Archive for meat

“My wife and I felt a yearning to know God better”

josh-wagner-familyBy: Josh Wagner

A little over a year-and-a-half ago, my wife Jamie and I felt a yearning to know God better. We began praying for help to make significant changes to be closer to Him and experience more of the gifts of the Spirit. We had no idea the Lord would answer those prayers by telling us to change how we eat.

This is how it happened: a little after Jamie and I started praying for this, we were reading scriptures with the kids while we ate dinner (we’ve learned that combining meal and scripture time reduces the chance that the kids will run off while we read). As was typical in our house (and most American houses), we were eating a protein-centric dish named for the meat it was built around.

On that particular day, I chose to read this section of holy writ which says the Lord wants us to joyfully use the things of the earth—plants and animals—to sustain and enrich our lives. But then comes this stern warning: “For unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion” (v. 20). A clear message from heaven pierced my mind to the core, “The way you eat meat is excess and extortion.”

This freaked me out. Read More→

Taking Life

Beautiful Animals Looking at CameraThis article is part of an occasional series on “Word of Wisdom Reflections.” You can also read Steve Reed’s plant-based conversion story.

By: Steve Reed

I wrote most of this back in 2014 but haven’t published it until now. In fact there was a lot more history before and after this, but I feel like this one experience was a big turning point for me. Few people know about this experience, and even fewer know the details which I’m going to attempt to convey. This event happened about 15 years ago while I was a full-time missionary.

After I share this story, I want to wrap up by exploring what doctrine, principles, and applications relate to this subject.

Winter of 2000

My companion and I were trying to reach out to a less active young man on a small Idaho farm. We got on the conversation of animals and he mentioned that they would be cooking some goat soon for Christmas dinner. My companion, who was Fijian, mentioned that he was an expert at killing pigs and could kill the goat in seconds. The young man and I were impressed with the claim and decided to put my companion to the test.

The day came and we met out at the farm, I was anxious to witness this spectacle of my companion slaying a goat with the skill and finesse that he claimed. I came from Texas where hunting is a big deal and I wanted to see how they did things island-style. We walked out to the goat pen and a large goat was selected. I volunteered to take the rope and lasso the goat, and nailed him perfectly right around the horns. My companion had a habit of calling me “Texas Ranger” and my apparent skill with the lasso caused him to excitedly exclaim, “You ARE the Texas Ranger!”

We pulled the goat out of the pen as it struggled against us. I yanked him around like the dumb animal he was while his fellow-goats cowered away.

We pulled the goat down to the ground and my companion straddled it while I held its head to the ground. A medium-sized knife was handed to my companion. I watched as he took a deep breath, while aiming the instrument and sincerely whispering the words, “Sorry, goat.” With a swift jerk, he thrust the knife into the chest of the animal and it let out a disturbing cry of pain while fiercely fighting against us. The cry was jarring, and although this was just an animal in my mind, I couldn’t help but imagine the exact same sound and physical reaction from a person being stabbed in the same way. I held the goat’s head down firmly and looked into its eyes.

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“It makes me so happy to only eat plants!”

Laurie Hoer Hiking in PatagoniaBy: Laurie Hoer

As I write this, I have just completed hiking 156 miles (carrying a 25 lb backpack) through and around Patagonia in less than two weeks. Last year I climbed Kilimanjaro, and each day I hike 2.5 miles up a mountain outside our Utah home with 1700 feet in elevation gain. Not bad for a 56-year-old! Proof that eating a whole food, plant-based diet not only provides enough protein but enough fantastic energy to fuel my whole life!

My journey to a plant-based lifestyle began with a natural interest in nutrition and a desire to find out the healthiest way to eat. I grew up in a weight-conscious family where being thin was the goal, but how to achieve this in a healthy way eluded me. I remember following my parents as they tried the Atkins diet, the grapefruit diet, Weight Watchers, and other low calorie plans. Each new eating program usually only lasted a short time and were followed by bouts of overeating (usually junk food) when I got too hungry and fed up to continue. During the last 2 years of high school and first year of college, I really struggled with disordered eating and my weight fluctuated 20 pounds a couple of times a year during this time. Not feeling in control over this aspect of my life really made it difficult for me to feel the Spirit or to feel good about myself. There truly is a connection between feeling good physically and feeling good spiritually and having good self-esteem.

