38 Comments

Coke, Rum Cake, and President McKay

I just started reading Greg Prince’s book, David O McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.  It’s been a great read so far.  Prince tells some interesting stories about President McKay and the Word of Wisdom.

BYU has banned caffeinated soft drinks on campus for years.  I work for a few large national cable tv networks, and when they come to BYU, they often rant that they can’t find a good cup of coffee in Provo, and they are especially perplexed by the soft drink restrictions.  Often these guys fly in on red-eye flights, and a boost of caffeine is very helpful to keeping them alert during football and basketball broadcasts.  (I took one of those red-eye flights just this weekend, and drank some cheap cola to keep me awake.)

So, Coke and Pepsi are sold on campus, but without caffeine.  I find it an odd situation, and I don’t have much to say when these non-LDS people rant about banning caffeine on campus.  But it appears that President David O McKay was a bit more liberal on some of these Word of Wisdom issues.  We all know the admonition to “avoid the appearance of evil”, yet President McKay was more liberal than some on the subject of Coke.  Prince describes a situation where President McKay actually requested Coke.  From page 23, (emphasis in book)

During the intermission of a theatrical presentation, his host offered to get refreshments: “His hearing wasn’t very good, and I got right down in front of him and I said, ‘President McKay, what would you like to drink?  All of our cups say Coca Cola on them because of our arrangement with Coca Cola Bottling, but we have root beer and we have orange and we have Seven-Up.  What would you like to drink?’  And he said, ‘I don’t care what it says on the cup, as long as there is Coke in the cup.”87 McKay’s point was simple and refreshing:  Don’t get hung up on the letter of the law to the point where you squeeze all of the spirit out of life.

But that’s not all.  Prince describes an interesting story concerning rum cake that President McKay ate. Also from page 23,

At a reception McKay attended, the hostess served rum cake.  “All the guests hesitated, watching to see what McKay would do.  He smacked his lips and began to eat.”  When one guest expostulated, “‘But President McKay, don’t you know that is rum cake?’  McKay smiled and reminded the guest that the Word of Wisdom forbade drinking alcohol, not eating it.”86

Some people have tried to add chocolate as being prohibited by the Word of Wisdom.  President McKay chided an apostle about this stance.  From page 23,

he gently chided Apostle John A. Widtsoe, whose wife advocated such a rigid interpretation of the Word of Wisdom as to proscribe chocolate because of the stimulants it contained, saying “John, do you want to take all the joy of of life?'”85

Is anyone else surprised by these stories?  Do you think Mormons will ever relax to President McKay’s position on the Word of Wisdom?  When I was first married, my wife surprised me and cooked with wine.  Do others cook with wine, or do you avoid it for “the appearance of evil”?

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38 comments on “Coke, Rum Cake, and President McKay

  1. As long as the Church makes a big deal of outward signs of orthodoxy which can be displayed to others, e.g. strict WoW observance, white shirts, one piercing per ear, etc., there will be those who obsess about them and try to put hedges about the “law.” Some do this because they are simply ultra-zealots (e.g. Witdsoe), some do it because they lose or never had sight of the bigger principles by which such smaller ones should be judged.

  2. I guess I’m kind of surprised by this. But it’s good to know because sometimes I take the same approach, and I don’t know if I’m wrong for doing so. I do cook with wine on occasion. I even have some dessert recipes that call for a small amount of coffee. I rarely drink caffeinated sodas, but I don’t drink many sodas anyway, and most of the ones I like don’t have caffeine in them. But my kids like sodas with caffeine in them, and I let them have them on occasion. It seems okay to me as long as it is in moderation.

    Where I live, it is probably much more relaxed with regard to caffeine than out west. Many members drink caffeinated sodas, and it’s not uncommon for people to bring caffeinated sodas to church activities. Some even drink energy drinks which I won’t drink nor allow my kids to drink. There are those who are more strict, as in the case of one member in particular that I know of who won’t eat food cooked with alcohol in it.

    This brings to mind an incident from my Young Women’s group recently. One of the young women related a story about her mother who went on a date when she was young with a guy (non-member) who was drinking vodka. Her mother took a drink. She just wanted to try it, and it was apparently a one-time thing. The young woman wanted to know if it was wrong. My counselor and I both agreed that it was, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if we were wrong.

