Thursday, August 27, 2009

Word of Wisdom Part One

A while back, one of my roommates hosted a ward progressive dinner. The people assigned to our house were mostly Interns from the Salt Lake area. The interns were enthusiastic about their temporary work assignments and the conversation turned to Happy Hour and the appropriate drinks for a Mormon. One talked about that even water was suspicious because it looked like vodka (not many people down vodka at Happy Hour, but no one called him on it). Another replied, all I dare drink is milk because it’s the only thing that can’t be mistaken for an alcoholic drink. The group nodded their head in agreement and one told us that an LDS apostle only drank milk at get-togethers where there was alcohol.
Needless to say, I’ve been thinking of that episode off and on since it happened. Now, the Word of Wisdom is very important. The underlying principle, that we are masters over our body and aren’t mastered by a substance is key. There’s a reason we’re asked about the Word of Wisdom to enter the temple. The blessings we are promised are special and adhering to the Word of Wisdom does protect us.
However, at the same time, do we sometimes place more value over the Word of Wisdom because it separates us from other religious groups than we do commandments that may be more important?
To go back to the milk drinking interns, there’s many holes in their theory. We pointed out a couple during the discussion (most alcoholic drinks aren’t served with ice or straws ). Rather than overthink the issue, I'd just like to enjoy my beverage of choice. If someone has a question about it, just ask (like Diet Coke for example)


Brenda said...

Some people are all about avoiding the appearance of evil. Other people are all about the appearance of strict obedience. Others worry too much about what people think of them.

I figure my adherence to my religious principles is my own business and if someone wants to mistake a soda for an alcoholic beverage, then ... whatever. I really don't care. What I drink and don't drink is a private matter.

erin said...

Interesting theories. Also shows their naivete. Like you said, most alcholic drinks aren't served with straws or ice. (Except for anything on the rocks obviously.) One other major issue. Non-alcholic drinks are always served in a different glass.

I'd rather my actions and personality let people know what I stand for. Nobody really cares what is in your glass.

SJ said...

Some people are unfortunately more concerned with how they appear to others (ie water could be mistaken for vodka) than about grasping the uderlying wonder of the restored gospel. These are what my mom would call people of the outer church. There's an inner church and an outer church. The outer are concerned with surface things, what others think, are they checking everything off their list. They miss, as they say in the scriptures, the mark. Jesus even said it isn't so much as what you put into your mouth as what comes out. When you understand that, you understand what we are really here for, which is to love one another. The Word of Wisdom was first "not by commandment or constraint" and later became a part of the temple questions because following them helps us think more clearly and have the health and strength we need to do good in the world and love our fellow beings.

Sparklebot said...

Agreed with those above. Sodas are ALWAYS served in a different kind of glass than alcoholic drinks. But, what if they weren't? Who cares? If you are following the rules, then you know you are. If you aren't, then you aren't. No one else's opinion matters.

Salt H2O said...

I like to order a Diet Roy Rodgers and throw off the waitress, and in turn make every at the table laugh. Most 20-year old waitresses have no idea what a Roy Rodgers is so when they deliver it to me they say smugly: "Here's your cherry coke"

ALSO a virgin mojito. Also a great conversation piece with the bartender. If it's a geniune made from scratch virgin mojito it's delicious.

People will know who you are by who you are- not by what you appear to have in your glass. And the only people who really care whether or not it's alcohol are other mormons.

Steve said...

I have to agree with SJ and Salty. Only people that are missing the point of the WoW care about such things. Out East here, I've never noticed that alcohol and other mixers were served in different glasses. Besides, as long as God knows what you are doing, who cares about anyone else?!?!

NoSurfGirl said...

You know, I'd argue there's even something wrong with milk. It could be a pina colada. Or a Dulce De Leche.

Also, milk's bad for you (unless it's hormone free).