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February 23, 2021 8:04 pm
Answering questions by Bill McKeever Gary Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism do all Latter Day Saints really follow the word of wisdom to the letter. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM for the past few days we been looking at an article written by Mormon apostle Quentin L. Cook titled when evil appears good and good appears evil. It starts on page 30 in the unsigned magazine for March 2018 we been focusing on a subheading called the word of wisdom. We get the impression that Mr. Cook is trying to tie Joseph Smith's call to be a prophet with this word of wisdom or this Mormon health code that is found in section 89 of the doctrine and covenants now. Yesterday I ended the show by saying that I don't really know of any Latter Day Saints that are following all of the word of wisdom to the letter.
Yet, if you don't follow the word of wisdom you are not going to receive a temple recommend in the Mormon church today. Now that's not the way it always will, as we might mention that this is a new word development within Mormonism. It was not something that came out when the word of wisdom came out. In other words, in 1833 when Joseph Smith allegedly receives this revelation on February 27 there was an automatic prohibition.
Let's say on alcohol or tobacco.
In order to get into the temple that came about. Later on, Mormon historian Thomas G. Alexander talks about this in a book that he wrote titled Mormonism in transition.
A history of the Latter Day Saints and working to read an excerpt from that book to get back to the point I made originally. How many Latter Day Saints Eric do you know that when it comes to flesh of beast, and the fowls of the air that these are only eaten by Latter Day Saints and are not to be used only in times of winter or of cold or famine. Do you notice that during the summer when people are doing a lot of barbecuing outside.
There's a lot of Latter Day Saints that I would say are violating that, according to verse 12 and 13 in section 89 I think you have to admit that it's going to depend on the interpretation that the individual's gift. For instance, according to George q. Cannon, who was part of the first presidency in April 7, 1868. He said this, we are told and very plainly to that hot drinks, tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, and all drinks of this kind are not good for man.
He said that in a sermon given in Journal of discourses, volume 12, page 221 well I know when I go down to Temple Square during Christmas time and all the Christmas lights are up. Everybody has a cup of hot cocoa in their hands or how many Latter Day Saints for years would not drink caffeinated colas and then just a few years ago the Mormon church came out and said all you can drink caffeinated call as well a lot of people.
They were surprised by that because all along. Here they thought they were keep in the word of wisdom by not drinking the caffeine that was included in the colas and all of a sudden they say it's okay so here you have inside. D&C 89 saying that you're only supposed to eat meat in certain times in winter and famine and yet July 4. I mean everybody's barbecuing. I don't know of any Latter Day Saints friends of mine that eat meat only in those specific periods of time. You find fascinating. In verse 18 of section 89 it says in all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings walking in obedience to the commandments shall receive health in their navel, and marrow to their bones. It says they shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures but it doesn't say anything about eternal life and there but yet the Mormon church made a course correction. A course alteration if you will, at all. Even I would even say it's correct, but they now make it mandatory for members to say that they keep the word of wisdom in order to get a temple recommend. If you don't have a temple recommend. You can kiss exultation goodbye.
According to Mormonism temple participation is essential for Mormon salvation and his eternal life. Without this talk about temporal salvation in verse two but not eternal salvation right and yet that's the way it's been interpreted now in modern Mormonism. When did this become a requirement for Latter Day Saints if they want to go to the temple.
What did Alexander say about that. In his book Mormonism in transition, he said in 1921. Church leadership made adherence to the word of wisdom, a requirement for admission to the temple. So in 1921. That's when it was finally nailed down that if you want to go to the temple participate in the temple endowment ceremony do work for your dad and so forth.
This becomes mandatory yet that's not what we read in the actual revelation so it seems to me that I Mormonism.
It doesn't really matter with the written word says to them in their unique scriptures.
They can arbitrarily whenever they feel necessary override what's already in the written scriptures and come up with a new direction and that's exactly what this is a new direction imposing this restriction on members of the church that if they do not follow the instructions in the word of wisdom.
I guess you could say they will be punished for that.
Let's go over the timeline again. 1833. Joseph Smith supposedly gets this revelation from God.
1851. Brigham Young says it's required but it takes all the way until 1921, where the temple recommend is withheld. If you do not follow the word of wisdom.