  3. Maybe part of the reason why McKay was a little more liberal on the WofW was because he was around when the WofW wasn’t enforced the way it is now. I don’t know what year he was born, but I believe it was during the 1920’s that the WofW became a requirement to be a member in good standing. Prior to that, I don’t think it was uncommon for GA’s or prophets to use coffee, tea and alcohol in moderation. So maybe he longed for the “good ol’ days.” 🙂

  4. You mentioned the appearance of Evil. Thought I’d share this – maybe someone will find it interesting (I sure did when I read it:) The idea we have about avoiding the appearance of evil comes from mistranslation of the word “appearance. According to the original Greek – it should read, “Abstain from all kinds of evil.” I’m quite sure that Christ made it clear that he doesn’t care about people’s appearance.

    Regarding the Word of Wisdom – President McKay lived in a time when the church observed its recommendations more accurately than we do today. Our ideas today – where we almost worship certain parts of it, ignore others, and take it has a commandment when the Lord himself said it wasn’t – seem to distort what the Word of Wisdom actually is.

  5. Seems like he views the WoW with about the right level of piety. I don’t buy into the whole “appearance of evil” because it is an invitation to put the observer in the position of judge and jury, which I think is a sin too.

  6. I noted the rum cake episode when I read the DOM biography earlier this year — episodes like that make that book a fun read.

    I really don’t understand the hang-up about Coke — did this creep its way into LDS culture via some General Conference address interpreting “strong drinks” to include sodas? I cannot find an authoritative pronouncement on the issue (and I don’t think President Hinckley’s “60 Minutes” interview counts as one). Someone who is anti-Coke, please lead the way!

  7. Rob, I agree the WoW is an outward sign of piety, and people definitely go overboard. Tara, I do remember living outside of Utah and the members weren’t so rigid about the WoW. I wish we would be more like that.

    FD, it seems like Armaund Mauss said the WoW is sort of our “peculiar people” thing. He said that polygamy helped us be a peculair people. When it was abandoned, we needed something else, so the WoW may fill that role. Minidisk and Jana, I agree with you about the “appearance of evil” thing. It does make the eye of the beholder the judge, and that’s not how it supposed to work. Tom, I don’t understand the Coke hangup either.

  8. The WoW is outdated and very few LDS follow it anyway. I can’t name a single LDS person that eats mostly grains and meat sparingly. This would be an unhealthy diet as well.

    The WoW was not inspired of God, it was inspired of Emma. If it were inspired of God, it would not have so many problems with it. Abstaining from tobacco and strong drink (meant as hard liquor) is good, but it falls off quickly after that. The healthiest drink on the planet is Tea and Coffee has many benefits including aiding digestion, prevention of Alheimers, etc. Your body needs Animal Protein to function at peak level. Sure you can do without it, but you will not be at your peak.

    Tom: Regarding Coke, if the WoW was made a requirement in 1920 as FD mentions, perhaps the Coke ban was due to the Cocaine that it contained. Of course that wouldn’t apply today though.

  9. “I do remember living outside of Utah and the members weren’t so rigid about the WoW. I wish we would be more like that.”

    Ironically, though, I’ve found that it’s the members outside of UT that are much more strict about caffeinated colas, whereas almost all the Mormons I’ve known from UT, whether family or missionaries, are OK with it.

  10. @Tom O.
    Maybe the Coke thing came along because people (non-members) thought we were hypocritical about not drinking tea and coffee, but yet we drink sodas with caffeine. I know that is a common refrain I’ve heard, because people (myself included) will include caffeine as a reason that we don’t drink tea and coffee. That’s probably only a small part of the reason, but when you are trying to make a sensible argument to someone who doesn’t understand the Word of Wisdom and the principle of obedience, it’s much easier to use science as a way to help explain. It could also be that since caffeine is probably the most notable chemical in coffee and tea, people have just extrapolated and believe that even though it isn’t expressly stated in the Word of Wisdom, it just goes along with the spirit of the law that we avoid things which are addictive. And I think that is a good thing, but it can also be taken to an extreme.

  11. If I can be long winded for Tom O.’s request, here is a quote that may help:

    “Is it against Church standards to drink cola beverages or any other beverage containing caffeine?”

    H. Burke Peterson, “Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Oct. 1975, 36-37

    Answer/Bishop H. Burke Peterson

    This is a very perplexing question to many. Maybe we should lead into its answer by first recounting a true story. Many years ago the ruler of Babylon was King Nebuchadnezzar. There was a war going on between Babylon and Judah. During the war King Nebuchadnezzar’s army was laying siege to Jerusalem. After capturing the city, the king, knowing of the fine quality of the Judean young people, instructed his leaders to capture certain of these young men of Israel who had royal blood in their veins. They were known to be strong of body and of mind and skillful in all wisdom. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to raise them in his court that they might be a strength to his own people. The king set up a program where they would be given a daily provision of meat and wine— the same quality that he ate and drank. His plan was to have them thus fed and taught for three years and then to have them brought before him to be observed and tested with the thought in mind of then using the best of them as some of his country’s leaders.

    Among those captured was a young man named Daniel and his three friends. When Daniel was told what he was to eat and drink, he was disturbed. He did not wish to eat the king’s food nor drink his wine for he knew it would be damaging to his body and mind. Now the Lord had made it possible for Daniel to become a good friend to the king’s chief servant. Daniel asked the chief servant if he could eat and drink something different that he might not defile his body. Daniel told the servant that he knew he and his friends would be stronger and wiser than all the other captured young men if he would allow them to eat proper foods. The servant was afraid the king would take his head if he disobeyed. However, Daniel talked the servant into letting him eat another kind of food and drink only water for just ten days. This was to be a test to see if there wasn’t a difference between him and his friends and all the others. The chief servant consented, and at the end of the ten days Daniel said the servant looked upon them and “their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”

    After seeing the results, the chief servant then allowed these four to continue eating and drinking the good food they wished. The scripture says, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Dan. 1:17.)

    At the end of the three years King Nebuchadnezzar had them all brought before him to be questioned and tested. The record says that among them all, none was found like Daniel and his friends. In all matters of wisdom and understanding the king found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in his kingdom. What a tribute and blessing to four courageous young men who would not defile their bodies with food and drink that was not good for them! Even then Daniel understood the Lord’s law of health.

    The Word of Wisdom is a guide to strengthening the body and mind and keeping them healthy so the spirit of the individual can function without impairment. If we understand the Word of Wisdom properly, we will do all things necessary to avoid weakening the marvelous temple the Lord has given us to house our spirit.

    The revelation in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants says:

    “And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.” (D&C 89:10.)

    We should notice the word wholesome and always consider the things that we take into our body as to whether they are wholesome or not. The scripture continues, “All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.” (D&C 89:11.) Consider the word prudence. Would eating a whole apple pie or a cake or watermelon at one sitting be prudent? It is contrary to the principles embodied in the Word of Wisdom to take an excess of anything into our bodies.

    Two of the tests we can employ as we question the use of any food or beverage are: Is it wholesome? Is it prudent? As we know, some of us need more rest than others. These same principles imply that we should not tax our bodies beyond good judgment. Finally, remember that the Lord has counseled:

    “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.” (D&C 58:26.)

    We know that cola drinks contain the drug caffeine. We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. It is only sound judgment to conclude that cola drinks and any others that contain caffeine or other harmful ingredients should not be used.

    For those who are willing to exhibit the same courage and good judgment as the boy Daniel:

    “And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

    “And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

    “And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

    “And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.” (D&C 89:18-21.)

    The real purpose of the Word of Wisdom is one of obedience. In this dispensation we eat pork. The Word of Wisdom is our dietary commandment to express obedience via control of the body.

    It seems the questions of “what can I get away with drinking?” is like the oft-told story of the wannabe stagecoach drivers boasting how close to the cliff edge they can drive instead of “How far from the cliff edge can I get?”. We decide for ourselves what we will or wont eat and drink.

    My grandfather drank Coke. As he later developed diabetes, dieing from it, my mother blamed the Coke. Of course, it was more the sugar and genetic predisposition than the Coke, but I decided to live the council to refrain from colas. Admittedly, not with 100% success, but for the most part.

    Colas have not been proscribed, but, it can only be a better lifestyle to refrain from them, even sodas in general (as I plan to order root beer with my lunch today).

  12. And one more….

    “Policies and Procedures,” New Era, May 1972, 50

    Cola Drinks and the Word of Wisdom

    “The Word of Wisdom, section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, [D&C 89] remains as to terms and specifications as found in that section. There has been no official interpretation of that Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that ‘hot drinks’ meant tea and coffee.

    “With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.”

  13. A couple of points to consider:

    Both coke and pepsi have more caffeine than tea.
    Caffeine is the ingredient in Coffee that helps fight Alzheimer’s and aids in memory performance.
    No one that follows the WoW has more health in their navel, marrow in their bones, runs better or faints less as a result. Like I said, beyond liquor and tobacco, the WoW falls off quickly.

    We don’t need ANOTHER thing to test our obedience. Our entire existence as LDS is based on obedience and driven by guilt or fear.

    David O McKay understood this.

  14. God does not care if you have a glass of wine. He does not care if you have a beer. Nor a Coke, a Sprite, a Red Bull, etc. The WOW is a cultural phenomenon and should not be in a TR Interview at all. Everyone is guilty of not keeping that Pharisaical law in one point or another- EVERYONE.

    The LDS Church leaders are looking beyond the mark and leading people astray as they continuously beat the drum that obtaining “personal worthiness” is even remotely possible. They continue to find new ways to promote a gospel of “worthiness” when in reality Christ came to free everyone from Law. Unfortunately the LDS Church Leaders have created a “new” Mosaic Law under the pretense of a “restoration of all things”.
    Well, some things don’t need to be restored- namely, a re-vamped Mosaic Law so people can be worthy “by their works”. You will never, ever be worthy of God’s Spirit in this life through obedience. You will ONLY gain His spirit through contrition, humility and love of Him and His Son. You can’t get those things if you are seeking worthiness- it is IMPOSSIBLE.

    Seek humility over righteousness- and righteousness will automatically flow without it’s pursuit. Seek contrition over worthiness and Christ will offer HIS worthiness to you vicariously every day- through your faith ALONE in HIM. Your “calling and election” can be made sure everyday through the Way- everyday!

    You don’t get more worthy by trying harder and holding tighter. You get true worthiness vicariously through Christ by letting go of your pursuit of it.

  15. @Eric
    You will ONLY gain His spirit through contrition, humility and love of Him and His Son. You can’t get those things if you are seeking worthiness- it is IMPOSSIBLE. Seek humility over righteousness- and righteousness will automatically flow without it’s pursuit.

    We are taught the importance of humility, and I agree that it is an essential key to becoming more righteous. Yes, righteousness is an outgrowth of humility. Same with contrition. But I disagree that one cannot be humble and contrite, and at the same time seek to be obedient. Those principles are not mutually exclusive. If anything, they are symbiotic.

  16. Both coke and pepsi have more caffeine than tea.

    Not necessarily. Depends on the tea and the concentration. Tea has a huge range, between 40-120 mg. Coke has 54 mg, Pepsi has 38 mg, so on average, tea handily beats Coke and Pepsi.

    Caffeine is the ingredient in Coffee that helps fight Alzheimer’s and aids in memory performance.

    So far, only in mice. It hasn’t been tested on humans. And there’s still a long way to go in determining the long-term effects of caffeine.

    I also learned that although that there is no longer a link between caffeine and osteoporosis in adults, caffeine for children is still not safe at all, since it literally dissolves the calcium in young bones. I guess I need to rethink allowing my children any caffeine.

  17. Okay, I realize now that I’m being very down on caffeine, BR, and that wasn’t really my intent. It seems that caffeine may offer some benefits, I’ll give you that. Forgive me if I’m still a bit skeptical, but I will keep my mind open about it.

  18. We don’t need ANOTHER thing to test our obedience.

    This isn’t another test to our obedience. It’s been around as long as any of us has, so it isn’t anything new, and honestly, it doesn’t even pose much of a challenge for those who live it and have lived it for a long time. At least not to me. Maybe I’m wrong here. There are probably exceptions. I’ve never smoked or drank coffee, tea, or alcohol. In fact, they are all pretty repulsive to me and I’ve tasted them all (By accident, mind you. If you don’t beleive it, I can provide details.) except for tobacco, but I don’t have to try that stuff to know it’s nasty.

  19. Tara, Its new to a convert.

    But being new isn’t really my point. Everyone says that the WoW is about obedience. If that is in fact true, then don’t waste my time with yet another obedience test. Its insulting. I don’t need the church to tell me that liquor and tobacco are bad for me, and the rest is very debatable. Its one thing if the church is simply trying to teach a good principle…that I have no problem with. But with the WoW, your “worthiness” is on trial based on what you eat/drink and I’m sorry, drinking a cup of coffee is NOT a sin. That thought is ridiculous to me.

