“I wanted revelation like unto Daniel”

Karmel Larson FamilyBy: Karmel Larson

I have discovered a powerful pattern in my life. I ask God questions, and he gives me answers. If I obey those answers, he gives me more. Line upon line, precept upon precept, he has led me down an exciting path of self discovery, self improvement and understanding. I find that the more quickly I obey and comply, the more abundantly the flow of knowledge and revelation comes to me.

Daniel, of the Old Testament, was rewarded by his obedience to God by receiving the gift of revelation. His power to receive revelation was so great that he did not even need to have Nebuchadnezzar’s dream told to him in order to give the interpretation. God, through revelation, gave him direct and pure knowledge of the dream and its interpretation.

I was seeking this kind of access to revelatory knowledge. I wanted revelation like unto Daniel. I wanted to know what was required of me to be worthy of pure knowledge. I wanted access to the mysteries of the kingdom. I knew that it was possible, and I wanted to know what I should refine in myself to be worthy of that gift and privilege.

In 2010 I took this question to the Lord. In response, all of my prayers guided me to a need for “physical change,” but I didn’t know how or what to do with those impressions.

I set a goal to attend the temple weekly. This period of weekly attendance also overwhelmingly directed me to physical change. Here are some of my impressions, promptings, and experiences on different visits, as recorded in a notebook that I take with me to the temple each week:

  • …study the scriptures relating to the body as a temple, “know ye not that ye are a temple of god…”
  • …use the garment … as a reminder that you must control your appetite. All desires and passions (including food). I must be on an undeviating course.
  • … Eve having been true … in ALL THINGS (including food, overcoming the flesh and having a pure and clean body-temple) seeks further light …. If I want the privilege of conversing with the Lord, I have to first master my physical self.
  • …Overcoming the flesh and physical self is not about discipline but rather a true lack of desire for foods that fill me with darkness and a longing for foods that fill with LIGHT, this power can only be gained through increased spirituality.
  • …I was again overcome with emotion at the words, Health in the navel… the Spirit flooded into me like a fire and I wept with desire to have the power of God burn strongly within me to be the servant, his tool, his instrument and that great things lie in store for me IF I can overcome my current block—physical self mastery.
  • …I should repeat the initiatory session until I have it memorized. I need to memorize the blessings that are mine in connection with the body. Mind—to hear the voice of God, Loins—to bear healthy posterity.

The Spirit was pleading with me to conquer my flesh during these weekly sessions.

Reconsidering the Word of Wisdom

After an emotional experience at the veil during one of my weekly temple visits, I shared with my husband many of my thoughts, feelings, and impressions I’d been having. We talked about the Word of Wisdom together one night after dinner at significant length. We wondered what “sparingly” meant in regards to meat and agreed that it meant much less than we were eating. We rationalized, discussed how hard it would be to do better, and committed to “try” to eat less meat. We both agreed that we were not living according to what was written, acknowledged that it was “adapted for the weakest of all saints” (v. 3), and yet we still weren’t even adhering to the simplified law.

I think we had a few meals with less meat and got busy, stressed, and forgot the thoughts and feelings we had had during that conversation.

Do Not Trade Your Birthright For a Mess of Pottage

A short while later, I found myself “grazing through the kitchen” and the Spirit spoke clearly and powerfully to my mind, “Do not trade your birthright for a mess of pottage,” a scriptural reference from the Old Testament. I knew exactly what that meant, that I was being chastised and I had to find out how to transform my physical self. That statement rang through my mind for days and built in me great desire to change, but the how was still lacking.

During an early morning study session, I asked God to lead me to a mentor who could teach me how to implement what I felt the Spirit was directing. That very day I had a hair appointment where I learned about someone who had healed herself from years of chronic pain and disease by changing her diet to a near vegan, whole foods diet. My hairdresser shared story after story with me about why she admires this person, who is one of the most connected and spiritual individuals she knows.

I bought this person’s cookbook, took it home, and tried several of the recipes. I was discouraged because my family (which included 5 small children at the time) wasn’t liking them; they had many ingredients I didn’t have on hand (and that were more expensive); and I didn’t have time to spend on cooking and educating myself. I eventually set it aside, determining that it was “too weird,” “too expensive,” and “too hard.”

I know that God is infinitely patient because despite my being VERY slow to listen and even slower to ACT and CHANGE, he kept prompting, educating and guiding. By now I was VERY pregnant, moving to a new home AGAIN, and in sheer survival mode. The next few months were a blur of exhaustion and just hanging on.

The China Study

In April 2010, we hosted my in-laws for General Conference weekend. Over one meal, my father-in-law suggested we should read The China Study. It sounded interesting but too difficult to implement with a family, so I quickly dismissed the recommendation, saying it sounded great for “them” and maybe I’d look into it when we were empty nesters as well, but it didn’t seem like a diet approach that would work for raising a family.

During General Conference that weekend, I realized that my spiritual quest is not just about me, but it is to bring myself, my husband and even my children to receiving our calling and elections. A few days after Conference, this was the focus of my prayers, and I asked God what I should be focusing on to achieve this end. The answer came so powerfully that I wanted to hide under a rock. There is some scripture about how you would rather have a mountain fall upon you than to face God if you are a sinner. That is how I felt in that moment as I opened my scriptures after that prayer, and my eyes immediately read in D&C 88:67:

. . . and if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

As I read, the Spirit reprimanded me that I was not to ask for anything further until I had acted upon the revelations that had already been given to me. I was to focus on physical mastery, that my “body should be filled with light and there should be no darkness in me” and THEN I would have access to comprehend all things and receive the revelations I was requesting.

