The rest--fair enough. You weren't raised LDS so I'd offer different advice to you...advice that isn't anywhere near as relatable. Modify it to occassionally attending the dominant neighborhood function & letting everyone know you're there to befriend neighbors and that's all. Knowing Mormons, a couple are still going to chase after you so beware. IMO, there's no sense in not accepting that we all live within a culture and doing stuff like this if we want our children to blend in with society.
I also would like my children to appreciate and be friends with other children whose parents I don't care for. How are we supposed to change the world for the better with your mentality of boxing off children of those who you see as terrible people?
Damn, it's too bad I don't live in STG. My kids ages are 8, 5, 2, and 1. We'd fit right in.
I hope you don't mind, but I copied your OP and emailed it to my business partner who I respect a great deal and serves in the bishop ric (my other partner is a stake prez .. but not as esy to talk to, imo). Anyway, this was his response to me.
"I share a lot of sympathy with many of this brother's points. The WofW is a minor doctrine that gets the attention it gets only because its infraction is so visible and obvious. That said, this brother forgets the scripture that says we should not need to be "commanded" in all things; after all we all have the light of conscience to help us make rational, common-sense decisions, and there isn't much debate among the scientific community about the health benefits of living the WofW.
But the brother misses the most important point: the WofW has evolved to become the symbol of outward obedience, and infractions against it are seen as theologically insignificant but as indicative of a rebellious spirit with regard to submitting to authority, and that submission is important in a hierarchically organized bureaucracy that has to know its members' reliability at following instructions.
All that said, I have been in wards where members with WofW "problems' have been called, even to the office of bishop, so I think most wards do keep a proper perspective about these matters.
And speaking personally I haven't divorced Sue even though she continues to drink Coke! "
I was hesitant to start this thread, for several reasons, but I'm glad I did. It has assisted me much more than I expected. You guys helped me approach my questions from a different angle, and provided a lot of insight. I thank you all for your input.
Word o Wisdom, like tithing and other stuff, is more about obedience than anything else. There's the set in stone stuff and then there's a huge grey area. Moderation is a factor but not the end all be all. But it is interesting that the Church banned smoking way before anyone knew it was harmful. But that's mostly irrelevant.
LOL at not playing with non-LDS kids. That's funny tragic.
BYU 1984 National Champs.