History of the Word of Wisdom, Jan 17, 1974

-- Jan 17, 1974
The ROLLING STONE publishes an article "The Mormon Word: No Hair, Sex or 3 Dog Night" which tells of the ASBYU Social Office's cancellation of a scheduled appearance by the group "Three Dog Night" immediately after a conference address by Boyd K. Packer. The article quotes Mark Alexander, BYU social vice-president: "In light of Elder Packer's talk, we are taking a closer look at the groups we are booking, and we are making sure we are in harmony with church standards". In the previous Oct General Conference, Packer referred to the "shabbiness, the irreverence, the immorality, and the addictions" associated with many contemporary entertainers, and intimated that the music itself was inherently evil. (1)

-- Jun 18, 1977
First-Presidency-commissioned editorial appears in DESERET NEWS in which the Church "officially" disclaims "fads . . . advocated under the guise of the Word of Wisdom by unauthorized persons with unwarranted claims respecting health." It also "completely" disclaims "any sponsorship or endorsement of such teachers, remedies, foods or fads" that "use other phases of religion . . . to give further appearance of credibility to their projects." The editorial reaffirms the Mormon view of medical care: "To refuse to accept assistance from the highly skilled men and women now available may be to reject the very help that could save a life. Some patients are known to have died from diseases which 'nature remedies' could not relieve but which proven medical practices could have cured . . ." (2)

-- Apr 19, 1979
A letter to the editor in the DESERET NEWS states, "As a member of the LDS church . . . I must express my feelings about your recent article on medical quackery (Apr 9). The article would have us believe the drug and surgery doctors are the'good guys' and all other health practitioners are the 'bad guys.' I resent that because it leaves my church and my God on the wrong side of the fence. In particular, I resent the inclusion among the 'quacks' of the doctors who treat with herbs." (2)

-- Jan 24, 1980
[U.S. Religious History] On this night, William Murray (son of American atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair) had a dream which he interpreted as a religious vision from God, leading to his conversion to a fundamentalist brand of Christianity. He gave up drinking and smoking and engaged in efforts to undue the separation of church and state which his mother had long struggled for. (3)

-- Feb 27, 1983
The sesquicentennial anniversary of the Word of Wisdom is observed throughout the Church and at the Newel K. Whitney store in Kirtland, Ohio, the location of the 1833 revelation. (4)

1 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower
2 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
3 - Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline
4 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom