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


D&C 89, the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom, gives both very specific and very general instructions. Sometimes we have a tendency to read more into it than is there, or to take away what is actually written there. In the economy of heaven, supererogation is a sin. We are expected by the Lord to do what is required by him. No more, no less.

And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. (3 Ne. 11: 40)

But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them. (3 Ne. 18: 13)

Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. (D&C 10: 68 )

And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. (D&C 93: 25)

And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D&C 98: 7)

For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen. (D&C 124: 120)

So, in the spirit of doing no more and no less than what the Word of Wisdom says, let’s review just what it does say, and what it doesn’t say.

  • Wine Drinking wine is prohibited by the revelation with but one exception: we can use wine for the sacrament if we ourselves make it, but it must be pure grape wine, not other types of wine.
  • Strong Drink Drinking strong drink is strictly prohibited, however, it is given the use of washing our bodies.
  • Tobacco Smoking, chewing and eating tobacco is strictly prohibited, however, it is given the use of a healing herb for bruises and sick cattle, with cautions on its use (as tobacco poisoning is a real danger.)
  • Hot Drinks Hot drinks, defined by modern prophets as tea and coffee, are strictly prohibited to be used on the outside or inside of the body.
  • Wholesome Herbs The Lord gives the thumbs up, but says to use them in the season thereof, with prudence and thanksgiving.
  • Fruit Again the Lord gives his approval of their use, but says to use them in the season thereof, with prudence and thanksgiving.
  • Flesh of Beasts and Fowls of the Air The Lord gives his approval for their use but emphasizes two times in the revelation that they are only to be used in times of winter, cold or famine, which is his definition of the word “sparingly” and also says that it is pleasing to him that they not be used, at all, except under the conditions he states. Also, these things are to be used with thanksgiving.
  • Grain The Lord gives a thumbs up for all grain, both for man, beasts of the field, fowls of heaven and all wild animals on dry earth.
  • Mild Grain Drinks The Lord gives a thumbs up for all mild grain drinks. Mild grain drinks at the time the Word of Wisdom was revealed was interpreted by the saints, including, apparently, the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, as being beer drinks, with alcoholic content between 1% and 5%, as opposed to strong drink, which was hard liquor with alcoholic content of 40% or more.
  • Fruit-Bearing Plants The Lord gives a thumbs up to all fruit-bearing plants, whether that “fruit” is found above or below ground.

That, in a nutshell, is what the Lord says about what we can or cannot eat. Now, here is what the Lord doesn’t say:

  • Cola drinks The Lord is silent on cola drinks.
  • Chocolate The Lord is silent on chocolate, including hot chocolate drinks.
  • Caffeine The Lord is silent on the consumption of caffeine.
  • Seafood The Lord is silent on eating seafood, both sea creatures and sea plants. After all, the saints were in the middle of the country and had no access to seafood, so why talk about it?
  • Insects, Arachnids, etc. The Lord is silent on the eating of insects, arachnids (scorpions, etc.)
  • Drugs The Lord is silent on drugs, whether legal or illegal.
  • Cooking The Lord is silent about cooking food. He doesn’t approve or disapprove of raw-foodism.
  • Vegan Diets The Lord is silent about vegan diets.
  • Vegetarian Diets The Lord is silent about vegetarianism, though the revelation seem to stress a mainly plant-based diet.
  • Every other type of food consumed, not mentioned in the revelation. The Lord is silent.

Some modern LDS interpretations on the revelation that contradict how the saints who lived at the time of the revelation interpreted it:

  • Wine Means Grape Juice The early saints did not understand the revelation to mean grape juice. It was wine, as in it had alcoholic content. It is lumped together with strong drink for this reason. After all, what’s wrong with drinking grape juice?
  • Mild Barley Drink Is Barley Water The early saints did not use barley water. The mild barley drinks they made were beers, not barley water. The Lord in the revelation is referring to the practices of the time. Therefore, he is referring to, and approving of, beer.

Open interpretations:

  • Wholesome Who decides what a wholesome herb is? You do.
  • Tea Although the prophets have interpreted “hot drinks” to mean tea and coffee, just what constitutes the tea that is prohibited is interpreted by LDS in different ways. For example, there are four types of tea: black tea, oolong tea, white tea and green tea. Some choose to interpret tea as being only the type of tea that was in use by the saints at the time of the revelation, leaving the other three types open for use. Especially green tea, which many people feel has great healing properties. Others reject all teas, including herbal teas.
  • Coffee Many saints think that it is the caffeine in coffee that makes it prohibitive and so drink decaffeinated coffee.

Sometimes as LDS we tend to be a little too judgmental of our fellow saints, based upon our preconceived notions of what the Word of Wisdom is and isn’t. Just because a saint has a bottle of vodka in his cupboard doesn’t mean he’s drinking it, it may mean he’s using it for washing purposes. Just because a saint has a winery and is bottling wine doesn’t mean he’s drinking it, it may mean he’s preparing for the day when we will again partake of the sacrament with wine. Just because a sister refuses to eat meat, it doesn’t mean she is breaking any commandment. Just because a saint is a raw-foodist or vegan or vegetarian, doesn’t mean they are weird or strange. Just because a saint drinks coca-cola or green tea or makes a meal of cake and ice cream doesn’t mean that they are sinners. And even if we ever see a saint drinking Guinness, at 5% alcohol, are they really breaking the Word of Wisdom? The earlier saints wouldn’t have thought so.

Remember, the Word of Wisdom was given for “the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.” It may be less of a test to see if we can follow it and more of a test to see if we can stop judging our fellow saint.

Previous Word of Wisdom article: Strong drinks, mild drinks, hot drinks, wine, etc.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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50 Comments

  1. The idea that they measured alcohol content in beer in Joseph Smith’s day strikes me as odd. I doubt it.

  2. It seems far more likely that they enjoyed small beer, which had a much more negligible alcohol quantity as it was yeast-free. When you’re drinking your Guinness do you receive wisdom and great treasures of knowledge? My guess is that intoxication, slight or not would make that unlikely. Also, in the context of the Word of Wisdom it would appear that conspiring men entice us to eat produce out of season. This amounts to prescription for a local food diet, it seems. Don’t forget the assignments of certain grains to certain species. That is important from an agricultural standpoint since the scriptures are agricultural.