I was overcome with grief at how I was supposed to fix my physical failings because I knew it was tied to revelation and tied to my progress, and yet I didn’t see a clear path as to what to do to follow it. Frustration was paramount, and I felt held back.

Soon thereafter, a friend came to visit and shared with me how she has felt compelled to improve her nutrition. She talked for a long time about the changes she was making in her physical lifestyle that she felt were directed by the Spirit. She talked about her studies of Zion and how she felt the Spirit is teaching her that to be a Zion and a celestial person, she needs to not only refine herself spiritually, but also overcome the flesh, and that she must work on perfecting her body simultaneously with her heart, mind and spirit. She felt strongly that God is teaching her that he needs his Zion people to be physically strong and clean as well as faithful. Her comments were unsolicited and without her knowledge of my struggles with the same topic over the past year. It was if she had been sent as yet another messenger to try and get me to change and remove the block that kept me from great blessings.

As she left and I closed the door, the clear and demanding words came to my mind, “Get The China Study.” I borrowed it from my father-in-law and began listening to it on CD the next day. It was very convincing and seemed to be truth to me. I kept listening, researching, watching YouTube videos, and googling information on the author and project of The China Study.

On April 25, 2010, while the family slept, I arose very early and communed with God. I poured out my soul to him, reviewing our interactions, his revelations, my successes and failures, my frustrations, the mentors who had come, the temple teachings I had received, the promptings he had given, etc. I felt compelled that I should change my food habits to coincide with The China Study, but I didn’t want to and would not do it without perfect knowledge that it was indeed his will.

This was my final prayer, “I feel like I have been led to The China Study as the ‘HOW’ I have been seeking in needing to make physical change. I do not want to do this diet unless I receive undeniable confirmation that it is thy will. If you confirm to me that it is thy will and the answer to what you have been trying to teach me, then I will do everything needed to comply to feed my family this way.”

I got my scriptures and saw that a damaged page was sticking out. It literally made a bookmark in the Old Testament section of my scriptures. When I turned to the page, I was engulfed in the Spirit. The damaged page was Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. I read just the first line of the chapter 4 summary, “Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream,” and the Spirit confirmed my prayer by flooding light and understanding to my mind: “Daniel was endowed with power to have powerful revelation because he had been obedient to the laws of the flesh given him. Obey the law given to you, and you will have the same blessing.”

I turned quickly to the “law I had been given” in D&C 89. As I re-read the words I realized that eat meat sparingly means to really abstain unless in times of excessive hunger or famine. And God says it twice!!! (vss. 13 & 15). Another portion of the Word of Wisdom’s footnotes took me back to Daniel where it outlines the three blessings of following God’s dietary laws (Daniel 1:15, 17, 20). I KNEW the Lord had spoken to me, and I needed to obey. I got up off the couch and googled vegan pancakes to make the kids breakfast.

Success… And a Failure, My Struggle and a Divine Reprimand!

Little did I know how difficult this new assignment would be and how many times I would fall, falter, repent, fall, falter, repent, wish it away, know it was a command, struggle, fail, cry, recoil in shame and guilt, repent, try again, pray and pray and pray for HELP and succeed!

During one Relief Society lesson on being a covenant people, the final scripture shared by the teacher was:

For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. (D&C 82:3)

This scripture that I’d heard so often pierced my soul that day as I “heard” for the first time the second half of this scripture, “he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” The Spirit spoke to my mind that this applied to me and how lightly I had treated the revelation I had received regarding The China Study and that our family was to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. Though I had made many positive strides and efforts, I had not done as well as I should have. The message was clear and strong that more is required of me and that I am under condemnation because I have received greater light, and I’m not heeding with sufficient diligence the call to a higher health law.

When I came home, I went to the scriptures to further study this scripture and found that in context, it is followed by this:

Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors . . . (D&C 82:4, emphasis added)

I felt I must do better. I knew God had blessings waiting in store for me that are contingent upon my proving my worthiness, my desire and my obedience to the revelations he gives me.

How do I quantify and measure this new assignment to eat a whole foods, plant based diet according to The China Study?

I knew that I was now required to eat a whole foods, plant based diet and to do my best to share this method of eating with my family. Yet so many circumstances and occasions arose as to make me wonder what the guidelines were to follow this assignment and personal commandment.

For example, should I turn down food offered to me when invited as a guest? Should I just not eat if we are at a restaurant that doesn’t offer any plant based foods, etc. Did I need to be 100% or would the 80/20 rule be sufficient here? 🙂 Then maybe I could still squeeze in some of my favorite addictions if “mostly” everything else was plant based. I pondered over this and struggled with the options, even rationalizing and using different “program options” with my husband, saying things like, “Well, doing it this way would be most convenient.” or “This way would be most easy to maintain long term.” Yet it seemed like I was tweaking the Lord’s command to fit my own agenda and none of my ideas seemed quite right.