  20. @Bishop Rick
    I get that. I meant to those who were born in the church or those who are long-time converts.

  21. @Tara
    Why is obedience insulting? I’m also not so sure that obedience for the sake of obedience is the only purpose behind the WoW, although I don’t deny that it is an important part of it.

  22. Eric mentioned that the WoW is a modern day Mosaic Law. I have thought that myself. Infants need to be commanded in all things. The WoW is one of those commanded in all things, things. A lot of people just accept the WoW and I get that, but I find it insulting. Do you remember when your mom told you to do something you were going to do anyway and it insulted you? That’s what it is to me.

  23. In other words, its not the obedience part that is insulting, its the being treated like an infant that’s insulting.

  24. @Bishop Rick
    How can you say that is an example of being commanded in all things when there are relatively very few proscriptions in the WoW? Compared to all of the things available to eat and drink in this world, the WoW forbids very little. Nor does it describe in detail all of the things and the amounts that we must eat. It gives general guidelines only. We still have very many choices. I do not feel deprived in the least.

    As far as being insulted for being told to do something that you were going to do anyway, are you saying that it was your plan all along to live the WoW and it’s insulting to be told to do it? If not, I don’t get the comparison. Nor do I get the being treated like an infant part either. You could say that about any commandment. Why do I have to be commanded to treat others like I want to be treated? Is that not perhaps even more elementary?

  25. Why do I have to be commanded to treat others like I want to be treated? Is that not perhaps even more elementary?

    Not really, you can treat people poorly and still get a temple recommend. The recommend interview doesn’t ask if you treat others as you would be treated.

  26. Oh really? You can cheat on your spouse and still get a temple recommend?

    But what difference does it make if it is not in the temple recommend interview? It’s still a commandment.

  27. Well, for one, I wasn’t talking about cheating on your wife. I didn’t realize you were either. Treating others as you would have them treat you can be simple kindness. It doesn’t have to be something as drastic as infidelity.

    But what difference does it make…? it makes a big difference.
    Bob is a great neighbor but has a cup of coffee and is deemed unworthy to go to the temple.
    Joe follows the WoW but is a terrible neighbor, people fear him due to his gruff nature, yet he gets in.

    Its not as black and white as you make it out to be. Not all commandments are equal.

  28. Most of the ten commandments fall under the category of treating others as you would like to be treated.

    The temple recommend interview does ask if you keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel. That would include the ten commandments. Even though Joe is keeping the WoW, he may not be living in harmony with the laws and ordinances of the gospel if he’s that mean to his neighbors. Perhaps Joe was not completely honest in assessing his behavior and reporting that during his interview. Maybe he really doesn’t see the wrong that he is doing, or maybe he’s being blatantly dishonest, but it is undeniably much easier to report obedience to the WoW (at least in terms of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, tea, and coffee) than it is to report behaviors that might not be so clearly defined. In any event, perfection is not the standard when it comes to being temple worthy, because if it were, we would all fall short.

    I understand that it isn’t all black and white. I know that not all commandments are equal.

  29. I don’t mean to get stuck in the weeds here. My main point is that the WoW is outdated and needs to be revised. It has been revised before, so this would not be unprecedented. The church has a history of revising commandments, doctrines and practices. WoW should be next.

    Tea and Coffee need to be removed and the “how to eat” section should also be updated and re-written as council, not commandment. Every overweight person that holds a temple recommend lies when answering the WoW question as it is currently written so it is obviously not enforced.

    Telling people what to eat and drink is mosaic law. I would compromise (if I had a vote) on Liquor and Tobacco) but really, neither activity is against the law. Get people on abusive behavior that is associated with liquor abuse but not liquor.

    Even Jesus balked at nonsensical “commandments” that were already in place.

  30. I don’t know that the WoW needs to be revised so much as it needs to be relaxed. We should be more concerned with obesity (which I think is against the WoW), and less concerned about whether a guy who has a cup of coffee, glass of wine, or a beer once in a while is a sinner. I agree with Bishop Rick that we look down on WoW breakers, and not on pious people who manipulate, are greedy, or bad neighbors. I’d like the church to be more like President McKay–accepting of others, and not so rigid that we “take the joy out of life.”