After I got married, my husband and I moved to Xian, China in 1982. It was the first time I encountered really thin, healthy, active people. They ate primarily a whole foods, plant-based diet (with relatively small amounts of animal products). I was so surprised to see tiny women literally inhale huge bowls of rice! With absolutely no processed foods available, people snacked on whole sweet potatoes, ears of corn and sunflower seeds in the shell. Could it be that what I’d been told my whole life—that eating lots of carbs would lead to weight gain—was wrong? This started me on a quest to find out how we are meant to eat. I studied nutrition books and tried to discover “the best” eating plan, but my search was frustrating because there seemed to be no consensus on how humans should eat. There truly could not be a more confusing topic than nutrition! Read More→

“A distinct thought came into my mind, ‘You can do better.’”

Arianna ReesBy: Arianna Rees

May of last year, as I was sitting at the kitchen table one morning, a distinct thought came into my mind, “You can do better.” It wasn’t in a tone of chastisement, but rather it came as one stating a simple fact. I sat startled for a moment, but quickly recognized the source of those words as being from the Spirit. I had recently felt prompted to study the effects of nutrition on mental health, a topic close to my heart. The research that I found was fascinating and led to further and further study and discovery of the very powerful effects that food choice can have, not only on our physical health, but also on our emotional and mental well-being as well.

That morning in the kitchen, I had just read several articles on the effects of antibiotics given to farm animals and their documented negative effects on long-term health on those of us consuming those animal products. The truth of those statements and facts, for whatever reason, spoke to me more clearly and more directly that day than ever before. And so I sat and pondered. It was then that the Spirit helped me to see that I could do better, especially since I was the gatekeeper of my family’s general diet and eating habits.

It is often said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. The teacher showed up in a big way from familiar sources that morning. I was immediately reminded of the Biblical account of Daniel gaining favor and strength due to his firm decision to eat grains and abstain from the king’s meats. I turned to the Bible to re-read the account and found myself reading a well-known story with fresh eyes. Daniel’s countenance shown and was filled with great knowledge and wisdom. What an amazing blessing! I felt so strongly that he was not only blessed for his courage in being obedient to a spiritual law, but he also was experiencing direct effects physically for having obeyed a physical law that had physical consequences. He was living the Word of Wisdom fully and experienced blessings of spirit, mind, and body.

I quickly turned to D&C 89, a section that I was so very familiar with. What was different this time in my reading was that I read each verse more literally than ever before. I no longer focused on the “thou shalt not’s,” but rather read from the perspective of the “thou shalt’s.” I had been keeping the portion of the Word of Wisdom well when it came to abstaining from drugs, alcohol, etc. I had been eating a healthy and well-rounded diet by most standards. But there it was stated so clearly—I could do better in eating meat sparingly, eating more whole foods, and foods in season.

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“Man is not made to eat flesh”

Albert SchindlerBy: Albert Schindler

Roughly three years ago—I was 81 years old at the time—I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. My right kidney was so cancerous that the doctors gave me zero percent chance of saving it, so it was surgically removed. The cancer spread to my bladder. Consequently, over about a period of a year and a half, I had 12 chemotherapy sessions and several non-surgical probes to get the cancer in remission. Several of these chemo sessions left me with a bladder infection that took antibiotics to cure. Needless to say, my health was in a very precarious situation.

It was the twelfth, and last chemo session, plus an infection that really got the best of me. My entire body, from the neck down, ached terribly. The experience lasted for roughly two days. I say “roughly” because for the most part I was in a daze and had no recollection of time. Because of the pain, I couldn’t sleep, and I could barely stay awake. I ached if I sat up, and I ached if I tried to lie down. Near the end of this time, I suppose because I was so lacking sleep plus so weak from the pain, I started to experience hallucinations.

I had several different hallucinations, but of interest to this story is near the end when I saw before me a large grid that resembled a giant-sized, brown “Weetabix,” like is found in a Weetabix cereal box. I had a bucket in my hand and I was trying to dip out the pain I felt in various parts of my body from one square of the grid and pour it into another square. I was becoming more and more frustrated. This didn’t work! My pain was still one hundred percent there, only I kept shifting it around!

After what seemed like an eternity of fruitless dipping to end my pain, something within me said, “You have to get rid of the pain, not just mask it by trying to hide it somewhere else.” In other words, dipping it out of one Weetabix square and pouring it into another square wasn’t the answer. What was of special interest after that “Aha! moment” was a very clear, audible voice that said to me, “Man is not made to eat flesh.”

