I recently went to a sauna night at a church member’s house, and another member, very active, shows up with a can of beer. Really.
It turns out it is 2.8% beer, and he says drinking this isn’t forbidden by the Word of Wisdom because a grown man cannot get drunk off of it. He claims lots of Mormons do it. The host amiably disagrees, but he drinks no-alcohol beer. I’m skeptical as well, but I drink home beer and sima (which translates as mead), both of which have extremely low alcohol levels. I believe most Mormons here do, and in fact sima was served at our wedding reception in the stake center with no raised eyebrows. Another brother present drinks none of the above, citing the ‘appearance of evil’ concept. Later, I ask a very orthodox friend, and he says he doesn’t drink 2.8%, but he doesn’t think it is forbidden, and he mentions that his father and brother imbibe.
Is it possible for five Mormons to have different ideas about what the Word of Wisdom means, and yet they all believe they are keeping the Word of Wisdom? Is it significant that all five are very active life-long members? How about the fact that all five conduct temple recommend interviews?