July 23, 2008

The Development of the Word of Wisdom

George A. Smith
Brigham Young
Amasa Lyman

Photograph by Gisbert Bossard [1]



June 1, 1844 - Drank a glass of beer at Mooessers [2]
This entry was written in the personal journal of Joseph Smith eleven years after the Word of Wisdom was revealed to the Prophet. Instances like this may surprise some members of the LDS Church who, perhaps, remain unfamiliar with the "line upon line" process in which the Word of Wisdom developed over time. Other members, learning about the relaxed approach to the Word of Wisdom common during the early period of Church history feel history vindicates current disobedience to the Word of Wisdom, as well as other commandments as taught by the Church. Today the Word of Wisdom is taught as a commandment, and a requirement for entry to the temple, though this was not always the case.

Even at Carthage Jail the brethren, according to John Taylor, sent for some wine:

Sometime after dinner we sent for some wine. It has been reported by some that this was taken as a sacrament. It was no such thing; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us. I think it was Captain Jones who went after it, but they would not suffer him to return.

I believe we all drank of the wine, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards. We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits. In consonance with those feelings I sang a song, that had lately been introduced into Nauvoo, entitled, 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief', etc. (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.101).
These incidental occurrences are slight in comparison to Joseph Sr.'s struggles with alcohol; an aspect of the prophet's father I was unfamiliar with until I read Richard Bushman's biography of Joseph Smith. Fortunately he seems to have eventually put this habit down.[3]

Outside influences (temperance movements the opinions of physicians etc.) likely helped the Word of Wisdom along. Today it may be claimed that the Word of Wisdom preceded medical knowledge regarding the substances mentioned therein. Some scholars have argued otherwise. For example, in the 1830s temperance societies flourished, including one near Kirtland, helping to shut down a distillery. In New York, a society spearheaded by Sylvester Graham of "graham cracker" fame, spoke out against tobacco, alcohol, tea, coffee and harmful substances. It is very likely Joseph would have been familiar with the movements. Other influences included common physician opinions on temperance in eating habits, etc.[4]

This brings us to 1833 when, in the School of the Prophets, Emma had complained about the smoke-filled room and was tired of cleaning up tobacco juice. She importuned Joseph, who importuned the Lord, and Section 89 was born. [5]

The Word of Wisdom was instituted as counsel and "breaking" (in our modern understanding of the Word of Wisdom) was not extremely uncommon. Still, members of the Church were often called before a High Council over various offenses, the Word of Wisdom among, but not the chief, reasons. One such example was David Whitmer, who was excommunicated based on 5 different charges, one of which was breaking of the Word of Wisdom.

The Journal of Discourses occasionally contains references to the Word of Wisdom. On March 18, 1855 George A. Smith related the story of a particular family who apostatized after seeing what they believed was inconsistency in the application of the Word of Wisdom:

I know persons who apostatized because they supposed they had reasons. For instance, a certain family, after having traveled a long journey, arrived in Kirtland, and the Prophet asked them to stop with him until they could find a place. Sister Emma, in the mean time, asked the old lady if she would have a cup of tea to refresh her after the fatigues of the journey, or a cup of coffee. This whole family apostatized because they were invited to take a cup of tea or coffee, after the Word of Wisdom was given (JD 2:211).
In 1842 a small controversy over part of the Word of Wisdom led to an editorial written at Nauvoo by Hyrum Smith delineating tea and coffee as the specific substances referred to as "hot drinks" (see Times & Seasons, 3:800) indicating that the revelation was still being understood differently by various members of the Church.

The revelation was still seen as 'non-binding' to the Church as the Saints prepared to migrate from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 the Word of Wisdom was still seen as non-binding; on the list of required items for the journey tea and coffee were present. Because of the poor harvest of 1849 in the Salt Lake valley, a regulation prohibiting the use of corn in making whiskey was passed, any corn intended for that use was to be "given to the poor." (Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900, p. 59.) By 1850-51 overland travelers headed for the gold in California were stopping off in Utah, where the Saints accommodated them by establishing, or allowing for the establishment, of "a great many grog shops," selling locally brewed whiskey, a "valley tan" rum, green tea, and a "very light and wholesome beer." (ibid., 70).