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“I can’t believe the energy I have and how good I feel”

Brian and Tammi SevyBy: Brian Sevy

I knew I was clearly on the wrong course when a physician friend of mine pulled me aside at church, expressed concern about the way I looked, and point-blank asked me if I had cancer. This conversation occurred about 4 and a half years ago. A few months before that I had been increasingly concerned about my health. I was overweight and under a lot of professional stress. I generally didn’t feel good. At times I felt bad enough that I knew I needed to make some changes in order to avert a health crisis.

Based on a flawed assumption that my problems would go away if I just lost weight, I embarked on one of the high animal protein diets. I lost weight quickly, but I felt worse and developed a gaunt look. Other friends pulled me aside and ask if the weight loss was intentional, implying that I might be afflicted with a serious health issue.

As I contemplated what to do next, my daughter stumbled across a documentary called Forks over Knives. She and I had done the animal protein diet together and were both so tired of eating meat that the idea of vegetables sounded very refreshing. This documentary, and my personal research that followed, was life changing. The scientific and clinical evidence gathered over decades by Drs. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and others was irrefutable. I have always considered myself analytical by nature, and so I was surprised and shocked to discover how thoroughly I had been duped.

In reviewing the research on causal links between animal-based foods and a host of chronic diseases, I was forced to consider the reality of my situation and the damage I had most likely done to my body over the years. My grandfather died of heart disease at an early age — only a few years older than my age at the time. The beautiful thing about this research, especially Dr. Esselstyn’s clinical work, is the evidence that a plant-based diet would not only stop the progression of these lurking chronic conditions but that it would actually reverse them.

As I connected the dots, I realized that this way of eating would not only improve the quality of my life but that it could actually extend it. Tammi and I have been blessed with a wonderful family. We are all very close and being with our family is our greatest joy. At the point I was contemplating this shift to a whole food plant-based lifestyle, I thought of our first grandchild who was about a month away from being born. My grandfather passed away when I was only 3 years old and so I really didn’t get to know him. I felt like I had been given an opportunity for a different course and a different outcome.

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“Dang it, there go the hamburgers”

Paul & Orva Johnson closeupBy: Paul Johnson

My wife and I have always tried to eat with a mind toward health. But I enjoyed a good hamburger, barbequed tri-tips, chocolate shakes, ice cream, etc. In fact I would have been perfectly happy to have hamburgers for every meal. I still would—but I can’t do it, because I know too much about what that would do to my body, not to mention the cows’ bodies.

So my journey toward a plant-based diet came slowly. As my wife became totally plant-based, I supported her (easy to do since she looks amazing). We had mostly plant-based food at home, except for cheese and a few other things like that. She learned to cook meals that could be done completely plant-based or with a little bit of cheese or even meat thrown in.

At 46 I was in very good health, or so I thought. I was in a kick-boxing class, could do 80 pushups, and could run forever. But my feet started to tingle a lot. The tingling gradually grew into outright pain. Terrible, unbearable pain. I went to several doctors who simply couldn’t figure out what was going on. When they took x-rays of my feet they were astounded. My bones were disappearing. I was osteoporotic as an otherwise healthy 46-year-old male: practically unheard of.

After numerous tests, they discovered my kidneys were throwing out all of my calcium, causing my parathyroid glands to grab the calcium from my bones so that my body would have enough to function. The docs gave me prescriptions to help my condition. Nothing worked and the meds had weird, unacceptable side effects. During this time they also discovered I was pre-diabetic, glucose intolerant. Apparently my feet found out I was about to become diabetic and decided to get peripheral neuropathy early—thus the tingling, numbness and sharp pains in my feet. (I realize that numbness and pain don’t seem too congruent, but just ask anybody with neuropathy about that. They won’t be able to explain why, but they’ll make a pretty convincing case that it happens.)

So now I had two problems: diabetes and the kidney thing. I had also had two very bad kidney stones, requiring three surgeries between them because they would not pass on their own. I was given more medicine for the diabetes issue and was told to cut way down on carbs: go easy on the fruit and bread and eat meat. My wife was very supportive and went out of her way to make sure I could follow the standard American diet for diabetes.

