TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.

Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?

Yes
28
76%
No
9
24%
 
Total votes: 37

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wayfarer
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by wayfarer » 23 Jul 2012, 15:24

BobDixon wrote:
wayfarer wrote: i appreciate and respect your point of view.

i have a simple question: to whom are you accountable for your relationship with the god of your understanding?
We're ultimately accountable to God, but we're also taught the principle of orderly submission to earthly authority, i.e. "render unto Caesar", etc., as well as the basic principle of honesty. So I'm accountable to God alone for whether or not I follow the WoW, but also for whether I might give an intentionally evasive answer to the TR question.
interesting metaphor. i don't recall that the question was to submit to earthly church authority, but rather, whether payment to an occupying heathen power was acceptable for an orthodox, observant Jew.

Seems to me that the Priesthood is the power to act in the name of the Lord, not in the name of the Church, nor in the name of any churchly authority.

if someone is faithfully acting in the name of the Lord as an interviewer, does the intent of that person, or even that person's earthly organization matter?

to use another example, a person asks for a blessing from the priesthood. should the will of the priesthood holder figure into the blessing?

Since the question is a yes/no choice without elaboration, an either/or question remains: are we accountable to god or to man?
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 Jul 2012, 19:18

I've never given an intentionally evasive answer in any temple recommend interview in my life.


I've just answered the questions as honestly as I can, based on my understanding of what they mean to me. I've always answered, "Yes," "No" or "I try / strive to do so."

That's not intentionally evasive; it's directly honest.
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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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 Jul 2012, 19:37

Let me add something in all sincerity:

If I die tomorrow and am asked by God himself the exact same questions that are asked currently in the temple recommend interview, I believe I would look him in the eye and answer exactly the same way I answer now.

If God looked at me and said, "What do you mean by that?" - and if I explained - and if God said, "That's not what I meant by those questions" --- I believe and hope I would grin :smile: and say,
"Then you should have made sure I knew that before now." ;)


I believe God would grin back at me and say,
"You answered according to the dictates of your conscience all your life. No harm; no foul. :D That's what I kept saying the Atonement is all about, right?" :angel:
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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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Katzpur » 18 Feb 2016, 19:51

Bruce in Montana wrote:I can't help but remembering Joseph Smith's admonition (paraphrasing).... "If anything contradicts a former revelation, put it down as a lie". Making a suggestion that is clearly meant to be "NOT a commandment" into a "commandment"....is a contradiction. Please straighten me out if I'm incorrect here.
I realize that this is a really, really old thread, but I just saw it for the first time. Could someone tell me where to find Joseph Smith's statement -- verbatim and not paraphrased? I have an enormous probably with the idea that a revelation that was given by the Lord as "a word of wisdom" and not as a "commandment" has become such a defining factor in who's a "good temple-worthy Mormon" and who isn't. I have a glass of wine at Thanksgiving and another a Christmas, and when I go for my temple recommend, I always say that I keep the Word of Wisdom. I'm probably just trying to justify my behavior when I say that I keep the spirit of the law, but I fail to see what I'm doing as all that bad. Anyway... I'd like to see the actual JS quote if anyone can direct me to it.
Last edited by Katzpur on 03 Jun 2016, 17:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by nibbler » 19 Feb 2016, 05:47

Katzpur wrote:I realize that this is a really, really old thread, but I just saw it for the first time. Could someone tell me where to find Joseph Smith's statement -- verbatim and not paraphrased?
I did find this quote from Harold B. Lee. Citation: The Place of the Living Prophet, Seer, and Revelator [address delivered to seminary and institute of religion faculty, 8 July 1964], p. 14.
Harold B. Lee wrote:It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they read and write. Now you keep that in mind. I don’t care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard church works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelator—please note that one exception—you may immediately say, ‘Well, that is his own idea.’ And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard church works (I think that is why we call them ‘standard’—it is the standard measure of all that men teach), you may know by that same token that it is false, regardless of the position of the man who says it.
HBL was only a member of the Q12 at the time he made that statement. I wonder if the standard works in 1964 would have backed him up. :P
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Heber13 » 19 Feb 2016, 09:17

I like the quote nibbler posted. I think the lesson we are taught is to search the canonized scripture and see how what the leaders say are in line with scripture.
D&C 89:1 A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—

2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—

3 Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
That is your justification, your sincere interpretation of scripture.
Katzpur wrote: I have an enormous probably with the idea that a revelation that was given by the Lord as "a word of wisdom" and not as a "commandment" has become such a defining factor in who's a "good temple-worthy Mormon" and who isn't. I have a glass of wine at Thanksgiving and another a Christmas, and when I go for my temple recommend, I always say that I keep the Word of Wisdom. I'm probably just trying to justify my behavior when I say that I keep the spirit of the law, but I fail to see what I'm doing as all that bad.
I have no problem with your approach. As long as you feel at peace with God as you sit in front of the interviewer...you are fine to answer according to your conscience and your interpretation.

I don't think you'll find support by leaders, and there are many quotes and handbook sections that would try to establish it is only "one way" to observe this properly with not even a single sip ever.

