CHARLES B and KAREN: You may both be interested in a paper I
Having been blessed to become educated on and to try a "Whole foods, plant-based diet for the last year and 1/2, and feeling and seeing the benefits, I am grateful for this article. Attending 2 Sunday school classes since attempting the dietary switch, it was frustrating to feel like I would offend by sharing the excitement of what following the other advice in section 89 had done for my life. I lost 20 lbs, mentally I was clearer, I wasn't tired in the afternoons. Now since striving to do this for a while I feel like thr gospel makes more sense than even it did before so maybe that is a spiritual blessing. In the first section 89 class I attended the teacher avoided the sentence "meat only in times of winter or FAMINE" completely. The next class the teacher interpreted the meat issue with the word "excessive" and emphasized it by writing it on the board. I do think it is more than fine for us to eat meat, but how much better would our lives be if er didn't.
Is there anyone that receives all the blessings promised in the WOW? If there isn't , then there is no one that properly follows it. I like the promise that the angel,of death will pass you by. The whole scripture is beyond commandment and constraint but Mormons treat parts of it as a commandment. What about the part of no strong drinks except in your sacraments? Every Sunday no mormon follows this one. Or maybe there are some that we don't know about.
Great article! Thanks for sharing YOUR word of wisdom about the topic.
Luckily it is COLD most of the year in Idaho!
Health researchers point out that processed foods, and especially sweeten soda and sweeten fruit juices are the biggest contributors to today's health problems**. Unfortunately, taking a stand against these food industries would not be wise. Sharing the knowledge amongst ourselves is the best course. Thanks for the great article. ** UCD Berkley seminar
Good article. The word of wisdom has been a blessing in my life and I am grateful for it. I appreciate this reminder that we should look at all aspects of that revelation and implement all aspects, including moderation in consumption. Obesity and overeating have become quite a problem in our society. The Word of Wisdom surely addresses this too. Thanks for the insightful article
We should respect our bodies because they are the tabernacles of our spirits. But the Word of Wisdom is just that. It is not the "Word of Good Health." It is a law of obedience with a promised blessing that the destroying angel shall pass by. It is a law that helps us be in the world but not of it. And every time we are offered coffee, tea, or alcohol (which pretty much happens any time we socialize with those who are not Mormon) we are reminded of our relationship with God. Good health is merely a partial by-product of following the Word of Wisdom. And perhaps it will give us the wisdom to eat healthy too.
A "plant-based" diet is NOT mandated in the Word of Wisdom. Take out the comma in verse 13 that was not in the original and re-read the verse. The comma changes everything. Now look at the pronoun "these" in the verse 15. Read correctly, it means that grains were meant to be used only in times of famine or excess hunger. In those circumstances the grains become the "staff of life," i.e. necessary energy needed to sustain life. Eaten continuously and obesity, along with the very destructive celiac disease follow. Whole foods and plants certainly have their place, but so do grass-fed meats, grass-fed dairy products, like raw milk, and saturated fats, like butter. What isn't healthy: fat-free diets based on processed vegetable oils, and non-stop wheat based diets. Evidence for all this? Scripture and much global case-study research. See the Weston A. Price website for much, much more.
Very nice article. I quite appreciate the fact that Dr. Birch is not in favor of mandating strict adherence to the dietary portions of the Word of Wisdom, allowing instead for prayerful individual customization and interpretation.
I encourage readers to consider Dr. Birch's scholarly articles in the Mormon Interpreter, where she suggests that the greatest blessings that come from obeying the WoW may be spiritual and eternal rather than physical and temporal.