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Hidden Treasures of the Word of Wisdom by Doris T. Charriere (1978)

From Books in Word of Wisdom Literature by Jane Birch

Charriere - Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures of the Word of Wisdom

by Doris T. Charriere


Copyright® 1978
Doris T. Charriere

ISBN 0-89036-106-1
First Printing, 1978
Typesetting by HAWKES PUBLISHING, INC


Frontispiece

“It is true, probably, that there are many points concerning our welfare that may not have been touched upon by our Heavenly Father in the Word of Wisdom, but in my experience I have noticed that they who practice what the Lord has already given us are keenly alive to other words of wisdom and counsel that may be given…. There are a thousand ways in which we can act unwisely; our attention has been directed to some few points, and if we observe them the Lord has promised us great treasures of wisdom which will enable us to see a thousand points where we can take better care of our bodies, preserve our health, and which will enable us to train our children in the way of the Lord. The results will be that our children will be healthy and strong, and we will raise up a generation that will be a blessing to us, and through whom the Lord can accomplish His great and mighty works in the earth.”

—George Q. Cannon
Journal of Discourses Volume XII, pages 44-45

Publisher’s Note: As J. Reuben Clark, Jr. would often write in the preface of his books: “For this book, I alone am responsible. It is not a church publication.” The ideas of the author of Hidden Treasures of the Word of Wisdom are also her own, and she does not wish to imply that others must accept any of her ideas as doctrine. She only offers them for the benefit of those who are seeking further information in areas of nutrition, from one who “treasures the Word of Wisdom.”


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Frontispiece……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6

Ch. 1. Quest for Health………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Chart: The Word of Wisdom—with marginal notations………………………………… 11

Ch. 2. How Do We Practice the Principle……………………………………………………. 13

Chart: Six More Days to the Word of Wisdom…………………………………………….. 15

Ch. 3 Awakening to Day Six……………………………………………………………………… 19

Ch. 4 How Far to Eden?……………………………………………………………………………. 22

Illustration: Barriers to Good Health…………………………………………………………… 24

Ch. 5 Evils of Conspiring Men…………………………………………………………………… 25

Ch. 6 All Wholesome Herbs………………………………………………………………………. 33

Ch. 7 In the Season Thereof………………………………………………………………………. 39

Ch. 8 With Prudence and Thanksgiving ……………………………………………………… 43

Ch. 9 And It Is Pleasing to Me…………………………………………………………………… 47

Ch. 10 The Staff of Life……………………………………………………………………………. 55

Ch. 11 Remember—Walking in Obedience…………………………………………………. 59

Ch. 12 Health to the Navel, Marrow to the Bone…………………………………………. 63

Ch. 13 Treasures of Knowledge…………………………………………………………………. 67

Ch. 14 Run and Not Be Weary………………………………………………………………….. 69

Ch. 15 The Destroying Angel…………………………………………………………………….. 71

Ch. 16 Is the Destroying Angel Iatrogenic Disease?……………………………………… 75

Ch. 17 Could the Destroying Angel Be Environmental Disease? …………………… 79

Ch. 18 The Key to Health and Longevity……………………………………………………. 83

Ch. 19 Repentance and the Word of Wisdom……………………………………………… 91

 

PART II

Ch. 1 Sprouts and Indoor Gardening………………………………………………………….. 97

Ch. 2 Salad Herbs…………………………………………………………………………………… 101

Ch. 3 There Are Also Unwholesome Herbs……………………………………………….. 103

Ch. 4 Herb Medicine ……………………………………………………………………………… 109

Ch. 5 The Blessings of a Famine………………………………………………………………. 119

Ch. 6 What About Food Supplements? …………………………………………………….. 125

Ch. 7 What About Special Occasions? ……………………………………………………… 129

Ch. 8 Favorite Menus and Recipes …………………………………………………………… 137

Ch. 9 Fun Things to Do for Health……………………………………………………………. 147

Ch. 10 How to Have a Happy, Healthy Day………………………………………………. 149

Ch. 11 Food from the Table of the Lord……………………………………………………. 151

Ch. 12 Recommended Reading………………………………………………………………… 153

Footnotes to Part I………………………………………………………………………………….. 157

Footnotes to Part II………………………………………………………………………………… 162

Appendix ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 163


Introduction

In 1833 the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith a law of health. It was neither lengthy nor detailed like the food laws of the Jews. There were no whys and wherefores as found in the teachings of the Essenes. In fact, it was very brief and lacking in detail.