At a conference of the Church September 9, 1851, John Smith, Patriarch to the Church and uncle of the Prophet, spoke on Word of Wisdom. Brigham Young stood during the address proposing that all Saints abstain fromall things mentioned in the Word of Wisdom.[6] With a "unanimous vote" the Word of Wisdom became binding on the Church. Still, even after that Pres. Young recommended tobacco be grown in the southern part of the territory to eliminate giving money to outsiders for the product, in addition to wine being manufactured in St. George (some for use in the sacrament) as late as 1861. The precise alcoholic content of wine prepared there is not known, as far as I have learned. In the 1860s especially, use of coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol were strongly discouraged. In several sermons by Brigham Young he tended to emphasize the economic aspect above the health aspect; using such products, which were usually imported, was wasteful and the money should be better used elsewhere.[7]

For years President Young and others struggled to adhere, and to get all Saints to adhere to the principle. Because the Word of Wisdom took time to implement fully, Brigham encouraged youth not to follow the bad example of those who broke the Word of Wisdom (additionally, he indirectly clarifies the commandment given through Moses, "Thou shalt honor thy father and mother, etc."):
"Why," say you, "I see the older brethren chew tobacco, why should I not do it likewise!"


Thus the boys have taken license from the pernicious habits of others, until they have formed an appetite, a false appetite; and they love a little liquor, and a little tobacco, and many other things that are injurious to their constitutions, and certainly hurtful to their moral character. Take a course that you can know more than your parents. We have had all the traditions of the age in which we were born to contend with; but these young men and women, or the greater part of them, have been born in the Church, and brought up Latter-day Saints, and have received the teachings that are necessary to advance them in the kingdom of God on earth.

If you are in any way suspicious that the acts of your parents are not right, if there is a conviction in your minds that they feed appetites that are injurious to them then it is for you to abstain from that which you see is not good in your parents (July 4, 1854, JD 2:16).
In April 1855 President Young discouraged mothers from using alcohol:
Some mothers, when bearing children, long for tea and coffee, or for brandy and other strong drinks, and if they give way to that influence the next time they will want more, and the next still more, and thus lay the foundation for drunkenness in their offspring. An appetite is engendered, bred, and born in the child, and it is a miracle if it does not grow up a confirmed drunkard (JD 2:266).
In December of the same year, apostle Amasa Lyman, in his typically blunt and animated prose, gave this secret to success regarding the promise in the Word of Wisdom that those who obey will walk and not be weary, run and not faint:

...if you want to run and not weary, walk and not faint, call upon me and I will tell you how-just stop before you get tired...
Elder Lyman said the Word of Wisdom ought to encompass the entire gospel, or that the gospel encompasses it:

The Word of Wisdom was given for a principle, with promise; as a rule of conduct, that should enable the people so to economize their time, and manage and control themselves, as not to eat and drink to excess, or use that which is hurtful to them; that they should be temperate in all things, in the exercise of labor, as well as in eating and drinking. Clothe yourselves properly if you can. Exercise properly if you can, and do right in everything...

Do not stay the work of improvement and reform to pay attention to small things that are beneath your notice, but let it extend through the entire circle of your being, let it reach every relationship in life, and every avocation and duty embraced within your existence…

The Word of Wisdom would itself save you, if you would only keep it, in the true sense and spirit of it, comprehending the purpose for which it was given (JD 3:176).
In 1867 Brigham Young discussed his personal difficulties with the Word of Wisdom::
It is our right and privilege to live so that we may attain to this [being of one heart and mind], so that we may sanctify our hearts before the Lord, and sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, but it is not my privilege to drink liquor, neither is it my privilege to eat tobacco.

Well, bro. Brigham, have you not done it?

Yes, for many years, but I ceased its habitual practice. I used it for toothache; now I am free from that pain, and my mouth is never stained with tobacco. It is not my privilege to drink liquor nor strong tea and coffee, although I am naturally a great lover of tea. Brethren and sisters, it is not our privilege to indulge in these things, but it is our right and privilege to set an example worthy of imitation (JD 12:27).
Indeed, Young returned to chewing after his toothaches came back, until eventually he had them all pulled and wore a set of false teeth for the rest of his life.

