Comments about ‘Brigham Young, Utah War topic of Leonard J. Arrington history lecture Oct. 2’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 30 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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UT Brit
London, England

"it was to be considered a divine commandment"

Please explain why Brigham Young built a whiskey distillery in Utah?

east saint
Indianapolis/USA, IN

About your question why Brigham Young had a whiskey distillery, let me remind you of the church at that time. From Nauvoo right up to the last 10 years of Brigham Young's presidency, there were no temples; not in Utah, nor anywhere in the world. The saints were still rebuilding from the most perilous period in church history. At the time Brigham Young was president, the word of wisdom as you know the church today was not yet in force, nor would it be for another 30 years. I may be wrong about the exact times. Considering that the word of wisdom was not yet vital to the obtaining a temple recommend, what drinks do you think would have been made?

east saint
Indianapolis/USA, IN

Something else to consider; water purification was not a known science at that time. If you know the 1800's, water was not a trusted source of quenching thirst back then. In fact the water was dangerous to drink and was the reason so many saints died of things like dysentery before water purification began. Alcohol was the safest source of quenching thirst back then. The word of wisdom is and was revealed truth. However, the saints were not asked to live fully up to it at that time.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

UT Brit,

"....Please explain why Brigham Young built a whiskey distillery in Utah?"

Observance of the Word of Wisdom was not mandatory until the Presidency of Heber J. Grant who not coincidentally had also long been a proponent of prohibition. President Grant made the Word of Wisdom mandatory and a worthiness standard shortly after prohibition went into effect nationally. Coincidence? Maybe, but I'm not so sure.

I would add that in Brigham Young’s time, distilled spirits including home brewed beer and wine were often used as barter in many places in America. Of course there were Latter-day Saints who cheerfully imbibed and saw no need back then to be discreet about it.

UT Brit
London, England

Hmmm you guys are not reading the line I put, let me repeat the line from Brigham Young:

"President Brigham Young stated that the members of the Church had had sufficient time to be taught the import of this revelation, and that henceforth it was to be considered a divine commandment."

Lets read what the D+C says about the drinking of alcohol:

7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

Now, I dont think there was much washing of the bodies going off using whiskey.

Hmmm whiskey as a substitute for water? We are recommended to drink around 2 liters of water a day. How did the saints manage to function on that much whiskey? As alcohol dehydrates the body it would have caused even more problems.

"However, the saints were not asked to live fully up to it at that time."

From what Brigham said above to what you are saying now, we have a different definition of the word "commandment".

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