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Perhaps the book is 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker look at your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 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 welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. L.
There was an article in the March 2018 edition of inside magazine.
This is an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's geared more towards the adult membership in the church, but an article written by Mormon apostle Quentin L.
Cook titled when evil appears good and good appears evil that you might think that he's getting this from the Old Testament but no it's credited to CS Lewis in the Screwtape letters is at the bottom of paragraph number two it says in his classic novel. The Screwtape letters CS Lewis wrote from a senior devil's point of view. Lewis inverted traditional values using irony and satire to make evil appear good and good appear evil. Well, he had a section in this article under the subtitle of the word of wisdom. And yes, we have talked about the word of wisdom on this show in past broadcast, but he brings some things out that I think we can add to what we've discussed in the past. So let's look at what he has to say Eric under the subject matter of the word of wisdom. What is Cook say he writes over the course of a lifetime. I have seen the lives of many of my friends glided and sometimes destroyed by alcohol and alcohol culture isn't just about church doctrine. It is also about the health and happiness of everyone. Latter Day Saints can be an important voice in educating society about the consequences of this issue in the father's plan.
The word of wisdom given because of quote evils and designs of conspiring men" provides health principles, it is quote adapted to the capacity of the week and the weakest of all saints." It sets forth particular's, including that quote wine or strong drink alcohol is not good." Tobacco and hot drinks, tea and coffee quote are not for the body." Any get set out of doctrine and covenants section 89 let's talk about this for a minute because a lot of people tend to think that Joseph Smith was the big originator of this awareness regarding alcohol and certainly that is not the case.
He wasn't even the originator of the awareness regarding tobacco use, but yet I think a lot of Latter Day Saints tend to think that this somehow vindicates Joseph Smith as an insightful prophet of God. When you look back at the history that doesn't seem to really be the case. First of all when it says here, it sets forth particular's, including that quote wine and strong drink, and then in brackets it says alcohol is not good when I read that I can't help but think of what the apostle Paul told Timothy in first Timothy 523 where he tells Timothy to use a bit of wine for his stomach's sake we are not given all the details but you would think that if Mormonism is in fact a restoration of the way things were believed and practiced in the first century church. Why is Paul instructing a young protégé, Timothy Young, pastor to partake in line even though it's a little bit. He says a little wine he doesn't say a lot. Okay, more of a medicinal use, but Mormons are supposed to drink it at all, and certainly there have been a lot of things that have been discovered over the years regarding the use of wine. That is not been negative towards a person who imbibed in drinking wine.
We seem to find from various studies that the use of wine occasionally is not all that bad night I'm I should say this at the beginning of the show we are not at all encouraging anybody to drink or use tobacco products not by any stretch of the imagination.
If you don't don't. I'm just trying to get down to the background of what the word of wisdom was all about and why Mormons have this prohibition on these products today. I think you're bringing out a good point that in moderation we find, for instance, that wine is a healthy substance for people and as you say were not wanting people to go out and buy a bottle of wine just to be able to be more healthy but this is what Webb MD.com says regarding wine.
It talks about at healthier heart. This is several reports in 2000 confirm the glad tidings that wine in moderation. Of course I want to bring out moderation is so important so much of what Cook does in his article is about the abuse of the substances and so moderation is important, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks in the September issue of the annals of internal medicine.
For instance, Swedish researchers at an Institute reported that compared to teetotalers light drinkers who consumed wine, cut their risk of dying prematurely by almost 1/3 and wine drinkers. As a group had significantly lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Actually drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage help the scientists found. But by far the biggest benefit accrued to wine drinkers. So we see something that doesn't seem to go along with the conclusions that the Mormon church would want you to believe now it should be known that wine was used in the sacrament in the early years of the Mormon church. Some say as late as the turn of the 20th century. Now they use water which certainly doesn't seem to reflect any of the symbolism that we find in the New Testament regarding the fruit of the vine or grape juice, but still this is a big issue with Mormons because Mormons tend to be known for not partaking in not only wine or any other alcoholic beverage, but also not partaking of tea and coffee.
That's kind of like the this symbol of Mormonism were proud that we don't partake in these and the question is, of course, I think it's fair to ask why, why don't they. And I want to bring out the fact that Joseph Smith was an original on this. There were temperance movements going on in the early years of the Mormon church and even abstaining from tobacco was a part of this movement that was going on around the time the Mormon church was founded.
In fact, I just did a cursory examination regarding when did human beings all of a sudden start becoming aware of the negative health effects of using tobacco, and I felt very quickly. There's a website called cancer counsel.com it's out of Australia Cancer Council New South Wales, leaving of an article on this where it says when was tobacco first considered to be dangerous to health and it goes back according to this article in 1602 it says an anonymous English author published an essay titled work of chimney sweepers which stated that illnesses often seen in chimney sweepers were caused by soot and that tobacco may have similar effects. This was one of the earliest known instances of smoking being linked to ill health and then it goes on the list.
In 1795 Samuel Thomas Vaughn's summary of main Germany reported that he was becoming more aware of cancers of the lipid pipe smokers and then we have in 1798, the US physician Benjamin Rush now if you know your American history Benjamin Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the former treasurer of the United States.
He was a physician, a good friend of John Adams, will he also wrote on the medical dangers of tobacco so it's not like all this was unknown at the time Joseph Smith comes on the scene. I have no reason to believe that Smith was totally ignorant of what these other people had come to regarding their findings on the use of tobacco. So if you think that Joseph Smith learns this and he's the first 100 scene because he receives a revelation from God.
I think you're ill-informed and you have the temperance movement. As you mentioned and and the anti-tobacco movement in the United States began as an adjunct to that temperance movement in the 1830s, so it was certainly something that was being talked about and known and Joseph Smith would have had access to that. In fact, tobacco use was considered to dry out the mouth, creating a more bitter disease thirst, which only liquor could quench is with someone said so you have this idea that there's issues with the tobacco and and he brings out in his article, Cook does on page 32. He says the statistics today with respect to cigarette smoking are not in dispute.
Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
Smoking is estimated to increase the risk of lung cancer by 25 times that we can agree with Cook and with the Mormons on this. We think that cigarette smoking. There's nothing beneficial about it at all.
Unlike perhaps, moderate use of wine, coffee, work, we can talk about that as well. This idea that that smoking was was bad for you is not original to Joseph Smith. I think that's a point that were trying to make here for Latter Day Saints to think that Jeff Smith was given a revelation by God that change the course of scientific research is not the case at all. When you look at the Bible.
However, you won't find a blanket condemnation on the use of alcoholic drinks, you will find a condemnation of drunkenness. The Bible very specific right says that you are not to partake in alcohol to the point of drunkenness, but I think with bothers me more about what the Mormon church is done with this word of wisdom is first of all when it comes out it was not a commandment. It was a suggestion.
It was something that Mormons were supposed to follow and it would have a benefit for them. But it was not an actual commandment for the Mormon people. In fact I'm looking at the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith in section 3, which is on page 117, under the word of wisdom. It says Pres. Joseph Smith Junior next made a few remarks on the word of wisdom, giving the reason of its coming forth saying it should be observed in the date for this is April 7, 1838 the word of wisdom was given in 1833 but there's a footnote here that I think is interesting. It says this statement by the prophet is in accord with the action of the high Council of the church. Shortly after its organization in February 1834 at one of the earliest meetings of this council over which the presidency of the church presided the following action was taken. The question was asked whether disobedience to the word of wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding office in the church after having it sufficiently taught him after a free and full discussion Joseph Smith the Prophet gave the following decision which was unanimously accepted by the Council and this is what it says no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office after having the word of wisdom properly taught him and he the official member neglecting to comply with and obey it so if there was any restriction at all at this time. On April 7, 1838. It was more for officers in the church and not the general membership. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry.
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