So, I took the matter to The Lord and his response was so quick, so simple, so “of course,” so divine.

I asked…

“What are my boundaries to be adhered to, my guidelines for plant based eating?”

And I received…

“It’s like your garments.”

The simple single phrase response was instantly accompanied by the interpretation and meaning for me. When a person obtains their own endowment and begins to wear the sacred garment, they are given the counsel to make decisions on when and where it is appropriate to wear the garment by looking for opportunities to wear them, rather than looking for excuses to remove them.

So it was the same simple counsel regarding eating a whole foods plant based diet. I was to always be focused on and looking for opportunities to eat this way rather than hoping and seeking for any chance to squeeze in an exception. My choices were to be focused on obedience, but I was free to enjoy exceptions just as there are appropriate times to remove the garment, such as swimming.

“Just Go and Listen”

Over Christmas 2013 and another move to a new home, I let my obedience to a plant strong diet slide. The Spirit also slid away as it always does when I don’t obey that personal commandment given so clearly and directly.

I had gotten back on track, when a few months later, I heard a clear voice in my mind inviting me to the temple with the instruction, “Just go and listen.” The command to “just listen” made me feel excited that God had a message for me…. maybe a new assignment? Quite the contrary occurred. While I was in the initiatory session, I had an experience that was a powerful message, a call to repentance to obey with exactness the clear revelation I had received on April 25, 2010 to eat a whole foods plant based diet as a prerequisite to my being found worthy to receive revelation like unto Daniel of the Old Testament.

I had been patting myself on the back for making “progress” toward eating a whole foods plant based diet. I had been successful, in spurts, in being exactly obedient to this assignment. Most holidays, special occasions, and on just plain “really hard days,” I would relax my standard of discipline rationalizing that perfection really is a process and I was “getting there slowly.” I would repent, improve, succeed, then fail, overeat, indulge, ignore promptings, ignore spiritual stop signals, repent, plead for help, repent, repent, repent, repent, go weeks plant strong, get stressed and turn to sugar, repent, go days plant strong, indulge on fat-sugar-salt on a family trip, repent, indulge, repent, etc. I was a basket case and all the while congratulating myself for “making progress” and “being so quick to repent” each time I fell off the wagon so to speak.

God invited me to the temple that day to “Just go and listen,” instead of my usual routine of always attending with a question as my focus, so that he could invite me to get off the yo-yo and experience the blessings that were awaiting my commitment to disciplined obedience. After completing the initiatory session, I entered the celestial room and sought further counsel and training. I knew what I had to do, and I was concerned…. very concerned, even scared that I would just fall into the same cycle again of “indulge and repent.”

I prayed and begged for help to know “HOW” could I overcome this addiction. I asked that he use the power of the atonement in that moment to “heal” me of this problem. Would he use his power, through my faith, to remove all cravings from me that I would not have any desire for sin? I prayed and asked, “I need your help! I have tried and failed on my own. You need to do this for me!” 
(Isn’t this how the atonement works…. we can use our faith to cast our burdens upon the Lord? I’m begging for help right now.)

He instantly answered again, using my own words to my oldest son earlier that day. As I sat next to my son, guiding his piano practice, he was struggling and frustrated with the concept of playing hands together, with a metronome beating AND having to count out loud while he played. He could do each task individually. Yet when he tried to put all three together, it was so hard for him, and he repeatedly failed, over and over and over again. In frustration, he banged his head on the keys and cried out to me, “Can’t you just do the counting out loud for me? I can do the other two, but I can’t do the counting… it’s too hard. You are being too hard on me and expecting too much of me. Just do the counting for me!!!!!” I had patiently responded to him, “I already know how to listen to the beat, count aloud, and play simultaneously. I am here to help you learn that skill so that you can progress. If I keep counting for you, you won’t be able to progress.“

As I finished my prayer in the celestial room, begging God to take this challenge from me, he instantly sent this piano parenting scene and these words spiritually to my mind, “I’m by your side! I am here to help you learn that skill so that you can progress. If I do it for you, you won’t be able to progress.”

I had to overcome this on my own (with the Lord beside me). And so I changed my prayer and my question, “OK… then, please provide me with resources. Show me how.”

The Spirit confirmed to me that eating a whole foods plant based diet was my “Keystone Habit,” which is a habit that, if mastered, will have a positive trickle effect into all other habits and areas of our lives. The arch supporting my “Keystone Habit” were the bricks I needed to focus on to hold up and sustain my keystone, eating plant strong.

As I continued to pray to identify resources to fortify my effort and strengthen my arch to support this keystone habit, the items began to fill themselves in. Specifically, the base stones were to use the LDS 12 Step Addiction Recovery Manual along with reinstating my monthly support group for plant strong eating, and enrolling in the Cornell University Plant-based nutrition certification program. I had been given the tools to succeed, and I felt confident that May 25, 2014 would be the day that I looked back upon for years to come as the day I overcame food addiction.

If I wanted to receive the greater portion of light, I would need to obey more exactly and not rely so heavily on the atonement to just keep repenting each time I wanted to eat whatever I wanted. I had been asked to sacrifice something that I loved and right before leaving the celestial room, the Lord questioned my devotion by asking me and causing me to reflect upon the question:

“Lovest thou food more than God?”

