Trying to find a happy medium...

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NotYourMollyMormon
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by NotYourMollyMormon » 28 Mar 2017, 20:26

DoubtingTom wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 10:05
Welcome to the forum Molly! I'm also brand new here and looking forward to getting to know you and everyone else.

One thought of mine on the WoW - something I'm sure has been stated elsewhere. But clearly when the WoW came out it was a guideline and not binding upon the saints - also I've always seen it as the spirit of moderation in all things. The WoW itself seems to include hard drinks (liquor?) more than softer drinks (beer or wine?). I'm no history expert, but I believe most of the saints included drinking alcohol (hopefully in moderation) after the revelation. JS ordered wine to help revive their spirits in Carthage. Brigham Young continued to drink. It wasn't until much later that strict prohibition became a temple recommend requirement. But was that truly revelation of God's will or just a policy change? I'll leave that up to you decide.

My thought is that if you can honestly say to yourself that you follow the spirit of the word of wisdom as you understand it, and if you truly feel that temple attendance blesses your life, then you should answer the recommend questions accordingly. They are yes/no questions on purpose, because essentially WE get to decide if we are "worthy" or not, and not some arbitrary "judge." So my advice - stay true yourself and do what you think and feel is right. Follow your own moral compass and if that includes continuing to attend the temple, that will only bless you in your life.

If I didn't have a TBM wife so opposed to any and all alcohol I'm sure I would be toasting champagne at our anniversaries. Since I've never had any, I don't really miss it but I also don't think God could care less about whether or not we drink. (Jesus drank wine afterall, so clearly alcohol itself is not the sin). To me, the principle is maintaining our agency and health and also moderation.

Thanks for your insight! I am doing my best to stay true to myself - it's not always easy but I am trying!

And I agree with your last statement - I actually wrote about that in my journal the other day, especially the part about "the principle is maintaining our agency and health and also moderation" I honestly think that's what it boils down to at the end of the day

NotYourMollyMormon
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by NotYourMollyMormon » 28 Mar 2017, 20:45

SamBee wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 11:29
Round here one doesn't have two glasses of wine with your meal. You either drink or don't drink. If you say you're going out for a couple of drinks it often involves having drink after drink foisted on you until you can barely walk. Especially if you're a man.
Yikes! Personally, my motive is not to get trashed lol. I also love to use the word no and know my limits.

99.9% of my family/friends drink. I associate myself with the ones that have a 1-2 drinks max. I like being around them because they are acting like normal human beings and aren't drunk lol. I went out with a group of them a month ago - I was the only sober one but I had a blast with them (no one had to be carried home yay!). I avoid the ones that drink too much like the plague - not my type of vibe

I did notice during my college years that some guys did drink A LOT - it's like a competition of who can out drink who :wtf: some girls would drink a lot, but the guys were next level...

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SamBee
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by SamBee » 29 Mar 2017, 02:54

The ones who drink too much would be most of the people in this country. The only way I can deal with it is by not drinking and having a cast iron rule about it... I can't tell you how many times I went out not intending to be trashed but ending up that way. It doesn't help that I have very low tolerance to it either. Three without food or four with food and I'm away with the fairies.

Even now I get people asking why I don't take up drinking again or saying "never trust a man who doesn't drink" to me. One of my best ways round it is just to say I'm driving. But it does make me useful sometimes. Also if things get rough I can make my excuses and leave.
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Ann
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by Ann » 29 Mar 2017, 08:12

Hi, NYMM - I'm glad you're here. These are the hard, practical questions. How to redraw boundaries between us and the church without drawing ourselves out of the church. I'm very comfortable with the way I wear garments now (not a lot), and still attending the temple. I don't have any experience or desire to drink, so I don't have any real advice for you.

I like this quote from SD's signature line:
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Editing to add: I think the church has a pretty significant problem on its hands because, just looking at this thread, and thousands of others like it, you would almost think that being a Mormon is about what we wear and drink, and not about what we do.

That's snarky, but, as much as the church might want to deny it, I think that's where we are now.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Heber13
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by Heber13 » 29 Mar 2017, 08:22

NotYourMollyMormon wrote:
23 Mar 2017, 18:36
I really don’t think there is anything wrong with drinking an occasional 1-2 glasses of wine with your dinner or having a glass of champagne when celebrating something with friends/co workers. Yet if I drink and admit to it during my TR interview, thats a violation and my TR may not be renewed. These days I have been asking myself "Do I go back to my social drinking and miss out on going to the temple and not having callings?" idk idk...
What do you think "keeping the word of wisdom" means? Do you think you have to confess to a bishop for every sip of prohibited liquid you take?

