Poll: Strong drink?

Do you view the occasional glass of wine or beer the same as a night of endless cocktails and shots? Is all alcohol consumption evil and those who use it judiciously going against God in some way? Or do you think there is room in faithful membership for navigating this aspect of the Word of Wisdom? And if you think there is, does the need to hide it from other members and leaders affect your choices and perspective?

It’s been said that many of the suggestions given to members as lifestyle guidelines are for “the weakest of the saints”, suggesting that precautions are advised wholesale for those who could not otherwise tolerate the self discipline required for moderation. Do you believe this is true, or is drinking an unnecessary indulgence that potentially leads away from God? Is it as important as we make it out to be?

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49 Responses

  1. lorraine says:

    I listed my answer as “other.”

    I do choose to drink a beer with dinner or a glass of wine on a romantic weekend, etc. However, there wasn’t really an option which reflects my feelings on it, which is that I know this to be outside the boundaries of what the church has asked of its members, and that this act prevents my “full standing” within the church. I accept that the church and I don’t see eye to eye on this, but I won’t be so brazen as to claim that I can make the choice to drink and attend the temple also.

  2. CatherineWO says:

    The answer to this is complicated for me. On the one hand, I have had many close friends over the years who were casual drinkers, and I have never had a problem with that. I don’t feel uncomfortable when I am with people who are drinking moderately, and I don’t think there is anything inherently evil about light drinking. On the other hand, I come from a long line of alcoholics (if there’s an alcoholism gene, I probably carry it), so any discussion like this brings up some deep-seated emotions. Seeing the effects of alcoholism in my family has actually been a greater motivator for me to not drink than obedience to the WoW, though I have been an active member of the Church all my life. It bothers me that it is such a big (sinful) deal with many church members, but I have no desire to imbibe myself. (Chocolate is my drug of choice.) 😉

    • EvelynM says:

      My sentiments exactly. 🙂

    • MLE says:

      I am also annoyed that this particular section of the WoW (and tobacco) is put above all others. The members of the Church seem to judge a person who drinks or smokes more harshly than a person who is uncharitable. There’s something very wrong with that. My guess is that it basically comes down to being able to quantify the drinking/smoking, whereas virtues aren’t.

  3. MJK says:

    Alcohol is a recreational drug. If you drink it, even casually, you are drinking it to experience the effects on the body of this drug.

    As long as you’re honest with yourself about its being a drug, then do what you like, but I avoid it.

  4. Craig says:

    @MJK

    Not necessarily. Sure the effects of alcohol on the body can be pleasurable, but so too are the flavours, the ritual, the social situations which go along with drinking. It is misleading to suggest that drinking is only about recreational drug usage. I for one enjoy even more than the feeling of light to moderate intoxication, the amazing flavours and nuances that come with all the really interesting alcoholic beverages there are out there and all the creative ways to mix them into fascinating new cocktails. To me, it’s just one more aspect to the culinary arts, though with an obvious side-effect that differs from pizza or chocolate.

  5. Corktree says:

    Part of me really wants to feel okay with the occasional glass of wine for myself when out to dinner with my husband or friends. And that part of me is really trying to place how I feel about the way that we treat alcohol in the church. I don’t agree that it is a recreational drug, and I don’t think that God thinks naturally fermented beverages that happen to be alcoholic are evil, or even bad for me. In fact, I think there are many benefits to them in moderation. Wine is actually the safest, quickest, most natural and most enjoyable method of calming an overactive uterus in labor that may come on too soon, and beer has strong anecdotal evidence as a milk enhancer. This and the fact that even orthodox Jews don’t have a commandment against wine really make me stop and question how much culture is behind the WoW and how much still applies.

    Of course, it also seems unbearably hypocritical to me that many members can not follow a single ounce of the prescriptive “dos” of the WoW, and yet as long as they don’t drink coffee, tea or alcohol, they feel perfectly acceptable answering “yes” to that TR question. It doesn’t ask if you drink, so I’m feeling less and less like I would be breaking a convenant if I chose to add a little healthful fermentation to my diet.