I returned to my locker to record my experience and noted in ink, “May 25, 2014… the day I overcame food addiction. 4 years and 1 month after receiving the revelation from God to eat a whole foods plant based diet as an assignment on the path to receive pure revelation like unto Daniel.” God had raised the bar, dangled a carrot, and shown me how. I committed to complete obedience with a devotion like I had never before had. Obedience to God’s will for me, to prove my willingness to sacrifice when asked, was no longer an irritant, rather my quest. Thus, I was ready to be endowed with power.

I immediately felt daily increases in heightened spiritual connectivity and awareness of opportunities, warnings, insights, and understanding. My mind was lit up like a flaming torch. The heavens rained down upon me a shower of revelations with another command to record them. This assignment led me to compile them into a 200+ page memoir of my sacred experiences to share my spiritual journey of divine mentoring with my children and posterity.

As I have been more faithful to God’s requirements of me, I have enjoyed a fire hose of revelation like unto Daniel. In fact, the Lord has shown me that I set my sights too low in seeking “revelation like unto Daniel” and that the greater seeking is to be taught directly by the Lord himself.

As taught by Joseph Smith:

After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses….

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; …when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 150-51, emphasis added).

I testify of this beautiful promise that can be obtained by ALL who “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” I am grateful that the Lord led me to a whole foods plant based diet when I sought after “revelation like unto Daniel” and that he has since shown me even more glorious truths, as promised by the Word of Wisdom, “And [you] shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19).

I know a real connection exists between our body, mind, and spirit, and I have been blessed not only physically and mentally by converting to plant strong eating, but even more so by the spiritual rewards, which have proven to be an exciting journey and great reward.

Karmel Larson, 38, lives in Orem, Utah. She is the mother of seven children and has homeschooled for eight years. She partners with her husband, Brigham, in running their family business, Brigham Larson Pianos, in Orem, Utah. She is also the Director of Utah Piano Conservatory and a licensed Kindermusik educator. With a degree in Social Work from BYU, Karmel advocates for strengthening families through her leadership positions. These have included serving as Utah Valley Young Mother of the Year (2007); Mrs. Utah (2009); President of American Mothers, Inc. of Utah Valley; President of Utah County Chapter of Women for Decency; President of Parents’ Television Council of Utah County; and Founder and President of Family Leadership Academy, a Commonwealth School for homeschooling families. Karmel loves reading, writing, and education. She is now pursuing an MBA. Karmel hosts a monthly potluck group to share ideas (and recipes) on converting families to plant strong eating, as well as a Facebook group to continue sharing ideas and support: Utah Valley Whole Foods Plant Based Meet Up Potlucks.

Comments

  1. I appreciate Karmel for sharing her powerful story with me about a year ago and grateful she found the time to put it into writing. I think we all have much we can learn from her experience. I believe the Lord is willing to give all of us “revelation like unto Daniel.” Thank you, Karmel!

    • Thank you Jane for sharing my story. Thank you for your book and your great website. I have found them to be a great resource for myself and for directing others to great information.

  2. Thank you Karmel! I loved reading your journey!

    I can relate so well with the following words (they are my own words), “I had been patting myself on the back for making “progress”…. I would repent, indulge, repent, etc. all the while congratulating myself for “making progress” and “being so quick to repent”

    Thanks for opening my eyes to a better way!

    Tammy

    • Repentance is good. Not needing to repent is better. 🙂 A complete lack of desire for sin is best. I’m still working on that! Thanks for your nice comment.

  3. I loved your honesty as you identified your weakness along the path to enlightenment and inspiration. I felt as though I could identify with your cycles of desire, acting for awhile, falling, and trying again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your life experience with is, it is encouraging and shows connections, as you mentioned, between minds, bodies, spirits, and revelation and inspiration from God, and how we can find lasting peace. 🙂 Thank you!

    • Thank you Melinda for your feedback. I’m glad you appreciated the honesty. Most of the content is excerpts from my journals, pieced together, so they were never intended for an audience. Had I sat down to record my experience all at once, this past month, I think the record would have been much different, more summarized, sterile and conservative. Alas, it is how it happened. I hope it was helpful to you.

  4. Just like Daniel received personal revelation; including certain gifts (so in order to receive them), certain adaptations from our bodies had to be performed.
    These adaptations included overcoming the flesh and physical self, eating foods fill with light, just like the foods that Daniel and his companions ate, when decided not to participate of king’s table.
    There is a special connection with the spirit when our bodies have abstained from such undesired foods that caused darkness.
    Bruce R. McConkie expressed that the formula to obtain personal revelation is: search the scriptures, pray with fervor, and keep the commandments. One of the key commandments is the word of wisdom. It is a command that reminds us to abstain from such foods that give darkness, and are in the way of receiving that connection with the spirit.
    President Boyd K. Packer, who I always admired since he was the youngest of his quorum, taught: “Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication.
    Such impurities are of course the addictive substances that are inflicting our society; including these foods that take the light from our bodies impeding the flow of personal revelation. Such impurities which dull even destroy those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communications are the blocks to obtain these precious gifts which are the gems and tools to receive personal revelation.
    If our bodies are the temple of god, we should treat them like a temple; with lightness, cleanness, and being worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost
    The Lord promises us that we “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures if we treat our bodies like temples.
    As Ammon and his brothers prepared for the preaching of a fallen people, they had to prepare very well in order to receive personal revelation, reading others minds, even having the gift of prophesy. They did pray much and fast much or too much. What does this mean, fasting much? Of course it does not mean to do it every month. What about every week or twice per week? What does it mean to pray much or with fervor? Does it mean to pray like Enos, even until the morning? What about praying aloud so the prayer would go higher that the ceiling?
    These gifts are there if only we reach out, become worthy by staying away from the king’s food, overcoming the flesh, and seeking the best gifts.

