Sign up for our newsletter


Signed up, but still not getting our newsletter? Click here.


September 23, 2020

Comments | Return to Story

Discovering the Word of Wisdom: Ask for a Recommend | Meridian MagazineNovember 9, 2015

[…] evidence, processed meats definitely cause cancer and red meats likely cause cancer as well. (See: “Meat Causes Cancer.”) As expected, there were plenty of negative reactions to this article. People hate to hear bad […]

Alice RaneyNovember 9, 2015

I disagree with a comment from Shane saying meat is not carcinogenic. The dyes, hormones etc., put into our food all of it, is probable cause to be considered carcinogenic. That is why we need to raise some of our own food, even sometimes our own meat. I am trying to convert to less meat and usually in winter when it is cold. I do eat fish and chicken but stick to buying from individuals who can show the diet their animals are fed, this includes my eggs. When buying red meat I also try to get it from legit wholesome ranchers. Anything can kill us, we have to learn to eat in moderation any food, not because what God gave us is bad, but because of what man has done to it.

CharlieBrown2292November 6, 2015

Meat from beef fed on grass is known to be healthy. Let's agree that it's OK to eat it, as long as one does so reasonably.

ShaneNovember 5, 2015

Be careful! Meat itself, if used in wisdom does not cause cancer! The title is false! Red meat does not cause cancer either. The way its cooked is usually the culprit. When red meat is chard on a barbecue the chard portion becomes carcinogenic. The meat if cooked evenly and without the char does not cause cancer! The chemicals in the processed meat are carcinogenic, not the meat!!

lieselNovember 4, 2015

One more thing... People who go onto a strictly vegetarian diet must be careful to get enough complete protein. Plant sources of protein are missing some amino acids making them incomplete proteins. Beans and whole grains have complementary amino acids. When eaten within a 24 hour period of time of each other, the body can get all the amino acids needed to create complete protein. This is important information.

LieselNovember 4, 2015

What does “processed meat” mean? Nitrates added to processed meat as preservatives are dangerous. This includes ham, some lunch meats and can include some canned meats. But many canned meats, including canned chicken, roast beef and turkey chunks (mine are from Costco), tuna, salmon and clams have no nitrates in them. Costco has a new product - delicious sliced ham with NO nitrates. Our real problem is we eat too much meat in our society! Our serving sizes are huge. We should eat at least three times more fruits and vegetables compared to meat at meal time and include additional fruits and veggies throughout the day.

LieselNovember 4, 2015

All meat does not cause cancer. The title implies that people should therefore not eat meat, as supported in the Word of Wisdom. This is not completely true. It is important to follow Word of Wisdom counsel to eat meat sparingly. The following scripture helps me to keep things in balance. D&C 49: 18-19 says: “And whose forbiddeth (footnote - biddeth) to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not of God; For, behold, the beast of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.” Obviously God intends that people eat some meat.

Edith WhertonNovember 4, 2015

The Word of Wisdom says we should eat meat sparingly and in season. It's a source of at least 2 amino acids found nowhere else. Our heavenly Father did not tell us to stop eating meat.None of the prophets have said give it up.

B. PaceNovember 3, 2015

The scripture you are using to back your point can be taken another way, they way in which I read it. It says that it is pleasing unto the Lord that we eat meat, not only in times of famine or cold.

Bill lawrenceNovember 3, 2015

nice comments, but both miss the point. There are over 800 studies that link the consumption of meat and other animal products, most notably dairy, with various types of today's maladies including many of the top causes of death in the U.S. We can choose to ignore advice given by the creator, but do so at our peril, and the subsequent pain and suffering. It took an agency not influenced by special interest groups in the U.S. to raise a confirming warning voice. So be it. The word of wisdom is a law of faith, not blind faith mind you, but faith the creator knows more than we do. And what harm comes from proceeding under that faith? None. And what good? Ask those millions who have avoided pain and suffering while science, including tha AMA, debated whether tobacco was not for the belly. Will we wait for 7000 studies, and tens times deaths and disability to apply the same teaching? Choose you this day..........but as for me and my house....... My heart and prayers go to those that still require more signs, may they have the last laugh and live healthy for all their days. But I suspect the odds are not with them. I know for myself and family we have seen the promises of living the commandments, including this one, literally fulfilled. I have also seen in my own family the pain of those whom I taught to eat the standard American diet. MS, obesity and various disease of the digestive tract. I don't need more studies to raise my voice in solemn testimony.

