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To ""Take Away the Righteousness of the Righteous," 2 Nephi 15:22-23

2 Nephi 15:22-23

" Wo unto the mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink;

"Who justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!"

A footnote that leads to Proverbs 31:3-9 talks about how kings and princes should not drink wine, nor be drunk for the express purpose of being able to judge righteous judgment upon those that need it, especially in relation to the cause of the poor and needy.

What continues to stand out to me as I return to these verses is how Isaiah condemns wine and strong drink because of it distorting properties which allows mighty and strong men to justify the wicked and deprive the righteous of their just reward. The footnote on "reward" in verse 23 leads to a topical guide entry for "bribery". Curiously enough, the word used in Spanish for "reward" is the equivalent of "bribery".

I have not before seriously considered the implications of strong drink, wine, or alcohol, upon the work of righteousness. It truly is a tool of the devil to deaden the senses and to blur the cause of the righteous. This is why Gordon B. Hinckley fought so hard to defend and uphold liquor laws in the state of Utah as a citizen. The work of wickedness and oppression of the righteous is facilitated by strong drink as it allows its participants to ignore any sense of conscience. Hence we have the final and strongest condemnation in a list of woes pronounced against the House of Israel.