I'm thinking there's been a lot of changes going on here because throughout the 19th century. You have a lot of LDS leaders who are drinking alcohol who are smoking tobacco and in essence breaking the word of wisdom. Why, all of a sudden, 19, 21, did they decide that they're going to make that a requirement and as I mentioned earlier, you're not quite sure what exactly those requirements are that you're supposed to keep how does a latter-day St. know for instance that what he's doing right now is really what God intended in D&C 89 will in that book written by Thomas G. Alexander, he kinda gives you a little bit of history as to how this came about were eventually 1921. It was made mandatory. This is what he says on page 261 of his book Mormonism in transition. The death of Lorenzo Snow brought Joseph F. Smith to the presidency. Smith's views on the word of wisdom or close to those of Heber J. Grant and it is to his administration that the path to our current interpretation of the word of wisdom leads dropping the emphasis on abstaining from me.
He urges the need to refrain from tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco in 1902 he reversed Pres. Snow sand and close the saloon at solitaire, a move which the Protestant clergy heartily approved that I should explain to some of our listeners may not be familiar with what salt there is. It was a building that was completed in 1893 in the southeast quarter of the great Salt Lake.
It was owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as well as the Salt Lake and Los Angeles railway. The Mormon church sold the resort in 1906 it was described as kind of an amusement park and then on April 22, 1925. This particular building caught on fire and was completely destroyed. Other buildings were built later on in that area that are also given that same name affect the building that's out there right now they call it salt air three and he goes on and says following this late in June 1902. The first presidency and 12 agreed not to fellowship.
Anyone who operated or frequented saloons in the same year Joseph F.
Smith, urge state presidents and others to refuse recommends to flagrant violators, but to be somewhat liberal with old men who use tobacco and old ladies who drink tea habitual drunkards, however, were to be denied. Temple recommends so this is not a revelation that has exemptions. Is that what I'm supposed to learn here but what I found amazing is it says dropping the emphasis on abstaining from meat. He urges his Heber J. Grant urged the need to refrain from tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Where does a Mormon leader get the authority to just arbitrarily put a veto on a section in their unique scriptures. That's what's going on. Folks, that's what they're doing here dropping the emphasis on abstaining from meat okay so working to take verse 12 and 13 and just arbitrarily strike that out. Why, why wasn't there in the first place. If you can just strike it out arbitrarily later on what kind of authority to these men think they have that they can go to their own written Scripture the same Scripture that they tell members in their church they should follow, but yet they seem to think that they have the authority to just overwrite it.
Let's go back to the article written by Cook when evil appears good and good appears evil in this entire section that he writes on pages 32 and 33 on the word of wisdom.
He is using a pragmatic approach any showing the dangers of using alcohol and cigarettes and even coffee and tea. He's making it into a health reason, but there's an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune by Peggy Fletcher stack and it's on the website. It's local.
SL trip.com/online/WOW in the article is titled will the word of wisdom ever changed.
She brought out a really good point here.
I like to read this.
She says those some point to the code.
The word of wisdom as a reason for Latter Day Saints. Generally good health and longevity.
Mormon officials acknowledge adherence is not primarily about health quote. This is from Eric Hawkins and LDS spokesman.
He says it is a symbol of willingness to live in obedience to the standards God has revealed through his prophets for members of the church Peggy Fletcher stack rights. In other words, Mormonism teaches that sacrificing certain substances is a significant act of deference to authority as a necessary step toward salvation. So what I gather from that statement by Mr. Hawkins. It's really not about health. It's all about. Are you willing to obey with the leaders tell you, but I think it's still fair to ask. Even though these men claim to be general authorities does a general authority in the Mormon church have the authority to override a direct revelation from God himself, and that's what were led to believe. According to the subheading of section 89 it's a revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, Kirtland, Ohio on February 27, 1833, known as the word of wisdom. Apparently these men can overwrite whatsoever in their unique Scripture doesn't that cause you was a latter-day seed if you're listening. Doesn't that cause you a little bit of concern. What else can they arbitrarily come up with and make you obey in order to grant you that eternal life that you seek the real question that Latter Day Saints to be asking is what did God intend for people of all times and all places in the future. It should be the same as what he met in 1833 but the church over the years has been able to change the way that this revelation reads and interpret it the way that they feel is best suits the church. I think the answer to your question Eric is very simple. According to verse two is to be sent with greeting, not by commandment or constraint but yet that is not the way the Mormon church preaches it to its membership today. Thank you for listening you would like more information and research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is