  3. This is my forst time on your sight and so far I like it quite a bit. The whole premise of the site goes right along with how I view the church. This post was interesting to me as I have done an extensive study on the Word of Wisdom, I would agree with most everything you have said, however, we do not live in Joseph Smiths time. JS said:

    “That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is right under another. God said ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time he said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy’. This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted – by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is” – HC 5:135

    It is important to remember that the Word of Wisdom was not given as a commandment. It was not until later that it was declared “law”. Diving into the original meaning is interesting but not applicable to us. One of the great things about the church is continuing revelation, first it was revealed as a recommendation, then upgraded to a commandment, then additions were made to it, i.e. caffiene (I know nothing of chocalate or cola drinks).

    JS was a great prophet but he is a dead prophet, the living prophets are the ones who have the responsibilty of guiding us in our day, therefore if a member of the church was drinking a Guiness, they may not be breaking the Word of Wisdom as originally revealed but they are breaking the Word of Wisdom as we currently know it.

    I enjoyed your treatise on the WofW but think, like many, you taught it like JS taught it, not like President Monson would teach it.

  4. One thing to keep in mind is that “hot drinks” has been officially interpreted (defined) by the First Presidency as being “tea and coffee,” which were the hot drinks that were used at the time of the revelation. “Mild drinks”, however, has not been officially defined by the First Presidency. That leaves it open. But if we follow the pattern of the First Presidency, that of looking to the time of the reception of the revelation and the practices of the day, they would probably be forced to interpret it as beer. This may be the reason why the First Presidency has not officially interpreted the term “mild drinks,” leaving it open to interpretation by the saints, but counseling against the intoxicating effects of alcohol. It has always been a principle of the gospel that intoxication is evil. The scriptures use “wine-bibber,” “drunkard” etc. to describe these states of intoxication. The principle is always moderation in all things. Obviously, sometimes life experiences show that some substances are so easy to abuse that they maybe should be banned altogether (Heber J. Grant’s experience with the effects of alcoholism on men) which start people on a drive to ban it altogether using the law, which is the principle of forcing people not to sin. Over time, precedent is set, or tradition (Fiddler on the Roof comes to mind), which replaces revealed law. It is true, these traditions or precedents are tailored to the times and the people, as the people receive what they want to receive, or put another way, if the people desire confusion and shackles and more restrictions, the Lord gives it to them.

    Another thing to keep in mind: the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants are part of the higher, more excellent law of Christ, not the lower law of Moses. If the drinking of grain beers was acceptable to the Lord, under the law of Christ, then we can’t really say that it was a lower law, as it is part of the highest law. It is to be expected that as time goes on the people of the Lord would depart from his revealed law. This happens all the time. (Unless they sanctify themselves, then they live up to his revealed laws.) There have been many departures: plural marriage, law of consecration, no use of wine in the sacrament, banning of all alcoholic beverages, gross inequalities in temporal matters among the saints, etc. As the Lord has said that he will sanctify his saints prior to his Second Coming and clean out all the hypocrites from it, it is equally to be expected that his revealed laws will once again be lived in their fullness.

    I am not advocating that everyone should go out and have a beer. However, we ought to be aware of the true meaning of these scriptures because the day may soon come when we are faced with a return to their real application, and if we can’t get over our incorrect, pre-conceived ideas of what the Word of Wisdom is and isn’t, and continue in our judgmental ways, the Lord might look upon us as the hypocrites and clean us out of his church.

  5. Ah, the old hedge about the law.

  6. Thanks for your reply, had I spent a little more time on your site before commenting I probably would have had a better idea on where you were coming from.

    I appreciate your refreshing view, it is rare I find someone that has ideas as close to mine, I look forward to spending some time on your site.

  7. As pointed out by one post, modern-day prophets are empowered to lead the people of the time.

    President Heber J. Grant taught:
    “I am not going to give any command, but I will ask it as a personal, individual favor to me, to let coca-cola alone. There are plenty of other things you can get at the soda fountains without drinking that which is injurious. The Lord does not want you to use any drug that creates an appetite for itself. (Conference Report, April 1922, p.165)

    Elder Samuel O. Bennion added to the sentiment with::
    I heard President Grant say, recently, that he would consider it a favor to him, if men and women would abstain from the use of tea and coffee, tobacco, liquor, and coca-cola; that they would have power given them to establish themselves in the faith, and save themselves from debt, sickness, and disease. And he read from the revelations, that the destroying angel would pass them by; and he is a prophet of God. (Conference Report, April 1922, p.140)

    The information is out there for those that seek it. President Kimball weighed in more recently with:

    “Generally when we speak of the Word of Wisdom, we are talking about tea, coffee, tobacco, and liquor, and all of the fringe things even though they might be detrimental are not included in the technical interpretation of the Word of Wisdom. I never drink any of the cola drinks and my personal hope would be that no one would. However, they are not included in the Word of Wisdom in its technical application. I quote from a letter from the secretary to the First Presidency, “But the spirit of the Word of Wisdom would be violated by the drinking or eating of anything that contained a habit-forming drug.” With reference to the cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken any attitude on this. I might say also that strychnine and sleeping pills and opium and heroin are not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, and yet I would discourage them with all my power. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.202)

    Alcohol covers the beer argument. Understanding the “spirit of the law” is more simple than some people think. I mean, dudes…..it’s all about being healthy. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s a snare to argue over “this is allowed and this isn’t.” Upstairs has weighed in on keeping proper care of our bodies…and we have the agency to either do it or not. I personally see it as a “respect” issue. The scriptures tell us that our bodies are a temple….and we know not to defile temples….EVERYONE knows not to defile them. Fast-food isn’t mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, either….but unless I avoid it I gain weight and feel run down. It’s not rocket science, people.

