just go with the idea that anything God commands, whether temporary or permanent, is a commandment. I admit your definition does have some appeal. I would have a much easier time thinking I am keeping the commandments if I believed that admonition only applied to the relatively small list of eternal commandments that apply to all people at all times with no exceptions.

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36 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

My son, when a very young Bishop (age 28), was confronted with an elderly couple coming in for recommend renewal, was truly confounded. The couple assured him that their doctor recommended it for their health, so their Bishop signed off.

When my dying adult daughter requested I stopped drinking, I did: right then and forever. It was so easy.  I wish I had known that before.

My dad tried to quit smoking several times. Never could. He was a nervous wreck every time while trying to do it. He had a heart condition (congenital) and the smoking is probably what caused his fatal heart attack at age 46. Philip Morris had him well and truly hooked. My sister once proclaimed she could stop smoking anytime she wanted to. Brave words, and she found it wasn't as easy as she had thought, when it came down to it. I'm so glad I never got started. My little brother had been smoking secretly for ten years before our dad found out. And then he tried to overdose him as a means of breaking the habit -- and found to his dismay that my 15-year-old little brother could smoke him under the table! My bro eventually quit, fortunately. Not sure if it was hard for him --- I should ask him next time I see him.

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2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yeah, I just go with the idea that anything God commands, whether temporary or permanent, is a commandment. I admit your definition does have some appeal. I would have a much easier time thinking I am keeping the commandments if I believed that admonition only applied to the relatively small list of eternal commandments that apply to all people at all times with no exceptions.

I agree fully. Permanent or temporary, I'm obeying it. So it might as well be called a commandment for all practical purposes.

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35 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I agree fully. Permanent or temporary, I'm obeying it. So it might as well be called a commandment for all practical purposes.

I agree completely except for the bit about “obeying it”. I am still working on that. Life is hard for the irredeemable reprobates amongst us.

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

I agree completely except for the bit about “obeying it”. I am still working on that. Life is hard for the irredeemable reprobates amongst us.

Word of Wisdom violations are what's left when needed alternatives are unattainable.

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2 hours ago, Chum said:

Word of Wisdom violations are what's left when needed alternatives are unattainable.

It still makes me giggle every time I remember that one of the treatments for my condition was discovered from people self-medicating and the strange result that cocaine actually improved the lives of users with the condition.

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3 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

When my dying adult daughter requested I stopped drinking, I did: right then and forever. It was so easy.  I wish I had known that before.

Are you assuming it is therefore that way for anyone else?

Am curious if you had tried to quit prior to that?

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3 hours ago, Wname said:

To Calm.  You asked Is the Word of Wisdom something you are planning to commit to in the future or you wish to be more conscious about your current commitment?

Now that you ask, I think my answer is yes to both. But the reason I started this thread is to learn some things for a report I was writiing. I am done.  It is rough but I think it fills it's purpose. It is one page pdf text. Would you like me to post it here or upload it somewhere? I would like other people to make an improved version of it.

So you are not a Latter-day Saint?  Would this be a personal commitment because you believe it is revelation or inspired or just good sense or because you are interested in joining our faith?  I ask because it will help to know how much and what context to add....though now you are done, you probably don’t need more info...but do you want it?

Feel free to post it here.  I may or may not contribute comments, same with others, though I think it likely...I get brain fog a lot and so don’t commit to much, just in case that makes a difference to someone else putting effort into something...hope that made sense, no brain fog, just sleepy right now (am on rebound of some sleep deprivation).

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WoW report  rough draft  2021 06 13

This document explains the Word of Wisdom as requested in an interview question.[1]

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.[2]

A definition is what the author intends it to be. Another definition is what the reader interprets it to be. A definition[4] of Word of Wisdom might be Section 89 alone. Another definition might be Section 89 with exterior influences such as interpretation for strong drink and hot drink and is binding on members. Another definition might be the above with the addition of harmful drugs. The definition has changed through time, apostle, place.

Here is a definition from a current official source[3]. If a definition must be chosen, this is the best one. Word of Wisdom means Doctrine and Covenants 89. Prophets have clarified strong drinks (alcohol), and hot drinks (tea and coffee).