In the grand scheme of things...it just isn't that important, unless as you sit in the temple or in the interview you are squirmy and sweating about not feeling worthy. You don't want duplicity. You want to feel unconstrained to be open to God's spirit and revelation. I think only you can decide how you feel about it.

You're also allowed to repent. So...if you say a cuss word...you might feel the need to ask god to help you try harder, if that was important to you. Same for a holiday glass of wine. But a can of soda or a sip of wine at the holiday...I can't imagine it matters.

Perhaps do a test. Sip some wine. See if you feel God is in your life, if you feel spiritual, if you connect to whatever you believe, any differently than how you feel it when you abstain from alcohol. Or if you feel unworthy and dark and need to stop taking sips. Then follow your heart and conscience...no justification or mental gymnastics needed...simply answer the temple recommend question if you feel worthy or not according to how you feel.

I prefer my spirit guiding me rather than quotes from the 1800s as my justification. God knows my heart.
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."

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by wayfarer » 23 Feb 2016, 16:27

great to see that these topics are still relevant.

i think we have to grapple with the idea that revelation comes line upon line and precept upon precept, and historical "revelation" often reflects the "lesser portion of god's word which he doth impart to the children of men."

often, god's inspiration is mixed with very human ideas...the temperance movement, etc., or even, as Leonard Arrington discovered, the need to rein in imports for expensive goods like wine, tobacco, coffee and tea.

and these have created the version of the word if wisdomwe have today. and living that law, i became clinically obese, with stage two hypertension, fatty liver steatohepatitis, and a host of other problems, including a five year death sentence from my doctor if i didnt change things. for the past two years, well after starting this survey, i have lost sixty pounds, yet i frequently enjoy adult beverages in moderation. i exercise, i enjoy life more than ever. today, going to my doctor, i have no evidence of liver disease, and my blood pressure, which was pushing 160/100 with medication, is 120/70 with no medication.

the spirit of the word of wisdom, updated with modern medical best practice, works extremely well, and can transform your life...it certainly transformed mine. the letter of the law as practiced by LDS today? a formula for gad health.

there is so much more good in mormonism when we set aside the literalism and control dynamic of the current corportate control paradigm.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Happy never after » 21 May 2016, 21:19

Wayfarer, I have enjoyed reading this topic and your views regarding it. I had a glass of wine with friends at a fundraising trivia night. I did not feel that I lost any spiritual connection and I quite enjoyed to relaxing effect and wonderful conversation with friends. Unfortunately I find that it is quite difficult for some friends to open up and communicate in a friendship building manner until they have had an adult beverage. J have found building close relationships in the church very difficult as many people are to busy and see coming for dinner as work rather than relaxing. I believe it would profit many and build many great close relationships if a drink was allowed. Human closeness and interaction is invigorating for the soul. Moderation is the key. I do know many people including my husband who do want to abstain completely from these things as they fear they do not have sufficient self control to enjoy them. I am happy to support my husband in this way and abstain for him. Although I would enjoy a relaxing beverage from time to time it strangely brings peace to my soul.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I am enjoying the learning process.

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by tblue » 24 May 2016, 10:24

Happy never after wrote:Wayfarer, I have enjoyed reading this topic and your views regarding it. I had a glass of wine with friends at a fundraising trivia night. I did not feel that I lost any spiritual connection and I quite enjoyed to relaxing effect and wonderful conversation with friends. Unfortunately I find that it is quite difficult for some friends to open up and communicate in a friendship building manner until they have had an adult beverage. J have found building close relationships in the church very difficult as many people are to busy and see coming for dinner as work rather than relaxing. I believe it would profit many and build many great close relationships if a drink was allowed. Human closeness and interaction is invigorating for the soul. Moderation is the key. I do know many people including my husband who do want to abstain completely from these things as they fear they do not have sufficient self control to enjoy them. I am happy to support my husband in this way and abstain for him. Although I would enjoy a relaxing beverage from time to time it strangely brings peace to my soul.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I am enjoying the learning process.

Although I would enjoy a relaxing beverage from time to time it strangely brings peace to my soul.
It was through the spiritual process of AA that I found, for me, that the 'peace' that came from alcohol was pseudo-peace. The closeness that I found with others using alcohol, didn't last when the effects wore off. Had to keep recreating the conditions to recreate the feelings. It was a lie of the flesh that told me the solution to the misery of my soul was through external balms. SometimesI think the flesh can sense the longing of the soul for reconnection to Spirit; it registers/experiences the misery somehow and tries to provide worldly answers to a spiritual problem.

Discovering the many ways I had unconsciously sought to either escape or pseudo-fill the 'hole in my soul' was one of the fascinating outcomes of practicing inner awareness through mind tools.

"Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." - Rumi

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 10b: Word of Wisdom

Post by Minyan Man » 24 May 2016, 10:59

tblue, I agree with what you've said:
It was through the spiritual process of AA that I found, for me, that the 'peace' that came from alcohol was pseudo-peace.
I agree completely.

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