History of the Word of Wisdom, March 18, 1908

-- March 18, 1908
[Apostle Heber J. Grant Diary] 5 p.m. attended a Gen. Board Meeting of the Y.M.M.I.A. Quite a discussion on the question of Prohibition. Many of the brethren felt that it would be a big mistake to attempt to secure Prohibition. They believed it would fail. Local option seemed to meet with general approval. I am not sure but what their position is well taken. Perhaps to try to secure absolute Prohibition would fail, while local option might succeed. I always believed in accepting half a loaf where the chances are that you will not succeed in getting the full loaf if you will make a fight for it. What I want, is to restrict the liquor traffic and particularly to get rid of the low dives or cheap saloons. (1)

-- Sunday, Jul 12, 1908
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City

2 p.m. A Temperance Meeting was held in the Tabernacle, Prest. F. M. Lyman presiding. The Tabernacle Choir sang three numbers and a Sunday School Choir one.

Prayer by H. J. Grant. President Lyman Introduced Louis Fuller who spoke. Governor John C. Cutler read a nice paper.

Dr. P. A. Baker spoke 40 minutes on Temperance.

The congregation was a fair one. The day has been very hot.

4 p.m. I met with my Prayer Circle and spoke to them, 13 of the brethren being present.

My son Nicholas G. was ordained a Seventy to day [by] Prest. Jonathan Golden Kimball. (2)

-- During 1908
(B. H. Roberts) Roberts's weakness for alcohol seems to have put another barrier between him and other members of the Council. In 1908 Seymour B. Young recorded that Roberts "has been many times much worse for liquor in so much that his brethren of the council have had to take up a labor with him." (3)

-- Jan 5, 1909
Apostle John Henry Smith writes in his diary, "Ten of the Twelve and six of the seven Presidents of the Seventy met and talked over the Word of Wisdom. All agreed to live it." (4)

-- Jan 26, 1909
First Presidency letter: "Where elderly people may be found to be more or less lacking in their observance of the Word of Wisdom, and the question of their worthiness to be "commended to the temple comes before your consideration, it is in order for [the bishop] and the Stake Presidency to consider together all such cases, deciding each on its own merits, and showing appropriate leniency to elderly people, as there can be no rigid rule for each and every case." (4)

1 - Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
2 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith
3 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
4 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom