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Home LDS WoW Don't List Word Of Wisdom DON'Ts

Word Of Wisdom DON'Ts

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My main introduction to the "Word Of Wisdom" is my "Word Of Wisdom DOs" article.  If you haven't read that yet, you should start there.  Here we will simply be discussing the DONT's.

"5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly."

The DON'Ts are pretty much summed up in just these five verses.

Don't drink wine or strong drink.

Strong alcoholic beverages are not good for the body.  Our culture tries to argue with this wisdom sometimes, but look at the result.  It's funny how many stories will get published in the media about beneficial effects of alcoholic beverages.  By the way most of these "news stories" come from press releases put out by the companies selling the product.

The science used is usually not the best, and the conclusions reached are often laughable and are not based in reality or even on the data collected during the study.

For instance one study concluded that drinking beer will make you smarter.  (Hang around any bar, and you'll see that that isn't true.)  How did they come to this conclusion?  Well they ran rats through a maze, and then they ran rats through a maze that had been given beer to drink.  The maze had certain sections of wall that were set to give an electric shock when they were touched.  The second time through the maze, the rats that drank beer avoided those sections of wall better than the rats that did not drink beer.  So that proves that beer makes you smarter, right?

Well, I guess if you were totally clueless about life and had no previous experience with alcohol or with science, perhaps you could come up with that conclusion.  But why not try to see how other research about alcohol beverages compares with your study?  How does wall avoidance translate into smarter?  What are the other possibilities for the outcome of this experiment?  How about, 'Beer makes you paranoid.' or 'Beer makes you fearful.' or 'Beer makes you afraid of walls.' or 'Beer stifles curiosity.'

Were they really unaware of all the previous research that shows that alcohol (even in small amounts) actually kills brain cells?  Alcohol slows reaction time, it befuddles the mind. It lowers sensitivity.  This "study" was obviously just a group of college kids having some fun, and trying to justify their beer drinking. (Yes, it was done at a university)

This kind of science is used way too often in our world today.  Touting some 'good' outcome of a bad substance, and reporting only the good thing while totally ignoring the bad.  That would describe most drugs used today.  But back to the alcohol.

One often repeated misleading fact is that wine contains resveratrol which is a great antioxidant and will therefor be a good thing for you to drink.  Notice how these types of reports always fail to mention the downsides of drinking alcohol.  But it gets worse.  The dirty little secret is that there aren't any studies that show that resveratrol from wine helps humans.  In fact the only study that showed benefit in humans from resveratrol was using a very high dose of a special formulation of resveratrol.  In fact we now know that resveratrol is in very small amounts in wine, not enough to make any positive effect.  However if you are fired up about resveratrol you can get it (and other better nutrients) by eating grapes, and/or apples.

What about sacrament wine?

Notice that the Lord says sacrament wine should be new and of your own making.  When wine is new, of course, it has not fermented and is only very slightly alcoholic.  If you make it yourself you know how new it is and have control of it.

Of course the Lord has since told us that it is no longer necessary to use wine for the sacrament, and we will be better off using water.

Does this mean the Lord changed His mind?  Was he wrong before?  No, but times change and the Lord tells us what is best for our time.

There actually are some health benefits to drinking 'new wine' that is just barely starting to ferment and has a very low alcohol content.  But as time went by, church members began to misuse 'sacrament wine'.  Some bishops would even get together on Saturday to make new wine, and while doing so saw it a fit time to drink the leftovers from last Sunday's sacrament wine.  Nobody wants a hung over bishop on Sunday morning.

Tobacco is not for the body or the belly.

Today we don't need to talk a lot about tobacco.  Everyone now knows that it is a substance to be avoided.  But back in Joseph Smith Jr.'s day that was not a known fact.

It is still used by some as a treatment for bruises and sick cattle, and it works well.  But the knowledge of how to use it effectively in these cases seems to be fading away.  Our culture has become so drug dependent, we tend to use drugs for everything.  (Much to our disadvantage.)

Hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

What do we mean by hot drinks?  Well, the prophets have told us that this specifically refers to coffee and tea.  And since the prophets have said so, then that is what it means.

So why didn't the Lord just say coffee and tea?  It is interesting the way that the Lord teaches on many levels and allows our understanding to expand and broaden as we learn and grow.  We get more and more out of His teachings as we gain experience and knowledge.

In the early days of this church coffee and tea were the most common hot drinks.  Thus these were the ones the prophets told us to avoid.  However if you continue to research 'hot drinks' you find that any drink that is heated to a high temperature has an increased probability of being unhealthy or even damaging to the human body.

For instance in South America there is a common herb that is used to make hot drinks.  It is a very health promoting herb, with many good side effects.  However, heating it to high temperatures does two things.  It concentrates the active ingredients (making them more drug like), and it causes burning of the esophagus as the tea is swallowed.  Because of this, this healthy tea causes a lot of esophageal and mouth cancers.

For this reason I highly suggest that if you drink herbal teas that you steep them for a longer time in more tepid water, and never drink them hot.

In fact sun teas are a better way to make herbal teas.


That concludes our coverage of the DON'Ts for the "Word Of Wisdom".  Remember that the more important parts are actually covered in the DOs article.  Trust the Lord.  He always knows what He is talking about.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:57  

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