This Word of Wisdom has become one of the most widely discussed doctrines of the church. Nearly everyone who knows a Mormon knows about the restrictions in the use of tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol; in fact, to most Mormons these restrictions are the Word of Wisdom. But when one prayerfully studies the Word of Wisdom, desiring to know how to apply it in his daily life, a much fuller, more beautiful concept is revealed.

At a general conference in April, 1855, Elder Ezra T. Benson (1811-1869) grandfather of present apostle, said that if a request were made for all those in the congregation to come forth who had kept the Word of Wisdom, few would come forth. But if the request were for all those who were trying to keep the Word of Wisdom, many would come forth, himself included.

He then said: “When we first heard the revelation upon the Word of Wisdom many of us thought it consisted merely in our drinking tea and coffee, but it is not only using tea and coffee and our tobacco and whiskey, but it is every other evil which is calculated to contaminate this people. The Word of Wisdom implies to cease from adultery, to cease from all manner of excesses, and from all kinds of wickedness and abominations that are common amongst this generation—it is, strictly speaking, keeping the commandments of God, and living by every word that proceedeth from His mouth.” (J.D. 2: 357-358)

A few years later, on April 6, 1868, Brigham Young gave these thoughts concerning the Latter-day Saints:

“I am ready to acknowledge that the Latter-day Saints are the best people, and the most willing people to do right that I know anything about. But when we take into particular and close consideration their acts, and compare them with the teachings they are constantly receiving, we think and say they are very far from taking all the counsel given them of the Lord through His servants…. When we are counseled to do that which pleases us then we are willing to obey counsel…. Again, when we consider the immensity of knowledge and wisdom and understanding pertaining to the things of this life, pertaining to the learning of this world, pertaining to that which is within our reach, and ready for the use and profit of the people, and particularly with regard to taking care of ourselves, and then consider our shortcomings, and slothfulness, we may look upon ourselves with shame-facedness because of the smallness of our attainments in the midst of so many great advantages.

“A thorough reformation is needed in regard to our eating and drinking, and on this point I will freely express myself, and shall be glad if the people will hear, believe and obey.” (J.D. 12: 192)

Brigham Young and Elder Benson were addressing the saints in general conference of the church. It was their duty to admonish the people to obey the commandments. Although most of their emphasis was on encouraging members to cease using coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol, nevertheless they also stressed the necessity of altering the diet to meet the standards proposed by the Lord.

This author is not in such a position. The purpose of this book is not to call people to repentance concerning the Word of Wisdom. Nor is it meant to condemn anyone, but rather to try to help those who are earnestly seeking to live the Word of Wisdom in a more positive way. It is hoped that in the relating of some personal experiences, a practical application of the counsel given in the Word of Wisdom can be demonstrated—one which is both nutritionally superior, and, in these days of spiraling food prices, more economical.

As each part of the Word of Wisdom is discussed, statements from both nutritionists and church leaders will be used to give further explanation as to how to apply these teachings. Brief mention will be given of scientific evidences which confirm these teachings. For details on these points, further study of the sources listed is suggested in the bibliography.

Since many people do not have convenient access to the complete set of the Journal of Discourses, references concerning the Word of Wisdom or related topics have been extracted and are included as an appendix.

It is the sincere desire of the author to avoid anything which is contradictory to church doctrine. At the same time, however, there is a desire to explore the less talked about, and more positive aspects of the Word of Wisdom. There are many points concerning health and the Lord’s laws of health which are alluded to in the scriptures but are seldom referred to or discussed. These will be brought forward for your attention and consideration. Remember that the Lord does not command in all things. (D&C 58: 26-29)

It is hoped that you will enjoy exploring the many facets of the Word of Wisdom as you read this book and that you will be further inspired to study and live these teachings in a more positive way.


