Monday, April 21, 2008

The Word of Wisdom and the Bible

I was spending some time on a Mormon message board and someone asked if there were any Biblical references to the Word of Wisdom or other laws restricting the consumption of certain foods and drinks. Now, I admit that I do not know very much of the Bible so I hope I get this right. If not, please correct me. In the Old Testament, you have the rules about eating only “clean” animals and things like that, but that was part of the Law of Moses. It is my understanding that Jesus did away with the Law of Moses during his ministry. With that said and keeping in mind the question about the WoW, read this passage of the KJV in Matthew 15.

7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

The LDS church teaches that if you eat or drink certain things such as wine, coffee and tea, you will distance yourself from God and lose the influence of the Holy Ghost. Doing so makes it to where a member is no longer in good standing in the church and, in many cases, cannot participate in communion or holding positions in the church. It always keeps them from going to the Temple which is only reserved for those members who follow all of the commandments of God as revealed by his modern prophets for “no unclean thing can dwell with God”.

D&C 109
20 And that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it;
21 And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in thy house.

If you contrast that idea with what Jesus taught in the New Testament, you see something completely different. You see a God that does not care what you put into your body but rather, what you let come out of it. He taught that a person’s heart, mind and soul were more important than a glass of wine. Shoot, Noah got drunk on more than one occasion but that did not stop God from calling him to be a prophet because he knew what was in his heart.

Why then does Mormonism put so much credence in the WoW? I think it is a very easy way to “measure” a person’s loyalty to the church and control its members through social pressure. The Pharisees did the same thing and in return they received a rebuking which I think Jesus would give to the LDS leaders today if he were here.


  1. Mt 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    I think that the Pharisees and the mormons have a lot in common.

  2. Ro 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    And there you have it. Nothing is unclean in and of itself. Christ made all things clean. The old distinctions are done away with.

  3. Col. 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-
    21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,"
    22 which all concern things which perish with the using - according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
    23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. NKJV

    So there you have it: the WoW is of no value at all to anyone. It is only an illusion.

  4. Hey, it that one quote from the Mormo bible? You'll have to forgive me. Do you mind schooling me on this topic? Is there a Mormom Bible and do Mormoms believe in the Christian Bible? Just curious...
    LU All

  5. Good stuff Doug. I've been learning so much from getting to know you. What a stressful thought to think that from drinking a beverage you can be seperated from God. This idea is true in Christian circles as well as Mormon ones. There is a big difference in doing things for God because you love him, and doing things for him out of fear.

  6. Someone who knows you are wrongApril 25, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Understand that teachings at one time or another are not absolute for all time. You contradict yourself with the Law of Moses. Christ did not do away with the law of Moses, he fulfilled it. The Lords guidance on health issues can change with time just as it did from the Old to New testament. So to say that the scripture is Matthew is absolute is to say that God contradicted himself by establishing those health practices with the Jews. Situations change and God is mindful of this and directs his people for the time they live in. There is a lot of scripture that can be twisted to make a point, but more times than not, these are misunderstood for ones own personal desires.

    Is there anything wrong with someone abstaining from something because they believe it is the right thing to do? I do not agree with vegans, but I respect them for living according to their values. I do not have to try to prove their ideals to be false.

    It is easy to live without constraint. It is hard to follow the example of Christ.

    Which principle were you not willing to live?

  7. Someone who “knows”

    I have been wondering for the past week if I should even bother answering such a moronic comment but alas, I have succumbed to temptation.

    It is true to God gave the Jews a law of health and obedience, but as you said, Jesus fulfilled that law because it was designed to remind the Jews of the sacrifice Christ would make. Everything the Jews were commanded to do points to the Savior. Many of those things still make good sense because certain animals are cleaner than others but there really is no correlation between the health restrictions in the Law of Moses compared to the Word of Wisdom.

    If God directs people in the time that they live, I would think we would have a revelation telling us to refrain from eating Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, fried chicken, and a myriad of other, relatively modern foods that hurt our bodies. This Sunday, I want you to look around and count how many overweight people there are in your ward compared to the number of fit people. How many of those overweight people have current temple recommends? If they do have one, are they following the part of the WoW that talks about how to eat healthy? I am no scientist but I feel pretty confident that I am healthier than many of them even though I drink wine, and beer (a mild drink made from barley).

    I have no problem with someone refraining from something that they think will do them harm or because it is what they believe to be the right thing to do. I do however, have a problem when it was given “not by commandment” but is now made a pre-requisite to get into heaven.

    You speak of following the example of Christ. If I was a believer, I would probably have more to say about this. It is my opinion that there are far more “Christ-like” people outside of Mormonism then in it. Even before I started this Blog, I was shunned by many in the church who I considered friends. Many have been in no way Christ-like to me and my family.

    Mormons say that Christ was the ultimate example of how to live our lives and that He showed us what we need to do to get into heaven, at least that is what I was told to teach while on my mission. In all my years, I have never once read where Christ went to the temple to receive His endowments or to be sealed to a wife. In fact, Jesus himself would not be allowed to enter into a Mormon temple because He drank wine. If He was perfect, then how could He drink something that was bad for Him and considered a sin today in His church? Not only that, but He then gave it to others which would be considered leading others astray. I believe He gave us a great set of standards to live by and I try to follow what makes me feel like a good person and a valuable part of society. If you think that is living without constraint then that is your opinion.

    In regards to your last statement, I will give you the only response I think you deserve. WAKE UP! If you are really that naive to think that the only reason people leave the LDS church is because of laziness and sin then you have a lot to learn.