    The part that stops me is what Catherine mentions, however. I drank through high school and college, and it took me a long time to learn moderation. I did eventually learn to control myself in the proper setting, but a very dark part of me still always wanted to drink to excess, which I think is just part of my wiring, and I would always struggle with it, so it doesn’t feel worth it. I also don’t want my children to have to deal with mixed messages or ever seeing me drunk, so for now, I’m choosing to abstain. It’s also a pretty pricey indulgence for the good stuff 😉 But in the future, when my decisions shouldn’t affect those of my children so much, I may experiment with making my own wine and beer. (Oops, left that out on the counter a bit too long!) 🙂

    • Juliane says:

      I almost feel EXACTLY like you on this issue, except for my reason for not drinking is that my parents are alcoholics, and while I have never gotten drunk in my life, even though I am a pretty recent convert, I am always afraid that I might become an alcoholic as well, should I choose to drink. I made the choice not to drink a long time before every investigating the church.

      AMEN!!!! especially to your comments on the do’s of the WOW that seem to be swept under the rug quite a bit, in favor of discussing the don’t’s.

    • Amy says:

      Just because the “do’s” get “swept under the rug”, perhaps we should work harder on the “do’s” instead of justifying not following the “don’ts”

  6. Caroline says:

    I’m kind of an other. I have taken a sip of wine about 3 times in my life (curious about the taste), but that’s as far as it’s gone for me. I don’t see myself becoming a social drinker, but I don’t rule out taking a sip once every few years.

    I see the WoW as a boundary mechanism which is very useful for building community within and separating from the others without.

    • Jesse says:

      I like this:

      I see the WoW as a boundary mechanism which is very useful for building community within and separating from the others without.

      One of my friends recently told me that she views this portion of the WoW as encouraging an act of solidarity: If some of us are not able to drink in moderation, then all of us will abstain so no one will feel ostracized or tempted to fall off the wagon when the wine starts flowing at the Linger Longer.

      I liked this idea.

  7. lanwenyi says:

    I didn’t vote. I’ve never had a drink in my life, partially b/c of the WoW, but mostly b/c I come from a family of alcoholics and I’m unwilling to take that risk myself.

    Personally, in theory, I don’t have a prob w/ occasional light/social drinking, but I recognize that the church’s policy doesn’t agree w/ me. If I did drink, I wouldn’t consider myself a member in full standing and would not attempt a TR interview.

    That said, my biggest prob w/ the WoW is the ignoring of the “do’s”. It drove me nuts a few wks ago, when we had the WoW lesson and it was all about how trying something, even once, would lead to horrible consequences (all people who take 1 drink WILL become abusive alcoholics, etc), so we’re all “better” than everyone else b/c we don’t do these things. “We obey the WoW”. I said under my breath “yeah, and how many people in here actually eat meat sparingly?” (I live in a ridiculously well-to-do ward). A woman in front of me heard me and told me to bring that up, but the lesson had moved on and I couldn’t figure out how to bring it up w/o sounding “snarky”. I wish we focused more on the do’s and allowed interpretation in both the do’s and the don’ts to fit individual situations.

    That said, even if we did, I still would be a non-drinker. Much as I would like to gain the health benefits of light/moderate wine drinking, I’m not willing to chance my genetics (alcoholism on both sides).

    • MB says:

      Studies have shown that some grape juices, particularly those made from concord or red grapes, contain the same flavenoids and resveratrol that are at the root of the health benefits of a glass of red wine, ie. reducing the risk of blood clots and preventing LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from sticking to coronary arteries, among other cardiac benefits. One study, conducted by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and published in the journal Circulation, looked at the effects of two servings of Concord grape juice a day in 15 people with coronary artery disease. After two weeks, the subjects had improved blood flow and reduced oxidation of LDL. Oxidized LDL can damage arteries.

      Other studies in humans and animals, including one published last year in the journal Atherosclerosis, have shown that daily consumption of grape juice may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and probably offers the same health benefits as a daily glass of wine.

      So, that’s an enjoyable, effective alternative if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic one.

      • Corktree says:

        Except that those aren’t the only health benefits from drinking wine and the sugar content in the juice may be more harmful than beneficial, whereas it’s been mostly converted in fermentation. Of course, the wild yeast used for the fermentation may be just as aggravating as sugar for some individuals, which is all the more reason for this type of decision to be up to personal discretion and based on personal health needs.

    • Moriah Jovan says:

      I said under my breath “yeah, and how many people in here actually eat meat sparingly?”

