Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

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Cadence
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Cadence » 30 May 2019, 11:42

I like beer. I drink it from time to time but never feel I have to have it. For me personally I draw the line at fermented/brewed vs distilled alcohol. They are different animals to me.

I would never drink Vodka but wine or beer on occasion seems just fine. In fact as I recall the word of wisdom allows for both of those.


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Minyan Man
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Minyan Man » 30 May 2019, 12:04

I saw an interview with Warren Buffett recently. He was speaking to a High School class in his hometown.
He said to the students
Imagine that you are going to receive a new car at no cost. The only catch is: it is the only one you will have in your lifetime. This is true for the bodies you were given. The questions is: how will you treat them?
The teaching of the church & especially the Word of Wisdom reinforce this better than any other organization I know of.

But lIfe isn't perfect.
What happens when "life" happens and addiction occurs?
What happens next?
The answer to these questions are harder to answer.

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mom3
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by mom3 » 30 May 2019, 12:43

I chose not to drink, not because of my religion, but because of a series of events, lives, and lessons that life placed in front of me. The general appeal was wiped out.

I come from a history of alcoholic's. (They were members of the church, too. Crossed the Plains, etc.)

Though I didn't get direct lectures about it, nor did I see it face to face, the impact of the addiction was all around. As a kid I didn't know that the tears being shed in a phone call had anything to do with it. As a teen I could put pieces together.

Addictions can be destructive. We are learning that genetics play a role. Not just choice. It just doubles the problem when it has a genetic component.

Because of church membership it was easy to not engage in substances that could send me down that road. But I also lived outside of Utah. Alcohol was common place in the world I knew. Lots of people can drink socially and be okay. Not all. You don't know until you are on the road. Over the years I watched teen friends get plastered. Then beg me not to rat them out to coaches, parents, friends. When I moved into the corporate world, I met a whole new angle. All the lives hiding behind their addiction. The cars they totaled, the one night stands on trips, the multiple marriages and personal family fallouts. 90% were alcohol related.

Is it a cop out to miss this experience because, "I'm a Mormon?" - I don't know. I just know I am glad did.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 May 2019, 14:23

One thing I probably did not make as clear as I could have is my gratitude that I was not raised in an environment where alcohol consumption was accepted and even encouraged as early as 8-16 years old - when SO many people aren't advanced emotionally and neurologically to make a conscious choice whether or not to drink and, if they drink, how much to drink.

Even people who start drinking as adults don't fully understand their limits until they cross them, and a reasonable percentage of those adults can't stop crossing the line once they cross it the first time. They only way to know where my own line is would be to cross it - and my gratitude is primarily that I have never crossed it and had to hope I could stop crossing it. I never had to face the possibility of becoming an alcoholic (or drug addict), especially at an age when that would have been exponentially more likely.

If you can handle casual, occasional, social drinking without becoming addicted, great. You rolled the dice and didn't lose. I glad I didn't have to roll the dice and find out whether or not I would lose or not lose. (I can't say "win", since I don't see it as a win. I see it in those cases as a neutral outcome or as the avoidance of losing.)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DarkJedi
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by DarkJedi » 30 May 2019, 16:57

I was raised in an environment where alcohol use was accepted and encouraged. Like Mom, I have several alcoholics in my family, including my grandmother who raised me. Also like Mom, I choose not to drink not because of my religion but because I fear I might have the genetic disposition to addiction. I know what it's like to live with an alcoholic. It's not fun. The church does make it easier not to drink, particularly if most of your associations are with members.
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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Heber13
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Heber13 » 04 Jun 2019, 14:24

I find the rule to be 100% abstinent to be extreme. If the prophet needed a little whiskey to get through a night in jail...no harm...no addiction...just some temperance in these things and no worries.

I know lots of people at work that are not addicts, but drink responsibly.

Having said that...I completely agree that the blessings of not being an alcoholic is great. Having worked at a hospital and my wife being a nurse...it is sad to see the effects of it for those who fall victim to the vice.

I can see the benefits...just think we go to an extreme of equating abstinence to worthiness in the sight of God.
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."

Minyan Man
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Jun 2019, 15:25

Heber13 wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 14:24
...I completely agree that the blessings of not being an alcoholic is great. Having worked at a hospital and my wife being a nurse...it is sad to see the effects of it for those who fall victim to the vice.
As strange as it may sound, there are blessings in being an alcoholic in recovery too. I wouldn't want to go through it again, but I have met many
wonderful people in my family & in meetings who have gotten sober, continue to go to meetings & discovered things about themselves that
they couldn't have done otherwise. There are stories I've heard in meetings & "one on one" that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Some
people relapse, some have committed suicide and some go back again to meeting. Some of my closest friends are recovering alcoholics & addicts.
No one keeps a confidence like another recovering person.

There are many wonderful, faith promoting stories I could tell. Maybe I will wait for a F&T meeting. (Just kidding.)

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Jun 2019, 21:10

I agree completely that abstinence should not be equated with worthiness before God - and I would have no problem whatsoever if the Word of Wisdom was removed from the requirements for temple attendance. However, I would like the first step to be removing it from the requirements for baptism.

Even with that, I still am grateful, deeply, that preaching abstinence kept me and so many of my extended family from developing an addiction - and alcohol is a gateway drug for SO many people.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

grobert93
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Re: Seeing the Word of Wisdom through a New Lens

Post by grobert93 » 05 Jun 2019, 05:36

I think part of what makes the word of wisdom (and most other commandments) become toxic is not just the strictness of the rules but the membership judging and becoming un-Christlike to others based on their obedience or perception of faithfulness in regards to obedience. If family, friends, or leadership learns that someone drinks tea, or has a coffee once in a while, they could act in love to understand their situation and figure out if they can help, or they can be completely judgemental. Oh, that member DRINKS? They should KNOW that is against the word of wisdom, so they must be SINNING really bad.

Often enough the membership trying to police one another against a set of commandments is more toxic than the commandment itself.

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