When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 13 Jan 2014, 08:15

hawkgrrrl wrote:When does the WoW get disavowed? Same time garments are tossed aside, which is to say never. There is no upside for the church, and there is a downside (in both cases). Additional requirements like these create stronger commitment. The downside to WoW in particular is that it's not exactly right as a health code. People drink tea and live past 100 years. Coffee and wine both have health benefits. Carbs will kill you faster than either one for most people. But it does give people a way to visibly change their lives and declare their Mormonness.

Actually it seems like there would be a huge potential upside for the Church to instantly increase the number of possible active members and give people one less reason to reject the Church. As it is there are already literally millions of inactive members and in many cases their children or grand-children will not end up being LDS at all. So anything that would increase the chances of more investigators joining the Church and more members remaining active in the Church longer than they currently do on average would be a major benefit to the Church not only right now but for future generations as well.

Even if this would result in lower commitment out of the average follower I'm not sure that would really be such a bad thing for the Church over the long-term. Personally I think there are diminishing returns with demanding so much commitment in part because many people start to associate the Church with self-righteousness, overzealousness, and strict rules like this to the point that no matter how sincere and well-intentioned the active members are the Church mostly leaves them with a negative impression overall.

To be honest, I doubt that most of the leaders that have any power to change this have really thought about it that much as far as trying to actually weigh the advantages and disadvantages against each other and seriously consider the possibility of changing the way this is taught and emphasized (if at all). To me it looks like they are mostly just repeating ideas they already inherited from previous leaders and the biggest obstacle to changing it is simply that this would involve going against what the Church has already taught about this for so long. So even if some leaders are open to the idea that previous leaders could have been wrong about this they could still worry about how members would react to a change like this and that maybe they would see it as lowering our "high" standards or even something to undermine their confidence in revelation and the Church's authority.
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foodoctor33
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by foodoctor33 » 17 Jan 2014, 09:01

I get frustrated by the way the WoW is handled in the Church. If someone has a beer or a glass of wine or a cup of joe....not worthy to go to the temple. However, my very overweight father can go to the SUMMER ward picnic, eat 3 hamburgers the Bishopric grilled and feel absolutely no problem with walking into the temple with the Bishopric for ward temple night.

This is why the WoW was meant to NOT be a commandment. Because it is treated so objectively. If a very overwieght person, or a summer ward steak BBQ isn't breaking the WoW in their minds or the Bishop's mind when doing temple recommend interviews, why does coffee, tea, tobacco, wine or strong drink get such scrutiny?

The WoW is a great code of health. When I am asked if I live the WoW, I say yes because the WoW states, "...not by way of commandment..". So I generally live the WoW but still get looks when I am sucking down a venti iced carmel macchiato. If the church picks and chooses what parts of the WoW it can break, why can't I?

Any thoughts? Am I justifying or just confused about the double standard? Probably a little of both.

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When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 19 Jan 2014, 12:08

Curtis wrote:So, in accordance with the mission of this site, how do each of us move forward and stay LDS (and do so with peace and happiness) no matter what happens with regard to the Word of Wisdom - and, especially, if nothing changes from the current situation?
Read the actual original statement, apply it in a way it was originally intended and ignore the cultural modern application of it?

Or just accept that certain behaviours are expected of group membership. Accept that being part of a group that encourages avoiding unhealthy substances is not such a bad thing after all.

I don't think that if I were drinking coffee, tea, alcohol (in moderation) it would actually be a sin nor that it would put me at any disadvantage in my relationship with God. But I do recognise that it would put up a barrier between me and other fellow-saints. I choose to observe it for the second reason.

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mackay11
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When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 19 Jan 2014, 12:15

foodoctor33 wrote:I get frustrated by the way the WoW is handled in the Church. If someone has a beer or a glass of wine or a cup of joe....not worthy to go to the temple. However, my very overweight father can go to the SUMMER ward picnic, eat 3 hamburgers the Bishopric grilled and feel absolutely no problem with walking into the temple with the Bishopric for ward temple night.

This is why the WoW was meant to NOT be a commandment. Because it is treated so objectively. If a very overwieght person, or a summer ward steak BBQ isn't breaking the WoW in their minds or the Bishop's mind when doing temple recommend interviews, why does coffee, tea, tobacco, wine or strong drink get such scrutiny?

The WoW is a great code of health. When I am asked if I live the WoW, I say yes because the WoW states, "...not by way of commandment..". So I generally live the WoW but still get looks when I am sucking down a venti iced carmel macchiato. If the church picks and chooses what parts of the WoW it can break, why can't I?

Any thoughts? Am I justifying or just confused about the double standard? Probably a little of both.
The members of the church see in black and white. There are lots of people who need to believe absolutes. Degrees of behaviour, applying moderation, seems to be difficult. The "do nots" are absolutes and have been made more absolute (strong alcoholic drinks has been extended to include mild alcoholic drinks, even though the latter is permissible in the WoW). If the meat was a "do not" then we'd all be vegetarians. Instead, "sparingly" or "in moderation," is completely ignored and usually joked about. ("I eat meat sparingly, I love a rack of spare ribs").

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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by journeygirl » 19 Jan 2014, 17:02

mackay11 wrote: The members of the church see in black and white. There are lots of people who need to believe absolutes. Degrees of behaviour, applying moderation, seems to be difficult. The "do nots" are absolutes and have been made more absolute (strong alcoholic drinks has been extended to include mild alcoholic drinks, even though the latter is permissible in the WoW). If the meat was a "do not" then we'd all be vegetarians. Instead, "sparingly" or "in moderation," is completely ignored and usually joked about. ("I eat meat sparingly, I love a rack of spare ribs").
This is why I don't believe the WOW is actually from God. If it was, then that would mean that he changed his mind and therefore is not the "same yesterday, today and forever." In the WOW he clearly states that it is pleasing to God if people only eat meat in winter or times of famine, and he mentions this kind of thing 3 times. The other items are just "not good" or "not for" and each is mentioned only once. I think the emphasis has switched completely in the modern church. I mentioned before that it seems to be a common health code from Joseph's time, and someone along the way decided to use parts of it as a measuring stick arbitrarily.

