Thursday, June 25, 2015

Going Beyond the Church Handbook of Instructions

I want to make a simple, short point in this post, after talking with a friend whose Bishop imposed his own view and interpretation in a temple recommend interview (dealing with caffeinated sodas) and, as a result, my friend lost his recommend when he was fully worthy to have one.

There are lots of instances where problems would disappear if local leaders simply understood what the handbook says and didn't enforce personal rules that are stricter than the handbook. I'm not saying the handbook is perfect, but, at the very least, we shouldn't impose stricter standards than it contains. 

Note: I updated the information above as a result of the first comment below. This was not a case of a violation of the Word of Wisdom; it was a case of a leader imposing a stricter standard than what the Church itself requires - both in the handbook and in official statements issued recently about the exact issue in question.


Anonymous said...

Based solely on what you've written, friend needs to make an appointment with the stake president. Perhaps the bishop needs some training, or maybe he's plain wrong. Either way, a meeting with the SP wouldn't hurt. Off the top of my head, violations of the WoW are not subject to formal disciplinary actions. Still, a bishop is to judge worthiness, and keeping the WoW is one of the recommend questions. Drinking a six pack of beer every weekend doesn't subject you to discipline, but it would disqualify you for a recommend. I don't know the particulars of the caffeine issue that you reference. A talk with the SP may clear it all up.

Papa D said...

It was caffeinated sodas, which are not a violation of the Word of Wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Yea, definitely time for a meeting with the stake president and (hopefully) some instruction for the bishop. Before I joined the church 35 years ago, I remember sitting in a sacrament meeting in a small country ward and listening to a brother extol the evils of caffeine. My then girlfriend, who was an active member, drank cola drinks occasionally (this was when SWK was alive). I could see even then that people were twisting in their seats, and I went on and eventually joined the church, but did so knowing that some people were extremists about certain counsel and advice. I'm going to try and give the bishop the benefit of the doubt, and consider him ill informed at this point, and hence, hope that a meeting with the SP will clear things up. Hopefully, he isn't taking his understanding of the WoW from the SP, in which case, a phone call to SLC is in order. You wouldn't believe it, but if you make a big enough stink, someone will make a call to the SP/Bishop to see what is going on.