Strong drinks, mild drinks, hot drinks, wine, etc.


Noah Webster published the first edition of his dictionary in 1828. It was the very first American dictionary. Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants (the Word of Wisdom) was revealed in 1838, so Webster’s 1828 dictionary was the one in use when the Word of Wisdom was given. It may be useful to look at his 1828 definitions when deciding on the meaning of “strong drinks,” “mild drinks,” “hot drinks” and “wine.” (Yes, yes, I know that hot drinks have already been defined as tea and coffee by the First Presidency, but look this over anyway. You might find it interesting.)

HOT, a.

1. Having sensible heat; opposed to cold; as a hot stove or fire; a hot cloth; hot liquors. Hot expresses more than warm.

2. Ardent in temper; easily excited or exasperated; vehement. Achilles is impatient, hot and revengeful.

3. Violent; furious; as a hot engagement or assault.

4. Eager; animated; brisk; keen; as a hot pursuit, or a person hot in a pursuit.

5. Lustful; lewd.

6. Acrid; biting; stimulating; pungent; as hot as mustard or pepper.


MILD, a. [The primary sense is soft or smooth, L. mollis, Eng. mellow.]

1. Soft; gently and pleasantly affecting the senses; not violent; as a mild air; a mild sun; a mild temperature; a mild light. The rosy morn resigns her light And milder glory to the noon. And with a milder gleam refreshed the sight.

2. Not acrid, pungent, corrosive or drastic; operating gently; not acrimonious; demulcent; mollifying; lenitive; assuasive; as a mild liquor; a mild cataplasm; a mild cathartic or emetic.

3. Tender and gentle in temper or disposition; kind; compassionate; merciful; clement; indulgent; not severe or cruel. It teaches us to adore him as a mild and merciful Being.

4. Not fierce, rough or angry; as mild words.

5. Placid; not fierce; not stern; not frowning; as a mild look or aspect.

6. Not sharp, tart, sour or bitter; moderately sweet or pleasant to the taste; as mild fruit.

7. Calm; tranquil. When passion subsides the temper becomes mild.

8. Moderate; not violent or intense; as a mild heat.


STRONG, a. [G., L. The sense of the radical word is to stretch, strain, draw, and probably from the root of stretch and reach.]

1. Having physical active power, or great physical power; having the power of exerting great bodily force; vigorous. A patient is recovering from sickness, but is not yet strong enough to walk. A strong man will lift twice his own weight. That our oxen may be strong to labor. Psalm 144. Orses the strong to greater strength must yield.

2. Having physical passive power; having ability to bear or endure; firm; solid; as a constitution strong enough to bear the fatigues of a campaign.

3. Well fortified; able to sustain attacks; not easily subdued or taken; as a strong fortress or town.

4. Having great military or naval force; powerful; as a strong army or fleet; a strong nation; a nation strong at sea.

5. Having great wealth, means or resources; as a strong house or company of merchants.

6. Moving with rapidity; violent; forcible; impetuous; as a strong current of water or wind. The wind was strong from the northeast. We had a strong tide against us.

7. Hale; sound; robust; as a strong constitution.

8. Powerful; forcible; cogent; adapted to make a deep or effectual impression on the mind or imagination; as a strong argument; strong reasons; strong evidence; a strong example or instance. He used strong language.

9. Arden; eager; zealous; earnestly engaged; as a strong partisan; a strong whig or tory. Her mother, ever strong against that match–

10. Having virtues of great efficacy; or having a particular quality in a great degree; as a strong powder or tincture; a strong decoction; strong tea; strong coffee.

11. Full of spirit; intoxicating; as strong liquors.

12. Affecting the sight forcibly; as strong colors.

13. Affecting the taste forcibly; as the strong flavor of onions.

14. Affecting the smell powerfully; as a strong scent.

15. Not of easy digestion; solid; as strong meat. Hebrews 5.

16. Well established; firm; not easily overthrown or altered; as a custom grown strong by time.

17. Violent; vehement; earnest. Who in the day of his flesh, when he offered up prayers with strong crying and tears–Hebrews 5.

18. Able; furnished with abilities. I was stronger in prophecy than in criticism.

19. Having great force of mind, of intellect or of any faculty; as a man of strong powers of mind; a man of a strong mind or intellect; a man of strong memory, judgment or imagination.

20. Having great force; comprising much in few words. Like her sweet voice is thy harmonious song, as high, as sweet, as easy and as strong.

21. Bright; glaring; vivid; as a strong light.

22. Powerful to the extent of force named; as an army ten thousand strong.



Liquor to be swallowed; any fluid to be taken into the stomach, for quenching thirst, or for medicinal purposes; as water, wine, beer, cider, decoctions, &c.


LIQ’UOR, n. lik’or [L. liquor.]

A liquid or fluid substance. [See Liquid.] Liquor is a word of general signification, extending to water, milk, blood, say, juice, &c.; but its most common application is to spirituous fluids, whether distilled or fermented, to decoctions, solutions, tinctures.


WINE, n. [Gr.]

1. The fermented juice of grapes; as the wine of the Madeira grape; the wine of Burgundy or Oporto.

2. The juice of certain fruits, prepared with sugar, spirits, &c.; as currant wine; gooseberry wine.

3. Intoxication. Noah awoke from his wine. Genesis 9.

4. Drinking. They that tarry long at the wine. Proverbs 23. Corn and wine, in Scripture, are put for all kinds of necessaries for subsistence. Psalm Bread and wine, in the Lords supper, are symbols of the body and blood of Christ.


FERMENTA’TION, n. [L. fermentatio.] The sensible internal motion of the constituent particles of animal and vegetable substances, occasioned by a certain degree of heat and moisture, and accompanied by an extrication of gas and heat. Fermentation is followed by a change of properties in the substances fermented, arising from new combinations of their principles. It may be defined, in its most general sense, any spontaneous change which takes place in animal or vegetable substances, after life has ceased. It is of three kinds, vinous, acetous, and putrefactive. The term is also applied to other processes, as the panary fermentation, or the raising of bread; but it is limited, by some authors, to the vinous and acetous fermentations, which terminate in the production of alcohol or vinegar. Fermentation differs from effervescence. The former is confined to animal and vegetable substances; the latter is applicable to mineral substances. The former is spontaneous; the latter produced by the mixture of bodies.

(taken from

Here are the verses in the Word of Wisdom that mention these words:

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—that inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make. And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies…. And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly. (D&C 89: 4-7, 9)

The verse summary for verses 1-9 states, “Use of wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks proscribed.” This is not entirely true. The word proscribe means “to forbid or condemn as harmful or unlawful: to prohibit.” Only hot drinks are prohibited, whereas wine, strong drinks and tobacco are given lawful uses.

When I was a young teacher, I remember my teacher’s quorum adviser explaining to us one Sunday how “pure wine of the grape” meant grape juice. As nice a guy as he was, he was incorrect in that assumption. When the Lord uses the term wine in this section, he is referring to the fermented juice of grapes, and of grapes only, not other types of wines, which is why he clarifies his statement with “yea, pure wine of the grape.” So, we are permitted to use wine, meaning actual alcoholic wine, when partaking of the sacrament, but only if we make the wine ourselves. All other uses of it are prohibited.

The Lord states that strong drinks are for the washing of our bodies. Most people interpret that to mean that alcohol cleans and disinfects, thus is used in hospitals prior to injecting someone with a hypodermic needle, etc. The word alcohol existed at the time of this revelation, but the Lord didn’t use it, instead he used the words “strong drinks,” such as vodka, rum, etc.

Not all alcohols are the same. There is ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol), methyl alcohol (wood alcohol) and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Strong drinks contain ethanol (ethyl alcohol), whereas the alcohol used to clean skin in preparation for an injection is isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol).

The use of vodka or rum to wash the body gets the skin squeaky clean, removes dead skin and dirt and eliminates many odors. It leaves the skin feeling clean and looking shiny. It requires very little liquid to clean the entire body and saves a ton of water that would otherwise be needed to take a shower or bath. It is can be stored indefinitely and is not messy, requiring only a rag to rub onto the skin. I know from experience the wisdom of using strong drinks to wash our bodies.

If you still haven’t tried using strong drinks to wash your body, I encourage you to go out and buy a bottle of vodka and test the wisdom of the Lord. You may be pleasantly surprised. Plus, it’ll make for some interesting Word of Wisdom conversations when visitors open your cupboard and see the bottle there.

Next Word of Wisdom article: What the Word of Wisdom says and what it doesn’t say

Previous Word of Wisdom article: The interpolation of a footnote

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist


  1. Very informative post – thank you for taking the time to write this up. While I think it interesting, I don’t think I will be buying any booze anytime soon (especially vodka – that stuff stinks – maybe a nice rum though).

  2. Now that you mention it, I wish I had used the word “booze” in the article…

  3. Joseph Smith violated the Word of Wisdom.

    We then partook of some refreshments, and our hearts were made glad with the fruit of the vine.
    History of the Church
    Volume 2 Page 369
    January 14, 1836

    Joseph gave Dr. Richards two dollars to give the guard; but the guard said one was enough, and would take no more. The guard immediately sent for a bottle of wine, pipes, and two small papers of tobacco; and one of the guards brought them into the jail soon after the jailor went out. Dr. Richards uncorked the bottle, and presented a glass to Joseph, who tasted, as also Brother Taylor and the doctor, and the bottle was then given to the guard, who turned to go out.
    History of the Church
    Volume 6 Page 616
    June 27, 1844

    (See also Millennial Star Volume 23 Page 720)

  4. And King David violated the law of chastity…what’s your point?

  5. Oops. Must have missed where JS repented of violating his own laws.

  6. Pilgrim:

    Joseph Smith didn’t proclaim the Word of Wisdom to be a commandment. It was later voted upon by members of the church to be sustained as a commandment, under direction of Brigham Young. Why? Beats the crap out of me, but JS didn’t violate any law.

    I’m so sick and tired of everyone feeling compelled to save the mormons. Laying traps with pointed questions and spending hours upon hours trying to dig up anything and everything they can to make their case. Is this how Christ behaved? No, he was the one always being attacked and having traps laid for him. I’m not trying to compare you to the scribes and pharisees, I’m trying to compare you to Christ. If you love him, then keep his commandments. Would you spend hours upon hours digging around in your own past trying prove how you are so horrible and disgusting that no one should believe what you say? Two great commandments, what are they? Christ went about building, not destroying, but yet his doctrine had the power to destroy and he said it himself. Does that make his doctrine evil? Or does that which is evil destroy itself? Why did Christ say that he came into the world to turn father against son? Do you think his purpose was really to divide and conquer, or that because the building he did people, would naturally oppose it and the destruction would come merely through ignorance and an unwillingness to understand spiritual things? If we are evil, let us fall.

    For so many years I hated all forms of religion because of liars and hypocrites. It wasn’t until I stopped expecting everyone to be more than what they are, human, that I was able to see religion for what it was. When you break it down EVERYONE has a personal struggle to overcome the flesh we are housed in. The Mormons are this, the Muslims are that, ENOUGH! We’re all self-righteous prigs who think we know it all. It doesn’t matter if we’re atheist, Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. WE ALL FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD!!! So why do we continue to expect each other to live perfectly according to our beliefs? We try and we fail, and if we don’t fail then we’re not trying.

    Sure you can take one snapshot in time to prove a point. BUT, when you look at the entire roll of film the big picture becomes very clear. Joseph Smith has said some of the most profound things that any human being has ever said and was put to death for it. Christ’s apostles suffered the same fate. Jesus Christ said THE most profound things anyone has ever said and ended up being tortured and nailed to some wood by the very same people he was there to save.

    So while we are so actively engaged in questioning the faith of each other we have to ask ourselves: who is benefiting from my toil? Can I honestly believe that I help anyone when I try destroy their beliefs when their fruits are obviously good? Argue all you want about doctrine, but Christ said it himself: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” ALL of the fruits are out in the open. Are they perfect? Are you?

    How many prophets in any form of scripture have been perfect? Even the chosen of Christ didn’t understand him. Does that then make their claims false? You want to believe that we are evil then believe we are evil, but all this talk and rhetoric is getting no one anywhere, and fast. The more we concentrate on the wrongs of others, the farther we get from Christ. If I am evil, let me be evil because I will have to account for my behavior, not you.

    Nourish your relationship with Christ in your way and I will do the same. After all, it’s what’s in the heart because that is all God is concerned with. With all the love I possess I wish we could all nourish our relationship with Christ. I find Christ here and you find Christ there, so why should I hate you? None of us know our exact purpose and I might be here and you there because that is where God needs us right now. Our paths will merge with the paths of others who just might need our brand of help, logic, reason, charity, faith, spirituality…whatever. God is control and I do not condemn any Christian for having faith in Christ even though it is a different faith than mine.

    I do apologize for my sarcasm. I have to come to a point to where I want to pull my hair out because it feels like we’re all being blinded by the devil in believing that fighting with each other over who is right and who is wrong is a necessary fight. It’s not. God knows our experiences and our level of understanding that brings us to the conclusions that we are at today. We know nothing. We are finite. We are inconsequential, yet he loves us. All of us. So even if a person lives their life trying to emulate, to the best of their ability and understanding, the life of Christ and it turns out that their version was wrong, are they simply doomed to hell? What a hopeless situation. If I am doomed to hell for trying and getting it wrong, then I might as well not try since my ending is the same.

