Monday, December 1, 2008

Changes to Commandments

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

Sorry for not posting last week... There just wasn't much time between the turkey & the PIES!

So my thought for today has to do with commandments that change.  For example, the Word of Wisdom.  The scriptures have always decried the evils of excessive drinking, but what is the reason for the change in modern revelation, which restricts alcoholic beverages outright?

First off, I'm not really sure.  But here's my stab at it.  

We'll look at alcohol.  I wonder if alcohol wasn't seen as such a big deal because it's negative side effects weren't as severe back in the day.  It wasn't a requirement to obey the WoW until 1902 (I think).  What else happened around that time? Cars happened.  Assembly line production began in 1902, then expanded by Ford in 1914.  Cars were about to become a big thing in American life.  Maybe drunk driving and its associated risks for accidents, and unnecesary shortening of innocent life contributed to this change.  Previously, drinking did damage to your liver, but didn't hurt others the way it does/can in modern society.

A Reverse Example: Chastity

Chastity has always been taught by the prophets, and violations of it considered terrible, yet the consequences of such sins have varried dramatically over time.  In the Old Testament, we read of many who were killed for such indescretions.  It seems as though adultery was seen as paramount in its gravity, compared with other sexual sins that didn't involve breaking a marriage vow.
This is in stark contrast with the way these sins are treated in the church today.  Adultery and fornication are grounds for excommunication, but that is nothing compared to the harsh penalties of ages past.  No death, no stoning, etc.   But why the change?
Is is possible that this could be for similar reasons.  The dangers of non-marital sexual adventures is, when using technologies (latex condoms) availible today, and common sense, perhaps not as detrimental to health as it would have been in the past. 

I dunno, I'm rather skeptical.  Plus, I don't know how to factor in more relaxed positions in the past that I've skipped over.  For example, Alma chastised his son Corianton for going after the harlot Isabel... but what happened to him?  He was sent right back into the mission field.  
It also doesn't explain a more generally relaxed (in my view) view of visiting a prostitute than sleeping with a virgin, which should be the opposite if longer life-span were a real part of the equation.

Any thoughts?

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