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September 28, 2020

Comments | Return to Story

Jane BirchAugust 17, 2014

Thanks for your comments, Joseph Gayan! I agree that context and culture are important when interpreting the scriptures. I have used this framework to analyze the idea that the Lord asked us to eat the flesh of animals only during winter because the early Saints had no refrigeration. I think if you look carefully at the evidence, it does not support this conclusion. I refer you to my article, "Getting into the Meat of the Word of Wisdom," Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 11 (2014): 1-36. ( Thanks too for pointing out the importance of

Jane BirchAugust 17, 2014

Good question, Bobbi! I have since published an article that addresses your question. Please see:

Jane BirchAugust 17, 2014

Dear Wayne Walker: Thanks for your interest in my article! I have written an extensive analysis demonstrating that the comma added to D&C 89:13 did not

Joseph GayanJune 11, 2014

This is a nice opinion on the Word of Wisdom as expressed by a vegetarian, not church doctrine or practice. The Word of Wisdom regarding meat consumption can just as easily be understood from the perspective of not being wasteful of our animals. Context and culture are always important things to consider when reading scriptures. At the time the Word of Wisdom was written refrigeration did not exist, leaving limited means of preserving meats (dried and/or salt cured). During times of famine the animal would likely be consumed quickly by family and friends, avoiding any waste. During cold the meat can be left outside, frozen, to be consumed at a later date, also preventing waste. It can also be useful to look to our modern day prophets and apostles regarding this issue. Meat is served at all church cafeterias and church sponsored schools and consumed regularly, but sparingly, by our prophets and apostles. You may also notice a lack of obese General Authorities in the church. Bridling our passions and controlling the natural man when it comes to food consumption is what the Word of Wisdom is all about.

DBJune 11, 2014

You need to emphasize that besides trying not to eat animal products and avoiding processed foods we need to stay away from GMO products. Our Father in Heaven doesnt want us consuming chemical poisons either. Why scientist believe they know more than God, who created the perfect seed, btw, is beyond me. I guess it all has to come back to the all might dollar.

DanteJune 10, 2014

When it comes to nutritional health I would be more concerned about the heavy use of harmful pharmaceuticals and other prescribed drugs, sugar consumption, diabetes and the tremendous amount of obesity among the Saints than I would be about meat consumption.

NelsonJune 10, 2014

"Sparingly" I believe is interpreted as only if it is to spare your life. It comes from the word "spare":) The Bible tells us that God gave unto Adam & Eve, herbs as meat. Gen 1:29.

Bobbi SnowJune 10, 2014

What is your take on the altered grains that are not good for you, even whole wheat grain. Also, corn and beans......grain brain etc.

Anne June 10, 2014

I want to be "pleasing" to the Lord. Thank you!

Wayne WalkerJune 10, 2014

Unfortunately, this article assumes that the comma in verse 13 should be there. It was not in the original. Joseph Smith did not put it in there. It was inserted in 1920. And that comma completely changes the meaning. (Read verse 13 with and without the comma to see what I mean). Now look at the word "these" in verse 15. What does it refer to? Grains. Taken together, these verses in the Word of Wisdom imply that meat can and should be consumed throughout the year. Grains should only be eaten in times of hunger, famine or cold. Those specified times are referring to grains, not meat. There is much science that supports these conclusions but this is is merely a comment, not a full article. Moreover, modern nutrition science is highly supportive of these conclusions when the meat in question is totally chemical free grass-fed beef. Radical perhaps, but these are totally logical conclusions. By the way, vegetables are really great vehicles for butter. Better still, for butter from grass-fed dairy cows.

Pilar ArceJune 10, 2014


ByronJune 10, 2014

Terrific article Jane. Your measured approach backed up with serious research is welcome and incredibly helpful. There are many doctrines that can be interpreted differently depending on ones point of view (or pre-conceived narrative). The counsel we have received from the Lord through his prophet in D&C 89 is so clear and supported with meaningful scholarly research. Thank you ..



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