Word of Inconsistent Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom, as it was laid out by Ol’ Joe back in 1833, has been viewed both as a sensible guide to healthful living and a poster-child for scriptural misinterpretation and inconsistency since then.
The arguments reign rampant and the church continues to avoid shedding any more light on the subject.
Many have spoken officially and unofficially and had their speeches contradicted or repudiated (sometimes by the same person).

The issue hasn’t really affected me personally until a recent event, but before I get into it, I will disclose some important information: I love wine and always have.

So during a recent visit to the Olive Garden with my wife and two boys, I ordered a nice glass of Chianti Classico and immediately began noticing a young mormon woman (yeah, of course I could tell she was mormon), who was sitting to my left with her husband and 3 children (all under the age of 6, I assumed), giving me clearly disapproving looks. She would stare at me for a while and when I would make eye contact with her, she would move her eyes down to my glass of wine and scold me with her eyebrows and prominently wrinkled forehead.

The behavior became obvious to my wife as well and we both got a good chuckle out of it. But the incident highlighted for me the idiocy and hypocrisy of those who claim to follow the Word of “Wisdom.”
C’mon, we were at THE OLIVE GARDEN!!!! Not your number one choice for healthy eating.
This woman was consuming an enormous amount of oily pasta and potatoes, chugging it all down with a tall glass of cola. Her children each had a cup of what I assumed to be juice and her husband was eating steak (uh… no flesh allowed people!!)
But my one glass of wine…OH NO!!!! I’m headed to hell in a handbasket!

…even though studies have consistently shown benefits to drinking wine and many experts within the wine world agree that drinking wine moderately lowers the risk of heart attacks and helps controls levels of cholesterol in the body. It also has its negative points, but I think my two glasses a month are just fine, don’t you?

1 comment to Word of Inconsistent Wisdom

  • Niels

    First off, the word of wisdom is part of a tool to decide who can enter the Temple. To answer your question–Yes, I think a glass of wine here and there would not be bad. I think a glass of coke has more adverse affects than those of wine. Anyone giving you that kind of body language is totally inappropriate. If you want a glass of wine, that’s your business. I myself am a very active member of the LDS church and have never had a drink, but I am not opposed to others drinking (as long as they don’t get behind the wheel). Some people just get caught up living in Happy Valley :) and need some perspective. haha. (I have been a sailor for the last few years). The thing is, the Church is not going to spell out exactly what is right and what is wrong. How would they be able to regulate temple recommends if they said one or two glasses of wine is okay? People react differently to alcohol and it would be impractacle to decide who has had that one glass too much and who is in the green. So it is better to simply say ‘no strong drinks.’ It is a word of wisdom, in that you should live a healthy life. I agree with you 100% that there are plenty of people who don’t drink because the word of wisdom says not to, but then do other things that are unhealthy. They shouldn’t be overweight, for instance. The word of wisdom part of one way to decide who can enter the Temple. We don’t have to be perfect, but there is a minimum standard. Alcohol is part of that, coke is not. And that’s the bottom line. The word of wisdom was not instigated as a means of deciding who can enter the temple, but is used as it now. The actual doctrine does not say “alcohol” but it says “strong drink”. Perhaps wine would not fall under strong drink. Or maybe it originally meant getting drunk. Either way, it is now established as a standard in the Church and members who want to enter the temple will have to live it the way the leaders of the church interpret it. These are my views, but what do I know?

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