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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jan 2014, 17:15

journeygirl, fwiw, it still could have been "from God" / "inspired" / "revelation" / whatever in its original form - and the change to current policy might simply be that, an administrative policy change. Otoh, the change also might be "from God" - especially if someone sees the first decades as a "grace period" for members who had been raised in other religions and would have had to quit a strong addiction. I can understand, intellectually, that premise - that after the passage of time, the rising generations would have been raised in a culture of general abstinence, anyway.

I wouldn't mind at all if the entire thing returned to a non-enforced outline of general wisdom (and I actually like it, as worded, in that form), but I don't want anything more in it to be enforced than already is. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that everything is not enforced - not one bit. In fact, I absolutely do NOT want the non-enforced aspects to be enforced. I don't want Bishops to control temple recommends based on Body Mass Index or their belief in who is too overweight or not - or have a strict amount of meat each member can eat - or anything else that is SO subjective in so many ways. There are thin vegetarians who will outlive large meat eaters, just like there are smokers who will outlive non-smokers.
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journeygirl
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by journeygirl » 20 Jan 2014, 13:38

Curtis [Yes, your guess is correct about the name change], I agree that I wouldn't want anything else to be enforced by the church in the WOW either. To your other point, I probably should have said "that's one reason I don't think it's from God." But you're right, my comment there doesn't necessarily prove that. My main reason is that as a health code, elements of it have been disproved (tea, coffee or wine bad for most people) and it pretty much just follows the 1800's health beliefs.

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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Jan 2014, 21:07

Curtis wrote:I wouldn't mind at all if the entire thing returned to a non-enforced outline of general wisdom (and I actually like it, as worded, in that form), but I don't want anything more in it to be enforced than already is. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that everything is not enforced - not one bit. In fact, I absolutely do NOT want the non-enforced aspects to be enforced. I don't want Bishops to control temple recommends based on Body Mass Index or their belief in who is too overweight or not - or have a strict amount of meat each member can eat - or anything else that is SO subjective in so many ways. There are thin vegetarians who will outlive large meat eaters, just like there are smokers who will outlive non-smokers.
Me too, I gave up tea (I never liked coffee anyway) and beer, I'm not giving up bacon or steak!
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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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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 21 Jan 2014, 08:11

foodoctor33 wrote:I get frustrated by the way the WoW is handled in the Church. If someone has a beer or a glass of wine or a cup of joe....not worthy to go to the temple. However, my very overweight father can go to the SUMMER ward picnic, eat 3 hamburgers the Bishopric grilled and feel absolutely no problem with walking into the temple with the Bishopric for ward temple night...This is why the WoW was meant to NOT be a commandment. Because it is treated so objectively. If a very overwieght person, or a summer ward steak BBQ isn't breaking the WoW in their minds or the Bishop's mind when doing temple recommend interviews, why does coffee, tea, tobacco, wine or strong drink get such scrutiny?...When I am asked if I live the WoW, I say yes because the WoW states, "...not by way of commandment..". So I generally live the WoW but still get looks when I am sucking down a venti iced carmel macchiato. If the church picks and chooses what parts of the WoW it can break, why can't I?..Any thoughts? Am I justifying or just confused about the double standard? Probably a little of both.
Exactly; it just doesn't make much sense how we went from what D&C 89 actually says to the current interpretation in the Church. How do we know that "hot drinks" specifically means coffee and tea but not hot chocolate or other hot drinks? Why is the suggestion to eat meat sparingly completely ignored by so many members that take some of the other points so seriously? It also sounds like it is saying that beer is perfectly acceptable to drink (mild barley drinks?). Most of all how did we go from something that specifically says that it was intended to be "not by commandment or constraint" to what has become a strict obedience test that currently serves the purpose (intentionally or not) of separating practicing Mormons from the the world? Not that I think D&C 89 should be taken literally either because it obviously has some problems of its own but if the WoW was really half as important as most active members currently act like it is and revelation really worked the way the Church claims then it seems like there should have been some new revelations in the D&C to clarify all these changes.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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DarkJedi
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DarkJedi » 21 Jan 2014, 08:20

DevilsAdvocate wrote:Exactly; it just doesn't make much sense how we went from what D&C 89 actually says to the current interpretation in the Church. How do we know that "hot drinks" specifically means coffee and tea but not hot chocolate or other hot drinks? Why is the suggestion to eat meat sparingly completely ignored by so many members that take some of the other points so seriously? It also sounds like it is saying that beer is perfectly acceptable to drink (mild barley drinks?). Most of all how did we go from something that specifically says that it was intended to be "not by commandment or constraint" to what has become a strict obedience test that currently serves the purpose (intentionally or not) of separating practicing Mormons from the the world? Not that I think D&C 89 should be taken literally either because it obviously has some problems of its own but if the WoW was really half as important as most active members currently act like it is and revelation really worked the way the Church claims then it seems like there should have been some new revelations in the D&C to clarify all these changes.
I have wondered about and questioned this same thing, DA, and I've asked about it here on the forums. It seems to be a mystery, except for Brigham Young "clarifying" hot drinks meant coffee and tea. Apparently he was pretty wrong about the priesthood ban, which brings us back to the original question.
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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