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 coffee or tea
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?