    What then? If we aren’t right then who is? Your church? Why? Joel Osteen? Why? Benny Hinn? Why? Is no church right? Why is God silent on the issue? If he is not then why does he not speak like he once did? Are we to live out our mortal probation like blind men navigating an endless maze? To what end? What possible righteous purpose could that serve? God loves us so much that he gave his ONLY begotten in the flesh so that we could return, yet he is silent on the issue of how…why would he do this? He used to send men who were prophets. Why did he stop and where is the revelation that said he would stop? Doesn’t it require a revelation from God for us to know that he is changing things up? Is that not what Christ was and was that not what he did?

    If we are evil then let us be evil. Then go forth and build the kingdom to the best of your ability and understanding. Then if we are evil, we shall fall of our own accord and not of anything any mortal man brought to light.

  7. I have long distrusted the church’s current stance on the word of wisdom. Especially making it into a law in the first place. I don’t see how hot can be considered “coffee and tea and not hot chocolate”. I also don’t see how beer is a “strong drink” (having had many beers myself, hehe). The icing is how so many church members gorge themselves on meat when they are supposed to “eat it sparingly”. But somehow that isn’t considered to be as important as not drinking alcohol. I mean, yeah the church leaders have spoken on it many times, but they are not infallible, and this is one case where I think using a little reason and logic would be good for church members.

  8. Daryl:

    I whole heartedly agree. I even wrote an article about my questioning the WoW here.

    I find it ridiculous that the members of that day and even Brigham Young felt they needed yet one more commandment to follow. It might have been fitting in their time, but for our time I don’t think it fits like it should.

  9. I’d be interested in others’ thoughts of this head scratcher. Coffee and tea are prohibited by the modern interpretation of the WoW. However, when the caffeine is removed from coffee and tea in the decaffeination process, it is used to make caffeinated sodas (I kid you not – google it. Where did you think the caffeine came from?). Sodas mixed with caffeine are OK. So, if we take the ethanol removed from wine and beer in the de-alcoholization process and mix it with soda, could you drink that and still be compliant with the WoW? I’m thinking of a product called LDS Coolers made with common soda and ethanol certified to have come from the alcohol removal process. Thoughts?

  10. I was told during my mission that it isn’t the caffeine that makes coffee and tea bad, but other chemicals like tannin, which is why we’re not supposed to drink decaf coffee either. LDS Anarchist, I’m curious as to your take on what exactly was meant by “hot drinks.” Personally, I interpret the WoW (minus, perhaps, the part about meat) as a condemnation of addiction in all its forms. I have found that caffeine has no noticeable addictive properties for me, so I do drink some from time to time, mostly in green tea. On the other hand, I was intensely addicted to sugar for much of my life, so I no longer eat sweets, and am surprised by their prevalence, along with occasional huge portions of red meat, at church activities.

  11. It could only mean definition #s 1 or 6 of the dictionary entry of Hot found above. Whether it means one or the other or either or both together, is uncertain. So, it is either a hot drink, as in hotter than warm, or a stimulating drink, or either one of those, or both taken together (a drink that is both hotter than warm and a stimulating drink.) It would also have to apply to the drinks at the time of the revelation. As tea and coffee are both typically drunk hotter than warm and are stimulates, and were among the saints at the time of the revelation, I’d say the First Presidency interpretation is correct, that hot drinks referred to tea and coffee. However, if hot drinks refers to only stimulating drinks that are hotter than warm, then iced tea and cold coffee would not be a violation. As the First Presidency hasn’t interpreted these two words except to say they refer to tea and coffee, I suppose it is open to further interpretation by each individual. What is apparent is that any drink that is hotter than warm, if drunk without cooling, may do damage to the body. Stimulating drinks may or may not be good for the body, depending on the drink. For example, drinking hot cayenne pepper mixed in water is surely stimulating, but it is not bad for you.

    So, I think each person must interpret what makes tea and coffee “hot” for themselves, based on these dictionary definitions and then order their lives accordingly. Unless and until the Lord reveals further information concerning what he meant by “hot,” what you define the term as (#1, #6, #1 or #6, or #1 and #6 together) is as valid as how I or anyone else defines it.

  12. Everyone knows what coffee and tea are. There may be a more intellectual interpretation, but who cares. A humble Bolivian farmer, full of faith, can understand the commandment not to drink coffee and tea and receive all the blessings associated with that commandment including temple attendance. Though it may be interesting, this blog entry won’t benefit him at all. To all those who desire to hold a temple recommend I suggest you set aside the Utah-style justification gymnastics and simply not drink coffee and tea.

  13. A humble Bolivian farmer likely drinks other things of a questionable nature with respect to the Word of Wisdom. Thinking about what it means in his life would be a good idea, as it would for everyone.

