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February 22, 2021 8:00 pm
.1 Newman's commandment 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 was the word of wisdom, a divine command or a good suggestion. Welcome to this additional 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 yesterday. We began looking at an article that was written by Mormon apostle Quentin L. Cook Quentin L Cook is the great-great-grandson of Heber C. Kimball, if you do any amount of genealogy among the leadership in the LDS church are going to find that many of them are related either by blood or by marriage.
This article titled when evil appears good and good appears evil is found in the March 2018 addition of & magazine.
It begins on page 30.
However, we are looking specifically at a portion of this article under the subtitle of word of wisdom that Eric you and I both when we read this section got the impression that Quentin Cook is somehow trying to tie in some of the recent scientific developments regarding alcohol and tobacco in the detriment that it sometimes plays on a humans health as somehow bolstering Joseph Smith's claim of being a prophet of God and I've heard many Latter Day Saints try to make that type of the comparison of what we brought out yesterday was the fact that abstaining from alcohol and abstaining from the use of tobacco was not really a new issue with Joseph Smith. He's not the one that originated this at all. There is a temperance movement going on around the time of the beginning of the Mormon church as well as a call to abstain from tobacco as well. They were kind of intermingled. If you will.
What I find amazing is, though, the Mormon church touts this as a commandment. We don't really see that in the early years of the Mormon church and at the end of yesterday show I read from the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on page 117. Under section 3 under the subcategory of the word of wisdom that on April 7, 1838 at best. It was required of officers in the church, but not necessarily understood to be a commandment for the membership. In other words, members were being told you better abstain from these products. Otherwise, you're going to have some problems with your salvation, your exultation or anything like that if you go straight to the doctrine and covenants section 89 it says that it was not a commandment. This is what verses wanted to say a word of wisdom for the benefit of the Council of high priest assembled in Kirtland in the church and also the saints in Zion to be sent greeting not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days of this was given on February 27, 1833. According to the subheading under section 89 in the doctrine and covenants so as early as 1833 we are finding that this word of wisdom and you know if a person wants to go by this health code all power to the problem I have with this is how it is been turned into a commandment when it originally was merely a suggestion and what's interesting is in this article by Quentin Cook. There's a pull quote and it says on page 32. The word of wisdom, advocates, wholesome health practices with a promise that those acting in deviance to the divine command shall receive health and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge. My question is how did it become a divine command when the wording in section 89 doesn't seem to support that now it was Spencer Kimball that credited Brigham Young with being responsible for taking it from a suggestion to a command did Brigham Young have the authority to override the written word.
A direct revelation. We are to understand given from God to Joseph Smith.
It appears so that's an important quote and it does come from the teachings of Spencer W. Kimball on page 201 and he says the word of wisdom is a commandment in 1851 Pres. Brigham Young gave to this church. The word of wisdom as a final and definite commandment from the time it was given to the prophet Joseph until 1851. It was considered as a matter of preference or suggestions to the people. A word of advice and counsel from 1851 until this day. It is a commandment to all the members of the church of Jesus Christ Bill, I got ask you a question. This is Brigham Young, who in 1851, for whatever the reason, decides to make this a commandment, but this is the same Brigham Young who is oftentimes ridiculed by Latter Day Saints and say, well, that was just Brigham Young's opinion. When you bring out Journal of discourses volume on pages 50 and 51 that Adam is God. They say will that's not true, or the way that the gospel topics essays through Brigham Young under the bus when it came to the issue of the Blacks in the priesthood and they say that he was the one who is responsible for that and we shouldn't have accepted that. So I find it disingenuous for the Latter Day Saints to say that the word of wisdom is something that God commanded when it wasn't originally given in doctrine and covenants section 89 and it wasn't brought in until the second president decided to make it a commandment, take what you just said Eric and add it to all the other confusion and inconsistency of the Mormon church. For instance, when it comes to the sacrament or the communion. There are Mormon historians that say that wine was used for the sacrament facts section 89 says it's supposed to be used but yet what are Mormon find himself in trouble if he insisted on having one pain in the sacrament, rather than the water. I would think they probably would.