"not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom (D&C 89:2 emphasis added)"
It's sad that so many LDS have made the Word of Wisdom into its' own form of religion. Perhaps they should stick to the Apostle James' admonition that , "pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
I am grateful that section 89 and 59 do not suggest that we should be vegetarians. My body does not feel well when I eat grains (especially in the refined way they are available to us nowadays) and both my daughter and grandson have Celiac's. I believe if you read these sections prayerfully and sincerely, the Holy Spirit will guide you in how to become healthier through diet (and exercise). This is very individual, as many things are. Of course, I always search the words of the prophets to find any updates as we go along (we already have the prohibitions mentioned in the article) and drugs and other addictive substances (except under care of a physician) are also a part of that. If our leaders tell us more specific things at some point, I pray that I will be humble enough to accept their counsel.
I think it is naive that someone would suggest church members would be especially blessed by following the "WoW plant based diet." In the words of Bill Cosby, "Who died and made you sheriff of the Jell-o?"
We haven't been told (counseled) to eat a Vegan diet, a Paleo diet or twigs, leaves and rocks diet because there is no "right" way to eat except healthfully as one's body can tolerate: eat whole, non-processed foods of a wide variety. Eat meat and fruit in moderation. Help oneself to veggies.
However, with today's GMO foods (animal or plant!) I am skeptical to eat ANY food proffered at my local grocer. Since I'm too lazy to farm my own food, I eat what I can and hope for the best.
Do I adhere to eating only wholesome foods? Heck, no! I like sweets! And all the sweets I eat are processed. But I do know better, and when I'm willing to give up unhealthy, empty calories, I will then be blessed with better health, less inflammation and pain and be able to keep up with my kids and busy schedule without being exhausted.
When a modern prophet with the authority exclaims the power and blessings of a plant based diet, will I even consider it. (I don't have my year supply of food, so y'all see how much I obey) Until then, I'm gonna enjoy my bacon cheeseburger.
Verse 4 regarding the W ord of Wisdom being given " in consequence of evils and designs ....in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days..." Is more applicable in our day. tobacco companies are now admitting they have known of the harmful effects of smoking, yet their advertisements have always been to target first men, then women, and now our youth.
Manufactures of food take advantage of the lastest trend in dieting. Oat bran was said to be good for our hearts years ago, so products showed up with that ingredient on their label. Now it's all about gluten free. Products that never had gluten in them have the words on the packaging to sell it.
Now more than ever we need to pay attention to what we put into our bodies as we relie more and more on others to prepare it.
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should NOT BE used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
I had my last cup of coffee the morning I was baptized (53 years ago) ...I enjoyed that one..and haven't had one since then
Charles B makes the above comment, about using flesh year round. His interpretation could be considered correct if there had been no comma after "used". One could rather interpret that sentence to mean, "only used in times of winter, or of cold, or of famine." Let's face it, we as LDS people, for the most part, eat far too much meat. Red meat and fowl that has been tainted with antibiotics, hormones, and fed in feed lots and on conveyer belts, are obviously not good for us.
I like vs 13 because it states the fact it is not pleasing unto The Lord to heat meat unless you can't find anything else.
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
Most people don't remember this verse because most of us can eat a vegan diet year round.
Most don't like that president hinkley stated on national tv we don't drink caffeinated sodas either. It has been rationalized that he misspoke. I believe that if he had misspoke he would have corrected it then or in the days after. Never saw in. Bottom line we will not be commanded in all things so if you want to eat meat do it if you want to drink caffeinated drinks do it. We call it agency but remember The Lord forbade it.
I grew up on a cattle ranch, so I will admit that my view of eating meat is probably a bit tainted. However, Im 99% sure the prophet eats some meat every day. Remember at the time the WOW was received there was not proper refrigeration/freezing. Thus "times of winter" slows for the safe use of meat. "In times of famine" the meat would be eaten quickly to avoid spoil. Anyway, that's my take on it. In the Temple we are also taught that animals are given for the benifit of man and are to fulfil the measure of their creation. A cow converts pasture and range grass into useful protein for the benefit of man. This is the measure of their creation.
My favorite verse is verse 12...'flesh of beasts and of fowls...the Lord has ordained for the use of man.' And to use 'sparingly'. And to 'use' the flesh year-round as stated in verse 13.
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