    I don’t really understand your reference to Utah, never having lived there myself.

  14. Joseph, in the temple recommend interview, we are asked, “Are you living the Word of Wisdom?” We are not asked specifics.

    If you look at the Word of Wisdom, there are certain guidelines concerning the eating of meat (see The interpolation of a footnote) which are virtually ignored by temple-attending LDS. Obesity afflicts LDS just as it does the rest of the nation, perhaps even more so. This shows that each person in that interview must interpret what it means to live the Word of Wisdom. If Utah-style justification gymnastics are involved, then the temple-attending LDS who engorge themselves with meat every single day of their lives are engaging in this.

    You say that everyone knows what coffee and tea are. I am not sure that that is an accurate statement. An example: There are some saints who drink green tea. Green tea is from the same tea plant (the Camellia Sinensis plant) as black tea or white tea, only the leaves are young (still green) and unfermented (not oxidized.) Are they breaking the commandment? What makes green tea okay and black tea bad? Another example: Other saints drink decaffeinated coffee and say they aren’t breaking the Word of Wisdom. My point is that individual interpretation does occur in this and other parts of the revelation. It is not as black and white as you think it is.

    The purpose of the post was to look at the dictionary definitions found in the dictionary published at the time of the revelation and to look over specific words, the meaning of which people often have varying opinions, so that LDS could come to a better understanding of what these words meant at that time, in order that they could interpret the revelation better. As such, the post serves a useful purpose.

    Btw, like RWW, I am not from Utah, either.

  15. This is a very intellectual post. That is, it dissects things to the point that it claims a superior understanding than the average person has. This doesn’t help, as I thought you would argue. The meat bit is not a commandment, though I try to live it. What “tea” is is only an issue for those who like to know where the line is so they can get as close to it as possible. To a believing, obedient heart it is important to not get stuck on such simple things in order to be able to move on to the next opportunity to show ones love for the Lord. Tea is tea – black, green, white, magenta or argyle. In the quest for obedience and understanding I can see studying scriptures under a microscope, but not when the requirement has already been given us in clarity.

  16. …the commandment not to drink coffee and tea…

    The meat bit is not a commandment…

    Actually, none of it was intended as a commandment, and the drink parts of it were only made an absolute necessity for temple entrance by Heber J. Grant, who had questionable views (to be kind) on matters involving alcohol.

    But I’m curious: Why do you separate the “meat bit” — which is repeated elsewhere — from the rest?

    Tea is tea – black, green, white, magenta or argyle.

    And peppermint? Just curious.

  17. If the plant is tea, the drink is tea. If the plant isn’t tea, it’s not. It’s a, uh, um, refreshing herbal infusion. I separate the meat because it’s not required for temple attendance (which I interpret to mean that it’s not a commandment), though true to the name, it’s certainly wise and pleasing to the Lord and contributes to the earning of the great spiritual blessings mentioned.

  18. I am sooo tired to hear about people analyzing the alcohol, coffee/tea and tobacco part in Art 89 – aka The Word Of Wisdom . But, still, here I am… reading and replying. 😉
    Do not bash the Mormons for the understanding of this…
    … here is something better: D&C 89:12-13.
    Regarding beasts and fowls (meat)… “They should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine”.
    It is a criterion for membership in the LDS-church, not to mention to get a Temple recommendation, to follow Art 89. I wonder how many Saints that only eats meat in the winter? I do not know anyone, who enacts this semi-vegetarian discipline. I gave up my triple espressos 4 years ago to be a member and I have not had a drop of coffee, nor alcohol since.
    However, since my ward L-O-V-E-s “the war” (and the human tools that Satan use in it) while I converted to follow The Prince of Peace, I was denied a Temple recommend.
    I just wished that the Bishop and Stake President was equally rejecting about the 97% of the members that have a recommend but do not follow the mandatory Art 89, as they were to exclude those who believe in “Love Thy Enemies”.

  19. I love the thought in all of this that Jesus, whom we are to follow, walked the earth – turned water into wine, and gave commandment to drink wine in his memory – did not know God’s eternal laws; alcohol is a sin!

  20. Who the hell cares what Joseph or Brigham said anyhow all you amateur apologists. They were wrong on so many things like people on the moon and even the sun. Come on, think! If they were untrustworthy on so many things, without trying to find fault they are there if you just open your eyes. People who are that untrustworthy would not be trusted in any other situation. You just have your “I know Joseph Smith was a prophet” eyes on. Science has proved a lot of things to be wrong. If someone wants to drink a glass of wine who the hell cares; its their business not some dead guy who we are not supposed to listen to anymore anyhow. A living prophet supercedes a dead one. One of these days the men in suits will come up to speed and change their minds on that issue just like blacks and the priesthood and the whole Lamanites are the principle ancestors of the Indians theory; now changed to among the ancestors. Modern leaders keep pace with the times. I have a feeling that the homemade wine had some other intoxicating substance in it too and that is what was being prohibited.

