Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You are what you eat, smoke, drink, inhale, inject...uh..

So, here am I, totally supposed to be working on one of my bazillion term papers, and instead I'm writing a blog. Whoops. I've also decided I should probably stop sitting in the hallways, because apparently everyone thinks I am the guest information booth. No, I don't know where the Luau is, nor do I know where the 15034350th ward activity is being held. But I do know that the topic of today's blog is one that myself, along with others, have been confused over for the past few days. I know that I love to rant about the "injustices" of the world, but honestly, if anyone has the answer to these issues, by all means, let me know.

So if you were to pick any Mormon at random, and asked them what the Word of Wisdom entails, this is most likely what they'd say:

-No tobacco
-No alcohol
-No coffee or tea
-No drugs

Am I right in suggesting that is how people interpret the WoW? 

But wait a second, if you look a little closer at D&C 89, a dietary guideline "adapted to the capacity of the weak" (89:3), you will see it is not as clear cut as the above list. 

First, while it does prohibit the consumption of tobacco, strong drinks (coffee and tea, and anything else harmful, it does not completely exclude alcohol. In vv. 5-6, wine is actually permitted for the sacrament.

Furthermore, the chapter also discusses in great length the avoidance of meat (or the use thereof sparingly), and the prescription of fruits and vegetables. It also rambles about certain grains and their proper use, such as "barley...for mild drinks". Yea, I don't know any mild drink made out of barley...maybe O'Douls?

ANYWAYS, okay so if we're supposed to eat healthily, that is, eat meat sparingly, but chow down freely on fruits and veggies, why doesn't anyone ever enforce it? Why is it that some one who drinks loses their temple recommend, but someone who is morbidly obese is apparently totally worthy? Granted, no one is perfect, everyone will make unhealthy choices, but why is one more serious than the other?

My belief is that the emphasis placed on specific spots of the WoW are culturally motivated. Even after the revelation of the WoW, alcohol was being consumed by the great leaders of the church. A common misconception is that as soon as D&C 89 was received, all these things were tossed out. However, even my husband's ancestors who lived in Nauvoo owned and operated a pub long after the revelation. 

People didn't lose their temple recommends for smokin a little weed now and then. Okay I might be exaggerating a bit there but once I did read a quote from Brigham Young about cultivating marijuana. I will give $100 to whoever can find it.

I digress...essentially I think it a tad unusual that someone who has an addiction to food (an addiction every bit as deadly and detrimental as any drug on the market), can totally be praised, but someone who tips one back every now and again is a total sinner. But the way society reacts to obesity is the acknowledgment that they're "still a good person". They have an addiction. But someone who is an alcoholic is "horrible". Certainly the symptoms are different. An alcoholic is a little erratic, loud, rambuctious, while someone who is overeating is slowly, quietly killing themselves as well. So what's the difference?

I also will say I agree with v.3 of d&c 89. The Word of Wisdom is brought around, "adapted to the capacity of the weak". Sure, I may be an okay drunk, but Billy Bob may blow at it. So our bad apple Billy Bob ruins the whole bunch. It is better not to even risk it which is why we must avoid these things in the first place.

Am I making any sense? Thoughts? 

9 comments:

Beatrix Kiddo said...

I completely agree with you. The intake of sugar and caffeine amongst Mormons is insane, but they'll judge the person who has a glass of wine (which is considered healthy) at dinner. I've known people who have far worse reactions mentally to caffeine than I do crazy abusive drunks. I think it should be a personal choice. For a church that preaches personal revelation so much they sure don't teach the people to use it in most situations.

JJ said...

It's ALL a bunch of Fairy Tales. Don't believe the hype Abby; do what makes you feel good. I stopped worrying about Mormons and other people in general years ago.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it's not about what MORMONS think. The individuals of any organization hardly ever accurately represent the position of the entity itself. Check out the Catholic church or the Jews or for heaven's sake take a look at Islam for crying out loud. Islam is a religion of peace but look what some extreme members of that faith have made out of it. Why don't you check out what the church itself says. BTW, I think a lot, MANY MANY mormons think WORSE of the obese than many others. It varies person to person, which is why you can never rely on individuals in any organization to accurately represent it.