      Ah, well, I eat lots of meat and, when I’m being particularly conscientious, no grains. Grains made/make me sick and fat.

      As far as I can tell, Mormons have one socially acceptable drug of choice: sugar.

      • amelia says:

        ha. I do business at BYU and often take colleagues there. They are always astonished at the candy counter in the bookstore. I just laugh and remind them of the no pre-marital sex and no tobacco/alcohol/drugs policy which means sugar is about the only allowable indulgence. 🙂

  8. Janell says:

    I figure it’s easier to be fully obedient to the law and abstain for all drink than to attempt to I deem myself a “weaker” or a “stronger” saint. Should I get to the end of this life without tasting wine, and should it turn out that I lost health benefits or whatever? I think I’ll still be content with my decision.

    Now coffee? That’s definitely more of a loss in my world.

  9. amelia says:

    I think it’s unavoidable that faithful membership requires navigation of all kinds of aspects of Mormon practice and culture. What does it mean to be “active”? to “sustain” leaders? to have “faith in and a testimony of” God and Jesus? or a “testimony” of the restoration? Keeping the word of wisdom is no different. As several commenters here have pointed out, many Mormons think about the WoW exclusively in terms of its “don’ts” while giving little attention to its “dos.” Are these Mormons “keeping” the WoW? I think they feel justified in claiming that they do because our cultural rhetoric emphasizes the “don’ts” and gives little attention to the “dos.” Also because we have chosen to draw boundary lines along the “don’ts” and not along the “dos.”

    Ultimately, I think we’d be a lot better off if we, as a culture, were more conscious of the degree to which each individual navigates every aspect of what it means to be Mormon. Even defaulting to the culturally articulated norm is a personal navigation which requires small decisions (some caffeine? no caffeine? herbal tea? etc.). The real issue for those of us who don’t practice the normative identity is whether we have some obligation to reveal the ways in which we diverge from it. If I’ve engaged in “petting” with my boyfriend, do I have to tell my bishop even though I don’t find the behavior a violation of chastity? If I have a glass of wine on special occasions, do I have to reveal that in my TR interview even though I don’t think I’ve violated the WoW? What about french kissing when my bishop has made it clear that he considers it a violation of the law of chastity but I do not? Personally, I always favor letting my own conscience and thoughtful consideration inform what I do or do not have to discuss with an ecclesiastical leader. The reality is that what he thinks is acceptable and what anyone else thinks is acceptable will diverge in some regard. If he’s a good leader, then he’ll recognize there is a range of acceptable behaviors (for instance, he won’t impose the idea that keeping the WoW means no caffeine at all, but will instead respect a variety of approaches to the caffeine question). But even that is not a guarantee that the bishop’s and my own interpretations will align, especially if I’m okay with non-normative practice. So I go with my own conscience. Always. And I answer according to it, not according to what I think the bishop/SP’s definition of practice is.

    The funny thing is that we allow people to do this for some questions with absolutely no finger-pointing about diverging interpretations. Think about that question to do with family relations. I know plenty of Mormons whose relationships with their families don’t seem in keeping with the gospel. To me. But to them, they seem just fine. And most leaders aren’t going to really push on that question except in instances of outright abuse or failing to meet obligations to pay child support/alimony. But the questions along which we draw Mormon identity boundary lines (WoW, chastity, garments, tithing) are somehow sacred cows we can’t allow to be open to interpretation. That really bugs me. But I have rather heterodox notions about boundaries in general.

    • CatherineWO says:

      Amelia, this is very well said. Most of the TR questions or intentionally vague, forcing the final judgment be left up to the individual. Stake presidencies and bishops receive letters periodically from Salt Lake explicitly instructing them to not add any definitions or other questions to the TR interview. I really liked a comment by Lynnette over at ZD recently in which she said, “I strongly suspect that if I abandon my conscience in an attempt to save my soul, I will end up losing both.”

      • amelia says:

        Thanks for sharing that comment from Lynnette, CatherineWO. I could not have said it better. I simply do not believe that God wants us to abandon our own conscience in an effort to conform ourselves to anyone else’s notion of how we should be.

  10. Alisa says:

    The WoW definitely seems to be a living policy/practice, as we’ve departed from the text and drawn our own cultural meaning of what it says. Take D&C 89: 17:

    “Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.”

