Quote mining/Journal of Discourses/JoD 16:238:Analysis

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Quote mining analysis

The quote and its use by the critic(s):

List Actual quote Critical use


I feel like exhorting my brethren and sisters to abstain from everything prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, and to live in accordance with its principles as near as our climate and the productions of our country will permit. So far as intoxicating drinks are concerned, it is worse than madness and folly for men to indulge in them. There is something comparatively innocent in tea, coffee or tobacco when compared with intoxicating drinks....I say, brethren and sisters, let us observe the Word of Wisdom. We are doing a great business in the tea, coffee and tobacco in the Co-operative Store. When we first established it we thought we would not sell tobacco at all; but pretty soon the Superintendent asked the Directors if he might not bring in some poor kind of tobacco to kill the ticks on the sheep. It was very soon discovered that unless they sold tobacco, so many Latter-day Saints used it, that a successful opposition could be run against them on the tobacco trade alone, and they had to commence it, I believe, under the plea that it was brought on to kill the ticks on sheep. Shame on such Latter-day Saints, so far as tobacco is concerned. We are doing a great business in tea, coffee, and tobacco in the Cooperative Store.


In context the passage laments the misuse of substances prohibited for human consumption by the Word of Wisdom, particularly alcohol. Abuse of tobacco also receives special notice. While originally requested in the context of pest control, some had made illicit use of the substance. It was determined, however, that in order for the store to be economically viable tobacco would have to be carried, despite the fact that it was being abused by some of the members. In the critical usage, the quote appears to be an endorsement of the trade in the substances mentioned whereas in context it is a condemnation of the illicit demand that is leading to such vigorous trade.