I'm just asking to discuss it more. Not sure what the right answer is. I just wonder what threshold we have to reach to feel honest and good and worthy to pass the TR interview...and if perhaps we hold ourselves sometimes to too high of a standard and create internal guilt unnecessarily.

Maybe...I'm living the word of wisdom...and I had a drink once or twice 3 months ago...is honest and OK? Maybe it depends on our heart and our intentions...and also...how much it would weigh on our minds sitting in the temple wondering about it instead of being present.

In the past, we have discussed this topic in Wayfarers TR question discussions (here)

Have you read through that thread?

What do you think feels right for you?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

NotYourMollyMormon
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by NotYourMollyMormon » 29 Mar 2017, 18:42

SamBee wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 02:54
The ones who drink too much would be most of the people in this country. The only way I can deal with it is by not drinking and having a cast iron rule about it... I can't tell you how many times I went out not intending to be trashed but ending up that way. It doesn't help that I have very low tolerance to it either. Three without food or four with food and I'm away with the fairies.

Even now I get people asking why I don't take up drinking again or saying "never trust a man who doesn't drink" to me. One of my best ways round it is just to say I'm driving. But it does make me useful sometimes. Also if things get rough I can make my excuses and leave.

This country? Try the Caribbean :lol: I swear everyone is an alcoholic in my country lol

But I totally understand trust me and completely respect your decision. Drinking isn't always the easiest thing to control especially when you take into account all the added factors you listed above. I have my fair share of stories when it comes to drinking (especially during my college years :oops: ) but these days I don't mind being the one not to drink in the group for the same reasons. I always say "hey it's always good to have at least one sober friend just in case"

I wish I could be more black and white when it comes to drinking though. I went cold turkey and stopped drinking from 2010 to 2014. It was easy at first but then again I lived in UT for most of that time. I will admit that during that time, I associated drinking with a way (but not the only way) to socialize and make friends. I grew up with that mindset - family gatherings involved at minimum beer or wine. College functions attracted their crowds with alcohol., fancy dinners involved a bottle of wine, etc.

It was a little frustrating making friends in UT because I constantly felt like I was in this very lonely and empty middle ground - not mormon enough for members, and non members liked me but didn't always want to invite me to things because drinking would be involved and I was too mormon for all that (and based off their experiences with mormons from UT and feeling judged, they didn't want me to do the same to them)... it just sucked lol

When I moved back east and became inactive, I started socializing and networking with others and felt like my life was normal again. When I decided to drink again, it was just because I wanted to regardless of the situation. Luckily I have a great group of friends and family that don't care if I drink or not - they simply enjoy my company. But, we do like to socialize and drink together and it's hard to be around it sometimes but I have pretty good self control lol been in this situation many times because everyone except me drinks lol

NotYourMollyMormon
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by NotYourMollyMormon » 29 Mar 2017, 19:09

Ann wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 08:12
Hi, NYMM - I'm glad you're here. These are the hard, practical questions. How to redraw boundaries between us and the church without drawing ourselves out of the church. I'm very comfortable with the way I wear garments now (not a lot), and still attending the temple. I don't have any experience or desire to drink, so I don't have any real advice for you.

I like this quote from SD's signature line:
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Editing to add: I think the church has a pretty significant problem on its hands because, just looking at this thread, and thousands of others like it, you would almost think that being a Mormon is about what we wear and drink, and not about what we do.

That's snarky, but, as much as the church might want to deny it, I think that's where we are now.

Hi Ann!