  31. It was only revised to make it binding. The purpose of the non-binding status was to prepare the Saints for it to become a binding law at some future point. That point is passed and it seems pointless to turn back now. I think such an act would only serve to delegitimize its prophetic nature, and that’s how many would view it.

    I don’t understand why it is outdated now and not back then. There have been advances in the science behind understanding the effects of the items contained in the WoW, but their actual effects on us haven’t changed. It’s not like now that we understand it all better (or so we think), it’s okay for us to disregard many of the proscriptions. Either the revelation was inspired or it wasn’t, and that’s what it all boils down to.

    There are a lot of things that were Mosaic law, but it doesn’t mean that anything that had to do with Mosaic law no longer has any legitimacy. Faith, repentance, and baptism were part of Mosaic law. So were the ten commandments. Should we ignore them all because they were part of Mosaic law?

    The problem with relaxing on these things and only acting when there becomes a problem is that these things are addictive and it is hard for many people to moderate.

    And while we could say that people who are overweight are obviously not keeping the WoW, there are people who are not overweight who do not keep the WoW either. Trust me. I know first-hand that you can eat unhealthy and not be overweight. So, how can that part of the WoW be enforced? It can’t. It’s up to the individual to make that judgement for themselves. It is also one of those things that isn’t so clearly defined and not as easy to live as a strict prohibition is.

    As far as looking down on WoW breakers, how do you know? Are you someone who looks down on a WoW breaker? Having two parents who have been WoW breakers all my life, I know a little bit about what it’s like. I think what you may be mistaking for looking down on, may probably be more accurately described as being uncomfortable about. It’s uncomfortable when you know a member who is breaking the WoW because you don’t know their story. My parents are probably a rarity in the church. Smokers, coffee and tea drinkers, with strong testimonies who haven’t given up after all these years. My mom finally quit last year and was able to finally attend the temple. But I don’t think that most people look down on them. In fact, I believe that they are very much loved by many and have received a great deal of support by members of their ward. I think the difference is that they haven’t tried to hide or deceive others about their problems. They’ve been honest. You can’t fault someone who with a weakness who is honest and is trying very hard to do better. And my parents have never complained that the WoW should be relaxed because they are good, faithful members in every other respect. They believe strongly in the WoW and that if they were going to attend the temple, then it would be up to them to meet the challenge. There are a lot of lessons to be had from learning to deal with adversity and overcome challenges and you think we should do away with that so it can be easier for people to go to the temple? If that’s what you think, then I think you are missing the bigger picture of what the temple is about.

  32. Tara, that’s a great story. Being the only member in my family, I can somewhat relate (except for the part about my parents having a strong testimony). I can actually imagine how it felt for you when your mom finally quit and made it to the temple. Nothing said here or anywhere else will change that.

    Think about how hard it was for your mom to quit smoking and drinking tea and coffee. Now Imagine how much harder it would be to do the same thing, if abstaining from those things were council instead of commandment. Some would not do it, but I suspect many would. Many (like yourself) don’t drink caffeinated sodas when it is only council.

    I’m not missing the bigger picture of what the temple is about. You have to admit that you lean heavily on the TBM side of almost every discussion. I’m not saying that’s bad, its just fact. I think you would defend practices like the ban on priesthood, polygamy, blood atonement, etc. if they were still being practiced today (even though though they were false doctrine) simply because the church said so. Faith is one thing. Blind faith is an entirely different thing.

    JS wasn’t preparing the people for the WoW becoming a commandment. That is a tale that someone made up along the way. JS didn’t even follow it.

  33. TBM yes, and proud of it! But why is it that the TBM view is blind faith? Why can’t it be inspired faith?

  34. It can, but often it is blind.
    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

  35. Fair enough. We’ve been down the faith road before and didn’t get very far, so I guess there’s no point revisiting it, is there? I’m just glad to see you acknowledge the possibility of inspired faith. You’ve never left me with the impression that you believe in inspiration.

  36. I absolutely believe in inspiration. I’m just not sure of the source.

  37. I loved the rum cake story when I read the McKay book. Literally laughed out loud. Great representation of why I like McKay…the attempt at ex’ing McMurrin is my other favorite McKay story.

  38. […] didn’t exist.  I agree with Mike here, but it would be interesting to see what Joseph or President McKay would have said in regards to these modern drinks.  Compliance in Missouri wasn’t as strong as it was in […]

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