Word of Wisdom

(see also Kosher, Health)

D&C 89:2 not by commandment nor constraint
D&C 89:5 use wine for the sacrament
D&C 89:17 mild barley drink aka beer is good for men

D&C (LDS 89:2,5,17) (RLDS 86) (1835 80) (1844 81)
2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
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.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary, CONSTRAINT:

CONSTRAINT, noun Irresistible force, or its effect; any force, or power, physical or moral, which compels to act or to forbear action, or which urges so strongly as to produce its effect upon the body or mind; compulsion; restraint; confinement.
Not by constraint but by my choice, I came.
Feed the flock of God, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint but willingly. 1 Peter 5:2.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary, MILD:

2. Not acrid, pungent, corrosive or drastic; operating gently; not acrimonious; demulcent; mollifying; lenitive; assuasive; as a mild LIQUOR; a mild cataplasm; a mild cathartic or emetic.

1835 D&C 80:2 (Word of Wisdom). Click for whole page.

LDS church added a comma after “used” and it changes the meaning to eat meat sparingly all the time to some of the time.

D&C 1835 80:2 (see above) And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

D&C LDS 1921 89:13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

This post I did shows verses from the Book of Mormon how the righteous ate meat all the time, even while vegetation was abunbant.
BoM verse regarding eating meat sparingly all the time

I quote some examples showing how the interpretation of the Word of Wisdom, Doctrine and Covenants (LDS 89) (RLDS 86) (1835 80) (1844 81), has changed over time.
Anthony E Larson

Tannic Acid

Iron Rod 025 – The Word of Wisdom

We talk about the Word of Wisdom, which Anne gave some very good insights including explaining in season.
Scripture Study 2020-05-14

We are to pay a tithe of our wine, partly by consuming it. (see Tithing)

Deuteronomy 14:23 And thou shalt EAT before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the TITHE of thy corn, of thy WINE, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.
Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for WINE, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt EAT there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement (backup) is a good read to see how the LDS church has changed the interpretation of the Word of Wisdom and how it’s leaders were enforcing standards upon others that they themselves did not keep. Below are a few highlights.

Apostle George Teasdale, agreeing with President Woodruff, thought that no one ought to be kept from working in the Sunday School because he drank tea and that eating pork was a more serious breach than drinking tea or coffee. (See Kosher resource page)

Another important motive for those on all sides of the question seems also to have been the desire for acceptance.

In addition to liquor, tobacco, tea and coffee, some members of the Church urged that the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom ought to be broader. In March, 1917, Frederick J. Pack of the University of Utah published an article in the Improvement Era dealing with the question, “Should LDS Drink Coca-Cola?” His answer was no.

Summary: Coca-Cola Company called on President Grant to change the teachings about not drinking Coca-Cola, which Grant did do.

There is, however, no known contemporary evidence of which I am aware that a separate new revelation changed the Word of Wisdom from a “principle with promise” to “a commandment” necessary for full participation in all the blessings of church membership.

Elder Grant’s diary reveals the influence of Evangelical Protestant sentiment in his attitudes toward liquor and tobacco.

Few of the General Authorities seem to have opposed the use of the state to enforce their moral code.

The first 25 minutes of Rejecting the Fulness deals with Word of Wisdom changes.

NephiteExplorer The Word of Wisdom YouTube playlist

A Word of Wisdom: Part 1 Marijuana and Mormonism
A Word of Wisdom: Part 2 Traditions Stronger Than Doctrine
A Word of Wisdom: Part 3 Where there is no law
A Word of Wisdom: Part 4 yea, pure wine, of your own make
A Word of Wisdom: Part 5 Strong drinks…. for washing…
A Word of Wisdom: Part 6 only in times of winter or famine
A Word of Wisdom: Part 6 Who is the destroying angel?
A Word of Wisdom: Part 6 Tithes of Mint

James E Talmage experimented with cannabis:

Mar 17. I have been engaged some time in the study of the effects of Narcotics upon the system, i.e. studying the same theoretically only.
James E Talmage, March 1884, History of the Word of Wisdom, Mar 17, 1884

Below is a quote from an LDS leader stating that hot chocolate is bad, along with hot soups, showing the interpretation of hot drinks has changed through time

We are told, and very plainly too, that hot drinks – tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa and all drinks of this kind are not good for man. We are also told that alcoholic drinks are not good, and that tobacco when either smoked or chewed is an evil. We are told that swine’s flesh is not good, and that we should dispense with it; and we are told that flesh of any kind is not suitable to man in the summer time, and ought to be eaten sparingly in the winter…
…we must feed our children properly…. We must not permit them to drink liquor or hot drinks, or hot soups or to use tobacco or other articles that are injurious. JD. V.12:221&223. George Q. Cannon, 7 Apr 1868

Wilford Woodruff drinking coffee and brandy well after Brigham Young had the saints vote, no revelation from the Lord, to make Word of Wisdom manditory.

I was quite restless all night. Felt chilly. Took a little Brandy sling and a cup of coffee, and slept some before daylight and until 9 am…
Wilford Woodruff Journal, 9 Jun 1897