    • Thank you Martin! I agree that our bodies are the temple of God and there is a real connection between how we treat them and how we receive from the Holy Spirit! Thanks for your feedback.

  5. Karmel, I enjoyed reading all that you wrote above. You appear to have very clearly and effectively described the challenging process you went through that brought you to an effective and satisfying conclusion in your quest to learn from Heavenly Father just what you needed to do regarding how you should eat.

    In that which you shared with us, I think you very succinctly and effectively have provided each of us who have or will later on read that which you submitted to my daughter, Jane, some very clear directions you struggled long and very hard to obtain in order that you could come to the conclusions you have come to, thus thereby assisting all the rest of us who will have the privilege of reading that which you wrote, to be guided by your example in seeking to resolve the tough challenges we each are facing, by our following the very special example you have set for us, especially in regard to how we should eat.

    I particularly appreciate the following succinct guidance you so wisely provide the rest of us:

    “I have discovered a powerful pattern in my life. I ask God questions, and he gives me answers. If I obey those answers, he gives me more. Line upon line, precept upon precept, he has led me down an exciting path of self discovery, self improvement and understanding. I find that the more quickly I obey and comply, the more abundantly the flow of knowledge and revelation comes to me.”

    Thank you for that very special guidance you provided me and the rest of us who will be reading that which you submitted! May the Lord continue to bless you and your dear husband and children as you move forward as healthy and very happy Latter-day Saints!

    Neil Birch

  6. Karmel, I really have no words to thank you with… I am speechless and you have given me renewed commitment to the WFPB life. I loved the fact that you keep a journal of your experiences at the temple. I kept a journal in the past, but only of the ordinances I completed. You have shown me how valuable keeping a journal of the experiences can be, too. I think I was always afraid to write them down. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Karmel, for sharing your powerful story of the Lord in your life. I am going to share this story with a friend who is also a very spiritual woman and seeks after the same blessings you seek.

    • Thank you Phyllis! I have learned that if I don’t write down my sacred experiences… I forget them. Or at least I forget the details. I treasure divine communication and recording the events has been a key tool for helping me to learn how to obtain more of them more often. I hope keeping a record helps you on your spiritual journey. 🙂

  7. Thanks you so very much! Please, forgive any errors. I broke my glasses yesterday and am having a very difficult time seeing the words I type.

    Powerfully and persuasively written, your testimony/essay gives me hope. Just the other day, my husband said he wants us to go back to the way we started eating at the beginning of our plant-based journey. When we started, we both felt light and powerful. God blessed us with healing. Lately, we’ve put on a few pounds and have begun experiencing old problems. After I prayed in the temple, the Spirit reminded me that the secret is in the greens. Greens and beans make me feel vibrantly healthy, fit and trim, and light in body and spirit. Thanks for so eloquently reminding me of this personal revelation. Oil drenched potatoes, sugary bbq sauce, and spicy vegan snickerdoodles don’t fill me with light, joy, or power even though they are plant-based; they fuel my addictions and expand my waist. From now on, I will not hide behind my convenient truth that animal products are allergens to me. Even though they are, I won’t eat them. Obedience to God’s will for me is my quest, my joy, and my song.

    I used to teach TJYC and composition at a commonwealth school and other subjects at my own small private school, which was both rewarding and frustrating. I’m sure you know what I mean. Homeschooling will remain one of the most treasured, rewarding, and building times of my life. Now I volunteer at a Montessori school to give me my kiddy fix (this is one addiction I refuse to overcome). It is so exciting to watch little children become competent, confident, compassionate little people. I wish you joy and success in both these worthwhile endeavors.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback! Sounds like we have much in common. I am glad you are keeping your kiddy addiction! 🙂

    • ‘The secret is in the greens. Greens and beans make me feel vibrantly healthy, fit and trim, and light in body and spirit. Thanks for so eloquently reminding me of this personal revelation. Oil drenched potatoes, sugary bbq sauce, and spicy vegan snickerdoodles don’t fill me with light, joy, or power even though they are plant-based; they fuel my addictions and expand my waist. From now on, I will not hide behind my convenient truth that animal products are allergens to me. Even though they are, I won’t eat them. Obedience to God’s will for me is my quest, my joy, and my song.”
      I love you comment, this part especially. thanks so much. I needed that. The real and first reason for the way I eat is the Lord showed me and I definitrly have been eating some foods with oils and sugar justifying myself because they are vegan…I am excited to truly try and be 100 % whole plants. Wholesome herbs. Love it!

  8. As I read your article, tears streamed down my cheeks. You have put into words my story, my testimony and my commitment regarding the WFPB path I find myself on (after also receiving strong revelation for myself). I have not missed the fact that Satan used food to tempt Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. And again to tempt the Savior at the end of his fast. I have a strong testimony that Satan is responsible for the Standard American Diet. We underestimate his cunning. I don’t want him to have that victory with me.