It wasn't until about 1921 that Heber J. Grant made observance of the Word of Wisdom a requirement to enter the Temple. Joseph Lynn Lyon surmised the prohibition movement, "spearheaded by the Protestant Evangelical churches in America, focused on alcohol consumption as a political rather than a moral issue," and brought the Word of Wisdom into Church limelight.[7]


Some people I've spoken with express concerns that the Word of Wisdom isn't applied equally in all areas; that more emphasis could be put in the aspects of eating right, exercising, etc. I believe these aspects should be attended to by each individual, but the minimum requirements in the Temple recommend interview stick to the "spirit of the law" as was lived in the early days of the Church. Some early Church leaders put more importance on the issue of eating properly than others. For example, John A. Widtsoe wrote an entire book, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, which contained extensive chapters on diet. What about caffeine? (See FAIR's "Ask the Apologist" selection by Suzanne Armitage regarding caffeine.) What about fad diets? I believe if one must listen to the Spirit, as well as pay attention to one's body, to find the proper balance.[8]

Finally, what's a post about the Word of Wisdom without a J. Golden Kimball anecdote?
Uncle Golden's struggles with the Word of Wisdom sometimes forced him into ironic circumstances. On one occasion, he was asked to go to Cache Valley where the stake president had decided to call all the Melchizedek priesthood holders together for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the Word of Wisdom. Uncle Golden didn't realize this was going to be the theme until he got there. As a matter of fact, he didn't know what he was to speak about until the stake president announced it in introducing Uncle Golden: 'J. Golden Kimball will now speak to us on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.'

Uncle Golden didn't know what to say. He stood at the pulpit for a long time waiting for some inspiration; he didn't want to be a hypocrite and he knew he had problems with this principle. So finally he looked at the audience and said, 'I'd like to know how many of you brethren have never had a puff on a cigarette in all your life. Would you please stand?'

Well, Uncle Golden related later that much to his amazement most of the brethren in that audience stood. He looked at them for a long time and then said, 'Now, all of you that are standing, I want to know how many of you have never had a taste of whiskey in all your life. If you have, sit down.'

Again, to Uncle Golden's amazement, only a few of the brethren sat down. The rest of them stood there proudly looking at him and then there was a long silence. I guess Uncle Golden thought they looked a little too self-righteous, because his next comment was, 'Well, brethren, you don't know what the hell you've missed' (J. Golden Nuggets, More Words Of Wisdom By James N. Kimball, Sunstone 10:3/41 [Mar. 1985]).

As I discover more sermons regarding the Word of Wisdom I'll continue to add them to this post.



Footnotes:

An excellent overview of criticism- as well as the development of- the Word of Wisdom was written by Michael Ash, and can be found on the FAIR website. My post is a very brief sketch of a complex issue.

[1]
This photograph was taken in 1911 by Prussian convert Gisbert Bossard, who after becoming disaffected from Church leaders, was convinced by a man named Max Florence to sneak inside the temple at night to take photographs. Bossard and Florence attempted to blackmail the Church, demanding the First Presidency pay them $100,000, or they'd publish the pictures. Joseph F. Smith responded, saying "I will make no bargain with thieves or traffickers in stolen goods. I prefer to let the law deal with them." Thus, James E. Talmage was commissioned to write The House of the Lord, which the Church promised would contain full color photographs, and more information about temple worship. This was calculated, it seems, to eliminate interest in the photographs elsewhere. It has been claimed the photo depicts white spittoons at the foot of several chairs. As today's post explains, compliance to the Word of Wisdom in order to enter the Temple was not required until 1921. For more on the photograph episode, see "Explaining the Temple to the World: James E. Talmage's Monumental Book, The House of the Lord," by David R. Seely. See also,  Kent Walgren,Inside the Salt Lake Temple: Gisbert Bossard’s 1911 Photographs,” Dialogue 29 (3) Fall 1996: 1-43.

