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Question

Gramps,

I just want to know your side about members who are selling products against the WOW like tobacco, alcohol, etc. Are they entitled to have a temple recommend?  How about a farmer planting tobacco as means of income? Any enlightenment is greatly appreciated.

dreb

 

Answer

Dreb,

The decision as to whether a person is worthy to hold a temple recommend is between that member, their local priesthood authority and the Lord. Anyone else who thinks they can judge the worthiness of another needs to look to the beam in their own eye and not the mote in another (Luke 6:42)

Now let’s take some hypothetical examples. Let’s say we have those who are doing their best to make ends meet. They have a job as a clerk, or a cashier or a waitress, and as part of their job they have to sell to the customers products that will break the Word of Wisdom. While it is true we do get to choose what job we will take, for many that can be a choice between a job we don’t like, and an even worse or no job at all. For those in this situation it seems clear to me that denying them a temple recommend based solely on their job is not the response of a follower of Christ but more an action of a modern day Pharisee.

The next hypothetical situation is the business owner. He makes the call on what to sell (or plant in the case of the farmer). The sad reality in these cases is that the products that violate the Word of Wisdom seem to be very profitable. The owner/farmer often has a very tough choice. He can carry a product he doesn’t like but represents a better chance of turning a profit, or do something else that carries a greater risk and likelihood of failure and going under.

Some may choose not to sell such things. Others may sell them for awhile and then choose to stop. Still others may choose to carry them always. If we don’t agree with those choices, we have the choice to spend our money elsewhere. That is a judgment we can and should make, but we don’t have any authority to go beyond that.

When we are in a place that doesn’t require us to make such choices, it is easy for us to declare what we would ¬†never do. But to judge and ‘throw stones’ at those who have to, and who make different choices than we think we would, only reveals our own sins and shortcomings.

 

Gramps

 

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