    Your article will be one I take (in my heart) to my next temple session. I will read it many times! Thank you so much for helping me to renew my focus and stay on the path. Just this morning I prayed that the Lord would help me see where I had my weaknesses and where I needed strength. Your article was an answer to that prayer.

    • Wow Sheri! That is very meaningful to me that my writing was received by you as an answer to prayer. I hope it was helpful in some specific way for you. I am intrigued by your scriptural examples of food being used to tempt. I am going to study that. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for your clear and frank account of your journey. I have only recently found the WFPB way of eating and started my journey into a new world late March this year. Benefits abound with the wonderful physical feeling losing 20lbs and having more energy but I appreciate the need to regroup often and stop patting myself on the back when I need to be returning to the right path. Recent health concerns have made me get back on track with the help of the guidance of the Lord spending time in the temple celestial room for soul searching. Relearning the need to listen and obey with greater faith and a desire to please Him to whom we owe all things. A few months ago I probably thought of vegetarians as a bit odd and vegans as decidedly weird. What a change in perspective Jane has given me of section 89 along with The China Study and The Starch Solution as positive guides. The Lord loves us and gives us guidelines if we will but listen and obey

  10. I appreciate the insights many have shared and the connections with what we learn in the temple, however, I’m a little uncomfortable with the details of temple related doctrine and presentations. When the new films came out, we were cautioned by our Provo temple presidency to avoid discussing the details of the films with each other as ordinance workers and sealers, even while in the temple. The insights and revelation we might receive as we worship in the temple are for our edification and growth and should be kept personal and sacred. Though most of Jane’s readers are certainly LDS, perhaps not all are, and perhaps not all are endowed. I don’t desire to give offense by these remarks, but I invite you to consider the instructions we have been given, both in the temple and by our leaders, about talking too openly about the sacred ordinances we are privileged to participate in.

    • Thank you Stephen for taking time to read and offer your feedback. I have tried to edit my story to use references easily found in scripture and words of the prophets publicly available. I hope none were offended by my experience or writing. Please let me know if you feel there is specific content that I should re-consider. Jane can provide my private e-mail if you’d like to connect. Again, thanks so much for your feedback!

  11. Hi Karmel, I loved reading your story. It is so inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to so eloquently put into words your journey. Personally, I loved reading your revelations in the temple! The Prophet Joseph Smith said that opening the pathway of communication between us and God is our first duty. Thank you again for being so honest and open. Your article really helped me stay motivated to follow what I know to be true in D&C 89.

    • We can help each other to stay motivated! I am happy to hear that my article was helpful to you! Thanks so much! 🙂

  12. Like almost every comment in reply to Karkel Larson’s story I too confess my weakness and my struggle. At this point I am only 3 days back into the WoW way. We are empty nesters and my husband is not committed to this way of eating. He shares my plant based foods, but can’t go without meat. So I cook it, smell it, but have to use all my willpower to abstain. It is hard, but I am determined. The struggle with chocolates, ice cream etc is my own.
    I have a hard road ahead of me, much to learn, much to change within myself, but with the Lord beside me, I will succeed.

    • Hang in there Hildegard! You can do it! I am also often surrounded by foods I wish I could toss out the window and temptation is real. You can do it though! Keep at it and the rewards will help you to stay strong and keep getting stronger.

  13. Adam-I’d be interested in that quote by Joseph Smith if you have the reference. I’m familiar with a recent statement by Julie Beck, though not a specific one by Joseph Smith. Thank you everyone for the advice, feedback and supportive comments.

  14. I posted “Daniel’s Eating Guide” today at the following address:

    http://originalfastfoods.com/forum/topics/daniel-s-challenge-part-6

    Colleen and I have invented hundreds of recipes over the years, some weird, and some just plain fun and EZPZ. It is not easy to be a pioneer and to learn to do something that no one else is doing. When I began, and to this day, many saints have the mistaken notion that eating as described in the Word of Wisdom, runs counter to the doctrines of Christ. Go Figure! It is joyful to see so many more embracing the Lord’s doctrines and promises regarding his law of health.

    President Benson once taught that just as it took many years for the saints to understand, and to then properly apply the don’ts of the Word of Wisdom, it will similarly take many years for the saints to first understand the “Do’s” and to then learn how to apply them simply, enjoyably, and in a prudent manner that best serves the mortal tabernacle of God’s spirit. These few recipes contained in the above link are the least “wierd,” simplest or EZPA, children friendly, and Daniel’s-Approved meals that we have enjoyed as a family since our journey began in 1979 to learn how to eat like Daniel.

    I appreciate your testimony. The greatest blessing I have enjoyed are, in fact, revelation like unto Daniel. If you will keep and do the saying found in the Word of Wisdom, while also walking in obedience to every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God, then your calling and election will indeed be made sure. Live his laws with exactness and this journey will be swifter, rather than slower.

    Take Care!