  21. I can’t believe how many people just don’t get it, when it comes to the Word of Wisdom. This law is “Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.”
    Here’s the process that everyone responding to this blog should try:
    1. Do you want the “promise” of good health and blessings from above both in this life and the next, both in spiritual and temporal matters?
    2. If you do, then live the Word of Wisdom as best as you know how as given in Word of Wisdom and as exactly as interpreted by the First Presidency. (If you have understanding issues, then discuss them with your Bishop and Stake President). Study and prayer about it if have minor questions.
    3. If you are honestly trying to live it the best you can (even if you are not perfect at it), then you are worthy (and not hypocritical) to partake of all the blessings ready to be bestowed from you from on high.

    As for me, I can honestly say that I feel good and healthy when I abstain from all caffiene and meat (I have never tried tobacco or Alcohol). Also, I try to eat whole grains and fruits and salads. I have been excercising every morning and getting to bed early. I want to live as long as possible to see my kids grow up and have families of their own and be there for my grandchildren. This is one of the promises but there are many more on the spiritual side that many people don’t realize.

    You can debate the science on diets and studies. You can debate whether who drank what kind of wine/grape juice. But that matters very little now. We some Wisdom from God and some promises that will come by following this advice. It is up to you to decide whether you want those promises.

    But I have to admit that the Word of Wisdom diet is one of the best ever and every Doctor of nutrition will agree with you that this is a pretty healthy way to live. You don’t have to be perfect about it and I know I am not (a Dr. Pepper every once in a while and some Steak). You just have to realize that when you don’t follow it exactly then you are missing a promise/blessing in return so again its just like everything else in the Church and in the world, you get what you pay for. No Pain No Gain.

  22. Who the hell cares what Joseph or Brigham said anyhow all you amateur apologists. They were wrong on so many things like people on the moon and even the sun. Come on, think! If they were untrustworthy on so many things, without trying to find fault they are there if you just open your eyes. People who are that untrustworthy would not be trusted in any other situation. You just have your “I know Joseph Smith was a prophet” eyes on. Science has proved a lot of things to be wrong.

    How do you know they were wrong about people on the moon and sun (or in my opinion, in the moon and in the sun)?

    It doesn’t matter anyway. I officially stopped caring what you had to say when you said “Science has proved a lot of things to be wrong”.

    The great thing about science is that it doesn’t prove anything. It’s funny how it’s only the latest theory that meshes with our current understanding, yet is viewed as fact by all. “Science” is always changing, depending on technological progress and understanding, not to mention what we are told vs what is the truth.

    People who believe 100% in science are no different than religious zealots who believe in .

    Take your own advice and think, but add in a sprinkle of research. Keep in mind during your research that your government isn’t always completely honest with you.

  23. I like the pormise in section 89,quite interesting by itself “And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; “

  24. Good discussion…especially Quantum Saint’s comments on our vanity and blinders.

    To the point of the WoW, what many see as justification gymnastics, I see as a personal desire to understand things. That may be a false paradigm I’m presenting, but so be it. There’s a lot of fallacies inherent in my reasoning skills. I’m of the camp that I do not at all understand why this became a commandment at all, nor do I necessarily agree with the principle that what God gave as a recommendation can later be turned into a commandment by men, but so be it. I see some reasons why men would do it, but that doesn’t mean that I agree that what man does, God approves of.

    To my question, though. There was very little discussion here on an enjoyable topic…that of “mild drinks”. As many know, both Brigham and Joseph dabbled in breweries or other brewing activities (among many other people at the time). In the spirit of the revelation originally given (D&C 89 – not what was later approved by the general membership), what was meant by mild drinks? I’ve read anything from mildly alcoholic beverages – 0-5% alcohol content – to someone stating 7-up and Sprite as “mild drinks”. I’d like to say the 7-up and Sprite thing was a joke but, alas, it wasn’t. The guy was dead serious. That obviously misses the boat on what the section originally intended as High Fructose Corn Syrup and other preservatives were largely unknown (and likely unwanted) to the early saints – and can’t say I blame them. That being said, what is the appropriate definition of mild drinks coupled with barley “and other grains”?