Anonymous said...

So if you were to pick any Mormon at random, and asked them what the Word of Wisdom entails, this is most likely what they'd say:

Well first off, if you were to 'pick' any NON-Mormon at random, and asked them what Mormonism entails, they'd most likely talk to you about polygamy and sex and throat-slitting ceremonies in the temples. They might mention the fact that we crazy mormons brainwash our kids and that Thomas S. Monson instituted a treatment program for homosexuals at BYU involving electroshock therapy and heterosexual pornography to help them see the light. They might also be aware that we have to consign our entire estate to the church, and kill ourselves if the church asks us to. The point is, 'picking' any person at random is NEVER an accurate method to gather information, because, frankly, the Word of Wisdom is just about as misunderstood, and occasionally misrepresented, amongst the church's own members, as the church itself is misunderstood and misrepresented among the 'non' Mormons.

-No tobacco
-No alcohol
-No coffee or tea
-No drugs

If your random sampling happens to catch one of the 'Mormons' who has prayerfully studied the 89th section, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, payed any attention to MODERN revelation on the subject, you might find they have a more detailed answer than that little list of bullets. I've not had a sunday school lesson EVER not talk about the do's as well as the don't of the Word of Wisdom.

Am I right in suggesting that is how people interpret the WoW?

As above stated, NO, with the following clarification. Sometimes because of 1) time restraints, 2) a lack of understanding, or 3) a pessimistic 'stallion' attitude, the Word of Wisdom IS OFTEN summed up in the above manner. Most members who really care (sadly enough perhaps 30% of them, according to my jack-A attitude and 'random picks', besides, what can I say? Many are called but few are chosen [fact of life]) would emphasize the do's of Sec. 89 more than the don'ts.

But wait a second, if you look a little closer at D&C 89, a dietary guideline "adapted to the capacity of the weak" (89:3), you will see it is not as clear cut as the above list.

Sadly, for all you lackadaisical adapt-the-law-to-fit-my-needs (v.3: "weak') type of people, this stipulation does not mean we can simply leave the parts out that bug us. It also does not imply that we can ignore what prophets have said clarifying this or any revelation SINCE its inception. If that were the case, we could just indulge in the fact that the revelation was given as a suggestion and not 'by commandment or restraint' in verse 2 and leave it at that. PARTY ON! No, no. This clause promises that the law has ALREADY been adapted for us, we CAN live it. No matter what our weaknesses are, be it an overindulgence of meat or heroine, we will be given the power to live this law.

First, while it does prohibit the consumption of tobacco, strong drinks (coffee and tea, and anything else harmful,

Coffee and tea are actually not specifically forbidden in the original revelation. This is actually a (go figure!) clarification by (thank you) our modern prophets. Some folk (fanatical look-beyond-the-mark mormons and some 'nonmembers') believe the Word of Wisdom prohibits ALL hot drinks. Goodbye hot cocoa, goodbye Tang that was left on your dashboard, goodbye apple cider. Thank heavens we've got modern prophets that have both the AUTHORITY (that's why you joined this church anyway, isn't it?) and the INSPIRATION to clarify the confusing parts.

it does not completely exclude alcohol.

It actually does completely exclude alcohol. (again, modern prophets)

In vv. 5-6, wine is actually permitted for the sacrament.

Ya, and if you'll read closely... FRESH from the vine. That's grape juice, honey. Sorry, but no glowing sacrament meetings yet.

Furthermore, the chapter also discusses in great length the avoidance of meat

actually more just mentions it

(or the use thereof sparingly)

I rest my case...

and the prescription of fruits and vegetables.