Verse 2 says "not by commandment or constraint". Historically that wording led to debates. And it still does today. Some arguments are easy to understand but it is not the intent of this document to choose a side. If a side must be chosen, then the best interpretation or reason of verse 2 is to mean that people can not be expected to abruptly break a drug addiction.

Herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee are literally disallowed[verse 9], but may be allowed[verse 10, 11] if the intent or spirit of the text is considered. In this case the only tea that is disallowed is Camellia sinensis.

[1]https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/october-2019-general-conference-temple-recommend
Church Updates Temple Recommend Interview Questions
11. Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?

[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Word_of_Wisdom&oldid=1018155866

[3]https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/38-church-policies-and-guidelines?lang=eng#title_number131
"38. Church Policies and Guidelines," General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2020).
38.7.14  Word of Wisdom and Healthy Practices

[4]https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/definition  noun
3a : the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear

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13 hours ago, Calm said:

Are you assuming it is therefore that way for anyone else?

Am curious if you had tried to quit prior to that?

I don't assume anything about others. It was easy for me.

I never tried to quit; I enjoyed it bunches.

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:36 AM, Stargazer said:

Why coffee all of a sudden?

When I was a coffee drinker the taste of the stuff was bad enough that I had to gussy it up with loads of sugar and cream(er) or else it was unpalatable. Reminds me of the scene from Bonanza where Pa Cartwright is having a heated discussion with someone as his coffee arrives, and he begins spooning sugar into it. He continues talking, while spooning sugar over and over, until Hoss Cartwright says, "Pa, would you like a little coffee with your sugar?" Tried to find a cut of the scene on YouTube, but no luck.

This coffee scene from Dirty Harry is a classic

 

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12 hours ago, Wname said:

Herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee are literally disallowed[verse 9], but may be allowed[verse 10, 11] if the intent or spirit of the text is considered. In this case the only tea that is disallowed is Camellia sinensis.

The thing that many people get wrong is what the name "tea" means. Like you say, it originally meant Camelia sinensis, and that alone, but it's been genericized to mean any dried herb steeped in hot water.  Unfortunately, there are a few LDS out there who won't drink peppermint "tea" because they think it's against the Word of Wisdom. Considering that anytime you cook using water, as soon as you throw in any dried herb, such as parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme (a nod to Simon and Garfunkel, by the way), you have made "tea", at least according to the "Peppermint tea principle." So, LDS with a penchant for phariseeism should not be allowed to cook food with spices other than salt. Good luck with that.

If calling something "tea" made it against the Word of Wisdom, then the LDS in Great Britain and Ireland would not be able to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is because due to the long-established custom of drinking tea during mealtimes, the word "tea" began to be used to refer to mealtimes. I ran into this when I first lived in England in the early 70s. as a 17 year old I visited an LDS family for the first time one afternoon, and as evening approached, the mom asked if I wanted to "stay for tea." I was shocked because I had thought they were faithful LDS, and so, embarrassed, I thanked them but said I had to go home. I found out later that "tea time" could be any time one had a meal, even if one did not drink actual black tea, or camelia sinensis. In fact, one could just as easily drink coffee for "tea." To an American, this was madness, but perfectly reasonable in a country where tea drinking became a national obsession over the centuries. Everyone here in the UK is infected with it, including LDS families like my wife's. "What's for tea tonight?" is a perfectly reasonable question even for faithful British Latter-day Saints.

The English word "tea" comes from the Chinese languages. The word means "bitter herb" and refers to the plant with the species name Camellia sinensis.

The English term for the process of soaking plant material in water to extract flavor is "steeping". Depending upon details of the process, the resultant liquid might be called an infusion, a decoction, or a maceration. But to cut to the chase, current language usage is to call all these resultant liquids "tea".  But that doesn't make them "tea" in the sense of the Word of Wisdom.

Edited by Stargazer
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8 minutes ago, secondclasscitizen said:

This coffee scene from Dirty Harry is a classic

 

Oh, yes, one of my favorite Dirty Harry scenes!

Would you like some coffee with your sugar?

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