  8. I mean, dudes…..it’s all about being healthy.

    Health does seem to be a large component of the Word of Wisdom, which is part of why I choose to drink green tea. I’ve never been (or at least felt) healthier.

  9. I hear ya. My personal thought is that perhaps there’s an issue with the current manufacturing of both coffee beans and tea leaves….like pesticidal problems, or something. The Word of Wisdom banned tobacco a hundred years before the effects of nicotine were known…and well before nicotine itself had been indentified. Think of the old testament and pork. Pork, like raw eggs, are susceptible to a variety of major problems, including trichinosis. In modern day life, commercially raised pig are fed corn and there’s not much danger of trichinosis…but back then there was. Can you imagine? No bacon? I can hear the cries now. And yet, it was to protect them without their understanding why. So too might be the consideration of the current incarnation of no coffee and tea. It’s all about self-mastery…something I struggle with daily. But I gotta tell ya: I honestly feel better about myself spiritually when I successfully counter physical cravings.

  10. Green tea is a manufactured fad that came about because of bogus reductive science. It’s the new oat bran. This too shall pass. Maybe a good shot of heroin makes me want to jump up and do one-armed push ups. So what. Either you want to live the Word of Wisdom and attend the temple honestly or you don’t. You might as well own it. Either the Lord and his servants have the power to warn us of things that aren’t verified by the world yet, or they don’t. All I can say is try to have a little faith.

  11. I should have been clearer. The only health benefit of green tea I am sure of is hydration. Of course, there is evidence that it reduces cancer and other health risks, but that’s all tentative; I drink it because I like it, it is harmless, and it helps me keep hydrated.

    “Have a little faith” is an odd thing to hear from someone who apparently believes that the leaders of the Church are either completely right or completely wrong.

  12. Mark 7:
    18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”)

    Romans 14: (and please, look up and read the whole thing)
    1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
    5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

    14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.
    … – …
    Going forwards Romans teaches us; that we can eat whatever – but should avoid those things that brings other people down. The glutton that dies prematurely, and leves his wife and children behind, acts sinful IF (and only IF) he has reason to believe that his overeating is bad for himself or, inderectly, for his family. IF he do not believe so then he does not sin.

    So, if you believe, in your heart, that coke or green tea or beer is ok; then you do not sin if you consume those.
    But if you do believe so and pass judgement other people that drink those then you are a sinner.
    Interestingly; Paul does not believe that one persons faith is closer to God than anothers – Something to keep in our humble minds. 😉

    Love is the message, and the message is love!

  13. “So, if you believe, in your heart, that coke or green tea or beer is ok; then you do not sin if you consume those.
    But if you do believe so and pass judgement other people that drink those then you are a sinner.”

    So Chriccha, why do we have a church or prophets? Why not just do what we feel is right in our hearts? If I feel okay about drinking beer then go to an interview can I say I live the word of wisdom? If I am not doing anything wrong then I have nothing to lie about but if I say I drink beer then I don’t get my recommend renewed.

    God’s house is a house of order, not one where everyone does what they feel in thier heart is right.

  14. I’d say you better have a darn good reason to lie during a recommend interview, but I could see how it might happen. Fortunately local leaders tend to leave the interpretation of the WoW largely up to individuals.

  15. Sure, the barley drinks are BEERZ! But, more importantly, and more to the point, what is referred to in D&C 89 as “barley … for mild drinks, as also other grain” are the gaelic varieties of cormi (kwrw), a therapeutic specialty of the bards from which Joseph Smith (M’Gowan), Jr., descends.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=9MfGnn1AkvwC&pg=PA950&dq=cormi&as_brr=1

  16. RWW said, “The only health benefit of green tea I am sure of is hydration.”

    I recently came across this page on green tea from World Healthiest Foods dot com. It gives a lot more health benefits, that I wasn’t aware of, than just hydration.

  17. Shawn:
    “why do we have a church or prophets? Why not just do what we feel is right in our hearts?”
    1) I hope we have the Church in Jesus name to follow Him, and I hope he know if drinking alcohol was a sin or not… or do you suggest that we change the name to “Monson’s Church – formerly known as Hinckley’s Church”?
    2) I hope that you are a member because you DO feel that it IS right in YOUR heart. If you do NOT feel that it is right I suggest that you pray about it, and if that does not help leave the church.

    Regarding the Green Tea – there is a separation of doctrine and science…

  18. Sometimes as members of the church we can get so consumed with the should nots that we completely forget about the shoulds, our church leaders at the highest levels subtly tell us this all the time when they talk about how much they use the plan of salvation and repentance in their lives, they aren’t out behind the tabernacle every day rolling dice and drinking 40s with hookers, but coming up short on what you are supposed to be doing can happen to anyone pretty easily. In a way obeying the commandments that discourage activities are often the easy part because it is well defined, but realizing things that you should be doing that you perhaps aren’t takes being closely in tune with the holy ghost as an opportunity to help someone who is in dire need can pass in an instant, forgetting prayer or scripture study after a particularly hard day at work can creep by unnoticed, and dealing with others compassionately can be forgotten when the human tendency to pass judgment first is so strong.

    I do like the evaluation at the very end in the last paragraph is great, declaring that a part of scripture or revelation must only mean exactly the most direct and obvious interpretation of it and nothing else is severely underestimating the ultimate wisdom of our Heavenly Father, and I never thought of that passage that way, but it is a good point. My personal take on it though is that it is probably as much of a test to see if we will just do what the lord requires of us, and when we feel we lack the wisdom to know exactly what the lord requires of us, then if we will pray about it for guidance, and have open honest discussion regarding our own concerns with our own and only our own (unless you are the patriarch of your family) ability to obey and interpretation of the commandments with our bishopric or other priesthood leaders, rather then try and rationalize god’s law with the logic of man in order to twist the commandments into allowing or condemning our actions or the actions of others. People that do that have wound up doing silly things like becoming a murderer over stopping an abortion clinic or paying the riches of man to clergy for the purpose of purchasing the forgiveness of god. Remember the logic of man still has the Smithsonian institute swearing up and down that there is no way the Book of Mormon could possibly be true.

  19. do what you want but the prophets have spoken. a lot of you are very good at justifying

  20. Cameron,
    I agree many people are good at justifying things on this site. I would like to hear an opinion from a man who calls it like he sees it.
    In Isaiah 24:5 Isaiah speaks about the last days and the state of the church right before the second coming.

    5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the cordinance, broken the eeverlasting covenant.

    The temple ordinance has been changed 6 times at least since Nauvoo.
    My question for you is whether God made several mistakes or whether the ordinances and covenants required for mans salvation keep changing?

  21. This topic is old, but I just came across it. Some people have blamed others of justification of the word of wisdom. whether it be from a tea or a beer argument it matters not. the real justification I see with the word of wisdom, and one that I am nearly shunned by my family and friends for ever mentioning is that the Lord desires that we not eat meat. I would argue that 9.5 out of 10 saints justify that “sparingly” word. Rather than reading the entire section, they take the word “sparingly” to mean that it’s ok to eat meat 3-4 or more nights per week. 🙂
    nice article! I like this sight.

  22. wow
    ok first off this site is Great.
    second off many of you here have made soem EXCELLENT points.
    some of you here are standing in judgement and warning others that they are justifying and therefore are not obeying god. THAT MY friends, IS YOU JUDGING. ONLY GOD knows the hearts of all man, only God can judge. It is not our place in ANY way.
    and I dont belive Anyone here is TRYING to find a loophole in the gospel. I belive they are LITERALY SEEKING…TRYING to figure out for themselves what is true and what isnt.
    I agree with whomever said “If it so be that in your heart you have no reason to believe you are sinning, then OBVIOUSLY you are not sinning. If you are livign in sin BELIVE me, YOU will know. You can not do evil, and still feel the goodness of the lord.
    that said I ALSO believe that we as humans CREATE sin for ourselves that would never have been their naturaly…..but we just HAD to go and battle ourselves in our mind over the thing.
    Prey. YOU WILL GET AN ANSWER. do not battle yourself, for you create your own hell and INVITE satan into your life. Do as you KNOW in your heart to be true, do NOT FOLLOW THE WORDS OF ANY MEN!!!!!!!!! and that INCLUDES “Prophets”
    thats one thing I DONT like about LDS and dont agree with. they seem to think that only ONE person is entitled to be a profet. thats bull[***]t. We are ALL PROFETS, its just that we FORGET to look INSIDE us and around us…….thats where god really is and he WILL guide you if you listen I promise.
    Be CAREFUL about blindly following the teachings of your profets or church. because in the bible AND book of mormon it WARNS about FALSE churches in the last days-and that there would be signs to know these churches were false. and these churches are false and infact EVIL because they Enslave the mind….whereas God WANTS you to be free.
    The signs of a false church of the devil according to scriptures are:
    That if you do not give them MONEY you will not be saved.
    This is mormonism. infact they even call it fire insurance……they say if you pay the church to build more and more HUGE buildings then jesus wont kill you when he comes back. the law of the tithe is COMPLETELY misunderstood by the church today (as well as they misunderstand about EVERYTHING else)
    we do NOT teach about freedom. we enslave. we confuse. these are signs of false church as well; they will be a tool of the devil to enslave the minds and hearts of man.
    we were given free angeny FOR A REASON. So that we could learn that if we LISTEN TO OUR HEARTS, THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD WILL ALWAYS BE THERE TO GUIDE US and this is the truth. quit worrying about what you eat and if it will get you into heaven.
    CHRIST SAID that you can consume NOTHING that would make you unclean….he said it is what comes OUT OF you, NOT INTO you that makes you unclean.
    wow mormonism REALLY is slavery.
    Im not saying God isnt real BECAUSE I HAVE a STRONG firm testimony that I could NEVER deny. I know god lives. I know god has a plan for us. I know if I have faith (listen to my heart/holy ghost whatever you want to call it) then I WILL BE guided. But I also know that organized religion leads to slavery ALWAYS. LISTEN TO YOUR F[***]ING SELVES PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your put more stock into what a supposed “Profet” said then you do into your own heart and into the scriptures you yourself declare as THE WORD OF GOD, STRAIGHT UP.
    about beer, tea, etc
    tea is one of the healthiest things you could POSSIBLY drink.
    Beer has NEVER been condemed by the gospel. infact it IS a wholesome drink (in moderation)
    use common sense. if somethign doesnt feel right pray about it if it still feels wrong stop. if it never feels wrong then its not wrong as simple as that. its amazing how enslaving supposed teachings about FREEDOM can be!!
    wow
    peace and love
    Namaste
    Brumingstrun Jowilliamson

    [Note from admin: Brumingstrun, this is a G-rated blog, so “adult” words will cause a comment to be put into the moderation queue. I’ve edited the words out for you and am letting this comment go through, but in the future, please remove such words from all comments because I will most likely just delete them. It’s too much bother to edit each comment in this way. I’m making an exception with this comment so that you and others who read this are apprised. Thanks for the visit.]

  23. There are a lot of intersting comments here.

    I just wanted to add what I learned about tea while living in Japan for a couple of years as a missionary. Tea consumption can be traced back centuries into the Japanese history and today remains a cultural staple. An active member of the church in Japan, if asked about tea and the Word of Wisdom, will be able to break the numeous varities of tea into categories based on what kind of tea leaf it was derived from. From this knowledge, Latter Day Saints in Japan differentiate the “good” teas from the “bad” teas. For example, MUGICHA is tea which comes from wheat and is acceptable. On the other hand OCHA is a kind of tea which will put you on God’s naughty list if you choose imbibe.

