Struggles with the Law of Health (Mormon)

Let me start by saying I have not lost my faith.

 

However, I seem to have misplaced the easy conviction of some of the choices I have made. I have several friends that do not abide by The Law of Health. This is fine. It is their choice. I do not berate them for it, though I may say something if they show up drunk enough to be unable to make it safely down the stairs of my porch. Mostly because I worry they are going to break a bone. The problem these days has not been my feelings on their choices. The problem is: Is it truly a problem to have just 1 or 2 drinks with friends? If your not going to drink and drive? If your not doing anything unclean?

It is something I think about. I know, without a doubt, cigarettes are all bad. You could not convince me of any health benefit that out weighs the bad health benefits. So, that one has been easy for me. I quit smoking back in 2004. Well before I started investigating the Church.

Much of the decrees of The Law of Health make perfect sense to me. Even the coffee and tea drinking as caffeine makes a lot of sense health wise. But, some of the caffeinated drinks are fine. Well, at least they are not outright mentioned. Caffeine itself is not mentioned. I have migraines and a certain amount of caffeine prevents them. Too much and it worsens them. Caffeine is beneficial in controlled dosages. Much like anything you can ingest. No one really tells me I shouldn’t drink moderate amounts of a caffeinated beverage. Especially if it’s a healthy version. I’ve worked on finding this and have largely succeeded.

So, if caffeine in moderation can be of a benefit at times and is not strictly “across the board” prohibited, how come consumption of alcohol in moderation and with responsibility seem to be completely discouraged? I understand some have a drinking problem. Some have a computer problem. That does not mean *I* do. I’m not asking because I want to go out and party. Most the time I could care less. I am just trying to understand why having a “White Russian” once a month would violate the Law of Health. I wonder about these things and I wonder if this one of those things that need to be taken on a case by case basis.

So, if you are reading this can you give me a well suited argument either for or against the moderated and responsible consumption of an alcoholic beverage, especially if your home with friends and not in an unclean atmosphere? Please, do not respond if it is simply to put down the Law of Health. Do not respond if you are going to berate my question because you believe in the Law of Health, either. I am honestly wanting to more fully understand and it’s been knocking around my brain for months now as a baptized member getting close to her first full year.

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4 thoughts on “Struggles with the Law of Health (Mormon)

  1. I have continued to think about this day and night. I talked with a couple of our lovely sisters last night since I had them over for dinner. They reiterated the things I already knew, but they also completely understood my reasoning as well. They told me the Law of Health was constructed to take in account the weakest, so that they could be strong. That to put in too many “ifs and onlys” would have made it too confusing. I thought they had a valid point.

    However, I woke up with it still niggling in my brain. I could not be content that ALL drinking (as far as alcohol goes) had been cut out. especially drinks that were not strong and done in light moderation. I did some personal study on it this morning and was re-reading the law of health as I pondered it. I found this:

    DnC 89: 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.

    Mostly this line here : barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks

    Now, I am not a beer drinker etc. I actually have always disliked it. However, this line specifies *weak drinks*. This made me go back and look at the 5th verse of this section: 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.

    It talks about wine and strong drinks. Wine appears to be ok for sacramental purposes. Strong drinks are wholeheartedly cut out. This leads me to think, and what I’ve already been suspecting, that weak drinks IN MODERATION done in a responsible manner and IF you do not have an addiction and don’t need to avoid the temptation is permissible.

    Perhaps some will disagree on this. Feel free to leave your own thoughts and reasoning. So long as they are done in a loving manner, I will not mind 🙂 I really love an open dialogue between people and what they think, feel, and believe. Even if it is not my own.

    Thank you for ANY contributions you make to this conversation ❤

  2. Again, I have yet to feel at peace about this issue. Right now all I have is this feeling of disconnection. To the point I simply can not reconcile that having just one or 2 drinks no matter how weak with a logical argument or word semantics to the spiritual unrest I keep feeling. Something is wrong with my logic and I will just have to trust the urging of the Spirit to not have a single one. Right now I don’t need it to make perfect sense. I just need to have that full connection and peace with my Father God.

  3. Short Response :
    I don’t know the best answer.
    To get to the Temple, I’m not to consume non-medicinal alcoholic drinks (i.e. NyQuil is an exception), so I’ll comply even if there is some ridiculousness or not.

    Slightly more thought-out response :

    1) You’re probably right somewhere in some degree:
    There are a lot of great principles taught by General Authorities that members have taken way too far. To extremes that are, and have been, counter-productive.
    Personal example 1 : Out of my two years on my mission, there were the usual trials of being laughed at, being hurt or being rejected by someone who was doing so well in progressing, “babysitting” companions who literally had no faith in God, etc… Out of all of those sacrifices, including monetary ones, the greatest sacrifice I had to endure was the hair-requirement for males. Everyday I felt disfigured, I felt lesser – evolved / exalted, I felt like I was in essence doing that which is contrary to not only Nature but Nature’s God! In short (no pun intended), to me : having short hair is in some ways equivalent to having tattoos or piercings or worse… but everyday I bore this sacrifice because of the value I put in serving a mission. There is NO doctrine against long hair, it is simply an over-reaction made by administration & enacted into policy (with good intent and understandable reasoning, no matter how disagreeable or disgusted I am with it), but daily I bore that sacrifice so that I could serve a mission.
    I’m not trying to paint myself as some “martyr” or “example” but to show I understand to some degree where you’re coming from; as well as illustrate an example of hyper-reactions to certain, good, doctrine that was given.
    The event of Abraham sacrificing Issac was an inspiration for me to endure. To make sacrifices that really didn’t make any good sense, but ultimately served a greater objective.

    2) This perverse and wicked generation :
    Sometimes I allow pity on myself and say to myself : “Oh how I wish I could’ve been born in earlier times! Where health and convenience were a smaller price to pay than the price of disciplined individuals!”
    Have you ever noticed that throughout history, though we’ve been blessed with better technology & tools, we have lost our self-discipline and capacity for good prudent thinking?
    The Law of Moses, or the Prepatory Law, was had because the members at that time were not ready for more responsibility. When the time was right, in The Lord’s own due time, He bestowed the Higher Law. There are still laws, principles, doctrines and so forth that have not been revealed because this generation is not ready. There are certain “freedoms” if you will, that have not been authorized because of this generation’s inability.

    3) A rare case of a “grey area” becoming tradition, becoming practice :
    The “exacting” no-alcohol standard was not established until 1921. Before than, it was tolerated more or less to varying degrees on a case-by-case basis. The early members read that passage of scripture the same way you did it seems, in the context of moderation. It wasn’t until later that it became an exacting standard.
    And currently, is an exacting standard to go to the Temple. Whether this will change in the future or not I do not know and I won’t rule it out either. What is current, is that to go to the Temple, I’m not to consume non-alcoholic beverages.

    Here’s the reference.

    Hope this was at least somewhat insightful!

    • It always seems, you and I, have very similar views. I too have come to the same conclusion about going to the temple. Not because I feel the law was meant to wipe out any and all uses of social drinking, but because it is not really an important part of my life verses being able to go to the temple. I don’t NEED a drink. I NEED the temple.

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