JLPNovember 3, 2015

Thank you Jane for your article. In quoting the 89th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants (12 & 13), you used the word "except, preferable, need" in your article to describe what you thought the Lord meant....This is what you said: "The Lord tells us it is preferable "they should not be used," EXCEPT in times of need (winter, cold, and famine)." The Lord actually said this: "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ORDAINED for the use of man with THANKSGIVING; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; and it is PLEASING unto me that they should NOT be used, ONLY in times of winter, or of cold, or famine." Maybe the Lord was saying that you can eat meat all year not just in winter. Protein is essential for the brain in fact there are 5 nutrients that can only be found naturally in meat: Vitamin B12, Creatine, Vitamin D3, Carnosine and DHA! I believe the Lord knows exactly what the body needs. Unfortunately because of GMOs and excessive use of antibiotics in animals we have to be very wise, such as finding meats that are wild (salmon) or grass fed beef, free range chicken etc. Unfortunately the progressive left in this country would love nothing more than for us to stop eating meat, they believe animals are causing green house gas and damaging the environment, thus the push for vegetarianism. By the way, I wonder if the Lord used the word sparingly to caution us not to eat meat three times a day but maybe once a day or three times a week etc!

JanellNovember 3, 2015

If you lump heart disease in with the numbers of deaths from eating meat, it raises that number exponentially. See this article: Eating by the Word of Wisdom is the single best thing you can do for your health. Not just to prevent heart disease, or cancer, but to simply raise the quality of your life. Eating whole foods, as unprocessed as possible, from plants, has done amazing things for me and for so many others who are eating this way. If you have any nagging health problems that you wish you could fix, I encourage you to give this a try.

Ashley P.November 3, 2015

Thank you Jane! What a well written post defending the revelation given in D&C 89! It's sad not everyone would like to see the truths so plain in front of them. I'm so grateful for defenders of the Word of Wisdom like yourself, and for your book. Meat really is so easy to limit and not consume on a regular basis in our diets! Thank you for a wonderful post, can't wait for your next installment! Hopefully more people will see the wisdom in eating Whole Food Plant Based, as discussed in the Book of Mormon.

Pam WrightNovember 3, 2015

I think this topic has been discussed enough. Everyone knows fruits, vegetables and grains are good for you. But even they are treated with chemicals. We will have a hard time getting away from chemicals. Affording all organic foods is not a possibility for everyone. Avoid processed meats in large amounts, eat a good steak or chicken now and then and have scrambled eggs and a glass of milk once in a while. Trying to persuade someone to conform to one's diet plan is silly. The next author here may try to persuade you to go totally low carb. Dennis Weaver teaches us how to make good chocolate chip cookies on this web site. Choices choices. Eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge occasionally. Haven't we been told "moderation in all things?". That's what we should be doing.

K.T. MartinNovember 3, 2015

The Word of Wisdom does not promote total vegetarianism. We ARE supposed to eat meat (although sparingly). As per more additional scripture found below. “And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God; “For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.” (D&C 49:18–19; see also 1 Tim. 4:1–3.) I'd be careful what you take as total "truth" or "fact" from the World Health Organization anyways. They have had plenty of controversial moments. I am not here to bash on vegetarianism or veganism. I am only point out that the Word of Wisdom Does NOT say to abstain entirely from meat. Look at this article from for more information:

EricNovember 3, 2015

According to the WHO site the number of deaths per year from eating meat is 50,000 world wide. This number contrasts with about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally due to tobacco smoking, 600 000 per year due to alcohol consumption, and more than 200 000 per year due to air pollution. Going to work each morning is probably a greater risk than eating meat! See point #12 on the following link.

Wayne WalkerNovember 3, 2015

Meat DOES NOT cause cancer. Chemicals do. Chemicals are most prevalent in processed meats. For example, never buy bacon that has been processed with nitrates! Never buy traditionally grown beef where the animals were fed GMO corn or commercial feed (typically in a CAFO feedlot) with antibiotics added to the food. ONLY buy totally grass fed beef and free range chicken. Those types of meat are VERY healthy and much more than ANY form of grains. There is a lot to learn about the Word of Wisdom....

Dallas EricksonNovember 2, 2015

They did not have "processed meat" back in the times of the Word of Wisdom as we have today. And the fact is that the Lord knew the only thing they had in abundance to eat during "times of famine" or "cold," in other words winter, was fresh meat. During the summer they grew gardens and so had an abundance of vegetables and fruits. Thus they had low carb diets. Sugar was a luxury and for the people to get sugar they had to go to the drug store and could only buy it in small vials. Now days we eat on average over 300 pounds of sugar a year per-capita in the US. I think Cancer and other diseases feed off the sugars and the people who eat low carb and avoid processed meat are living the Word of Wisdom, especially in MT where there are only about three months of the year that are not considered "cold" or "famine".



    Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.