  25. Ok I think just to sum a few things up, Mild drinks means beer and hot drinks means HOT DRINKS. For all you goody goodies out there, if something is worth doing, its worth doing right so DONT EAT MEAT!!! AND DONT DRINK HOT COCOA!! lol and for all of you “JackMoromons” out there the WOW says that the WOW is for “the benefit of the council of high priests…and also the saints of Zion-” (heres the important part) “To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint…” So they are just guidelines, and you definately will be healthier if you follow it but you dont have to. I fall inbetween I guess.

    P.S. Someone was mentioning how Jesus made wine and said to drink it in his memory, um, it says in the WOW and I’m paraphrasing, that if wine is made by you and you drink it to offer up your sacraments before him (god) than its ok lol but it has to be “Pure Wine of the grape…” So theres my two cents.

  26. In Rough Stone Rolling it says that Joseph read about washing and anointing in the Old Testament and he and Oliver (or maybe Hyrum) decided to give it a try. They used whiskey with cinammon mixed in. This may be another explantion of using strong drinks for washing.

  27. So how do you use it? Pour it onto a washcloth or pour a little directly on?

  28. I understand the “strong drink […] for the washing of your bodies” according to the reference made by Craig, above. I wrote in Having their Hearts Knit Together in Unity and Love that:

    The [initiatory] ritual established by Joseph Smith was performed in a bathtub — washing with water and spiced whiskey [strong drink for the purpose of ritual washing, D&C 89:7] and anointing with olive oil:

    Oliver Cowdery gave even more detail about one of these temple preparation meetings, noting how the Latter-day Saints followed Old Testament patterns in washing and anointing priests for temple service.

    Oliver wrote that he met with Joseph and others at the Prophet’s house:

    “And after pure water was prepared, called upon the Lord and proceeded to wash each other’s bodies, and bathe the same with whiskey, perfumed with cinnamon. This we did that we might be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath, confessing our sins and covenanting to be faithful to God. While performing this washing with solemnity, our minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord.”

    Admittedly, these acts were obviously cut from our temple rituals because participants felt uncomfortable with the intimacy they suggest. This was especially the case for women — who were not allowed to have priestesses ministering at the veil ritual for them, but had to be received by a male priest to whom they were not married.

    Though — I could imagine a person using strong drink to wash wounds in the same manner most people use isopropyl alcohol.

    I also remember the Myth Busters testing the use of vodka to deodorize the feet. I don’t recall their findings however.