[2]
Source: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, edited by Scott H. Faulring, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, pg. 486

[3]

Regarding the wine at Carthage Jail, Lester E. Bush, Jr. refers to a medical opinion of Joseph's day stating that a "moderate quantity of wine" could be helpful in warding off sickness and distress when one is under the "influence of anxious and depressing watchfulness." See Bush, "The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective," Dialogue 14 (Autumn 1981): 47-65; especially p. 51. Richard Bushman discusses Joseph Sr.'s intemperance:
"The vicissitudes of life seem to have weighed heavily on Joseph, Sr. In a patriarchal blessing given to Hyrum, Dec. 9, 1834, Joseph, Sr., commended Hyrum for the respect he paid his father despite difficulties: 'Though he has been out of the way through wine, thou hast never forsaken him nor laughed him to scorn.' (Hyrum Smith Papers, Church Archives.) Since there is no evidence of intemperance after the organization of the church, Joseph, Sr., likely referred to a time before 1826 when Hyrum married and left home" (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, p. 208)
[4]
See Lester E. Bush, Jr. "The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective," Dialogue 14 (Autumn 1981):47-65; Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-Over District, 235; Paul H. Peterson, "An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom," M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972, p. 13.

[5]
This story regarding the Word of Wisdom in the school of prophets was recounted by Brigham Young, though he was not in attendance at the time, (see JD 12:157-158).

David Whitmer told a slightly different account in a newspaper article 50 years after the meeting.
 
Quite a little party of the brethren and sisters being assembled in the Smith's house. Some of the men were excessive chewers of the filthy weed, and their disgusting slobbering and spitting caused 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 a sin, and commanding its suppression.' The matter was taken up and joked about, one of the brethren suggest that the revelation should also provide for a total abstinence form tea and coffee drinking, intending this as a counter dig at the sisters. Sure enough the subject was afterward taken up in dead earnest, and the 'Word of Wisdom' was the result (Des Moines Daily News (Des Moines, Iowa), October 16, 1886; as quoted by Peterson, "An Historical Analysis," 20-21, fully notated in 6 below).
It should be noted Whitmer had apostatized at the time of the articles publication, but the general feeling of his statements agree with Brigham Young's account that Emma had some influence in the reception of the revelation.

Zebedee Coltrin, who was present at the school when the revelation was presented, recounted his experience in 1883 when the School of the Prophets was revived by President John Taylor:


When the Word of Wisdom was first presented by the Prophet Joseph (as he came out of the translating room) and was read to the School, there were twenty out of the twenty-one who used tobacco and they all immediately threw their tobacco and pipes into the fire.
According to Coltrin, it took longer for the school to refrain from tea and coffee:

Those who gave up using tobacco eased off on licorice root, but there was not easing off on tea and coffee, these they had to give up straight off or their fellowship was jeopardized. [Coltrin]never saw the Prophet Joseph drink tea or coffee again until at Dixon about ten years after (Source: Minutes, Salt Lake City School of the Prophets, October 3, 1883).
It has been suggested that President Taylor revived the school, in part, to encourage the brethren to obey the Word of Wisdom.


[6]
“Minutes of the General Conference,” Millennial Star, 1 Feb. 1852, p. 35


[7]
Peterson, op. cit. p. 64. A brief online historical sketch of St. George also mentions the wine. See Utah's Dixie History, accessed Sept. 12, 2007. See also the online article by Joseph Lynn Lyon, "The Word of Wisdom," accessed on Jeff Lindsay's Light Planet, September 12, 2007. Leonard J. Arrington discusses the economic aspects in Great Basin Kingdom, p. 223, and in "An Economic Interpretation of the 'Word of Wisdom."' BYU Studies 1 (Winter 1959):37-49.

[8]
See "Healthy Outlook: Fad Diets and the Word of Wisdom," by Dr. Stan Gardner. Accessed on the Meridian Magazine site, Sept. 12, 2007.


General Bibliography: 

Leonard J. Arrington, "An Economic Interpretation of the 'Word of Wisdom," BYU Studies 1 (Winter 1959): 37-49.

