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In Doctrine and Covenants 27, it reads:


3 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;
4 Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

Why wouldn’t God take the opportunity to tell Joseph at this time about the Word of Wisdom, rather than to start making their own wine? The Word of Wisdom was revealed three years later.

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God rarely thrusts knowledge on to people. Rather he sends it when people ask for it. The word of wisdom was revealed when Joseph Smith specifically prayed for guidance on the use of tobacco in their meetings. Though I imagine there was likely some prompting going on prior to this to make Joseph question it's use. The revelation on new wine may in fact have helped begin that mental process of wondering if some substances ought to be avoided.

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4 hours ago, link_va said:

In Doctrine and Covenants 27, it reads:


3 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;
4 Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

Why wouldn’t God take the opportunity to tell Joseph at this time about the Word of Wisdom, rather than to start making their own wine? The Word of Wisdom was revealed three years later.

Even today, so many people think sacrament = wine that they can't grasp anything else. I've even seen critics of the church openly mock the use of anything but wine and adopt an attitude of "so what if someone's a recovering alcoholic?" over the matter. These people have, on numerous occasions, explicitly told me that they'd rather go without communion than use anything other than the "proper" elements.* 

Joseph had already been told that the items used in sacrament aren't quite as important as the spirit and intent behind it. Now he's being told that wine should not be used unless he can ensure who and what made it. This is him slowly being brought away from using it altogether. 

 

*I've heard numerous accounts of members who are in the military having to use whatever's available for sacrament on Sunday, both because of how few of us there are in the US military and because of how long it took for the military to even recognize the need for us to have our own religious services. This includes instances where people didn't even have actual bread available to them and so had to use things like potato peels or the crackers out of their rations to have sacrament with. 

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Some questions to consider in a scriptural study of wine consumption:

  • Is drinking alcohol-containing wine intrinsically wrong?
  • Outside of Section 89, what other mention of care regarding wine consumption is found?
  • Is there any evidence that those loved and saved by Christ will imbibe at some future point? (Yes, it's a leading question. But I'm no lawyer, so it's okay.)
  • The Word of Wisdom was given to Joseph Smith in consequence of—what?
  • If the adverse conditions underlying the granting of the Word of Wisdom were ameliorated or done away with, it is reasonable to suppose that certain elements of the Word of Wisdom itself might change?
  • Can you think of any other commandments that were given and expected to be observed for a time, but then were done away with after a certain point?
  • If we are given a commandment tailored specifically for us in our time but perhaps not always applicable across all Saints in all times, is it less, equally, or more important to follow than other commandments which might be more uniformly applicable across time?
  • Is it normal for God to explicitly reveal his own reasonings behind exactly why he gives commandments at the time he gives them, or is it more typical that we learn some such reasonings only by obedience and humble submission to those commandments?
  • Are there examples of preparatory commandments that precede the granting of other, perhaps more comprehensive, commandments?
  • Is the idea of "line upon line, precept upon precept" merely a modern misunderstanding of ancient Hebrew phraseology, or is there an actual eternal truth to the idea?

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