When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

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mackay11
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 19 Dec 2013, 01:42

Featherina wrote:
cwald wrote:Also...most adults do drink alcohol. And they are responsible, law abiding citizens, parents, spouses.
Sorry, Cwald, but that seems a bit like an oxy-moron, don't you think?
Being response-able - is the ability to respond appropriately.
When one is intoxicated with alcohol, according to police, one's ability to respond is impaired, which is why it is against the law to drink and drive.
There are many other potentially life-changing decisions that must be made when being responsible for children, which is why I never drink alcohol while my children are in my care.

Also, how do you know "most adults" of the about 7 billion people on this earth drink alcohol?
And... how do you measure and know that they are all responsible, law abiding citizens, parents and spouses during the time they drink alcohol?

Moreover, my point was that decisions should be made based on what makes sense as far as what is GOoD, rather than any other person's "doctrinal" writings - whether it be to comply with such writings or to rebel against them.
I appreciated cwald's reply and feel this needed a response. As a researcher I believe in the word "most" and "majority." We often take single cases in the media or in our social circle and blow them out of proportion. I think there is a lot of "mormon-stigma" when talking about alcohol consumption.

If we just take USA as we have data for that:

Most = the majority (at least 51%).

In USA:
88% of men and 78% of women have ever drunk.
72% of men and 60% of women have drunk in the last year.
58% of men and 78% of women have only 1 or 2 drinks on a "drinking day."
65% of men and 79% of women who have ever drunk do so once per week or less often

So statistics show that most people in USA drink and most of them drink responsibly and in moderation.
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health ... statistics

I don't have data for outside the USA. In Asia and in parts of continental Europe there is a responsible attitude to drinking. People might have a glass of wine with their meal or a few drinks at the weekend with friends.

I'm not trying to have a go at you and I'm sorry if comes across in that way. It's just that we unnecessarily stigmatise alcohol in our church. We imagine that anyone who has a drink is morally or socially irresponsible or one step away from being an alcoholic.

Given the majority drink and do so in moderation, does that also make them responsible, law abiding citizens? I think that most people really are responsible and law abiding. Drinking alcohol in moderation does not stop people being able

I like to take this view of non-Mormons:
"For the most part, our neighbors not of our faith are good, honorable people-every bit as good and honorable as we strive to be. They care about their families, just like we do. They want to make the world a better place, just like we do. They are kind and loving and generous and faithful, just like we seek to be."
Elder M. Russell Ballard
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2 ... n?lang=eng

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Sheldon
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Sheldon » 19 Dec 2013, 13:17

Ray Degraw wrote:Re-interpretation of the current policy, especially the consequences of not following that policy? Yeah, I could see that (although I'm not holding my breath for a change any time soon) - and I absolutely would like to see it happen.

Ray is exactly right (contrary to popular belief, Ray and I do agree on most subjects!)
The revelation in the D&C lets us drink beer, and a case for wine (not a strong drink) could also be made. They could also say that it was understood in Smith’s time that the temperature of the drink was a problem, and the use of Tea and Coffee is OK as long as it’s not really hot!

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 20 Dec 2013, 08:25

SilentDawning wrote:...Heber is right -- the priesthood disavowal opens up all so-called "revelation" to question. The disavowal also lumps us in with all other churches that are lead by charismatic leaders who gain influence over us...claims of infallibility and access to direct revelation were the golden nugget that convinced everyone to get with the policies -- both good and bad...Would we disavow the word of wisdom? I don't think so -- there is no reason to. The church leaders are either too proud to do so, or too entrenched in our tradition to do so. Yes, there are members who don't like it -- but there isn't a social stigma against it like discrimination and lack of equality granted to people of different races. I see no reason for disavowing it.

I don't know about a complete public reversal like there was with the racial priesthood ban and the practice of polygamy. However, at the very least I think changing the interpretation, emphasis, and expectations from strict abstinence for everyone to moderation and common sense more in line with what D&C 89 actually says makes more sense right now than almost any other potential change they could make for the simple reason that the WoW could be the single most common deal-breaker that prevents people from joining the Church or remaining active long-term. It is currently much easier to get away with not paying tithing or strictly obeying the Law of Chastity without being completely weeded out than it is to frequently disobey the WoW in the Church culture. On my mission it was a major hassle to try to get the relatively few investigators that were actually interested in joining the Church to give up coffee, tobacco, and/or alcohol and even if they were baptized many of them quickly reverted back to their same old habits again.