Yes, twice a day with meals, feel welcome to steam or boil them, or cook 'em in a stew with lotsa MEAT!

It also rambles

Yes, God has been known to do that. Ever read the old testament? Of course, many of us call this 'teachings, which are according to the dictionary: "ideas or principles taught by an authority"'

about certain grains and their proper use, such as "barley...for mild drinks". Yea, I don't know any mild drink made out of barley...maybe O'Douls?

For anyone with a little world scope, up till a while ago, malt drinks (including alcohol free beer) have been very popular, and in many other countries still are.

ANYWAYS, okay so if we're supposed to eat healthily,

Sorry, that's actually not a word...

that is, eat meat sparingly, but chow down freely on fruits and veggies, why doesn't anyone ever enforce it?

Is anything in the church really enforced? No. Have you ever been arraigned? No. Have you been interrogated? No. Or did your guilt compel you to confess? Do you see people pulling folks aside who come to church in jeans and telling them to pay their freaking tithing? No. It's not enforced because nothing is. They are laws we either choose to live or not. If you confessed to your bishop of eating too much meat, he just may take your recommend for a while. After all, the question in the interview is 'Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?' not 'Do you drink alcohol?'

Why is it that some one who drinks loses their temple recommend, but someone who is morbidly obese is apparently totally worthy?

Because they are kidding themselves. However, it is extremely insensitive to insinuate that every obese person is that way only because they ate themselves a beef cow.

Granted, no one is perfect, everyone will make unhealthy choices

There are plenty of folks who really don't.

but why is one more serious than the other?

For the same reason that murder is worse than theft.

My belief is that the emphasis placed on specific spots of the WoW are culturally motivated.

To an extent, yes. On my mission I drank loads of fruit, herbal and even green tea, and in many non-English church handbooks and copies of True to the Faith, only black tea is listed as prohibited. Here, you tell your judgmental neighbor you drink herbal tea, and you'll be ostracized. From their clic that is, and not from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In some European countries, many of THOSE types of members actually believe that the movie rating system and guidelines are 'for American Mormons.' So yes, the way the members receive the commandments is partially culturally based, but the LAW is CONSTANT. God has declared it. Even in 'cultural drinking communities' (like those crazy democratic back east ones :-D) the newest converts to the church know God don't want them boozing...

Even after the revelation of the WoW, alcohol was being consumed by the great leaders of the church.

See verse 2: it started as a suggestion...

A common misconception is that as soon as D&C 89 was received, all these things were tossed out. However, even my husband's ancestors who lived in Nauvoo owned and operated a pub long after the revelation.

...and was later 'beefed up' (what, meat?!) as a full-fledged commandment through modern-day prophets, by revelation. To God, there really is no difference between such a 'suggestion' and a 'commandment', he just wanted to shut the word-mincers up.

People didn't lose their temple recommends for smokin a little weed now and then. Okay I might be exaggerating a bit there

You are. In fact, just the fact you suggested you were 'exaggerating' implies you know you're dead wrong.

but once I did read a quote from Brigham Young about cultivating marijuana. I will give $100 to whoever can find it.

Show me. The weed, I mean, I'll give you the C-bill. Ha. Seriously though, show me the quote.

I digress...

You've been incredibly on topic the entire time. Kudos. Of course, you've also said absolutely nothing.

essentially I think it a tad unusual that someone who has an addiction to food (an addiction every bit as deadly and detrimental as any drug on the market),

That's simply not true. Have you ever seen the effects of meth or LSD? Have you ever lost your virginity on a soggy bathroom floor or stabbed the purple beetles you thought were crawling out from under you fingernails, or been so drunk you puked in your cup and drank it again three or four times before your buddy pulled it out of your hands? Give me a break and have another brownie for crying out loud. I'm not condoning, but wake up. There IS a difference.

can totally be praised

Never heard em praised.

but someone who tips one back every now and again is a total sinner. But the way society reacts to obesity is the acknowledgment that they're "still a good person". They have an addiction.