    Interesting? Choose your teas wisely 🙂

    Also… I felt it necessary to include a definition of the word “sparingly” used by God in the Word of Wisdom pertaining to how often he’d like us to partake of animals (seafood are animals also!).

    SPARINGLY:

    “In a sparing manner; with frugality, moderation, scantiness, reserve, forbearance, or the like; sparsely.”
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sparingly

    When, if ever, is the last time you had to use the SPARE tire in your car?

    To me is seems clear that God has been more than silent on the vegetarian issue.

    Keep up the engaging discussions friends! Love it…

  24. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone use a spare tire analogy in conjunction with this scripture. I like it!

  25. Well said Jef.
    I have never thought of how Tea was handled in Japan.
    As for the comment from Brumingstrun, I would have to neither agree nor disagree. I dont think your comment is valid to the subject. This article is about a revelation given to a prophet from the Lord, not a “good idea” from the prophet.
    And yes, when there is a clear cut explanation to a code of health prescribed by the Lord anything contrary to that would be just that. It’s not judgemental , nor sinful to call out disobedience.
    A promise is given to those who abide by that code of health. They may run and not be weary and run and not faint. We live in a society where many people drive around the walmart parking lot for a half hour to find a decent parking space. Sorry to be blunt, but there are so many unhealthy, out of shape people today in this nation(USA) and even within the church. When I wake up one day and I am breathing hard just to put my shoes on, then I huff and puff to from the parking lot to my office, then I will know that the promise of the Word of Wisdom has become void because I am not following it. Why do we have to make everything so complex. That article from Jef and his analogy of the spare tire really puts into perspective on how simple it really is. Don’t eat it unless it’s an emergency. Wow, that is actually how the Lord revealed it. go figure.
    As old as it is now LDS Anarchist, great article.

  26. Wondering about your opinion on medical marijuana. My father battled cancer. The chemo-therapy finally killed him. I believe that marijuana could have relieved some of his suffering.

  27. good post. Sure its an old topic, but ever poignant since my salvation supposedly rests on my ability to receive temple ordinances. And thats what it comes down to. Our current (mainstream) ideal on this topic has become a distorted commandment of men. The Lord gave us the fruits to Judge it by when telling us it was not given by way of Commandment. So we turned it into one anyway. In doing so we like the Jews made it into a rote list of things that we cannot partake of.

    It really takes a board of Scribes and pharisees to attempt to control like this by means of Law.

    The Lord himself told us that we are not defiled by what we put into our mouths, but by what comes out of them. Yet here we sit today fulfilling the same course of events that the Priestly elders of Christ’s day performed. We have a set of rote principles that must be observed in order to worship in the house of the Lord. These principles have set up men to be unclean if they put certain things in their mouths, though the instruction was not given by the Lords mouth as a command.

  28. Gluttony is clearly forbidden in scripture and it is clearly unhealthy. The intent of the Word of Wisdom is promoting good health. It follows that any life style or practice that promotes poor health violates the spirit of the Word of Wisdom just as lust violates the spiritual principle behind “Thou shalt not commit adultery” as it was given in the 10 Commandments. Furthermore, life styles and practices that do promote good health are conducive to the spirit of Word of Wisdom.

    Therefore, I do take issue when an obese Bishop or priesthood leader disqualifies someone else from entering the temple because that person drinks an occasional beer. An occasional beer is not unhealthy. And it can have some positive health benefits such as helping a person to sleep better.

    LDS Anarchist – I think that you have made a very good case – well done!

    I believe that LDS leadership is missing the spiritually principle underlying the Word of Wisdom – good health. Not only are they clinging to the legalism, but they are clinging to legalism in error of the words which Joseph Smith taught.

  29. I completely agree with Brutus — avoiding caffeine is treated as more binding than eating meat sparingly, and the latter is the one included in the Word of Wisdom.
    Much like tithing, people just don’t read the section in D&C anymore.

  30. An amazing site “http://www.ldsveg.org/”

  31. An interesting exercise is to read Secc. 89 of D&C from the end to the beginning.Start with verse 21.

  32. Read it backwards? – from the end to the beginning? Is that anything like playing Jimi Hendrix backwards or something? Are there secret combinations hidden?

    D&C 89 v21
    12v 98 C&D

    12 volts 98 something C and D?

    Hmmmm. 98 is the Win98 OS. C and D are drive designations.

    Somebody crack this code.

    OMG – how did Joseph Smith know about Windows 98 and 12 volt batteries back in the day? No way Hosea. Proof right there.

  33. Compare the ingredients straight up: Beer vs Cola

    Beer: Malts: Great Western Pale, Crystal -15, Wheat & Acidulated Malts.
    Hops: Sterling.
    Yeast & Water: Czech Pils Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

    Cola: (diet coke) Carbonated water, Caramel color, Aspartame, Phosphoric acid, Potassium benzoate (to protect taste), Natural flavors, Citric acid, Caffeine

    You tell me which is healthier? One is veggies, one is chemicals. Moderation is the key to everything. Anything, if abused, is bad and against the word of wisdom. Many of the natural, hand crafted brews are great and healthy. Drunkenness is bad, but realize, for a grown man, it takes 3+ low alcohol brews to cause drunkenness or even a buzz. Like many things, the mainstream beers are terrible for you and have hidden ingredients. It really takes discernment, an open mind and honesty with ones self to find what is truly healthy.

    However, in the end, the word of wisdom is one of the more minor commandments. It’s very important to live, but the guidelines are there and it is up to us to discern what is right, after the prophets have spoken.

  34. I wouldn’t say that too loud, if mormons found out they would all become alcoholics!!

  35. I traveled to Colorado last week and visited the Coors brewery. I was able to enjoy a pint of beer in their tasting room — guilt free.

    Also, you may be interested to know that a search for “word of wisdom beer” brings up this post as the number two result — right under the Wikipedia page for the Word of Wisdom.

