Salt Lake City, UT—In a bold move the First Presidency announced that adherence to the proscriptions of D&C 89, known as the Word of Wisdom, will no longer be a requirement for baptism or for holding a temple recommend. The Church emphasized that the revelation was, “not by commandment or constraint,” and therefore any members not in compliance with its teachings would not necessarily be sinning.
The change in policy was part of an effort to root out institutional racism against minorities within the Church. “In October’s General Conference,” said President Russell M. Nelson, “I called upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. Getting rid of the Word of Wisdom was one way we could lead out in these efforts.”
President Nelson continued, “If we wanted more Lamanites and Canaanites to join the church, we had to drop the prohibition on alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Remember, the Word of Wisdom was, ‘adapted to the weak and the weakest of all saints,’ but we wanted to make room for the weakestest of all saints.”
There have been reports that the Church is currently considering repeals on chastity, tithing, and theft for similar reasons.