Poisoned wine: Intellectually considering the possibility

In regards to Water vs. Wine for the sacrament (D&C 27:1-2) what do you think the likelihood is that someone actually poisoned wine?

I’ve tried to picture this whenever it is brought up in Sunday School.

Imagine that you own a wine shop and that you, or one of your patrons, want to kill all the mormons. Poisoning the sacrament wine at first makes sense, since they’d all take it and die.

But now you’ve got to figure out which bottle of wine Joseph is going to buy. Did Joseph always buy the same brand/type? Did he always go for the cheap stuff?

Now you’ve got to get the poison into a sealed bottle of wine, without breaking the seal, unless they are just corked bottles out on the west, which they might have been.

Now imagine that all the mormons drop dead just after drinking wine. Who are the police/authorities going to look at as the murderer? There will be plenty of irate family members going for vengeance.

Now imagine that Joseph gets the revelation and turns around… some shop owner has a poisoned bottle of wine on his shelves.

Some alternatives:

Couldn’t the Lord have directed him to another wine shop in another town, or even to select a different bottle?

Occam’s Razor: Isn’t a simpler explanation that Joseph blew the money for the sacrament wine on something else, or drank the wine, or didn’t want to make the full trip or whatever and then “revealed” that water would work as well?

It just seems bizarrely easy to trace if you have a store and sell poisoned wine to customers.

This entry was posted in Early Church History (1800s), Humor and wit, Word of Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. Last edited by EmmaHS on February 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm

2 Responses to Poisoned wine: Intellectually considering the possibility

  1. Brother of Mithryn says:

    Many visions and other odd behavior followed members taking of the sacrament, some were even incapacitated.
    “On January 6, 1831, a letter to the editor in the Palmyra Reflector accused Joseph Smith of legerdemain. (Palmyra Reflector, 6 Jan. 1831) Legerdemain means the practice of using “psychology, misdirection and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical effect.” In other words, Joseph Smith was being accused of using the sacrament as misdirection for the surreptitious administration of a visionary substance.” http://www.i4m.com/think/history/holy-ghost.htm

    It is likely that the change to water because ‘an enemy tried to poison us’ was ‘inspired’ by this accusation. It is interesting to note the revelation said water was acceptable until they could make their own wine. The LDS church has not endeavored to make their own wine and so they continue to this day to use water.

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