  36. Lines on Ale (1848) by Edgar Allen Poe

    Fill with mingled cream and amber,
    I will drain that glass again.
    Such hilarious visions clamber
    Through the chamber of my brain.
    Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
    Come to life and fade away.
    What care I how time advances;
    I am drinking ale today.

  37. Okay old post but just want to put in my vote. I have no problem with people drinking mild drinks even mildly alcoholic drinks. I personally don’t like the smell of beer or wine and would never like the feeling of being drunk. I hate having anything mess with my mental faculties in any degree.
    In fact if in the church today beer drinking was allowed we would be well aware without being judgmental who was willing to stay sober and who was not.
    I believe the members of the church today are really following too much of Satan’s plan by using fear, threat, manipulation and even lies to get people to do what they think is right.
    God wants us to be free to choose more than anything. When church membership or leaders or correlation committees or whatever decide it is better to deceive others so they will conform than to tell the whole truth and allow them to choose, they are setting an appointment with the Lord for an eviction from His kingdom meeting.

  38. There is a good discussion on the Word of Wisdom at:
    http://mormonmatters.org/2010/09/07/coke-rum-cake-and-president-mckay/

  39. Proof that the discussion of wine/beer/distilled spirits is not as cut-and-dry as typical members suppose:

    http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=36&Issue=05&ArticleID=04&Page=0&UserID=0&

  40. I have often wondered about the Word of Wisdom since it was read in its entirety aloud in a sacrament meeting by a youth who pointed out that the initials spell WOW. What struck me was the focus on which animals should eat what, the ambiguity on wine and on meat. Perhaps people should look at this as a question like modesty. In modesty there is not one certain size of clothing appropriate for all situations. Swimming is different than a funeral. The point is to not draw attention away from the important things. In clothing people should look nice and attractive but appropriate. We shouldn’t let our diet rule over us. Perhaps alcoholism was thought to be caused by strong drinks and not by weak drinks. In that day when clean water was scarce a little alcohol might be necessary. Jesus said the wine was his blood and made wine in a miracle and referenced wine in his parables. Grape juice would not last as long as wine in those days and wine preserves a harvest just as apple cider preserves apple calories when metal, glass, and equipment are scarce. Conventional wisdom is that tobacco, alcohol, tannins, caffeine, trans fats, burnt meat, saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup are all bad for you even if they appeal to our sense of gratification. Do you need God to tell you to stop consuming those products or can you decide to do it on your own. Pediatricians say to give children water, milk, and 100% juice. Maybe that is what adults should try to stick to as well. I sure do like a glass of lemonade even though it is bad for my teeth.

    Another thing to consider – $$$$$ – Tea, coffee, and tobacco were financial luxuries that the saints could ill afford in those days. Maybe we should make our diets cheaper and only splurge on “healthy” things like fruits and vegetables and not on latte’s and cigars.

  41. section 89 verse 13 uses a double negative. It says “And it is pleasing unto me that they (meaning “flesh”) should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or of famine. another way to say this is, “should be used not only in times of winter…” or “should not be used only in times of winter…” Why put the “not” and the “only” both in this paragraph?
    If the Lord wanted to tell us that the eating of the flesh of beasts was to be limited to times of cold and scarcity, he could have left off one of those words. This is more plain and unambiguous: “…should be used only in times of winter…”
    He seems to be refuting a belief at the time that meat was to be eaten in the wintertime, only, or only during a famine. He seems to be saying, “eat meat sparingly (verse 12) but you can eat it year round.

    Compare verse 15: “And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess hunger.” He doesn’t slip the “not” into this verse.

    I’m assuming God meant what he said. I realise there is comma between the “not” and the “only”. I’m just wondering why verse 13 was written the way it was.

    Here’s another point. God talks about flesh in verses 12 and 13, then he shifts to the eating of grains.

    14: All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only (there’s those two words again) for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth.”

    And here comes the restriction written very much like verse 13:

    15 “And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess hunger.”

    Notice the pronoun “these”. It obviously refers to an object in the previous verse, but which one. I count four: man, beasts, fowls, wild animals.

    Most LDS rule out eating man, even in times of famine. We’ve already got the restrictions on the eating of beasts and fowls in verses 12 & 13. So most LDS people suppose “these” refers to the eating of wild animals.

    But what if it refers to something else. The subject matter is “grains” . What if verse 15 is warning us agains eating grains except when there is nothing else to eat? Could that be possible. I’ve always been taught that grains are wholesome and good for me. Could the Lord really be saying to abstain from grains until starvation is threatening?

    What if the conspiring men of the last days are the bakers and cold cereal producers. I know this sounds nutty, but just read the verses yourself. Look at them like legal instructions.

    I do know that consumption of carbs and sugars causes a lot of health problems. The white man’s diet, when it was introduced to the Hawaii Islands, after twenty years started causing diabetes and heart disease among the native populations.

    I also know that feeding grain to cattle causes them to bulk up and get fat and makes the meat really tasty because of the seams of fat running through the flesh. i also know that it eventually becomes toxic to the cattle and will kill them. Of course the beef cattle don’t live long enough for that to happen. But I suspect a lot of the diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in the US, can be traced to our reliance on bread, and cereals. Captain Crunch and Wonder Bread may be doing us in.

    Reading the WOW, the ideal diet for man seems to be mostly vegetables, with a smattering of animal flesh. We can eat all the fish we want.

    Anyway. Just some thoughts I’ve had. I got interested in the WOW when the low-carb movement sufaced. I’m curious what others think. DM.

  42. Dan:

    Notice the pronoun “these”. It obviously refers to an object in the previous verse, but which one. I count four: man, beasts, fowls, wild animals.
    Most LDS rule out eating man, even in times of famine. We’ve already got the restrictions on the eating of beasts and fowls in verses 12 & 13. So most LDS people suppose “these” refers to the eating of wild animals.
    But what if it refers to something else. The subject matter is “grains” . What if verse 15 is warning us agains eating grains except when there is nothing else to eat? Could that be possible. I’ve always been taught that grains are wholesome and good for me. Could the Lord really be saying to abstain from grains until starvation is threatening?
    What if the conspiring men of the last days are the bakers and cold cereal producers. I know this sounds nutty, but just read the verses yourself. Look at them like legal instructions.