Paul H. Peterson, "An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom," M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972.


Lester E. Bush, Jr. "The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14:3 (Autumn 1981):47-65;


Thomas G. Alexander, "The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14:3 (Autumn 1981) pp. 78–88.

Clyde Ford, “The Origin of the Word of Wisdom,” Journal of Mormon History 24:2 (Fall 1998), 129–54.

Paul H. Peterson and Ronald W. Walker “Brigham Young’s Word of Wisdom Legacy,” BYU Studies 42:3-4, 2003.

Orig. posted 9/12/2007. Updated and revised 7/2008.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great, thorough post. So many things were new to me.

First of all, months ago I didn't even know that the Word of Wisdom wasn't adhered to strictly right from the start. It makes sense though that it took a while to get used to. I think that much of the harmful substances used at the time were a part of life, much more so than they are for recent generations. They also didn't know the exact harm in them. Brigham Young had wisdom in preaching to the youth and pregnant mothers about them being "injurious" (even with today's scientific studies, people don't want to believe this) and in teaching that these habits were "hurtful to moral character".

Circumstances are different today. Drugs are more prevalent. Alcohol is coupled with driving, dangerous sexual aggressiveness, drugs...such combinations weren't possible or weren't so widespread at that time.

Probably my favorite part was Elder Lyman's advice to be temperate in all things. These words of wisdom really do speak out against much more than what is specifically written in section 89. And he's the first peron I've ever heard to verbalize it so well.

I'd really like to see more emphasis on healthy eating and exercise. Obesity is just as harmful to the body as any of the prohibited substances, imo. It seems to me that we're focusing on only one aspect of the doctrine and neglecting other very important parts.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Widstoe's book was very plain about it. Some have suggested there was a stronger movement at the turn of the century towards the food aspect over the prohibitive aspect, but the person so saying had little evidence of the fact, other than Widstoe's book, and I'm not convinced that evidences such a thing.

That being said, the WoW is still adapted to the "weakest" saints, and man alive, if they made rules about eating how Pharisaical could they get? Weight scales in Bishop's offices for temple recommend interviews?

;)

LifeOnaPlate said...

I should add, and will give more information in a subsequesnt post, that Elder Amasa Lyman ended up leaving the Church some years later, more info to come on that point later. His discourses are fabulous, though, and I will blog them as I come to them.

Officer Yates OPD said...

If you ever wondered why alcohol is bad for you go to this link.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-908259286626401721

WARNING! The sympathetic puker should not watch this.

Look at the word and see what stands out

In-TOXIC-ated

LifeOnaPlate said...

Oh, that was disgusting. If you don't want to see a guy drink his own vomit, don't click that link.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying to be weighed at your temple recommend interview...we've already talked about how there's no feasible way to make it a requirement. I'm saying there should be more emphasis placed on it period.

Another thought, unrelated to the above. I think that things like tea, coffee, maybe wine would not be banned by WoW if we knew how to control ourselves and be moderate.

J. Stapley said...

Lifeonaplate, Lorenzo Snow didn't particularly agree with enforcing the drink proscriptions of the Word of Wisdom but put a tremendous amount of emphasis on not eating meat. If I am not mistaken, Thomas Alexander's Dialogue article goes over much of this. The School of the Prophets minutes also highlight Snow's consternation on Word of Wisdom emphasis.

I think that it is important to note that while general authorities and stake presidents were general asked to follow the word of wisdom (though not as a test of fellowship - still, the Presiding Patriarch was not trusted at the end of the 19th century because he refused to quit smoking) and whiskey was always considered sinful, there was a tremendous amount of latitude for members. Walker's BYU Studies article on Heber J. Grant notes that he had a 5 (I think it was 5) Danish Beer a day habit.