Absolutely, and it needs correction. But milk before meat, okay? Where is the whole 'no need to run faster than one's strength' thing? Remember, even we weaklings can handle this law because God adapted it for us (remember verse 2 again?).

But someone who is an alcoholic is "horrible".

Not true. Anybody who says that does not believe in Jesus. I'm dead serious here. God doesn't dig the action, but loves the person. Just like a mom doesn't hate her kid for pulling a book off the shelf. She'd really prefer he wouldn't, but still loves him. This is the attitude God has about sin. Any PERSON who actually is of the opinion that an alcoholic, or worse yet, someone who drinks a glass of wine now and then, has the bigger problem. God taught us charity before the Word of Wisdom. We try to overcome our actions, and become better people. ALL OF US. Its a PROCESS.

Certainly the symptoms are different. An alcoholic is a little erratic, loud, rambuctious,

Actually I've met plenty of boozers who are more stable than any angry teenager or fanatical next door neighbor-judging-you're-not-playing-with-my-good-mormon-son mother.

while someone who is overeating is slowly, quietly killing themselves as well. So what's the difference?

See my graphic depictions above. Of course you shouldn't overeat, but you are on this earth to do your best to overcome ALL vices.

I also will say I agree with v.3 of d&c 89. The Word of Wisdom is brought around, "adapted to the capacity of the weak".

Then don't be so hard on yourself. Have another brownie!

Sure, I may be an okay drunk, but Billy Bob may blow at it. So our bad apple Billy Bob ruins the whole bunch. It is better not to even risk it which is why we must avoid these things in the first place.

You think that's a talent? That's exactly why God forbade it. For everyone. Period. You said it best yourself:

It is better not to even risk it which is why we must avoid these things in the first place.

Am I making any sense? Thoughts?

With my clarifications, yes, now you are making sense. Basically, your rantings are uneducated, illogical, flat out RUDE, and poorly thought out, albeit with a grain of truth. Plus, why broadcast your lack of research out for the world to see, and fuel the Satan-fed fire of just such misunderstandings and lies that make up the veritable smorgasbord of anti-mormon literature and propaganda. As always, anyone who wants to know the truth of this or any law, need but to prove and test it. See Moroni 10:3-5 and the entire standard works on how to do this. LIVE the Word of Wisdom for a time and see if the promise (the whole point) at the end of the section will fulfill itself. I testify it will.

Abby said...

umm CRAZYY! I like who left this comment also left it as anonymous because they can't handle to tell us who this lovely Christ-like person is. Apparently you are so bitter that you lost your virginity on a soggy bathroom floor...yea creepy. Oh and your arguments actually made me think less of the WoW. But then again I'm rude and not reading the WoW correctly.

D.C. said...

I love the cowards that post anonymous and disturbing things on blogs. Taking that kind of time to show nothing but extremism and hate while veiled in a claim of righteousness is sickening. It just goes to show that when good things (like the Church and its doctrines) are taken to the extreme they become worse than the behaviors and doctrines they preach against.

Abby Q. said...

PS- If you actually read D&C 89 you would feel like biggest freaking idiot in the world reading your comments like you know what's up. Read it again fool, don't be trying to discredit people's research when you haven't done it yourself. The word "fresh" doesn't even exist in vv. 5-6! It's pretty blatantly clear what those two verses say. Thanks for making me double check my sources because what I found was that I was right all along, and you're just a rambling idiot.

PPS- "Healthily" is an adverb. Look it up. Unless, of course, you think you're smarter than your dictionary. Just like you thought you could trick and English major? ha! Don't you know that we're sticklers for spelling?

I'm Valerie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

I was totally going to comment that healthily is a word!! Idiot. hahahaha Someone spent a LITTLE too much time on responding to your blog. Seriously. How long did that person take?
And thanks for commenting on my blog Abby! No you're linked to on mine, and we can comment lots and lots. haha