    I’ve always interpreted the “these” in verse 15 to be referring to grains. To me, that is how the sentence reads. The whole “carbohydrate hypothesis” and the conspiring “grain-pushers” are not crazy conspiracy.

    Check out my posts that mention paleonutrition:
    The World I See

    Cheerfully Doing All Things

    As well as these other sites:
    Start here: HuntGatherLove

    Definitive Guide to Grains

    The worst mistake in the history of the human race

    Why Grains are Unhealthy

  43. I have always believed that there is a higher law within the Word of Wisdom. You can stick to the basics and get your Temple recommend or you can receive higher health and higher knowledge by following more closely that higher law.

  44. Christine:

    Could you expound on that topic — i.e., what you mean by “the basics” versus the greater portion? And the “higher health and knowledge”?

  45. I am finding this posting and conversation very interesting. I am new to these parts, and I am finding this whole site more than enlightening and very fascinating. Very interesting were some of the comments about bringing the sacrament into the home. My wife and I started partaking of a true Sacramental Meal in the home a while ago. It stemmed from a couple of things (more than a couple maybe, I have a long list of promptings and reasons), one of which kept surfacing from our desire to live the Word of Wisdom exactly, although I know now it is not the most important reason.

    I have come to believe that the Word of Wisdom, as a revelation, is a living parable. It is designed to be lived and understood by even the weakest of us (see verse. 3), but the same as a parable, there are hidden teachings and meanings that help complete our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I use complete as a verb and not an adjective. Many people often mistake the two. Complete as in it adds to what is lacking or unfinished (as in our understanding). Specifically it can complete our temple experience. Outside of the direct and linear link the Word of Wisdom has to the vocal teachings in the Temple, the fact that the Word of Wisdom is a living parable places us in a situation similar to that of Adam and Eve. A complex situation with a simple question: How to obey?

    Not to be given by command or constraint, it was provided to show forth the order and will of God (a commandment?) in the temporal salvation of all saints… a commandment that was not a commandment. Just like the Garden of Eden. Written as a list of Do’s and Don’ts, the Word of Wisdom is pretty straight forward. It’s not that simple though when you add in one simple phrase: “and it is pleasing unto me. (verse 13)”

    And yet there is that simple phrase, “and it is pleasing unto me.” How often do we skip right past this? If our hearts are truly set upon Christ, our greatest desire should be to please Christ. You can live the simple Don’ts (which I believe have been set aside for more than just heath reasons – each has something very specific in common to each other and in common with the items we are instructed to use for our sacraments.), and we can then include the Do’s, but to please the Lord we do exactly as he has asked and we hold all life sacred. He set specific conditions for the eating of Meat, it basically comes down to the same thing He told Noah in the JST version of Genesis, “to save your life.”

    It is not for one person to say you are or are not living the Word of Wisdom; because it is a living parable, you live according to your understanding. The Word of Wisdom is complex though, with meanings, facets, and layers that move on to include such things as the Law of Sacrifice, Principles of Zion, personal cleanliness and hygiene, the Priesthood, even the Spirit of Elijah. In fact I am certain that the Word of Wisdom is one of the keys prepared for us to unlock our Endowment of Power and our Baptisms of Fire and the Holy Ghost.

    On a completely different path: when paired with another principle of “Zion Living,” Milk and Honey, the Word of Wisdom really can prepare our mortal bodies for sanctification.

    And there you have my forty cents on the matter.

  46. Great article! I agree with most of it. However the definition of “hot” at the time this revelation was received included “stimulating” Which is why we call people (like Gerard Butler) hot;) So with a definition being “stimulating” it changes the the understanding of “hot” drinks and would definitely include caffeine…and sugar for that matter. Also, touching on the “conspiring men” little did the people know back then that men would one day add addictive chemicals to our food and call them “spices” along with the many other additives. So sticking to God’s advice for our temporal salvation and eating a more basic diet is important. I mean if we want to live long and healthy lives. I also want to point out that there is no promise of anything attached to this way of eating. Sorry, people but the WoW is NOT a principle with promise, there is a catch, “And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, WALKING IN OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENTS……shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones” Since the WoW is not a commandment itself I imagine He is referring to other commandments. P.S. I am a die-hard coffee drinker, and occasional wine/beer drinker myself and am disgusted by the judgements thrown at me over it so obviously am not going to return the same to anyone else. Just trying to gain understanding and improve any way I can.

  47. Someone mentioned to me that when Daniel of the Bible refused the King’s meat and only ate pulse was to show that even on a starvation diet, the true and living God strengthened them. It wasn’t the diet that strengthened them but God in spite of a weakening vegan diet. Also Dan the “these”, must also refer to grains because of the semi colon between verses 14 & 15. What do you all think of this Daniel theory? I had never heard of this before?

  48. Julia:

    It wasn’t the diet that strengthened them but God in spite of a weakening vegan diet.

    sounds a lot like LDSA’s post The Strength of the Lord.

  49. while 2 years after the last comment….I did enjoy the comments. I especially enjoyed Dan’s comment which was long and a bit different than the rest.