Part I: Chapter One

Quest for Health

My search for an understanding of the Word of Wisdom has been long but it has been interesting and very fruitful. It started when I had been married only a few years and had three small children. When I say small I mean both young and small in stature. It was mainly because they were such small children that two women in Relief Society kept after me with advice such as “feed your children better” —” give them more protein”—and so on and on, till I would run from Relief Society in tears and go crying to my mother. She, of course, would comfort me and tell me to ignore them. But inside I was uneasy and dissatisfied. I could explain why my children were small because neither my husband nor I are large people. He’s five feet eleven inches and of medium build and if I stretch I can almost claim to be five feet three inches. So all of our children (there are now ten!) are rather small

Even explaining that didn’t relieve the feeling inside that I was not feeding my children adequately. The problem was compounded because cooking had never been numbered among my favorite hobbies. I would much rather sit at the piano and plunk out a melody for a song I was writing or get out a stack of reference books to prepare a lesson than play happy homemaker, and plan a meal. I did try to prepare good meals. To me a good meal was meat, potatoes and gravy, a cooked vegetable, and sometimes a salad if I had fresh greens. Grocery shopping was even more drudgery to me than cooking. Consequently, I seldom had on hand everything called for in a recipe. And even when by diligent effort I would plan a menu, have the necessary items on hand, and try to please my family with dessert (a rare item at our meals) something would flop. My husband would tease me by saying that I couldn’t even boil water without burning it. I laugh when I think back on it now; I cried at the time.

In fact, I cried a lot then. With three pre-schoolers at home I could never seem to keep up with things. But possibly one of the most frustrating things was a condition I had which was similar to epilepsy, but wasn’t epilepsy. I first became aware of it before my first child was born. I would have spells of faintness and loss of balance and at times my arms or legs would jerk convulsively. My trips to doctors began at that time and continued off and on for the next 18 years. The “spells” took on all kinds of variations which challenged my ability to describe them to the doctors. But always there was a diagnosis such as, “Your symptoms aren’t typical.” It turned out my symptoms weren’t typical of anything. But they were very frustrating.

At that time my sister was becoming a “food fanatic” and she tried to tell me my problem was nutritional. She also thought my children needed better nutrition. I balked for a while, but she finally got me to read a couple of good books on nutrition and good nutrition finally started making sense to me. My fourth child was my “brewer’s yeast” baby, and what a beautiful, healthy baby. And I was actually able to nurse him. What a joy!

So I learned a little about how to be healthier and to have healthier children. But I still blacked out and I kept adding new symptoms to my “spells,” and my purpose in studying nutrition has been to help me get over these “spells.” I have kept trying and I have kept studying, and I think this is what the Lord intended.


Part I: Chapter Nine

“And It Is Pleasing Unto Me…”

“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.” (D&C 89:12- 13)

I’ve pondered much on the words of Elder George A. Smith, delivered in the tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 18, 1855. (J.D. 2:211-220) The sermon was on the gathering and sanctification of the people of God, but I think it reveals much about the nature of man and his reluctance to obey.

Brother Smith said that from the fall of Adam until the time of Christ, the Lord “could never find a people, could never communicate with a generation or a very numerous body of men that would obey His commandments, listen to His counsel, and observe His wisdom, or be led by His revelations.” He said the Lord came close at the time of Enoch, but it was such a small group and the wickedness around was so great that He had to remove Enoch and his city. We know He tried to give the higher law to the people of Moses, but they were unable to receive it so He had to give them a much lesser law. (Inspired Version, Exod. 34:1-2) In speaking of the wonderful manifestations and things revealed at the Kirtland temple, Brother Smith said:

“If the Lord had on that occasion revealed one single sentiment more, or went one step further to reveal more fully the law of redemption, I believe He would have upset the whole of us. The fact was, He dare not, on that very account, reveal to us a single principle further than He had done, for He had tried, over and over again, to do it. He tried at Jerusalem; He tried back before the flood; He tried in the days of Moses, and He had tried, from time to time, to find a people to whom He could reveal the law of salvation, and He never could fully accomplish it; and He was determined this time to be so careful, and advance the idea so slowly, to communicate them to the children of men with such great caution that, at all hazards, a few of them might be able to understand and obey. For, says the Lord, my ways are not as your ways, nor my thoughts as your thoughts; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Brother Smith then tells of the persecution the saints passed through and the sifting and straining from 1837 until 1843—-“when the Lord concluded that the people who had been gathered, since the scattering from Missouri, had been made acquainted with the principles of His kingdom so long, that they must have become strong enough for Him to reveal one sentiment more.

“Wherepon, the Prophet goes up on the stand, and, after preaching about everything else he could think of in the world, at last hints at the idea of the law of redemption, makes a bare hint at the law of sealing, and it produced such a tremendous excitement that, as soon as he had got his dinner half eaten, he had to go back to the stand, and unpreach all that he had preached, and left the people to guess at the matter.”