    The American diet for humans relies more on corn than wheat, which appears to be against the WoW. Also in this verse, God suggests that we should drink mild drinks made from barley, which is beer.

    While I think that beer is very much allowed and even encouraged by the WoW, I’ll be totally honest here: I have tasted beer, and I didn’t like it. I definitely think there must be an acquired taste for a lot of alcoholic beverages, and I haven’t developed that. So my personal decision is not to drink it, even though I don’t think it’s a violation of the WoW to do so.

    While I have no problem with moderate drinking among my friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and clients, I am usually very happy drinking only water, which is healthy and free. I rather spend my money on ordering a fine dessert. Like many LDS, chocolate is my drug of choice.

    • Corktree says:

      Thank you for making this point about the actual wording Alisa. It’s so common for us as humans to interpret data to suit our opinions, and we can find something to back up almost any belief if we look hard enough. What I like about remembering this is that if I can do it, so can everyone else, and hopefully we’ll all eventually allow others the same space for living out our beliefs and choices as we expect for ourselves.

      My husband made the point when reading the poll, that while drinking may not be bad for everyone, no one will die from not doing so. And while that’s true, I like to think the WoW wasn’t designed to just keep us alive, but to show us how to thrive and enjoy life based on all that God has provided. And if a barley drink is worth mentioning, and we believe this is inspired by God, it doesn’t seem a huge leap to reach your conclusion.

      But I never liked beer much either. A good dessert wine on the other hand…..I have never found a substitute beverage to rival Gewurztraminer in its deliciousness.

    • Rebecca says:

      But by your interpretation Alisa, vodka should also be allowed because it is made of grain.

      • Corktree says:

        Except that no one considers vodka a “mild drink” and it’s very different from beer. Distillation is not nearly the same as fermentation.

  11. Keri Brooks says:

    I don’t drink, and I think that even occasional social drinking is a violation of the Word of Wisdom. There are certainly worse things people can do in this world, but it’s still wrong for a church member to drink.

    When I say that it’s wrong, I don’t, however, mean that there is something inherently immoral about alcohol. After all, Jesus, who was sinless, drank wine. I view the prohibitions in the Word of Wisdom as a set of commandments for this particular dispensation, either as a community marker (similar to the kosher laws of the Old Testament dispensations) or due to something God knows about the time we live in (the evil designs of conspiring men mentioned in D&C 89, perhaps).

    Either way, the Word of Wisdom is something that investigators are taught in the missionary lessons, and acceptance of that principle is required as a prerequisite for baptism. I promised God that I wouldn’t drink, so I don’t.

  12. Tatiana says:

    I gained a testimony of drinking no alcohol long before I became a member of the church. I grew up drinking because my family drank, and later on realized it wasn’t a good idea. I don’t have strong feelings about people who choose to drink moderately. It’s definitely not my stewardship to decide for others. However, I have strong reservations about alcohol’s ability to subvert people’s agency, and I personally know not one single person who has never had more to drink than they intended. The problem, of course, is that every drink carries with it some erosion of the will so that the next drink seems a little bit better of an idea than it did before.

    When I count up the waste in lives, family happiness, and also simply the funds sacrificed at the altar of alcohol by my extended family, it is a grievous mountain of waste. I weep to think of it. My grandfather dead so young I barely remember him. My alcoholic first cousin dying by his own hand two years ago. It goes on and on. And that’s just the lives cut short. There’s also the collateral damage, the childhoods ruined by alcoholic parents. Then there are the auto accidents and hospital bills, the illness, all the tears and lost jobs. Nothing but destruction and injury.

    And what is the big payoff? What is all this grief in aid of? All I can see is “whee, parteeee!” That’s it. There’s no up-side. It’s just a sad, pitiful, debauched, degraded, filthy, ugly, pathetic, and squalid waste.

    I loathe alcohol. One strong confirmation I had that the church was true was its very wise and provident advice to avoid all alcohol.

    If the human cost is not enough, imagine all the money our family would have if all that was spent on booze and beer through the years had been put into savings? We’d be sitting on a huge nest egg.

    I stopped drinking years before I converted. The Word of Wisdom is sound wisdom, indeed.

    I don’t even eat dishes made with alcohol. It turns out not to be true that the alcohol is all evaporated when you cook it. Quite a bit remains, it turns out. I definitely don’t worry about the tiny amount that might be in vanilla flavoring. Do some people take it to that degree? But other than miniscule amounts like that, I do my very best to avoid it completely.

  13. jks says:

    Since alcohol is the real date rape drug, perhaps the protection isn’t about alcoholism but from all the resulting poor choice behavior including becoming a rapist (I’m against blaming the victim so I think we should concentrate on how to get people to not choose to be rapists).
    I have no problem with adults drinking responsibly. As a member of the church, however, I happily fully comply with the no alcohol rule and I have never had a drink. I think it is a positive thing about our culture. Especially when you think about young people. Sure, usually people over 30 drink responsibly, but so many people in the 16-28 range in our society don’t drink responsibly. I really love that the church strongly discourages it.
    I really believe in the value of integrity and making your actions match who you are. Our belief in the spirit and the body becoming one but not making our spirits become slaves to our bodies and being in control is an important concept. Drinking alcohol goes against these ideas. Your inhibitions are dropped. You say things that you wouldn’t normally choose to say. You do things you wouldn’t normally choose to do. You make mistakes that you would have thought through better.
    I have no experience, but I have read stuff. My idea of integrity and being who I am means I do not want to wake up in the morning and regret anything. I love living my life so that I do not have to go around cringing at my past behavior or apologizing or wanting to forget. Sure, I occasionally make a mistake and say the wrong thing, but since I don’t drink I am fully capable of looking at the situation and reevaluating the situation I am in or seeing my mistakes and making an effort to correct them.
    Didn’t mean to go on a tangent. Just wanted to say that even though I don’t judge nonmembers for drinking responsibly, I think that it makes sense with our religious beliefs that alcohol is better off off limits.

    • Corktree says:

      I actually agree that removing the ability to be easily intoxicated would greatly benefit society, and I have to seriously question if selling alcohol is part of a zion-like community. But then my own reasons for drinking wouldn’t be for partying and fitting in. I just can’t feel bad about drinking kombucha that happened to go beyond the 0.05 % alcohol content. And as I prefer to make my own version instead of storebought of just about everything these days, I feel a bit different towards homemade alcohol I guess. Just like it’s very hard to overeat on wheat if you’re processing it the way it’s meant to be processed (fermenting into true sourdough) or sugar if you had to process it yourself, I think it would be similarly hard to become a drunkard on homemade fermented beverages.

  14. LuluBelle says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments but here’s my input.

    1. A glass of red wine has far more health benefits than a diet soda (or any soda for that matter). It is also better for your health than most fruit juices, which is mostly water and sugar.
    2. There is the aspect of social drinking, which can be nice to enjoy a glass of wine or a mixed drink with friends.

    That said, my husband has a HUGE drinking problem (he is not Mormon). He is on the wagon now and has been for about 5 months and I pray this abstinence continues. Before, I was so close to leaving him. He loved the social aspect of meeting up with his buddies after work for a few beers and then coming home to his family either super giddy/happy or agressive and mean. Both results were HORRIBLE and I grew to HATE HIM and resent him even when he was nice and sober. He is a highly functioning drinker when he’s not on the wagon. And the damage that problem drinking causes families and society is unfathonable. I don’t have a drinking problem so I do miss the days when I drank a little and got a bit tipys and had fun. But I not only grew to HATE alcohol and its affect on my own family, but health-wise, I don’t want to use the calories on booze –I’d rather have cookies 🙂

    I see both sides but if you haven’t truly been around someone who has a problem with drinking you just cannot imagine how horrible it is.

  15. MB says:

    Corktree,

    You are right that fruit juices are a challenge for people who deal with diabetes or need to reduce sugar consumption. But other than it’s ability to aid relaxation, I’ve not been aware of other differences between the benefits of red wine and purple or red grape juice consumption.

    Most of the studies about wine health benefits contrast non-drinkers with wine drinkers or beer drinkers with wine drinkers. These do a good job of pointing out health benefits from red wine (primarily cardiovascular health, stroke reduction which aids mental capacity, and cancer prevention) but do not address the question of how it compares to grape juice health benefits.

    Those studies are not to be confused with the few studies that have contrasted grape juice drinkers with wine drinkers. These seem to show that the benefits are almost the same. The two differences might be the above mentioned relaxation or the presence of sugar but I haven’t found others.

    Every food and drink has it’s drawbacks. Grape juice has sugar, so if sugar is a problem for you, it may not be helpful.

    Wine has drawbacks too that grape juice doesn’t have. One downside to wine consumption is that it can elevate triglyceride levels, which is associated with health problems such as diabetes. (rather ironic) Those who already have high triglycerides should, therefore, avoid or dramatically limit their wine (and alcohol) consumption.

    And studies have shown that alcohol can increase estrogen levels and raise tumor progression in women with (or at high risk for) estrogen positive breast cancer.

    And if you happen to be susceptible to them, wine is often a big trigger for people who suffer with migraine headaches. Although white wine contains more sulfites (a common migraine trigger) than red wine (sulfites are added to white wine to preserve its light color), red wine seems to be a much bigger migraine trigger. That’s probably due to the accumulation of histamines and tannins from prolonged contact with the skin.

    And finally, wine is a problem for people who need to take meds to regulate blood sugar levels, including diabetics. Normally, when your blood sugar level starts to drop, your liver steps in. It goes to work changing stored carbohydrate into glucose. Then it sends the glucose out into the blood, which helps you avoid or slow down a low blood sugar reaction. However, when alcohol enters your system, this changes. Alcohol is a toxin. Your body reacts to alcohol like a poison. The liver wants to clear it from the blood quickly. In fact, the liver won’t put out glucose again until it has taken care of the alcohol. If your blood glucose level is falling when you drink a glass of wine, you can quickly wind up with very low blood sugar.

    So there are sugar problems with both.

    I personally don’t care whether or not you or anyone else drinks wine in moderation. It’s not on my list of mega sins. I just don’t buy the notion that seems to float around that there aren’t any medical reasons not to drink it in moderation or that if you don’t, you are missing a major health benefit that cannot be achieved any other way. The research simply doesn’t support that idea, though it is a very popular one.

    If someone wants to say she thinks drinking wine in moderation is okay because it doesn’t seem to her to be doing her any harm and she enjoys it, I won’t argue with that reason. That’s up to her. I just get annoyed when “medical research” get used as the reason for advocating the consumption of wine. The actual findings of the scientific research is much more complex than the popular versions of it.

    • MB says:

      Reading through the above, it looks like a bit of a threadjack rant. Apologies to the guest poster. The topic just got close to a subset of the ideas being discussed that I happen to have very strong opinions on and I felt compelled to weigh in on that aspect of it.

      • jenneology says:

        I really appreciated your comment and think its relevant to the conversation so thanks, MB. I wish popular media was more into the nuances of fact rather than catering to businesses want to make a profit. Not that the grape fruit companies aren’t jumping on the bandwagon of trying to capitalize on the research…but there is something to be said about a fine winery grape juice.

    • Corktree says:

      Thank you for taking the time to lay out your position MB. I agree with the research and despite what it seems, am not advocating that everyone start drinking just because they can in theory do it responsibly. I just don’t promote a black and white view of alcohol. I think it is a natural byproduct of preserving a food source and that as with all good things that are used for evil, it comes from God and can have a very limited use in living naturally. Just as the cannabis plant has many good uses but can also be used for ill, the sin is in the intention of the person using it, not the item itself. And yes, it is an extremely complex issue to look at the range of effects of alcohol on the body, and this is more compounded by its general societal acceptance and availability.

  16. Tatiana says:

    Lulubelle, being around someone alcoholic was what took me from occasional rare drinker to committed teetotaler. It really is terrible. And it erodes people’s agency over time in a horrible way so that people’s character dissolves away. I saw it take someone who had been honorable and true and gradually remake him into someone who lied constantly, cheated, broke commitments to his son and put his own son’s life in danger as well as his own. It was a bleak experience, and the thing that changed my opinion about alcohol from dislike to loathing.

  17. ssj says:

    I really don’t understand why some aspects of the WoW are okay to break while others aren’t? I mean seriously, who really only eats meat sparingly? Yes I know there are some vegetarians out there but most of the ones I have met aren’t that way because of the WoW.

    I am one of those that doesn’t follow it to a T. I consider myself a social drinker and will drink around friends or when I’m out with my husband in a nice restaurant. I am pretty shy so it helps me to relax in a group setting. It’s obviously not the only reason I drink but it does help me to relax.