In 1862 Brigham Young wrote to his son Brigham Jr. who was on a British mission:

"In all probability you will be able to entirely omit the use of tobacco while on your mission, if you have not already done so. In such a case I trust you will be wise enough to not resume its use on your return, either while crossing the ocean, passing through the states, nor upon the plains, but permit us to welcome you home with your mout and breath free from the use and smell of tobacco. It is now going on two years and a half since I have used a particle of tobacco, and I guess a little resolution and faith on your part will also enable you to dispense with its use, in doing which you will ever feel strengthened, prospered and blest." (Letters of BY to His Sons, 32-33)

On Hyrum Smith, BY said in 1860:

"President Young in the course of his remarks alluded to the zeal of Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet, in his views of the Word of Wisdom, who prophesied that every Saint who chewed tobacco would apostatize. President Young observed, he [i.e., Hyrum] prophesied by Hyrum Smith and not by the Spirit of the Lord, and the he (Hyrum) would eat about 3 lb of fat pork in a day; and yet be so sever upon a tobacco chewer;" (The Office Journal of President Brigham Young, 1858-1863 Book D, February 24, 1860)

Wines and even liquors were used by even Apostles into the 20th century for "medicinal purposes" (even for things like helping digestion).

Coffee and Tea were the least concern during this period.

LifeOnaPlate said...

So many nuanced instances and so little time! I enjoy the quotes you included, J., thanks. One of the more difficult aspects of this blog, and I suppose history in general, is keeping it themed around the Journal of Discourses itself. With this issue, clearly a much more detailed analysis is needed (hence the footnotes.) I think as I get further through the JD this post will likely morph, and I might do a separate post focusing simply on the development, and then a post regarding the sermons in the JD and what they have to say on the matter. (Perhaps even later comparing it to the other sermons recorded at the time though not included in JD.)

As always, your comments really help flesh out my own, and it is much appreciated!

JayFlow22 said...

Off topic...
I'm a descendent of Sylvester Graham's niece Adaline Francis Graham.
I'm no Pioneer stock, so this contemporary of Joseph Smith is my only tie to early Church history.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Tip o' the cap to the Graham's, then!

Hans said...

That's crazy how someone could sneak in at night and take pictures like that. I wonder what security was like if at all existent at that time. I know that Sir Richard Burton tried to get into the temple during BY's time, but was not allowed in. Considering he went into Mecca, it is interesting that he tried.

BTW, the link under the first cite to the FARMS article doesn't work. Perhaps it's the site and not a bad location.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Excellent; fixed. There is also a new reference added; a Dialogue article.

NoCoolName_Tom said...

Re: hans
I believe that the temple was undergoing some renovation at the time (and was thus empty of GAs and staff) and that they snuck in through an open door in a now-nonexistent service room. There was a Dialogue article a few years back (maybe many years back) that gave some history to the attempted blackmail and also printed the pictures. I can try and find it.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Hi, Tom!

See footnote #1

;)

Anonymous said...

Why get so bent about a photo or three of the Temple interior. It happens. Even today people take in recorders, videocams and cameras. I went through with a friend who had his small pet monkey in his pocket the whole time, only revealing him to me in the Celestial room. I almost fell over choking back laughter on seeing this furry little guy poke his head out of my buddies pocket. He explained the monkey was ill and kept close to him a the only way to keep him calm. No one knew, no one objected and no one was 'inspired' enough to stop him or do anything. So what is a picture or two. Didn't Heber J. Grant take a Russian Ambassador throught the Cardston, Alberta Temple well after it was dedicated?
Way too much mysterious baloney about a simple and basically quiet place that has more problems with toothpick and gum chewing patrons than some guy taking pictures.

LifeOnaPlate said...

I would assume unauthorized trespassing and attempts to blackmail would bother some people, as it apparently did Joseph F. Smith.

Rev. Doc Lowrey said...

From Dr. Lowrey
The Word of Wisdom - A Mostly Ignored Gem of Mormonism
http://www.green-health.info/2009/02/word-of-wisdom-mostly-ignored-gem-of.html

Skepticalthayne said...

I like your blog. I just posted some historical information about eating flesh and the Word of Wisdom on my blog. Your readers may find in it something to think about.
http://www.skepticalthayne.com
Thayne

Peter said...

I can't believe the church is still keeping people from saving ordinances (the temple) over a glass of tea... Hopfully the brethren get with the program and we stop these silly cultural norms so people stop laughing at us. Lets focus on the doctrine and not the culture...

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