Question: How does the fact that Jesus drank wine relate to the Word of Wisdom?

Table of Contents

Question: How does the fact that Jesus drank wine relate to the Word of Wisdom?

Jesus (and other people in the Old and New Testaments) drank fermented wine

Yes, Jesus (and other people in the Old and New Testaments) drank fermented wine. Unlike us today, they were not under any commandment not to do so.

The Word of Wisdom is a law specifically given to the Saints in the last days: It is not a universal or natural law

The Word of Wisdom is a law specifically given to the Saints in the last days (D&C 89:4). It is not a universal or natural law—like God's law against murder—that applies to all mankind in all ages. The Word of Wisdom does not apply to non-Latter-day Saints (D&C 89:3), and it did not apply to the Lord's covenant people before the restoration of the Gospel in the last days. It is a circumstantial commandment: One that is given to a particular people at a particular time and place. So it was not "wrong" for the Savior and his apostles to drink fermented wine at the Last Supper, or at the wedding at Cana, or in other circumstances.

In fact, the Word of Wisdom was initially given to the restored Church "not by commandment or constraint" (D&C 89:2) as, essentially, "divine advice." The early Latter-day Saints didn't live it as strictly as we do. (Joseph Smith and his companions drank a bit of wine in Carthage Jail to revive their spirits.) Acting under inspiration, later Church leaders gradually gave the Word of Wisdom more emphasis, until living it became a requirement for a temple recommend in the 1920s under President Heber J. Grant.

The Word of Wisdom is a commandment specifically given to us, "in consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days" (D&C 89:4). These conspiracies didn't exist in Jesus' time, and have only recently become a serious problem, as advertising and marketing of alcohol makes it look "fun," but ignores the serious effects of alcoholism, spouse and child abuse, drunk driving, and so forth.


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