Has the Lord had to “unpreach” his law of health as it concerned the eating of meat? If a supposed translation of an ancient manuscript is true, it would appear He did. There is a small publication entitled “The Essene Gospel of Peace” which the translator, Dr. Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, claims to be translated from a Third-Century Aramaic manuscript found in the Vatican, which relates the teachings of Jesus to the Essenes as recorded by John the

Beloved. In this teaching Jesus tells them to eat only live food—foods which best sustain life because they have the germ of life still in them, such as raw fruits and vegetables and grains.

He then tells them that dead food such as meat causes disease and death. This caused quite a stir among these Essene people and they challenged Him with why He was teaching them to abstain from meat and yet Moses taught that only the flesh of unclean animals was forbidden, and they quoted to Him the parts of the Mosaic law referring to eating meat.

Jesus then tells them that when God gave Moses the first tablets of stone containing the laws for His people that He commanded them “Thou shalt not kill” meaning to kill neither man nor beast. But when Moses saw the corruption and weakness of the people he begged the Lord to give them a more lenient law or else surely He would lose all of them for they would never be able to live this higher law. So the Lord watered down the law and said “Thou shalt not kill” would refer to killing man.

Jesus calls to their remembrance what the result of this turned out to be. Not only did they kill the beasts but they continued to kill man also. (The impression I received as I read this was of the Lord throwing up His hands and saying, “What’s the use?”)

So Jesus seemed to be telling the Essenes, “You asked what you could do to gain health and overcome disease. I’ve told you plainly. It’s up to you now.” (Essene Gospel of Peace pg. 45-49)

 Many times people will point to section 49 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 18, to prove that the Lord intends for us to eat meat. Read carefully verses 18 through 21.

“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.

“But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.

“And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.”

It says you should not be forbidden to eat meat. Verse 19 says God has ordained the beasts and fowls and things of the earth for the use of man for both food and for raiment, and that in abundance BUT in verse 21 we are cautioned that if we shed their blood and waste the flesh when we have no need it’s to our condemnation.

If you’ll remember, in 1831 when this revelation was given it was not forbidden to use tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee. Many of the saints were using these things. The revelation of section 49 was received in 1831 to counsel a brother, Leman Copley, who had been a Shaker or Shaking Quaker, that he was to preach the doctrines of the true gospel and to be careful to not preach teachings he had carried over from his previous religion. The Word of Wisdom had not yet been given. It was not given for two more years. (Feb. 1833)

Aren’t we perhaps like rebellious teenagers who have to be handled with kid gloves? Don’t we as parents sometimes allow our teenagers to do things which really aren’t for their best good but we allow it rather than have them rebel to the point we would lose them completely?

So as to the eating of meat, the Lord does not require His people to completely abstain from meat at this time. He would be pleased if we ate it sparingly and then only when we really need it such as in the cold or winter or when there is nothing else to eat. And woe to us if we waste it or kill animals for their flesh when we don’t really need it.

Obviously if there is nothing else to eat, you would surely eat meat if it were available, Hyrum Smith’s

explanation of this was that in a famine the animals would die anyway so they shouldn’t be left to be wasted but should be eaten. (D&C Commentary, pg. 574) Another point is that the animals eat the grain and grass which could provide food for people so you should eat the animal so it won’t eat all the food! I say that with tongue in cheek just to bring out another point. The book, “Diet for a Small Planet” explains that we could get twenty times the protein from the grass and grain the animal eats as we do from eating the animal itself.

As to winter and cold, meat builds heat, so if you are out in the cold a lot and need the extra heat for your body you can get it by eating meat. Even then it should be used sparingly. We know that in the beginning—in Eden—both man and beast ate herbs or fruit. (P. of G.P., Moses 2: 29-30, 3:9, 4: 8) In the millennium it will be the same. But it is up to you. Meat is not forbidden. If you choose to eat it then eat it sparingly and then only in time of cold or famine.

If we were to look at meat eating in the light of the “Day- One, Day-Two’ ‘ system of progress it might go something on this order:

Day One—You eat large quantities of meat with heavy marbled steaks, lots of pork, ham, and bacon.

Day Two—You cut down on the quantity of meat you eat.

Day Three—Give up eating pork (or swine as Brigham Young always called it),

Day Four—You eat meat sparingly, mainly beef and fish.

Day Five—You eat fish and dairy products.

