Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beer- the recomended drink of the Mormon Church

So what is PBrrrr? PBaghrrr might be a better spelling. PBR or Pabst Blue Ribbon beer...

The Word of Wisdom of the Mormon church as contained in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants only recommends one thing to drink, verse 17 says "barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain"

All of the references to drinking anything in the word of wisdom are as follows:

5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.

If you have not noticed yet this is about alcohol so verse 9 will be left alone.

There are basically three types of alcoholic beverages. spirits which are made by distillation, 20% alcohol and greater (strong drink). Wine which is fermented once from fresh fruit then aged about, 12%- 20% alcohol . Mild Drink from grain which is fermented multiple times from cooked grain, .5% to 12% (mild drink).

"Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies" This is clearly distilled spirits because they are the only forms of alcohol that would have any success cleaning anything. Mild drink and Wine would only make stained sticky mess. It is clearly not talking about mild drink or wine. Wine and mild drink are mentioned separately.

Beer, is a generic name for many types of mild drinks made from grain (and even a few other things) . Ale, Kolsch, Lager, Bock, Porter, Stout, are just a few of the specific names. In the 19th century Root Beer, Ginger Beer, and yes Sarsaparilla were all alcoholic.

Yes the W of W does not say specifically "and thou shalt drink beer"

But the Word of Wisdom does say to drink mild drink made from grain... which is beer.

And if you are wondering, Yes Beer does make the world a better place.


Gritty Pretty said...

james you are so awesome. beer would kill me but i'm glad that you can follow the word of wisdom successfully. for me even taking the sacrament would do me in (the bread).


Scott said...

But wasn't it wine that Joseph Smith was sipping before he was assassinated? Couldn't that be considered a mild drink too?

Geo said...

Thanks for your clarification, James.

Hold on though, pirate. You're forgetting about barley water, mugicha, boricha, aguas frescas, and other non-alcoholic concoctions made from roasted or boiled or soaked barley—all apparently tasty and some even used as healing aids in many cultures. These fit my definition of mild drink. And then there are other grains and roots to use in similar ways.

Wanna come over for a toast over a shot of wheatgrass some time? Now that's strong stuff!

james said...

No I'm not forgetting those other tonics. It's just that there was really only one commonly imbibed mild drink made from barley and other grains in 1833 in Kirtland Ohio.

Yes those other drinks are made from barley. But historically the phrase mild drink has been associated with mild alcoholic drinks, as apposed to strong drink which is strong alcoholic drinks.

As recently as 1901, Apostles Brigham Young, Jr. and John Henry Smith argued that the W of W did not prohibit beer.

james said...

Yes Scott, wine is often called a mild drink. Several years ago my friend was at a dinner in Italy, she told the host that she did not drink alcohol, she was poured a glass of wine, she protested, the host insisted that wine was so mild that it did not count as alcohol.

But it is not made from barley or other grains.

And I think that Joseph sent for wine and was drinking it when the mob showed up.

djinn said...

Wasn't the Word of Wisdom only considered a suggestion (and not particularly widely followed) up to the presidency of George Albert Smith? Saints were sent to St. George to grow vinyards, there were a number of breweries set up; the flds, who split off prior to the prohibition on alcolol still drink, etc., etc., etc..

james said...

I agree that it wasn't widely followed, but stake presidents on up were supposed to follow it. Which is why it is significant that members of the 12 were arguing that beer was not just allowed but prescribed.

Gregor said...

How about a Shandy from Fentimans? Made with 70% beer and lemon juice... only the alcohol is removed through a centrifuge. Only 1/2% alcohol remains, but its might tasty. Cheers!

homegrown said...

James, I think you have your calling: Provo's first Brewery!

Rachel G said...

I like drinks...all kinds.

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Hello :) Maybe I am misunderstanding your blog but it seems that you think we like to drink beer. I am Mormon and I do not drink beer. That scripture was not to allow us to drink beer. The Word of Wisdom is a guide to eating and drinking. It is to encourage us to be moderate in our consumption. There are certain things the Word of Wisdom cautions against: Alcohol, Tobacco, (hot drink)coffee and tea. Every person uses this guideline as needed for their own personal needs.

Enjoy life!

Adam Lowther said...

Love our freedom. I would note. The d and c says hot drinks but nowhere in d and c does it say coffee or tea, what about apple cider or hot coacoa. I really wonder if it ment to the temperature of a liquid these days coffee and tea are beneficial to the body. I also agree about this bear thing though. Liquor is only for getting drunk. Wine is for sacrement and christ drank wine. Are we not to follow his example. This d and c seems to directly allow beer but the over all message in this is to obstain from over use and addiction.