  29. I wonder why they stopped using whiskey for the ritual washing?

  30. Prohibition is likely — I know that’s when they stopped using wine for the sacrament meetings held in the temple.

  31. During the three decades after the Revolutionary War in America, many factors contributed to what was deemed by many to be the excessive use of alcohol. This concern paralleled a similar sentiment in Europe, which in turn led a great many Christian religions to advocate for greater restraint in the availability and use of alcohol. this sentiment became so popular that it led to what was and is still referred to as The Temperance Movement. Temperance is today an archaic word, but it meant to curb or temper the use of alcohol (and became generally related to higher societal and moral values). Beer was indeed a plentiful form or alcoholic drink during this time, but it was not the only available drink made from barley and other grains. It is unlikely that this Section D&C referred to.
    Nonalcoholic malt beverages made primarily from barley and hops had been produced for centuries prior to the 19th Century. They were especially popular in Middle Eastern Countries and parts of India and Asia where Islam had spread. Grains such as barley were mainstay foodstuffs for people since the beginning of recorded history–especially in the Middle East and the Holy Land. It is natural that beverages made from these grains became part of the mainstay diet of these people. Drunkenness is condemned throughout the Bible and religious writings of these and virtually every other significant civilization. Alcohol was used and tolerated by some of these peoples, but never to excess. Alcoholic drinks were not consumed on a day-to-day basis by most of them, and not at all by many. Women and children have universally been insulated from the use of alcohol by all prominent societies. Even men were not encouraged to regularly consume alcoholic beverages–except on holidays and in moderate amounts. But nonalcoholic beverages were a mainstay family drink depended upon for nutrition by the whole families. These beverages were not alcoholic beers as we know them today. They were different. They were truly mild drinks–containing no alcohol, or insignificant amounts of alcohol.
    It is further supposed by some historians that these barley malt beverages were heated in order to evaporate the alcohol that was an inevitable and initial undesirable by-product of fermentation. Alcohol was recognized as a toxin in their otherwise nutritious daily food beverages. It is easily removed by heating because it turns into a gas at a lower temperature than does water and the other liquids in the malted liquid. Evaporation as a means of removing alcohol entirely reasonably preceded distilling the alcohol to be used separately. Distillation requires extra steps and is not so easily accomplished as is evaporation–although the knowledge that the alcohol goes somewhere must have rationally led to experiments in distillation. Subsequently, even within places and among cultures that did not readily allow drinking alcohol or drunkenness–distillation was known and used to extract alcohol as an external disinfectant, an internal medicine or anesthetic, a fuel, and as a product to export. But this was later in the evolution of fermented beverages. Even so, the primary purpose of distillation was probably used to rid the malt brew of alcohol, not to make alcohol–at least initially.And in any event, the nonalcoholic potion that was left was good for food. Where alcohol can kill you, the nonalcoholic brew is good for you.
    Fermentation also produces yeast. Yeast is highly nutritious. The growth of yeast produces carbon dioxide–which causes the effervescent quality (bubbles) in these brews which may have been thought to both enhance the flavor and the same pleasantness associated with the fizz in carbonated drinks. It also is not so easily removed as is alcohol. Fermentation is a form of natural carbonation.
    The Temperance Movement was in full swing when the Word of Wisdom came to be. The popularity of these ancient nonalcoholic drinks had reached an apex in history and were as commonplace than was beer, if not more-so. These drinks were separate and distinct from beer. They were known by such names as lager, small beer, little beer, gruel-water, near-beer, and maybe a dozen other names–and even ale. As the melting pot that America was mixed various languages and cultures, these terms became confused, or lost. But people living in America then commonly new the difference. It was not hard to test these products, since drinking one or more beers, would produce at least a minimal intoxication, whereas it was impossible to drink enough of the nonalcoholic malt beverage to become intoxicated.
    Although the years that have passed since those times to this modern day–through almost a hundred years of the Temperance Movement and the days of Prohibition, followed by a relaxation of rules and laws may have obscured common knowledge of these conditions among many people, nonalcoholic malt beverages continue to have a popular following among members of some religions, cultures, and countries–for the same reasons that they were then and anciently. They are considered by those to be tasty, nutritious, and desirable to promote health. Also, as a result of those events, various cultural and legal definitions have arisen to define which is which. During prohibition, it was determined that a trace amount of alcohol would be reasonable to allow in order to provide producers a small margin of error. However, it was then and is now, known that many common foods and beverages naturally contain small amounts of alcohol.
    For example, research known both then and now discloses that fresh orange juice contains upwards to a full 1% alcohol content. This is an insignificant amount. It harms no-one. The benchmark established as allowable, defining nonalcoholic malt beverages in America during the prohibition was half that at .05%. Today’s production methods make the amount far less–usually none. Thee continues to be some confusion in America regarding the nature of these drinks. A few states still legally consider them to be adult drinks and require proof of age to buy them. Most do not. But even in those that do not, stores and restaurants often demand to see an ID even from elderly consumers. Many religious people refuse to show an ID, as this would imply that they are buying alcohol. The Middle East and Indonesia continue to be the primary consumers of such beverages, but they are also still increasing in popularity in America. Early Mormons were aware of such drinks, did not confuse them with real beer, and drank them readily. They still do. Utah, as a state, is the number one consumer of nonalcoholic beer in America.

  32. MEAT, noun

    1. Food in general; any thing eaten for nourishment, either by man or beast.

    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb–to you it shall be for meat Genesis 1:29.

    Every moving thing that liveth, shall be meat for you.

  33. noah webster, prohibition, some of my favorite topics; and so many awesome comments.

    in the spirit of what i believe to be our faith and the spirit of this blog, i have enjoyed everyones comments; all sides and directions included.

    another product of the prohibition (of alcohol) is the pasteurization of milk and today’s pasteurization (and sterilization) of nearly everything. ok, so everything might be too inclusive.

    so to the letter of the law i think of these things…

    and the intent, or spirit of the law (to which knowing history and thus noah webster helps) and then try to translate my feelings given our understanding (or better: comprehension) of english…

    within my personal context of good, better best and personal belief in hearing the spirit talk with feelings and thinking in the (and my) constantly growing comprehension of the language of feelings…

    so all that being said, what about iced coffee? heated then cooled… or milk? pasteurized (heated then cooled). i’m not a fan of milk or pasteurization anyways; i just thought it was interesting to me. and wow. meat being all food… what a great comment!

    we all must decide what we believe and all this conversation is great for all who wish to consider what they believe.

    even the prophet; with all their elegance of speech, fasting and prayer, still require grace and our personal prayer so that we can hear (or better; feel) the holy spirit and seek the wisdom from above intended for us personally and each of our unique and individual lives/testimonies.

    thank you all.

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