Day Six—You don’t even kill fish for food.

Day Seven—Fruits and herbs.

See if there is a connection between this and what Brigham Young was telling the saints in 1868:

“A thorough reformation is needed in regard to our eating and drinking, and on this point I will freely express myself, and shall be glad if the people will hear, believe and obey. If the people were willing to receive the true knowledge from heaven in regard to their diet they would cease eating swine’s flesh. I know this as well as Moses knew it, and without putting it in a code of commandments. When I tell you that it is the will of the Lord to cease eating swine’s flesh, very likely someone will tell you that it is the will of the Lord to stop eating beef and mutton, and another that it is the will of the Lord to stop eating fowl and fish until the minds of the people become bewildered so that they know not how to decide between right and wrong, truth and error. The beef fed upon our mountain grasses is as healthy food as we need at present. (Italics author’s.) Beef, so fattened, is as good as wild meat, and is quite different in its nature from stall-fed meat. But we can eat fish, and I ask the people of this community, who hinders you from raising fowls for their eggs? Who hinders you from cultivating fruit of every variety that will flourish in the different parts of this Territory? … Who hinders any person in this community from having those different kinds of food in their families? Fish is as healthy a food as we can eat, if we except vegetables and fruit, and with them will become a very wholesome diet. What hinders us from surrounding ourselves with an abundance of those various articles of food which will promote health and promote longevity?” (J.D. 12:192193) There are several points in his remarks which we can consider further. He brings out the point that there is a difference between the beef fattened on the mountains and the stall-fed beef. Man seems to always think he can come up with something better than the way the Lord planned things. He has taken up the practice of taking the calves from the cows and feeding them milk supplement, adding things to it to make the calf supposedly disease-free and to produce faster growth. He creates special feed mixtures with added hormones and antibiotics. Although these additives do prevent certain diseases in the animals and do fatten them up quicker, the resultant product is not as good for man as the pasture-raised beef.

Hormones are also given to chickens for rapid growth to make the grower a greater profit, but they have a harmful effect on the person who eats that product.1 It appears then that whatever meat you eat, it would be better if you raise it yourself, and the Word of Wisdom tells you what feed is best for each animal. (See Ch. 2 of this book)

The counsel to raise our own fish given throughout that period of time (1868) certainly has caught my interest. I’m very eager to dam up a little stream we have on our place and follow the counsel given by the early brethren to raise fish as we do chickens. Physiologists say that fish contain more of the elements necessary to strengthen and build up the brain than almost any other known substance.

So what are we going to eat, and how much, and when, if we honestly want to please the Lord?

“Eat Meat Sparingly” by Elder Joseph F. Merrill

From Word of Wisdom Literature by Jane Birch

Joseph F. Merrill

Eat Meat Sparingly*

Elder Joseph F. Merrill

of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

 

April 1948 General Conference Adress

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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“I topped the scale at 269 pounds!”

April ThompsonBy: April Thompson

I’m a wife and a mother of four. If you saw me and talked to me today, you would think that I’m a fitness nut. Well maybe I am, but I haven’t always been that way.

As a kid, I was pretty happy, but the divorce of my parents left me feeling a little hollow and empty. I turned to food for comfort. It was an easy choice. Every time I ate, I felt better. I would feel full. I wasn’t obese, but I was bigger than most other little girls and was teased about it. I told myself it didn’t matter, but I knew inside that it really did. These feelings continued for years.

I met Joshua, the man who is now my husband, and he changed my world. Most of the changes were great, but . . . well . . . I’m not going to blame my weight issues on my husband, however he was an integral part of them. I adopted many of his HORRIBLE eating habits, and bit by bit, they added up to me being UNHEALTHY.

Through the next 8 years, I had 3 beautiful daughters and supported Josh through graduate school, and managed our apartment complex among other things. If I was treating my body the way I should have, I could have handled the stress. But because my fitness and eating habits were terrible, I topped the scale at 269 pounds!

You heard me right.

Outside I seemed happy, but inside I was sad. I hated looking in the mirror—yuck! I felt trapped in my body but with the brain of an athlete. Not only that, I had pre-diabetic blood sugar levels.

What was I going to do about it though? I started where many start: with a few fad diets. I tried hCG, Body for Life, South Beach and Weight Watchers. As fad diets always are, these diets were a temporary fix. I would lose weight, but eventually it came back.

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