You make a great point. Sadly that is the culture they have created (in my opinion). I feel like they focus on the wrong things. I have always stated this in church that hey - we are all trying to be more like Jesus Christ - that is why we are here at church. I am not here to judge you for your transgressions or rebellion or your wardrobe or what you do socially or whatever - not my job. However, I am hoping to learn something positive everyday from those around me, and apply that to my life as I seek to become more like Christ. I love hearing about what others have DONE to be a better version of themselves and how they help others (in a healthy way). Don't always get that from our church but here we are lol

NotYourMollyMormon
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Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 18:01

Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by NotYourMollyMormon » 29 Mar 2017, 19:37

Heber13 wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 08:22
NotYourMollyMormon wrote:
23 Mar 2017, 18:36
I really don’t think there is anything wrong with drinking an occasional 1-2 glasses of wine with your dinner or having a glass of champagne when celebrating something with friends/co workers. Yet if I drink and admit to it during my TR interview, thats a violation and my TR may not be renewed. These days I have been asking myself "Do I go back to my social drinking and miss out on going to the temple and not having callings?" idk idk...
What do you think "keeping the word of wisdom" means? Do you think you have to confess to a bishop for every sip of prohibited liquid you take?

I'm just asking to discuss it more. Not sure what the right answer is. I just wonder what threshold we have to reach to feel honest and good and worthy to pass the TR interview...and if perhaps we hold ourselves sometimes to too high of a standard and create internal guilt unnecessarily.

Maybe...I'm living the word of wisdom...and I had a drink once or twice 3 months ago...is honest and OK? Maybe it depends on our heart and our intentions...and also...how much it would weigh on our minds sitting in the temple wondering about it instead of being present.

In the past, we have discussed this topic in Wayfarers TR question discussions (here)

Have you read through that thread?

What do you think feels right for you?
I have read through Wayfarers TR question discussions in the past (and browsed again just now) thanks for the recommendation :smile:

My interpretation of the WoW has evolved overtime.

During the early years of my membership, keeping the WoW meant to follow all of it without wavering. No exceptions. No middle ground. Not doing so is disobedient and not okay in the eyes of God. Learned that in church, from missionaries, teachers, etc

I believed that up until I was 18.

As an adult, I was more lax with the interpretation (I would drink tea, coffee sometimes, drink alcohol) and would still go to church sporadically. However my mother shared what I was doing with the bishop, and I was put on probation and then disfellowshipped (this cycle kept repeating itself a few times).

Because of that experience, I still had a pretty relaxed attitude about the WoW, however, I associated NOT following the WoW as me being "bad" or "unworthy" and I felt like if I withheld anything I was doing from the bishop, I would not be "clean" from sin and would not be forgiven for my acts. Adding to that, because I wouldn't be forgiven, I would cheat myself from blessings and that God will punish me for being dishonest :silent: ...I have tried to move away from this mindset, and have to some degree, but deep inside I still feel that way

So to answer the second part of your question - YES. I am sure I don't HAVE to, but I feel like I NEED to for some reason.. like I feel guilty if I don't because I feel like I am lying...I shouldn't feel that way but I do...

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DarkJedi
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Mar 2017, 20:58

NotYourMollyMormon wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 19:37
So to answer the second part of your question - YES. I am sure I don't HAVE to, but I feel like I NEED to for some reason.. like I feel guilty if I don't because I feel like I am lying...I shouldn't feel that way but I do...
This. You already get that the WoW is not a commandment and therefore breaking it is not a sin. (I am sorry for your experience of being disfellowshipped over the WoW - I can't imagine that happening here and now.) I think you also recognize that there is a difference in the church and the gospel. With those two things in mind, letting go of the guilt is amazingly freeing.
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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Trying to find a happy medium...

Post by hawkgrrrl » 29 Mar 2017, 21:18

Welcome to the forum! I'm a fellow NE gal (went to HS outside Philly, but lived in South Jersey for 1.5 yrs also), but much older than you are.

Talking about drinking, early in my marriage, I discovered that my GP in-law occasionally drank beer, and I was shocked and surprised because they were pretty devout LDS, but I also learned a few things from that: 1) the WoW is viewed quite differently by older generations, even in Utah, even in multi-gen Mormon families, because it wasn't always the thing it is now, 2) it's not a "confessing sin"--so really it's up to you what you do with it--you don't have to talk to your bishop, and 3) I've learned over time that other sects of Mormonism interpret it all very differently, and oh yeah 4) D&C 89 doesn't actually say what we say it says. Personally, I don't drink (I have a high tolerance, but it gives me insomnia), but I also don't think it's a big deal either. Being the only sober person with drunk people, like at a work event--yeah, that is no fun either. But not because I want to join them.

Unfortunately, I do think your characterization of church culture is more or less accurate which is a shame.

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