I’m getting around to posting more of the study of the Word of Wisdom. So…for today:
” And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies. – Doctrine and Covenants 89:7
As I studied this verse, I looked to the footnotes listed in the scripture. Interestingly enough, the word referred to three scriptures in the Bible. They didn’t refer to revelation given in the latter-days. Strong drink has never been for the belly.
Here are the verses that are footnoted…along with a few ideas of my own.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1
I find it interesting that this is an OLD Testament reference. I have met several people that take issue with the Word of Wisdom because it is modern revelation. They say, “Jesus drank wine.” I don’t doubt that Jesus drank wine. But, perhaps it wasn’t that strong.
I can’t imagine that the Savior would have been mocked by strong drink, nor would he have been deceived. Jesus was a master of self-control. He even warned people of the problem that alcohol can pose to people, anciently.
I like this verse because I have seen it to be true in my life. Although I was raised Mormon, my dad is not LDS. He never has been. He drinks alcohol, and has for as long as I’ve known him. My (ex)-stepmom seems to have a real problem with drinking. For as long as I’ve known her, she gets pretty drunk most nights. I saw, first-hand, this verse come true – wine, strong drink, deceived her, mocked her, mocked all of us who came in contact with her. She wasn’t always raging, but she could. She had no semblance of self-control. It was embarrassing. I knew, as a teenager, that I never wanted to drink. I wasn’t tempted by curiosity. I was repulsed by alcohol – from the way it smelled to the way it would make my parents act.
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” – Proverbs 23:30-35
This scripture block is pretty interesting to me.
“tarry long with wine” → woe, sorrow, contention, babbling, wounds without cause, red eyes
First of all, I have witnessed this. I’m sure most people have. And there are probably people who have experienced this. I think that this is what I mean when I say that I was never attracted to the idea of alcohol…I saw woe, sorrow, contention, babbling, wounds without cause, and red eyes. I saw my parents exhibit or do each of these things, and I never understood why they wouldn’t snap out of it. It was frustrating, and as I got older, I realized that they had no control. They had given up control to a little glass; a little liquid. It seemed absolutely crazy to me.
I don’t understand verse 31, but I think that it is because I don’t understand much about wine or alcohol.
I do see that verse 32 is figurative, and most likely true.
And I love verse 33 – beer goggles?!
Verse 34 – sounds like barfing to me.
And in verse 35 – the person seems to wish for a release from the stupor and sickness of drunkenness, yet says, “I will seek it yet again.” Interesting – especially considering we know the addictive nature of alcohol.
It is better to stay away from alcohol – from the beginning – and I think that is what the author means to teach us.
“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” – Luke 1:15
This scripture refers to John the Baptist.
Strong drinks are not good for us. They have never been good for us. Even anciently, the prophets and those who were close to the Spirit knew this.
Avoiding alcohol isn’t modern counsel. Perhaps now we have stricter rules. I don’t know. We learn about strong drinks. I’m not sure if there are mild ones. But we know we need to stay away from alcohol.
I think about Christ’s time – how wine may have been acceptable, but not in excess. Who knows. I wasn’t there. But one thing I do know: God loves His children. He knows that we live in a world were we deal with many things with either little or no margin of error. We have cars, airplanes, firearms. Back in Christ’s time, a man got drunk, and maybe fell off of his donkey. Now, there is more at risk. We can have horrible accidents without being impaired. I think that is why our current dietary code is so strict.
What is also clear is: alcohol and other substances cloud our judgement. When this happens, we are no longer open to the guidance of the Spirit. It is best to avoid things that will destroy our ability to remain virtuous.