When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

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baldzach
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by baldzach » 21 Jan 2014, 08:55

I had to teach a Gospel Essentials class on the WoW a couple of months ago, and that (along with this thread) got me thinking...

... if "maintaining a healthy body" is an unchanging, eternal doctrine and the WoW is the current iteration of it (as various dietary restrictions in the OT were the Law of Moses' iteration for that time period) -- what would likely be included if it were given today, either by way of commandment and restraint or not?

For example, today's biggest health issues have more to do with obesity, highly processed foods (which were unheard of in the mid-nineteenth century), sugar, etc. Would any of these get a special mention? How about energy drinks? Diet sodas? Artificial colors? GMOs? etc etc.

Time for an update? D&C 137 or OD3 maybe? :)

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nibbler
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by nibbler » 21 Jan 2014, 09:02

Yeah, for all I know that whole meat in winter thing could have been the direct result of lack of refrigeration options available in the 1830s. No meat in summer because it could be spoiled.

I came across this while reading about the WoW:

The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement
http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-conte ... N03_80.pdf
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DarkJedi
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by DarkJedi » 21 Jan 2014, 13:41

Thanks for posting that Nibbler. I had done some research and didn't come across it. It is very informative and what I guessed probably happened, I just didn't know who and how.

I had an interesting visit today. My closest member neighbor (the only other member who lives in our little village) stopped by for a visit as he does sometimes. We stop by their house sometimes, too. He is a member of the stake presidency, and is aware of some of my doubts from prior conversations, and he has confided that he has some doubts as well (but not as serious as mine). He is a huge fan of FAIR and reads everything they put out, and I suppose he could be called an apologist.

So, in the course of our conversation the release on the priesthood ban came up and I was surprised he hadn't read it, but there really isn't anything in there he doesn't know and he was aware that the ban really began with Brigham Young and he does see BY as a racist. He then brought up a few other questions about BY and brought up the WoW. He said he's always had questions about the WoW, although he does live it. He confided that he didn't believe adherence to the WoW should be a requirement for baptism nor did he believe it should be as enforced as it is now regarding the TR. He also confided that in a presidency meeting they had discussed this very topic once, and they came to the conclusion that while they couldn't change it, change was likely coming. Our conversation then progressed to Pres. Uchtdorf.

So, it was interesting to hear this from a person of standing, at least locally, and to know it's not just those of us on the fringe who think and talk about this stuff.
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mackay11
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 21 Jan 2014, 17:22

Curtis wrote: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.
Then shouldn't every new member have 80 years grace to adopt the WoW before it's an expectation? If it's good for the goose...
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.
But the problem is more the double standard. If they don't withhold a TR from people who eat meat to excess then they also shouldn't withhold it from people who drink mild alcoholic drinks in moderation. And yet the latter has a huge stigma.

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journeygirl
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by journeygirl » 21 Jan 2014, 17:51

mackay11 wrote: But the problem is more the double standard. If they don't withhold a TR from people who eat meat to excess then they also shouldn't withhold it from people who drink mild alcoholic drinks in moderation. And yet the latter has a huge stigma.
I think that's the crux of the problem right there. The scripture says one thing, the interpretation is another, and it isn't applied uniformly to the whole section.

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nibbler
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by nibbler » 21 Jan 2014, 19:26

mackay11 wrote:Then shouldn't every new member have 80 years grace to adopt the WoW before it's an expectation? If it's good for the goose...
In that context... yes. This calls for a toast. :lol:

From what I've heard meat is afforded some wiggle room because it's "ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving" and to be used "sparingly" whereas the others are "not for the body" and "not for the belly." So meat is a shade of grey and the others are black and white. At least that's how it's being interpreted.
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Jan 2014, 20:29

Then shouldn't every new member have 80 years grace to adopt the WoW before it's an expectation?


:clap:

Thanks for the laugh. I assume that was a joke.
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GBSmith
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by GBSmith » 21 Jan 2014, 22:14

nibbler wrote:Yeah, for all I know that whole meat in winter thing could have been the direct result of lack of refrigeration options available in the 1830s. No meat in summer because it could be spoiled.
Frances Moore Lappe's book Diet For A Small Planet gives what I think is a good reason. In winter and famine ranchers and farmers have to cull their herds to preserve grain stores since it takes so many more pounds of grain and hay to produce a pound of meat. It's just practical management of resources. In addition meat in winter, especially if it's fatty provides extra energy to deal with the stress of cold and need to keep your body fueled.

Many of the same ideas in the WoW were going around at the time and have continued with Adventists who have an excellent health profile. The encourage but don't mandate vegetarianism and avoid tobacco, alcohol and coffee. Abstinence is a requirement for leadership, I think, but not membership.

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mackay11
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 22 Jan 2014, 03:06

Curtis wrote:
Then shouldn't every new member have 80 years grace to adopt the WoW before it's an expectation?


:clap:

Thanks for the laugh. I assume that was a joke.
:)

It was. It was also a bit of a dig at the apologetic explanation that it was phased in for that reason. If a new member today is expected to make an immediate change I don't see why members 150 years ago shouldn't have been expected to the same. It's an attempt to excuse it not being a requirement when actually the answer is that it never was a requirement. It has only been made such in the 20thC.

Here's the FAIR explanation:
By 1905, the Council of the Twelve were actively preaching that no man should hold a leadership position if he would not obey the Word of Wisdom.[7] On 5 July 1906, the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve began using water instead of wine for their sacrament meetings.[8] By 1915, President Joseph F. Smith instructed that no one was to be ordained to the priesthood or given temple recommends without adherence.[9] Heber J. Grant became President of the Church in 1918, and he continued the policy of Word of Wisdom observance; after that time temple attendance or priesthood ordination required obedience to the principle. Thus, the Church membership had eighty-five years to adapt and prepare for the full implementation of this revelation.[10] By 1933, the General Handbook of Instructions listed the Word of Wisdom as a requirement for temple worship, exactly 100 years after the receipt of the revelation by Joseph Smith.[11]
This long period of patience on the part of the Lord was necessary for all—from the newest member to even the leaders. Joseph F. Smith observed:

The reason undoubtedly why the Word of Wisdom was given—as not by 'commandment or restraint' was that at that time, at least, if it had been given as a commandment it would have brought every man, addicted to the use of these noxious things, under condemnation; so the Lord was merciful and gave them a chance to overcome, before He brought them under the law
http://en.fairmormon.org/Word_of_Wisdom ... ementation

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mackay11
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Re: When Does Word of Wisdom get disavowed?

Post by mackay11 » 22 Jan 2014, 03:07

nibbler wrote:
mackay11 wrote:Then shouldn't every new member have 80 years grace to adopt the WoW before it's an expectation? If it's good for the goose...
In that context... yes. This calls for a toast. :lol:

From what I've heard meat is afforded some wiggle room because it's "ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving" and to be used "sparingly" whereas the others are "not for the body" and "not for the belly." So meat is a shade of grey and the others are black and white. At least that's how it's being interpreted.
Yep, give some people guidance with a shade of grey and they will ignore it completely. Unless there are 50 of them. That seems to get everyone's attention.

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