Here in Utah I can't count the number of people that were raised Mormon that no longer want to have anything to do with the Church and the WoW is a very common reason why. My guess is that for every inactive member or ex-Mormon that actually knows about and cares about some of the historical issues there are several that simply did not like the Church in large part because they associate it with strict rules like the WoW and un-enjoyable meetings. Sure some of them probably lack the commitment and/or interest in religion in general to even go to church occasionally and almost nothing the Church could have done would have kept them around but I suspect that quite a few of them would have never had as much of a problem in Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or various Evangelical Lite churches. But because the Church tried to force feed them doctrines like the WoW in an overbearing and intolerant way many of them were basically alienated by the Church before they ever had a chance to develop much of a comfort level with what it teaches and the environment it provides.

So even with generation after generation of large families on average and extremely aggressive missionary work it has been an uphill battle to overcome all the members repeatedly lost to inactivity in large part because the Church has made it relatively hard to stay active. That being said, I don't think they will change the WoW much within the next 5-10 years mostly due to the same observation I already mentioned above that the majority of existing members that don't like the WoW have already bowed out and voted with their feet. That means that the majority of active members including the leaders that actually have the power to change it have already accepted the WoW and gotten used to it more or less exactly the way it is now. So it doesn't look like it is currently about them consciously re-evaluating what is really in the best interest of the Church and its members long term as much as them simply repeating the same traditions they have inherited from previous Church leaders and not wanting to admit or even seriously consider the possibility that the Church could have actually been wrong about this all this time.
"Truth is what works." - William James

Roadrunner
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Roadrunner » 20 Dec 2013, 13:24

The Word of Wisdom at face value doesn't bother me much. I like the concept of a guideline for people to follow in regards to what they consume. I don't want to get into what specifically that guideline / standard should say, but it seems reasonable that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies.

What does bother me about the WoW is the double standard on many levels. Why could Jesus, Joseph Smith, and others drink wine but we can't. Why can I eat chocolate cake all day long and be overweight and still hold a temple recommend. Why can't I drink iced tea, which isn't in the scripture? Why can I eat all the meat I want and never touch a grain and still hold a temple recommend, which *is* in the scripture? This is a bit of a stretch (pun!), but it seems to be health related so I will mention it: Why can my wife get innumerable plastic surgeries - which are risky - but they are welcomed by leaders enjoying Double-D sized wives.

A "re-do" seems logical in my opinion, maybe not a disavowal.

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DarkJedi
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Dec 2013, 13:33

Roadrunner wrote:The Word of Wisdom at face value doesn't bother me as much. I like the concept of a guideline for people to follow in regards to what they consume. I don't want to get into what specifically that guideline / standard should say, but it seems reasonable that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies.

What does bother me about the WoW is the double standard on many levels. Why could Jesus, Joseph Smith, and others drink wine but we can't. Why can I eat chocolate cake all day long and be overweight and still hold a temple recommend. Why can't I drink iced tea, which isn't in the scripture? Why can I eat all the meat I want and never touch a grain and still hold a temple recommend, which *is* in the scripture? This is a bit of a stretch (pun!), but it seems to be health related so I will mention it: Why can my wife get innumerable plastic surgeries - which are risky - but they are welcomed by leaders enjoying Double-D sized wives.

A "re-do" seems logical in my opinion, maybe not a disavowal.
Good point, RR,and I agree. We talk about the Jewish dietary laws as being unnecessary, perhaps because in our time things forbidden to them in OT times can be made safe through refrigeration and proper cooking. With the evolution of science and technology in our times, perhaps the prophet should go and inquire of the Lord again and see if it's time to update the "Lord's law of health." There are things clearly bad for us now (illicit drugs, for instance) that weren't an issue in the mid 1800s, and there may be things that were a problem then that aren't now. As long as it doesn't outlaw bacon again, I'm good with it. :D Either way, I really hold to my previous statement in this thread, that what really needs overhauling is the enforcement of it unless there is a new commandment given through the prophet.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roadrunner
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Roadrunner » 20 Dec 2013, 13:37

Another quick note - in regards to Ray's comment somewhere about making changes slowly, or at a rate that won't scare people away. I truly understand the idea that change can be scary and difficult. However it seems to me that a new 1st Presidency could announce a WoW change in a positive light that could be well received. In theory LDS people should welcome new revelations - that's what prophets are for.

Examples of possible reasons to explain changes: we're being more inclusive, we understand much more from science now than we did 150 years ago, we're an international church that must accommodate many cultural standards, we're trying to be more effective in taking care of our bodies (see my previous comment about chocolate cake), etc.

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cwald
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by cwald » 21 Dec 2013, 19:03

Edited....

