Spencer W. Kimball, former President of and Prophet to the MormonChurch wrote:
Apostasy often begins with criticism of current leaders. Apostasyusually begins with question and doubt and criticism. It is a retrogradingand devolutionary process. The seeds of doubt are planted by unscrupulousor misguided people, and seldom directed against the doctrine at first,but more often against the leaders.
The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg. 462
Oft times, people confuse the Socratic method of learning as question,doubt and criticism. To a very large extent, a questioning mind is a healthymind.
I would like to remind the leaders of the Mormon church that not allcriticism is bad or unhealthy in a God fearing society. There is constructiveand destructive criticism. Giving someone, anyone a free reign void ofeven the right to question is contrary to the advise of you own successorto Joseph Smith, your second President and Prophet, Brigham Young. It isbut one step away from the Communist totalitarian rule found in Russiabetween 1917 and 1990 or that which currently exists in China and Cuba.Constructive criticism or the right to question, is beneficial to all concernedand keeps both parties honest and humble. Can a prophet error? (see Cana Prophet Error? in these Journalsof Discourses) The Prophet Jeremiah gave man a couple examples of theprophets of ancient Israel who committed adultery, and walked in lies andstrengthened the hands of evildoers. Jeremiah said quoting God, 'they areall of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah."
It is rather the zealots and fanatic devotees who dangerously influenceand lead a church into apostasy. Case in point: Section 89 of your ownDoctrine & Covenants entitled "The Word of Wisdom" begins:
¶ 1 A word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council ofhigh priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saintsin Zion --
¶ 2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, butby revelation, and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and willof God in the temporal salvation of al saints in the last days --
However, by the Mormon Church's own admission buried deep in bureaucraticdouble-speak, the Church's own records shows in the "Encyclopedia of Mormonism,Vol. 1, DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS," it starts off perpetrating the disingenuousdoctrinal error in an effort to psychologically manipulate the reader whenit says,
The revelation prohibits three things: tobacco, strong drinks,and hot drinks (verses 5-9).
Absolutely and unequivocally false! The revelation neverprohibited anything. Read it again! "To be sent greeting; not by commandmentor constraint, but by revelation, and the word of wisdom." Quite the contraryit says, "not by commandment or constraint."
Besides a constraint or a commandment is anathema to the use, promotionor free exercise of wisdom, it has a very deleterious affect on the exerciseof the freedom of choice once all the facts are known. God would that therewere no commandments only intelligence, knowledge and the disseminationof truth. As I have long maintained, Man is to "Educate not legislate!"
I appreciate Joseph and Emma Smith's concern at the time with havingto clean the quid-littered floor but his words merely attest to his humannessregardless of his worthiness before God.
Joseph Smith said no member "is worthy to hold an office" whohas been taught the Word of Wisdom and fails "to comply with and obey it.(TPJS, p.117, fn.).
Again, it behooves man to educate by persuasion and building a consensus,not prohibit by legislation!"
The "Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1" goes on to say,
"Strong drinks" were understood as alcoholic beverages; "hotdrinks" were defined by early Church leaders as tea and coffee. Churchleaders have traditionally confined relevant worthiness requirements tothe prohibited items.
Today, there is a plethora of everyday items and foods far moreharmful to the body not prohibited under your redefinition of Section 89but I guess those are okeh since they aren't specifically banned. You say,"You're to use wisdom in all things!" When did the Mormon church finallybecome a beleiver? Before or after they sought to redefine God's wordsof wisdom as a commandment?
The "Encyclopedia of Mormonism" goes on to say,
The revelation also recommends the prudent use of herbs andfruits, the sparing consumption of meat, and the use of "all grain," butespecially "wheat for man" (verses 10-17). Saints who obey the admonitionsare promised health and strength, wisdom and knowledge, and protectionfrom the destroying angel (verses 18-21).
