Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Question

Gramps,

In the Word of Wisdom the 2nd verse states that it was given not by way of commandment. When did that change to a commandment?

Daniel

 

Answer

Dear Daniel,

In 1933 the General Handbook of instruction listed living the Word of Wisdom as a requirement to enter the temple. This was 100 years after the revelation. Before that the Church did strongly promote, encourage and otherwise prepare the Church membership to live it fully.

In the October 1913 Conference report Joseph F. Smith noted:

 

“The reason undoubtedly why the Word of Wisdom was given—as not by ‘commandment or restraint’ was that at that time, at least, if it had been given as a commandment it would have brought every man, addicted to the use of these noxious things, under condemnation; so the Lord was merciful and gave them a chance to overcome, before He brought them under the law.”

 

This is something to keep in mind if you are looking into church history.  If you do so you will encounter faithful members, who by our current standards broke the Word of Wisdom, and remained good and faithful members. We should not seek to justify breaking the commandment to live the Word of Wisdom by what was allowed in the past. Instead we should understand that the Lord gave the Church a grace period due to the weakness of the Saints in living the Word of Wisdom, but that period has now passed.

 

Gramps

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org.

Pin It on Pinterest