There is no way to know, unless someone explains, why someone follows the Word of Wisdom - whether it is out of strength or weakness - charity or necessity. I believe deeply that those who are strong in an area should exhibit that strength in meekness by not offending or risking harm to the weak - in areas that the strong don't see as critical to their eternal salvation.
I use the Word of Wisdom and the Sabbath as prime examples - and I am willing to bet that many members know they could be "responsible social drinkers" but don't drink socially in order to support the communal standard and avoid creating an environment in which the weak would become alcoholics or simply drink to excess. I believe anyone who follows the Word of Wisdom out of a sense of concern for the weak is exhibiting charity - and those who fight the Word of Wisdom SIMPLY because it is inconsequential to them are not being charitable in this regard.
I could say the exact same thing about taking an R-rated movie to a house where the people there abstain from watching such movies -- or serving pork to your Muslim friends -- or refusing to take off your shoes in the house of Japanese friends who follow that custom -- or serving Coke and Pepsi at a ward party in some units -- or wearing a french-cut bikini to a ward pool party -- or insisting on watching porn at almost any religious gathering - ad infinitum. I believe it is the responsibility of the strong to prove their strength by not flaunting it in front of the weak - no matter the level of their commitment to any religious organization. (I also will add that if someone can't do this with regard to a particular issue, perhaps they aren't as strong in that area as they believe.)
In the Bible, Paul urges members to establish their own moral compass internally - but then he says to respect the moral compasses that those around them have established, as well. Notice, he said that it is the responsibility of those who would partake to abstain with those who would abstain - not that those who would abstain should partake with those who would partake. That is an important distinction in Paul's words - that the strong need to sacrifce for the weak, not the other way around.
Edith Russell: Associate Editor
2 hours ago