Episode 166: D&C 66, Chapter 89 (Word of Wisdom)

July 8, 2017


Episode 166: D&C 66, Chapter 89 (Word of Wisdom)

Live show on July 29, 7pm, at Squatter’s Pub in Salt Lake City

How do we pronounce Geauga County? The folklore is that this revelatoin was given because Joseph and his buddies were chewing tobacco in the room above the kitchen
and it was dripping down onto Emma below. Here’s what the Word of Wisdom actually says:

Wine: only to be consumed as part of sacrament
Wine should be of Mormon make (so Mormons should have vineyards)
Strong Drink: Only to be used to wash the body
Tobacco: Don’t use tobacco. (vaping is a loophole because it doesn’t have tobacco)
Hot drinks: None are okay.
All wholesome herbs are good: Marijuana is definitely okay
Eat in season
Eat meat sparingly, and not during famine
Everyone should eat grain, but only in famine and excess hunger
Barley can be used for mild drinks
If you follow this you’ll have health in your navel and morrow to your bone

The Millerites
Watch Ke$ha brush her teeth with a bottle of jack 
The Zion Curtain has fallen

Read what Bryce was reading here

Read along with us at http://joelakuhn.com/dc-compare/

Drink count – 7, plus as many as the spirit compels you to consume

Patron Bonus Episode: Marie talks with missionaries about the Word of Wisdom

Support the show by becoming a Patron over at Patreon.com/MyBookofMormonPodcast
Drop me a line at comments@mybookofmormonpodcast.com

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18 Comments on “Episode 166: D&C 66, Chapter 89 (Word of Wisdom)”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:


    • Angie Says:

      Love Brother Jake!!


    • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

      With mild spoilers of the circumstances of Joseph Smith’s death…

      Incidentally, I don’t think there’s any evidence that Joseph Smith was actually intoxicated at the time he died, as someone suggested (cough, cough, Bryce, cough, cough!) We just know he had some wine within the day or so before it happened.


    • help3434 Says:

      The Brother Jake video is a must watch, as always.


  2. Angie Says:

    Somewhere I was informed that Sylvester Graham, the Presbyterian dietary reformer in the early 19th centry, may have influenced Joseph Smith in coming up with the Word of Wisdom. I don’t remember where I heard that, but it seems possible. Speculation, of course.


    Regarding using alcohol for washing the body, I wonder if alcohol was sometimes used for washing wounds. Perhaps that could be what this scripture is referring to. Speculation again, of course.

    And about the caffiene issue, when having a temple recommend interview, a priesthood leader is supposed to ask the questions exactly as they are worded in the manual. The question is simply “Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?” Use of caffiene falls under the personal interpretation category. I’ve been a Dr.Pepper fan as long as I can remember and never felt an ounce of guilt or inappropriateness when answering that I do keep the Word of Wisdom. I attended the temple for many years drinking colas.


  3. help3434 Says:

    1844 does not end with an 8.


  4. help3434 Says:

    Section 89 bears only a passing resemblance to the food and drink policies in force today and for last hundred years or so, yet it is the centerpiece of the Word of Wisdom lesson in Sunday School. It is a rather strange situation.


  5. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
    “And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.”

    You guys struggled a bit with these verses, wondering how humans are expected to only eat grain in times of famine and excess of hunger. I think, though, that “these” refers back to the various animals mentioned in the previous verse, not to the grain, so it’s just reiterating what the earlier verse said, that the meat of those animals is only meant to be used in times of famine, etc. I gotta say though, God, you and your oracles really need to consider identifying your pronouns a little more clearly when you’re giving a revelation.


  6. xxicenturyboy Says:

    Geauga…Gee, as is gee whiz, AH, ga. GeeAHga. Do you know about Jeffrey Lundgren, Kirtland’s Mormon Mass Murderer? Crazy dude.


    • My Book of Mormon Says:

      I pestered my friend Megan to send me a recording of Geauga. It’ll go into this Saturday’s episode!


      • 21stCenturyboy Says:

        For those of us in Ohio, there was an amusement park at Geauga Lake. I went there and I took my kids there. I am sure Megan would remember
        it. It is now Scooby Doo type abandoned park. There is a great YouTube drone video of what it looks like now. Anyone who ever went there will tell you what a great place it used to be. This video will bring tears to anyone who loved it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Civ9F9dBBFI GeeeeAH ga. say it!


  7. Sean Safyre Says:

    Gottfried? Duke? No one? I would have thought someone would have mentioned this by now…

    The Word of Wisdom was not really considered a commandment at any time in the 19th century. At all.

    This whole cultural meme of “mormons don’t drink coffee or alcohol” didn’t start until the 20th century.

    I know Bryce is still decades away from this on NaMo… but at this time this Word of Wisdom was really just proverbial.

    1902, President Joseph F Smith made the WoW (Word of Wisdom) a temple recommend question. ( F Smith being a man of many public political policy declarations… and silly things like declaring Evolution and Darwinism to be false and of the devil… but I digress)

    In 1906, water replaced Wine in the church sacrament services.

    In 1921 Heber J Grant solidified this by declaring that no one may enter the temple if they are not strictly adhering to the word of wisdom with respect to coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco.

    This is all 20th century stuff… much of it influenced by competition with other protestant churches. The Baptists especially were some of the biggest proponents of the “Prohibition” of the 1920s… and the church was not going to be “on the wrong side of history.”


    • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

      I’m glad I didn’t try to steal your thunder, Sean, because I didn’t know all the timeline for those changes. But yes, the LDS church’s observance and enforcement of the Word of Wisdom seemed to be constantly fluctuating throughout the 19th century.

      The official story they tell in church is how the Word of Wisdom was only originally given “not by commandment or constraint” so as to not immediately put most of the church members under condemnation, but to ease them into the idea and let them overcome their addictions until the they were ready to be brought under God’s law.

      So the Church Educational System manual points to a September 1851 General Conference (as mentioned in the Wikipedia article), in which Brigham Young apparently put the church under covenant henceforth to abstain from whiskey, tobacco, coffee, tea, etc. Those in attendance unanimously accepted, and thereafter the Word of Wisdom was a COMMANDMENT. It’s a neat and tidy story to tell members of the church, and Brigham probably really said it, pretty much, but that ignores all the times Brigham and other church leaders, and the general membership, continued to use alcohol, tobacco, and the rest, to some extent or another, long after 1851, even if they occasionally had bouts of abject abstinence.

      And of course the church mostly ignores mention of Joseph Smith’s use of the various prohibited substances after the Word of Wisdom was given, but if members find out, the apologists can always say, “BFD, it wasn’t a commandment yet.” You sometimes even hear crazy excuses given for Joseph’s infractions, like this reminiscence from Nauvoo-era apostle Amasa Lyman:

      “Smith tried the faith of the Saints many times by his peculiarities. At one time, he had preached a powerful sermon on the Word of Wisdom, and immediately thereafter, he rode through the streets of Nauvoo smoking a cigar. Some of the brethren were tried as was Abraham of old.”

      So he wasn’t smoking because he just wanted to. He needed to test his people’s faith…

      For more fun reading about the inconstantly practiced 19th century version of the Word of Wisdom, see http://www.mormonthink.com/wow.htm


      • Sean Safyre Says:

        hah, well i cheated and used wikipedia… happy to have you weigh in on the 19th century portions!


  8. Rebecca F Says:

    I’m so honoured that my Patreon shout-out arrived at the same time as the WoW. That particular scripture has led to many good discussions with extended members of my bf’s family, who eventually go to “it’s really about obedience, anyways.”

    A wonderful listen as always!


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