A Few Thoughts on the Word of Wisdom
In no particular order:
- On no evidence but my own experiences, this may the commandment that more people think they obey and really don't than any other.
- The warnings about "harmful" substances in the Word of Wisdom aren't given because the substances are harmful. The true purpose of most of these substances is hinted at or spelled out in the revelation. It's not that the stuff itself is evil, it's that people use it for evil purposes. The stated reason for the revelation is, "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you..." It's a prophetic warning to protect us from specific wicked plans people will have, not from stuff that's naturally bad for you. If it were, we'd probably have things like too much sugar on the list as well. This also means we don't have to get all up in arms when people claim there are health benefits to the moderate use of certain types of alcohol. There may be. That can be true without threatening the truth of this doctrine. But those benefits don't outweigh the other factors the Lord is warning us about. This is a test of our belief in prophecy, not our understanding of health science.
- These warnings about conspiracies don't just apply to the "don'ts" on the list, but also to the "dos."
- This revelation is about "temporal salvation," which means more than just health.
- The scripture is explicit in saying that meat is to be eaten sparingly, and that God would prefer it if we didn't eat it at all except in times of hunger, winter, or famine. He says meat is ordained for our use "only" in such times, yet we have ward barbecues full of massive racks of ribs in the middle of the summer then go off happily to our temple recommend interviews claiming thoughtlessly that we live this law.
- In the age of genetically manipulated food, "wholesome herbs" might not mean what we think it does. This also makes it easy to see one reason the scripture is so complex in its treatment of meat eating.
- The transformation of this law from a "principle with promise" to a commandment is telling, and may bring us under more condemnation than we realize.
- Truly living this law in all its particulars might do more to make us a "peculiar people" than most other things I can think of.
- It's stinking hard to give up eating meat regularly.
- The idea that we should eat "with thanksgiving" is repeated twice in two verses. This seems vastly more important than praying for the food to do us good. Are we honestly going to ask God to make Oreos and banana creme pie healthy for us? Our prayers over food should be more about gratitude.
|Notice none of it's meat.|