120 years ago today - Jul 11, 1901
At meeting of First presidency and Twelve "[John Henry Smith] Had devoted considerable thought during the night to the question of selling beer at Saltair and wondered if we were not inclined to take rather an extreme view of the case-whether, if we cut off the privilege entirely, we were not to some extent invading the rights of the Latter-day Saints. The revelation on the Word of Wisdom speaks of barley for mild drinks [D&C 89:17]. It is a question that demands serious thought. Have we taken an extreme view of the word of God? Where can we strike the limit, where can we reach the spirit of the Word of Wisdom? (Apostle Heber J. Grant asked Apostle Smith if beer that is intoxicating is to be considered a mild drink. The revelation, he said, forbids the use of strong drink.) Apostle Smith continued and said that the German beer was very light and mild and would not intoxicate, though he conceded that the beer of the United States is of a very different character and will cause drunkenness. Apostle Brigham Young [Jr Spoke]. Topics treated[:] Said that he believed the temperance movement among our people a proper movement. If we give an inch, the people and the world will take advantage of it-and drunkenness is the crying evil of the age. The Word of Wisdom! "Who can cut it off and patch it on for me?" Each must be judge for himself. Many times water, he said, would distress him, while a little Danish beer would bring a feeling of comfort and ease. However, he believed in the Word of Wisdom as we teach it. As to the matter of selling liquor, said that he was simply disgusted with what he saw at Saltair on the occasion of the "old folks" excursion. He came across a lot of old men-members of the church-smoking old pipes and guzzling beer." First Presidency and apostles agree that Danish beer is not harmful or in violation of Word of Wisdom and release an official statement to the same affect. President Lorenzo Snow tells the Quorum of Apostles, "Some of the brethren are worrying about the matter, and feel that they ought to have other wives. Brethren do not worry; you will lose nothing.... Brethren, don't worry about these things, and if you don-t happen to secure the means you would like, don-t feel disappointed." In these remarks, President Snow referrs specifically to Heber J. Grant who concluds that these instructions to the entire Quorum repealed the private authorization to take a plural wife the Church president had given him in May; he "dropped the matter" and left within a few days for Japan."