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Source:Revelations in Context:The Word of Wisdom:it required time to wind down practices that were so deeply ingrained
Revelations in Context: "it required time to wind down practices that were so deeply ingrained in family tradition and culture"
"The Word of Wisdom: D&C 89," Revelations in context on history.lds.org (11 June 2013):
Nevertheless, it required time to wind down practices that were so deeply ingrained in family tradition and culture, especially when fermented beverages of all kinds were frequently used for medicinal purposes. The term “strong drink” certainly included distilled spirits like whiskey, which hereafter the Latter-day Saints generally shunned. They took a more moderate approach to milder alcoholic beverages like beer and “pure wine of the grape of the vine of your own make” (see D&C 89:6). For the next two generations, Latter-day Saint leaders taught the Word of Wisdom as a command from God, but they tolerated a variety of viewpoints on how strictly the commandment should be observed. This incubation period gave the Saints time to develop their own tradition of abstinence from habit-forming substances. By the early twentieth century, when scientific medicines were more widely available and temple attendance had become a more regular feature of Latter-day Saint worship, the Church was ready to accept a more exacting standard of observance that would eliminate problems like alcoholism from among the obedient. In 1921, the Lord inspired Church president Heber J. Grant to call on all Saints to live the Word of Wisdom to the letter by completely abstaining from all alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. Today Church members are expected to live this higher standard.
- "The Word of Wisdom: D&C 89," Revelations in context on history.lds.org (11 June 2013)