    • Thanks for the link. I checked it out and found some useful new information. I love your quote from President Benson and agree about discovering the “Do’s” of the Word of Wisdom. I think it is with the “do’s” that I really began to receive the “treasures of knowledge” promised in the Word of Wisdom. 🙂

  15. Having suffered from some uncommon health problems since age 12, I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at age 28. I was given medications to help with the symptoms as there is no cure. Those meds lessened my symptoms but brought on new troubles with the side effects. I prayed consistently for help and one day my husband read about an extreme athlete runner he admires that eats a vegan diet. About the same time my mother-in-law told me about a lady she knows who says she thrives on a vegan diet. I looked into it and decided to give it a go. I grew up in a large family of nine kids and since meat was pricy I really hadn’t eaten tons of it growing up so it wasn’t a huge change to stop eating meat. My mom fed us lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy as kids. On a vegan diet I felt good for a few months but then it was as if my body hit a wall. I had brain fog and mood issues and arthritis symptoms. I kept going with my vegan diet believing in the power of food but nothing changed. Thankfully, a loving friend told me how a change to a paleo diet ended years of mood issues, mostly depression. I read all I could about this diet. Personal research plus prayer led me to feel it was right for me. First, I went gluten free. Within days, arthritis, skin issues and acid reflux that I’d had for years was gone. From there I went to a full paleo diet which restricts grains, dairy, legumes, and processed sugars and foods. My diet involved vegetables, fermented veg, meat, seafood, eggs, fruit, nuts/seeds, bone broth/gelatin and healthy fats, like avocado, olive oil, grass fed butter, lard, tallow. To say this diet transformed me is an understatement. It has been a god-send!!!! Many other former vegans like Mickey Trescott of Autoimmune Paleo blog and Dr. Terry Wahls, who has reversed her MS, have experienced the same thing. One book I would urge people to read is DEATH BY FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID by Denise Minger, another former vegan who had health problems but then resolved them by eating ethically raised animal products.
    I have to say that when I began adding in animal products again, I was worried that I wasn’t obeying the Word of Wisdom fully but the Holy Ghost has comforted me and I know it’s right to rebuild my damaged body. Proteins from plants are more difficult to digest and since my gut was already in bad shape, I needed easy to assimilate proteins, like meat, fish, eggs. About this time, I attended a nutrition class at Real Foods in Orem about the GAPS diet which is a therapeutic diet for people with autism, autoimmune disease, mental health, etc. Vegetables and fermented foods are a huge part of it and so are fats, broth, and meat. It helps to heal a damaged, “leaky gut”. It was taught by an LDS lady. She shared an insight with me that she believes “sparingly” requires us to respect and use the whole animal, meaning organs, bones, fat and muscle meat. Another LDS resource I found was the writings of Elder John Widstoe and his wife, Leah. They knew the power of plants but also the importance of some meat. When it came to meat they wrote, “Health is possible on a vegetarian diet, if one understands the facts of complete nutrition, but it is unwise for growing children and adults too…proteins are needed daily for growth and repair of tissues.” Their writings are needed so badly by our generation. I wish they’d reprint their books. If anyone out there is looking for answers like I was please look into the paleo diet, the autoimmune paleo diet (AIP), Dr.Terry Wahls Protocol, and GAPS Diet. Best of luck to all! I testify that food is powerful! It is the best medicine we have! And I thank my Father in Heaven for this knowledge everyday!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Lori. I am happy you have found success with the diet you are on! No doubt the Lord has blessed you and will continue to bless you. You seem to be on a good path for you, and I hope you’ll continue to consider your path in light of further study and prayer about the Word of Wisdom.

      For the sake of others reading these comments and because this is a site dedicated to the Word of Wisdom, I’ll make the following comments:

      1. A “vegan diet,” is not a label that tell us how healthy a diet is, and vegan diet is not necessarily a Word of Wisdom diet. Some vegan diets are healthy; some are not healthy at all. A healthy vegan diet does not cause brain fog, mood issues, or arthritis symptoms. These are signs of an unhealthy diet. This is not a Word of Wisdom diet.

      2. There are many diets better than the Standard American Diet (SAD), and the Paleo diet can definitely be better than SAD. However, I believe the Word of Wisdom diet created by God is even better.

      3. Like the Word of Wisdom, a Paleo diet recommends whole, relative unprocessed, plant foods. But in contrast to the Word of Wisdom, a Paleo diet relies heavily on animal foods and discourages the use of grains. God asks us to use meat sparingly and preferably only in times of need and to make grains the staff of life. LDS members are often confused about what this means. This is where the literature by whole food, plant-based experts can be very illuminating.

      4. Plant proteins are in no way inferior to animal proteins, but old ideas based on outdated science persist for years, and continue to confuse people. Using science that was popular when the Widtsoes wrote their otherwise excellent book is problematic, given how much more we know today.

      Let’s rely on the Lord and His counsel in D&C 89 rather than popular books, advice from friends and family, and anecdotal stories we read on the Internet!

  16. Hi Karmel, I could not find the quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith, but I did find the same quote by President Brigham Young. Here it is……I am looking forward to the next potluck……I will try to go…….take care……Adam

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 41–47
    President Brigham Young taught that our “first and foremost duty [is] to seek the Lord until we open the path of communication from God to our own soul.” Shortly after the Prophet Joseph Smith’s death, Brigham Young told of a dream in which Joseph visited and instructed him: “Joseph stepped toward us, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly, said: ‘Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the Kingdom. … Tell the brethren that if they will follow the spirit of the Lord, they will go right’” (JH). All God’s children have the privilege of being enlightened by the Spirit of Christ and receiving personal revelation through the Holy Ghost as they earnestly seek the Lord.