But here's what I find fascinating. This use of the word commandment. If you were to go to LDS.org/media library. There is a video series that you can watch and in chapter 31 of this video series. It's titled the word of wisdom February 1833 and the subheading could you can print out the transcript of the video. It says the Lord reveals to Joseph the word of wisdom, a health commandment requiring respect and honor for our bodies.
The Lord promises many physical and spiritual blessings for complete obedience as you listen to this video, there's a section in there where it admits that when Joseph Smith was calling together what was called the school of the prophets. It says that the school was held in a room in Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland, Ohio. In this school Joseph and other church leaders taught each other about the priesthood Scriptures and other things.
The school was to help the men prepare for church leadership in missionary service. Here's what it says next. Many of the men smoked pipes or cigars which filled the room with smoke. Some of the men chewed tobacco and spit on the floor, making it very dirty.
Emma Smith, Joseph's wife clean the room after each meeting she Joseph became concerned about the brethren's use of tobacco.
Joseph wondered if people should smoke or chew tobacco.
Joseph prayed to know what was right and what was the result of their prayer. The word of wisdom.
I want you to notice something very very interesting here folks. It doesn't sound to me like the initial reason for banning tobacco use was a health reason, it sounds like more of a cleanliness reason Emma was pretty upset that after all these men finished their meeting this school of the prophets that she was responsible for cleaning all the spin off of the floor because they were chewing and spitting out. I assume they're missing the spittoon. That's where you're supposed to hit and I'm sure it was pretty crusty all the way around it but it sounds like it was not a health issue that was originating this idea know this historical piece of evidence that I just gave doesn't go into a lot of detail. It's very vague as far as details are concerned, but Mormon historians have gone into more detail as to how this came about. For instance, we have in the book of Mormon enigma written by Linda King Newell and baleen Tibbets Avery on page 47. They talk about how the word of wisdom came about tempered societies work to abolish ardent spirits and also condemned the use of alcohol, tobacco, and the eating of too much meat. Without question this larger social movement affected the Mormons.
Thus, Emma faced almost daily with having to clean so filthy a floor as was left by the men chewing tobacco smoke to Joseph about the matter. David Witmer's account supports Brigham Young's description quote some of the men were excessive chewers of the filthy weed in their discussing slobbering and spitting because Mrs. Smith to make the ironical remark that it would be a good thing if a revelation could be had declaring the use of tobacco is sent and commanding its suppression." Emma had support among the women.
Witmer further reports quote the matter was taken up and joked about one of the brethren suggested that the revelation should also provide for a total abstinence from tea and coffee drinking intending. This is a counter dig at the sisters" Joseph made the issue.
The subject of prayer and the word of wisdom was the result doesn't sound to me like it had anything to do with health issues. Doesn't know it though. It's a hoax, like it has everything to do with Joseph Smith's wife Emma Smith complaining about the filth that was left after the meetings. Joseph Smith was having with some of these eventual leaders within the Mormon church and this is David Witmer's account David Witmer you're going to find his name in the front of every edition of the book of Mormon. He was one of the witnesses to the authenticity of the book of Mormon and when Linda King Newell and baleen Tibbets Avery in their book Mormon enigma Emma Hill Smith and I might mention.
By the way that both of these are Mormon women that one of them is passed away sense but when they say David Witmer's account supports Brigham Young's description okay there's two witnesses right there to what's going on here. I don't see health issue in this I see merely it's a cleanliness issue that's not brought out in this narration to chapter 31 the word of wisdom on LDS.org\media library video that you can watch on the Mormon website tomorrow were going to continue looking at the word of wisdom in this article by Mormon apostle Quentin L.
Cook because I think there's a lot of aspects to this that many people fail to realize you cannot look at this health code as somehow justifying Joseph Smith as being a prophet of God, because as I said, he's not the originator of this idea.
It was already circulating during the time that this came about. Furthermore, the Mormons don't really even follow the word of wisdom to the letter today.
I don't see them following every aspect of the word of wisdom. Yet, if you say that you don't follow the word of wisdom. You don't get a temple recommend. So how are these people getting temple recommends.
Unless they follow the word of wisdom to the letter tomorrow will be looking at that and hope you can join us for that broadcast thank you for listening.
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