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Cover image via ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

NOTE FROM CAROLYN: For those of you who enjoyed my last article  about author Melanie Tidwell’s brush with death and the lessons it brought, you can learn more about her and order the book at her website:  www.MelanieTidwell.com.  

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we hope you’ll consider giving your Mother the gift of health and beauty with our My Miracle Detox Mother’s Day Gift pack. It makes a huge difference for the health and well-being for all ages, and especially seniors!

CLICK HERE FOR MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACK:  Please order by today so we can ship tomorrow for arrival by Mother’s Day! CLICK HERE for the details!

What a marvelous experience we are all having with the Come Follow Me lessons, which are so richly embellished each week with Scot and Maurine Proctor’s powerful podcasts.  My own interest about the Savior and His life are continually piqued, but even more so with this year’s much deeper exploration of His life and times. I am grateful to have stumbled onto some old Reader’s Digest encyclopedia style books that are richly illustrated with much information about the Bible, its people and its lands.

It is most appropriate, this special year of studying the Savior, to think about his mother Mary as we approach Mother’s Day.  There are countless words, paintings, poems and artistic works of all kinds to express her role, her place, her beauty and her goodness.   However, it is important to remember that during the formative years of the Savior’s life she was simply a wife and mother who took good care of her home and family.  She dressed simply and probably didn’t even have a mirror or even consider her outer appearance.

According to Great People of the Bible and How They Lived, (Published by the Reader’s Digest Association in 1974), a housewife’s day was occupied from sun-up to sun-down with household chores,  Her home was small and unpretentious, probably a square, flat-roofed building made of dried mudbricks.  The exterior was white-washed, but the interior was left unpainted, and a drab brown. The floor would be hard-packed dirt mixed with clay and ash to make it as hard as cement.  It would  be covered with straw or leather mats. Furnishings were very few, with stools and a low table for working and eating.   The rooftop was flat and often used as a workspace, reached by a ladder. 

Mary’s days began very early, at sunrise. She would dress in a simple linen tunic, covered by a linen mantle, probably edged with two stripes of red or blue. She wore sandals.  Jesus and the other young children were dressed in either a short tunic or shirt.

There were ever so many chores to care for a home and family without the aid of any electricity, running water or the conveniences that we take for granted. Most important was the baking of the flat barley bread each day, using a bit of yesterday’s dough for leavening.  The barley had to be ground first on millstones.  Then there was the spinning, weaving, mending, washing and making of clothing to clothe her family. She would make curds each day from goats milk in a special churn.  The dinners were simple but tasty with the bread she’d made earlier in the day and fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes there would be fish from the Sea of Galilee or perhaps a bit of boiled chicken.  Only the rich ate meat regularly, so Jesus would only taste roasted lamb or goat on the most special holidays.

Reading a little of Mary’s days, she is, in very deed the virtuous woman described in Proverbs:31.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

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11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. …. 

I don’t know about you, but until reading in this book, I had thought little of the spinning and weaving that Mary, and all those of her time, were required to do for the fabric to make clothing for themselves and their families.

In Jesus’ time, weaving was still done in the home. Before the weaving came the yarn, straight from the plant!  First the raw fiber was rolled on the thigh to form a strand of yarn, which was made into a strand of yarn, which was made into a thread by the twisting motion of a weighted shaft, or spindle.  Two threads were spun at once by using a harn bowl with guides to separate the strands. 

The flax plant was, and still is used to create the yarn for linen fabrics and was later dyed.  

For us in the Latter Days, the greater value of the flax plant is not as a fiber for clothing, but as a nutrient in its seeds, especially ground flax seeds.

Just recently we have been enlightened by adding the “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” app to our phones.  Part of his daily check-off for excellent health is a serving of ground flax seed.  It’s so simple and obviously important I think you’ll want to make it an easy priority as we have.  We just put it on our morning oatmeal and check off the box!  IMPORTANT: The whole flax seed is very tiny — so tiny that it will probably pass through your system unopened, with all its powers still locked inside. We want to be eating ground flax seed!

Here’s why. 

1. Flax Seeds Are Loaded With Nutrients. 

Grown since the earliest days of civilization, the plant fibers are used for spinning into cloth, and the seeds and oil are used for a very nutritious food.  A typical serving is 1 Tablespoon, about 35 calories. Their benefits come mainly from the top notch omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
  • Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
  • Folate: 2% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 2% of the RDI
  • Iron: 2% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 2% of the RDI

2. Flax Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fats

If  you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, flax seeds can be your best source of omega-3 fats. They are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a mostly plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is one of the two essential fatty acids that you have to obtain from the food you eat, as your body doesn’t produce them.

3. Flax Seeds Are a Rich Source of Lignans, Which May Reduce Cancer Risk

Lignans.  have powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties. They may help in preventing breast and prostate cancer, as well as other types of cancer.

4. Flax Seeds Are Rich in Dietary Fiber

Just one tablespoon of flax seeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 8–12% of the daily recommended intake for men and women, respectively.

5. Flax Seeds May Improve Cholesterol

In one study in people with high cholesterol, consuming 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for three months lowered total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by almost 20% (19).Another study of people with diabetes found that taking 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for one month resulted in a 12% increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.

6. Flax Seeds May Lower Blood Pressure

Studies on flax seeds have also focused on its natural ability to lower blood pressure.

7. They Contain High-Quality Protein

Flax seeds are a great source of plant-based protein and there’s growing interest in flaxseed protein and its health benefits. Flaxseed protein is rich in the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid.Numerous lab and animal studies have shown that flaxseed protein helped improve immune function, lowered cholesterol, prevented tumors and had anti-fungal properties.

8. Flax Seeds May Help Control Blood Sugar

This blood sugar-lowering effect is notably due to flax seeds’ insoluble fiber content. Research has found that insoluble fiber slows down the release of sugar into the blood and reduces blood sugar/

9. Flax Seeds Keep Hunger at Bay, Which May Aid Weight Control

One study found that adding 2.5 grams of ground flax fiber extract to a beverage reduced feelings of hunger and overall appetite.The feelings of reduced hunger were likely due to the soluble fiber content of flax seeds. It slows digestion in the stomach, which triggers a host of hormones that control appetite and provide a feeling of fullness.

10. Flax Seeds Are Delicious and Versatile

Flax seeds, ground flaxseed  or flaxseed oil can be added to many common foods. As mentioned above, ground flaxseed is the most beneficial in releasing all its many nutrients as the whole very tiny whole seeds may pass through your system unopened. Try the following:

  • Adding them to water and drinking it as part of your daily fluid intake
  • Drizzling flaxseed oil as a dressing on salad
  • Sprinkling ground flax seeds over your hot or cold breakfast cereal
  • Mixing them into your favorite yogurt
  • Adding them into cookie, muffin, bread or other batters
  • Mixing them into smoothies to thicken up the consistency
  • Adding them to water as an egg substituteIncorporating them into meat patties

Our Heavenly Father loves us! How blessed we are to have his glorious creations for both food and raiment.  In a small way, these windows into history and the great people of the Bible help us to know and understand His life, and cherish it all the more.

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success –She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She an her husband Bob, now share My Miracle Detox, at Meridian Magazine on online.  It is an herbal detox tonic in keeping with the Word of Wisdom, now used by Meridian readers and missionaries everywhere.  CLICK HERE

She is mother of five and the grandmother of a growing number of delightful grandsons and granddaughters and lives with her husband, Bob, in Jackson Tennessee where she serves as an Activity Day leader.