  17. Karmel, there are no words to convey how grateful I am that you shared your story. It is so much my story, of indulging and repenting. I have received some of the same messages from Heavenly Father, even in the temple, like desires and appetites and an undeviating path. I have followed His counsel for days, weeks, and months, but always slip back to my excuses to go off this way of eating. I love your words that the boundaries are like our garments, looking for opportunities to wear them, not excuses to remove them. Heavenly Father has told me too, that “where much is given, much is required,” but I haven’t listened to Him enough. May Heavenly Father continue to bless you and guide you. Today is a new day for me. Thank you, Karmel.

    • I think you and I are not alone in sharing this story, Susan. I think God is sending a similar message to many and it is a struggle to obey. Thank so much for your feedback. It helps me to know I’m normal in my slow striving. 🙂

  18. I was reading your post to my husband and kept bursting into tears. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am strengthened by your testimony.

    • You and my mother, Jocelyn…. she is always telling me that my writing makes her weep. I just thought she was being “mom”. 🙂 Well now she has company. I’m so glad that it was meaningful to you. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback.

  19. Karmel, Thank you so much for writing this! I have only recently heard of the whole food, plant based diet but have been inspired to make huge dietary changes in that direction the last few years. I needed this article to give me hope and courage to quickly change what else is needful to live this way. I also have small children and would love to learn some of the recipes you have found that your children love. Can anyone come to the potlucks that you have? I would be interested in coming!

  20. I loved your story. I, too have struggled with food addictions, particularly sugar. I have eaten vegetarian primarily since I had a boil up my nose about 5 years ago. I was unrecognizable. I have recently been doing a ketogenic diet to try and help one of my kids who had fungal infections and put a lot of weight. It has helped me to get off sugar. This is a good thing. I understood that legumes have a starch content that can still promote fungal infections. So reading your story has made me wonder what is best for us to do. I, too, have 7 children. They all went through a Montessori primary school. When there were problems at the school I really struggled with what to do. I ended up with a huge boil on my neck. After waking at 3 am for a few nights, praying one of my children woke the next morning and said they were willing to try the local high school. At that time there was a huge relief. Now I am being begged to homeschool. I don’t know if I can manage that. I teach Energy Workz and use essential oils and Chiropractic to aid people’s journey of healing. I can see that some more prayer and fasting is needed here. Thank you for being so frank and honest. It is breathtakingly refreshing.

    • I think sugar is the struggle of many. I’m grateful you found my frankness to be refreshing. It took some courage to share what was written originally as journal entries for posterity. I hope it is helpful to you on your journey. 🙂

  21. So it is really interesting that you posted this. I have had a similar experience to you. I was wanting to lose weight after I had my twins. My cross fit friends were recommending the paleo diet. I did more research, and I didn’t like that restricted legumes, grains, and other things God put on this earth. I decided to study the word of wisdom and see what the Lord said we should eat. As I prayed about the Word of Wisdom and was led to the green smoothie girl who advocates a plant based whole foods diet. She let me to info about the China study and a lot of other whole foods info, and the more I learned about it the more I felt it was right. When I did the green smoothie girl cleanse (3 week whole foods cleanse), I felt the best I have ever felt in my life, and my mind was clearer than it had ever been, I was flooded with the spirit, and I lost a lot of body fat and weight. It helped me transition to a whole foods diet. I studied more and the spirit bore witness to me that a whole foods diet was what he meant for us. The more I study about how our gut is designed, it wasn’t designed to digest meat. We have a long digestive tract meant for digesting foods. Meat tends to purify in our gut which is why you don’t want a bunch of it sitting there. It leads to cancer, autoimmune and other disease. Which is why I think the Lord told us to eat it only during winter and times of famine. He gave us the word of wisdom to help us to be healthy and happy. God knew the standard american diet would result from the evil designs of men, and he wanted to help us avoid all it’s problems so the destroying angel would pass over us. I work in a rehab facility as an occupational therapist and most of the people I see are in there for diagnosis/conditions related to the standard american diet. I see the consequences daily of not following the word of wisdom. I know that if we truly follow the word of wisdom we will avoid all the heart ache of disease and illness and live a longer happier life. I have more work to do to perfectly obey it and am glad I read your blog. It has inspired me to be diligent in this endeavor again as I have fallen off the wagon a bit and let a few things creep back in. I want to feel as good as I did when I was perfectly following a whole foods diet. It was the one time in my life where I felt a huge conduit of spiritual light just constantly being pored down on me. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is nice to know that there are others out there that have received the same spiritual promptings and insights.

  22. Karmel,
    Thank you for sharing your personal struggle with food addiction. About 5 years ago, I completely gave up sugar and I felt wonderful!! Then stress and emotional distress happened, and back to the sugar I went! I too have been on a roller coaster much like you described ever since then. I want to know more about the China Study (I will look that one up). I have also felt prompted to eat a whole food plant-based diet, in order to increase in spirituality and personal revelation. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is motivating to me, and I am inspired to keep trying. P.S. I miss seeing you!
    Kerynne

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