The Word of Wisdom was an inspired response to specific problems orparadoxes within the Church and to pressing social issues in contemporaryAmerican society. Brigham Young recalled in 1868 that Joseph Smith wasbothered by the seeming incongruity of discussing spiritual matters ina cloud of tobacco smoke and that Joseph's wife, Emma Smith, was botheredat having to clean the quid-littered floor. It is also probable that theProphet was sensitive to, and supportive of, the widespread temperancesentiment of the 1830s. As was his custom, the Prophet went to the Lordfor instructions, and section 89 is distinctive in the sense that it isa divinely approved code of health.
Then "Encyclopedia of Mormonism" identified the fact that man changedthe Revelation from that of a "greeting" or "word of wisdom" to that ofa constraint or commandment contrary to the will of God, by later admitting,
There was no known specific revelation that brought thisabout.
However, the Mormon Church continued with its disingenuous psychologicalmanipulation,
Interpretations and applications of the Word of Wisdom havegradually changed through the years. In part, this change is consistent...
...with the Church's belief in continuing revelation throughliving prophets. With regard to this particular section, the varied interpretationsalso reflect some ambiguity in verse 2, which states that the revelationwas given "not by commandment or constraint." Since verses 1-4 were partof the introduction to this section in the 1835 edition of the Doctrineand Covenants, through the years there have been differences of opinionas to whether the Word of Wisdom is a commandment in the sense that observanceis obligatory to enjoy full Church fellowship as well as whether observanceimplies abstinence or merely moderation.
Rather than to educate and persuade, it is man's nature as membersof any organization, always to try to set themselves up as better thanthose who are not members by establishing special rules or standards whichset them apart from the others.
In the mid-1830s, many Church members felt that abstinencefrom alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee was a criterion for fellowship.The one possible exception to this otherwise strict interpretation waswine, which some early Church leaders may not have considered "strong drink."Even so, the early statement gradually gave way to an emphasis on moderation.President Joseph F. Smith later taught that the Lord did not insist onstrict compliance in these early years in order to allow a generation addictedto noxious substances some years to discard bad habits.
This sounds reasonable but where is it written that, that was themind of God. It is the mind of God to educate and persuade as opposed torestricting.
This early pattern of moderation, observable by the 1840s,continued throughout the nineteenth century. President John Taylor initiateda reform in the early 1880s in which he stressed that all Church officersshould abstain from the prohibited items, but his efforts were cut shortby the social disruption caused by federal antipolygamy (sic) raids. WhileChurch leaders did not require abstinence in the nineteenth century, theystressed moderation, counseled strongly against drunkenness,...
They "counseled" and rightly so!
... and opposed or carefully regulated the establishment ofdistilleriesand grog shops. The numerous observations by visitors in Utah Territoryattest to the prevailing orderliness and sobriety of Mormon communitiesand evidence the effectiveness of such preaching.
The path leading to the present position on the Word of Wisdom beganwith the Presidency of Joseph F. Smith (1901-1918) and culminated in theadministration of Heber J. Grant (1918-1945), who, more than any otherChurch leader, preached strict compliance with frequency and fervor. Bythe early 1930s, abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee hadbecome an established test of Church fellowship.
Rightly or wrongly, the Mormon Church admits this was strictly,as a result of social and peer pressure, not revelation.
There was no known specific revelation that brought thisabout.
It resulted from Church leaders' long-term concern over the deleteriousphysical and spiritual effects of alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee onboth individuals and communities. National and local agitation over prohibitionand the mounting scientific evidence attesting to the harmful effects ofcertain substances intensified that concern.
Regardless of the reason, man must guard against Satan's attemptto curtail his ability to exercise his freedom of choice. That is why thewar in heaven was bitterly fought and why a son of God, the Son of theMorning, was cast out and became Satan!
As a result of overriding the will of God, the apostasy of the MormonChurch began in 1840 and continues to this day! REPENT for the houris nigh at hand!
David R.W. Wadsworth
Servant of the Most High God
El Santuario Escondido
10387 Tioga Lake Drive
Escondido, CA 92029-5405
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