    I don’t drink alcohol a lot but I do drink tea almost daily. After years of consuming soda daily, I realized that green tea is a whole-heck-of-a lot healthier and I feel much better when I drink it. So now I have a cup of tea almost everyday.

    • Jessawhy says:

      Green tea is really healthy. Healthier than almost any other beverage except water, right?
      It would be nice to get the go-ahead from SLC that green tea is okay. But, we can’t expect to be commanded in all things. I like the idea of us making our own decisions for these things.

  18. MB says:

    I mean seriously, who really only eats meat sparingly?

    There are actually lots of us who do so for W of W reasons. We’re generally pretty low key about it, though, so we probably are flying under your radar.

  19. jks says:

    I actually eat meat sparingly and I’m an orthodox Mormon. I can’t really tell how much the word of wisdom has influenced me on that score. I am sure I would drink alcohol, coffee and tea if not for the word of wisdom (because most people do) but would I eat more meat? I don’t know. I have no inclination to be a vegetarian, but I do seem to eat meat in the sparingly category. I feed it to my children as what I believe is a reasonably healthy (but not super healthy) diet where I concentrate on serving a variety a foods the include fruits and vegetables and grains and proteins (including meats), eat home cooked meals, keep calories & servings reasonable, have desserts but not go overboard.

  20. Kate says:

    I find it odd that some members guzzle processed beverages and shovel greasy red meat down their gullets and meanwhile, the only aspect of the WoW that anyone has any courage to discuss publicly are trivial things like caffeinated soda. In my home stake, there was actually a movement to make the chairs in the temple bigger because people were too fat fit into them! Maybe we should be revoking/withholding temple privileges on those aspects of the WoW? If someone tries to chastise me–a strict vegan and a dedicated runner–for having a cup of coffee, a can of beer, or a glass of wine, their body had better be in Iron Man condition. Just sayin’ :-p

  21. Anna says:

    I suppose I can see both sides very clearly. On the one hand, I know just how serious a drinking problem can be and unfortunately how quickly it can get out of hand. That’s not going to happen to everyone who has alcohol, of course, but in those people that it will affect it can be devastating over time. On the other hand, I don’t think a glass of wine or a beer now and then is going to lead you away from God. Perhaps, like everything else, it is just something we have to think about on a personal level.

    Not to drift from the subject at hand, but I have been thinking about something along the same lines for a few weeks now. Most saints would say that any alcohol is breaking the WoW, because it is bad for the body (not for the belly). I also know a lot of saints that abstain from caffeinated anything and some that don’t even drink any soda. Now, I know quite a few that not only drink soda also energy drinks. To me, soda and energy drinks are worse for the body (if we are looking at all of this through health goggles) than a glass of wine or a beer and I would say just as addictive to the average person. I mean, we are talking pure chemicals, sugars (or sugar replacements which are even worse!) and syrups versus a natural fermenting process of grapes or grains.

    Just saying that if in a social situation, it came down to soda, energy drinks or wine, I am going with wine and I wouldn’t feel bad about it.

    • Amy says:

      When the WoW was first presented, no one knew of the harms of tobacco. Although we have much more knowledge now about the harmfulness and healthfulness of many substances, perhaps we should have faith in a God who knows more than we do and put our trust in Him. I agree with many of you who have commented that how is doing this, that, or the other thing any worse than drinking just because it is not specifically named. SO TRUE! But, shouldn’t we then, just try to use our consciences to do our best to understand and follow the things that are specifically named- alcholic beverages being one of them? I truly believe that there are blessings from obedience. And it takes faith to be obedient. I am certainly not perfect and am trying hard to be more obedient and to be more understanding of those who don’t see or understand the way I do. But, I just want blessings for all.

  22. beth says:

    As an ICU nurse, I have seen way too many alcohol-related illnesses and deaths to even consider touching the stuff. I don’t care how healthy it is to drink wine sparingly. The overall negative impact alcohol has had on society is devastating. I saw a 25-year-old kid die from liver failure and he wasn’t even a heavy drinker, his liver just couldn’t handle alcohol. I would never support prohibition, but seriously. It’s poison.

  23. Amelia says:

    Sir your comment was put into moderation for violation of our comment policy. If you’d like to re-post while observing our comment policy (no use of language banned on network television; no name-calling), please feel free.

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