Never mind.

[Admin Note]: The comment that caused cwald's reaction has been deleted. It violated multiple rules of etiquette for this forum. Cwald self-edited his comment prior to the other one being deleted.
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DarkJedi
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DarkJedi » 21 Dec 2013, 20:42

Dang, I don't check in for a few hours and look what I miss!
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Roy » 22 Dec 2013, 13:54

DevilsAdvocate wrote:Here in Utah I can't count the number of people that were raised Mormon that no longer want to have anything to do with the Church and the WoW is a very common reason why. My guess is that for every inactive member or ex-Mormon that actually knows about and cares about some of the historical issues there are several that simply did not like the Church in large part because they associate it with strict rules like the WoW and un-enjoyable meetings. Sure some of them probably lack the commitment and/or interest in religion in general to even go to church occasionally and almost nothing the Church could have done would have kept them around but I suspect that quite a few of them would have never had as much of a problem in Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or various Evangelical Lite churches. But because the Church tried to force feed them doctrines like the WoW in an overbearing and intolerant way many of them were basically alienated by the Church before they ever had a chance to develop much of a comfort level with what it teaches and the environment it provides.
I agree to a point DA. We have a demanding church. A heritage church or lifestyle church. Our business model is very different than what many of the "Evangelical Lite" churches seem to be offering. I do believe that many people are benefited from these churches that would not do well in the LDS church. OTOH I also believe that there are some out there that are searching for some gospel with commitment and are happy with what they find in churches like ours.

Many years ago I read a book that I believe to have been titled, "Why I am a Methodist." In the book the author has a conversation with a Mormon that doesn't seem to be convinced of the truth claims but is drawn to the lifestyle. The author goes on to talk about how much Mormons expect (and receive) from their youth and young adults. The author concludes that perhaps they are doing a disservice to the youth of their church by not setting higher expectations.

IOW, in a free marketplace of churches sometimes the LDS brand condiment is just right for the individual - sometimes it is not. As long as we let go of the concept that all must come to God through the LDS church then 2 weights are lifted: 1) That people must meet us at our level in order to be saved. 2) That we need to meet them at their level in order to get them saved. I see us as a niche church. It is ok that we don’t meet the spiritual needs of all people.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 23 Dec 2013, 12:26

Roadrunner wrote:The Word of Wisdom at face value doesn't bother me much. I like the concept of a guideline for people to follow in regards to what they consume. I don't want to get into what specifically that guideline / standard should say, but it seems reasonable that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies...What does bother me about the WoW is the double standard on many levels. Why could Jesus, Joseph Smith, and others drink wine but we can't. Why can I eat chocolate cake all day long and be overweight and still hold a temple recommend. Why can't I drink iced tea, which isn't in the scripture? Why can I eat all the meat I want and never touch a grain and still hold a temple recommend, which *is* in the scripture? This is a bit of a stretch (pun!), but it seems to be health related so I will mention it: Why can my wife get innumerable plastic surgeries - which are risky - but they are welcomed by leaders enjoying Double-D sized wives...A "re-do" seems logical in my opinion, maybe not a disavowal.
I think some of the emphasis on the big four banned substances came from the concern some Church leaders had about Church members consistently spending a significant amount of money on these habits. For example, somewhere I read some comments by Brigham Young about beer and he didn't say anything about health or spiritual consequences, only something to the effect that he saw it as an unnecessary expense. So it's no surprise to me that he would have pushed for elevating the status of the WoW from suggestion to commandment in 1851 if he wanted members to mostly be self-sufficient worker bees. Later on it looks like Heber J. Grant got caught up in the prohibition hype so he easily could have interpreted all the demonization of alcohol going on at the time as vindicating D&C 89 as not only as prophetic but relatively important to the point that he pushed for strictly enforcing it as a temple recommend requirement.

It actually makes some sense why it would have ended up exactly the way it did if you view it mostly as a man-made tradition that has evolved over time. However, trying to defend it as coming straight from God as is was increasingly difficult the more closely I looked at it because of some of the glaring inconsistencies, unexpected side-effects of teaching it this way (self-righteousness, divisiveness, etc.), and cases where it is actually wrong in terms of its basic health advice. In reality, the amount of sugar Americans typically consume per day is actually more harmful on average than drinking a cup of coffee or wine ever was. So if it was really mostly about health then it would have been more prophetic to warn Church members about sugar than to make these few things other than tobacco completely off-limits. Also, there is plenty of evidence that eating moderate amounts of meat and especially chicken and fish is actually healthier than grains and starch unlike what D&C 89 suggests.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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