    I will also say….when it comes to eating meat sparingly if you will…that is at times quite simply put impossible and impractical. A person who does a lot of physical labor all day needs the proteins found in meat to repair your muscles after such a long hard days work. a construction worker won’t be eating a salad for lunch. a farmer isn’t eating salads either. the reason being the body needs protein to repair the muscles after they are used.

    we also know that when we exercise protein is needed. now exercising people usually use a protein shake or protein bar but these things did not exist back in the day when D and C 89 was written so we can’t use that as an excuse to justify an all vegan diet.

    men furthermore being the half of the species that has more muscles needs more protein which also helps with testoronene development. to be blunt men need protein to function and to repair their muscles. women need it too but not as much and as a result women are more likely and can more practically go on an all vegan diet. men however simply cannot unless you have a desk job and even then it’s not healthy because if you have an all desk job you should be exercising and if you exercise you need protein and since until recently said protein came from animals I don’t count protein bars and shakes as an acceptable workaround of the WoW.

    then we have the fact that Hot Drinks is a strangely vague term when the rest of D and C 89 is extremely specific. even more curiously is what animals can eat.

    having said that….let’s see how we violate the WoW on a large scale?

    hot drinks and strong drinks are the obvious questionable ones so I’ll leave those two alone.

    ” 1 A aWord of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—”

    well for starters we aren’t in Zion. while yes a benefit to the church and the council of high priests but also the saints in zion…someplace we currently don’t exist. so is it even for us??? see it doesnt say….the council or the church or zion…it says all three connected by the word and. in a logic statement all three must be true for one to be true. its food for thought.

    ” 2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the aword of wisdom, showing forth the order and bwill of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—”

    yep it’s not a commandment….another way if putting this would be it’s not a valid temple recommend question which means Jesus would fail this question.

    ” 3 Given for a principle with apromise, adapted to the capacity of the bweak and the weakest of all csaints, who are or can be called saints.”

    so it’s given only to the weakest of saints??? is this like the days of moses where God had to give everyone really specific commandments about they can and cannot do because everyone was so weak?

    ” 5 That inasmuch as any man adrinketh bwine 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.

    6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, apure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.

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

    as stated Im skipping over this….but strong drinks remains undefined. it seems like it is beer but it seems undefined and I know the word beer has existed for a long time.

    ” 8 And again, tobacco is not for the abody, 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.”

    it is condemned. great…..but apparently we are to use for bruises and all sick cattle and WITH JUDGMENT AND SKILL. maybe farmers use it for their cattle….if not the world is disobeying this one.

    ” 9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”

    so far we have had some very specific commands but hot drinks and strong drinks remains vague and undefined for some weird reason. it simply doesn’t make sense. I also can’t see how hot drinks is coffee.

    ” 10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome aherbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

    11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.”

    so all wholesome herbs God hath ordained. wholesome being a keyword….what about non wholesome herbs? we also see we supposed use every herb in it’s season as well as fruits. so for example if it isn’t pear season we shouldn’t be eating pears. I would say we have violated this on a large scale by producing fruits of all kinds throughout the entire year….there are no specific fruit and vegetable seasons anymore.

    we are to practice prudence with this and be thankful as well.

    yea I say we have broken these two verses on a large scale.

    “12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;”

    that all elusive sparinlgy word. furthermore if we read genesis and the book of moses up until the flood we see this…

    Moses 2:29
    29 And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    Moses 2:30
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.

    Genesis 1:30
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    notice all the plants are given as MEAT.

    now after the flood….

    Genesis 9:3
    3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

    it seems the flood changed the properties of the earth and now plants are no longer a suitable source of meat. it seems the vegan lifestyle changed from being the norm to no longer being acceptable. it seems God has suddenly said with the flood plants arent a sustainable source of food for humans anymore they now need animals.

    so what is sparingly exactly? seems like another weird vague word especially given the science about protein and muscles I explained earlier.

    ” 13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.”

    Dan made a good point this could be taken as “used not only in times but winter”….again weird wording.

    “14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;”

    so grain is clearly the staff of life. yet strangely we know too much bread for example is very bad and unhealthy. America is ripe with health problems from too much bread….So I think we are missing something here.

    ” 15 And athese hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.”

    this could could mean meat or the grains. LDS.org scriptures thinks it means meat. it even links the word These to verses 13 and

    D&C 49:18
    18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;

    ” 16 All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the bfruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—”

    hey I think we obey this one lol.

    ” 17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.”

    this verse is just weirdly specific. in all of this we see corn for example which is in everything these days is given only for the ox. we also see in all of this section that vegetables have not once gotten a mention only fruits and herbs and grain and meat. vegetables remain strangely absent. does this mean eating vegetables is a violation? is eating corn a violation?

    we are also treated to another vague term known as mild drinks and “other grain”….not sure what either of these are.

    ” 18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones;”

    heres part of the temple garment blessing.

    ” 19 And shall afind bwisdom and great ctreasures of dknowledge, even hidden treasures;

    20 And shall arun and not be bweary, and shall walk and not faint.”

    seems like a great promise.

    ” 21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the adestroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.”

    so we are promised the destroying angel will pass us by….well this begs the question who is this destroying angel? is he a specific person like the angel of death or like the various angels that release seals on the book of revelation? an elusive new character is introduced here and we as a church don’t care. this new character is so important The Lord promises he will pass us by if we obey D and C 89.

    the problem is on a large scale we disobey D and C 89 and have even made it impractical to obey. it is also intentionally vague in several areas while strangely specific in others. several areas we may very well be disobeying….others we have no clue….and truthfully as I’ve looked at D and C 89 I think we have absolutely no clue about anything least of all who this destroying angel is that is clearly visiting us today.

    the word of wisdom is clearly related to our physical health and yet in america our physical health today has fallen apart.

    I think God intentionally left this one vague with the using this logic:

    3 Nephi 26:9
    9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.

    see I think we got just a little to try our faith and if we pass the trial the vague terms will be explained as well as why vegetables are left out and why being a vegan is simply impractical and post-flood why we are commanded to eat all living things.

  50. I’m an active member of the church, and I agree with this post. However, I would also add that the plain language of the revelation makes clear that the Word of Wisdom was never intended to be a commandment or an unnecessary constraint. In my opinion, it is a true shame that contradictions and hypocrisies have arisen as a result of our straying from the text of the revelation, and even worse, humans are allowed to deny other humans membership benefits as a result of this human error. It really is a shame.


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