Nov 21 2005
[TBC: Cults such as Mormonism have been known to have convenient revelations as the following article discusses. In Mormonism, this was referred to as the Word of Wisdom. Consider these excerpts from a Mormon website discussing how revelation developed.]
Early pioneers eased into Word of Wisdom
It is commonly believed that the Word of Wisdom was not an injunction until made so by Brigham Young in 1851 at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ten years later however, Brigham Young himself publicly alluded to the fact that he had only recently overcome habits contrary to the Word of Wisdom.
In 1861 Brigham Young sent a group of pioneers from Switzerland. These pioneers probably never saw a cotton plant (the main reason pioneers came to Southern Utah, however they could grow grapes and make wine.) Tobacco was another crop grown down here. On page 94 of "When I Was Called To Dixie," it says, "Brigham Young's injunction to produce his own tobacco if he had been a slave to the weed."
The Word of Wisdom as it is known today, came to be in increments. An example is found in the "History of Saltair," by John McCormick. In 1899, there was a fervent discussion between the member of the Quorum of Twelve on the interrelation of the Word of Wisdom.
Some strongly opposed the eating of animal meat. This was strongly supported earlier by Brigham Young's humane treatment of animals. Other members wanted the use of German Black Beer exempted. This lively discussion came about in the fact that the Mormon Church owned and ran a bar at the Saltair resort on the Great Salt Lake.
After the vote between the Quorum members, the Mormon Church sold the Saltair bar and the use of eating meat was lessened.
In "Great Basin Kingdom," by Arrington, a church historian, "Brigham Young estimated that in 1864 the territory spent (in hard to acquire gold and silver) nearly 100,000 on tobacco and thousands more on tea, coffee and liquor. Although the leaders had been preaching against the use of these Word of Wisdom prohibitions for several years, it was more a saving of money than violating a commandment. We can produce them or do without them, Brigham Young said.
In fact, in 1861, the prophet told Orson Hyde that Southern Utah could cheerfully contribute their efforts to supply the territory with, among other products, tobacco. He wanted Utah's Dixie to produce the territorial supply of tobacco so as to eliminate to paying to outsiders from $60,000-$80,000 annually for that one article.
It took much longer than most Latter-day Saints like to believe. Although the Word of Wisdom was received by the Prophet Joseph as early as 1833, the Lord apparently understood the difficulty of giving up such habits as tobacco and strong drinks and thus did not make it a commandment. Early Church leaders apparently believed the habits were more deeply entrenched than even the Lord suspected and made only periodic attempts to enforce the Word of Wisdom (thespectrum.com, 7/18/05).