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Why Latter-day Saints Closely Adhere to the Word of Wisdom

Why the Latter-day Saints closely adhere to the Word of Wisdom In her paper “In the Presence of the Past: Continuity and Change in Twentieth-Century Mormonism,” Jan Shipps argues that the strict adherence to the word of wisdom present in the Church today began its evolution after the 1890 manifesto and lasted “possibly all the way through the ecclesiastical administration […] of [President] Heber J. Grant” (Shipps 5). Shipps claims that “[…] close adherence to the Word of Wisdom and careful compliance with a clearly articulated behavioral code, have long been effected so that Latter-day Saints are constantly reminded of their chosen status” (Shipps 12). Surely the word of wisdom (among other things) sets Latter-day Saints apart from the world, but it is no-where close to being the reason why the Church’s enforcement became more stringent. The truth is that the Lord introduced the principle for the very reasons he stated in the revelation, and the more stringent enforcement was a natural and planned step, as members were given time to be taught the principle and to comply with it. In addition, the exhortations from Church leaders to live the principle have been consistent ever since the Saints established themselves in the “tops of the mountains.” To support her claim, Shipps points out that is was not uncommon to see “open breaches of the word of wisdom” in the local church meetings of 1880 and that now such incidents are virtually non-existent, but the progressive adherence by members and the lack of open breaches today has more to do with upbringing, cultural disapproval, and the slow rooting out of false notions, than it has to do with stricter regulations intended to solve some “chosen people” identity crisis (Shipps 2). In order to establish these points, the following questions must be answered: Why did the Word of Wisdom come about “not by commandment or constraint” (D&C 89:2)? Why were...

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Why Latter-day Saints Closely Adhere to the Word of Wisdom. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 21:00, October 25, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/25061.html