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Saturday, March 12, 2005 

“I Can’t I’m Mormon”

So with the exception of my intentional experiment with coffee (at the age of five, pre-baptismal…) I have never “experimented” with the big no-no’s of the Word of Wisdom. However, I have experimented with the sleeping longer than is needful and eating fruits and vegetables out of season.

Basically, I’ve had too many negative second-hand experiences with the forbidden substances of alcohol and tobacco to make me want to have first-hand experiences.

The thing I appreciate about the Gospel is that it is equal for everyone. Everyone has the same set of rules. For instance, take our ordinances, like baptism; everyone has to be baptized in the exact same way, with the exact same words, by someone who has the correct authority. Same for everyone; no exceptions. It’s the same with the sacrament or with the temple sealing. Same words, exactly.

The Word of Wisdom is another equalizer. Some people can hold their liquor and function and drink only in moderation and can behave like a human being. Some people turn into jerks or, worse, monsters that can wreak havoc upon anyone and anything in their path. Some people could handle a pleasant smoke for relaxation and others cannot, and become dependent and risk their own health and the health of others.

It has to be the same for everyone. By eliminating the things that could potentially divide us (the liquor holders from the non liquor holders) God creates a lowest common denominator that EVERYONE can safely abide by.

Did God give Joseph Smith the Word of Wisdom to punish the Saints? I don’t think so. Is it given to keep us from having fun? Not where I’m from. Is wine (and rum) sometimes tasty? Oh, I’m sure… Is it relaxing to have a few drinks or to have smoke? I’m positive it is…

But it has to be the same for everyone…and everyone is not able to comply with the “in moderation” part. And we haven’t even begun to TOUCH upon the problems of addiction. If my mission taught me ANYTHING, I made me grateful for a healthy body that wasn’t dependent upon “certain substances” both legal and otherwise.


There is a cleanliness factor to all of this as well. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” the old saying goes. If anyone of you have ever felt the difference between living in a filthy house (I’ve got that one down) and a clean house (I’m working on that one) it is not difficult to see how following the W o W can enhance and protect our bodies as well.

And, I have to add, that with all the fad diets that bombard us with unusual restrictions alternated with certain foods to horde and shun… I feel confident that through scripture, the Lord has told us how to take care of these magnificent bodily “temples” that he so graciously provided (thanks in partnership with our parents) for our living pleasure.

So how has the Word of Wisdom helped or affected me personally? I have certain addictive behaviors to pursue physical pleasure from partaking of fatty and salty substances. I have several other vices of a physical nature that indicate to me that I may not be one of those who could hold my liquor. The Word of Wisdom creates a boundary for me, a much needed boundary.

I am grateful to be my own boss; to be the boss of my body. I sometimes feel a weighty (pardon the pun) responsibility to my flesh. I get one shot at this body thing. While I am grateful and hopeful that the resurrection will make me perfect (and hopefully more proportional), I am determined to live a healthy life. And the Word of Wisdom sets me on a good path.

And for those of you who STILL love the coffe taste and want to hold on to that recommend...I recommend equal parts of Postum, cocoa, sugar (or Splenda), and coffee creamer in hot water with a spplash of milk......mmmmm Mockaccino......

One thing I find rather interesting is that the Word of Wisdom includes much more then just not drinking and smoking, like eating meat sparingly, but it seems that many individuals who “follow” the Word of Wisdom only really adhere to the drinking and smoking aspect of it. Why is the rest of the Word of Wisdom not equally important? For example Mormon’s are not anti Atkins, yet it seems by the standards of the Word of Wisdom they should be.

I think we this is a REALLY general guidline. Too much detail would take away our opportunity at agency and responsibility toward our own health. I really think we are meant to learn about our own bodies and then take the necessary steps to protect it. I really think I will be held accountable for my own health and unhealth. I have been given the basic "law" and I need to find out for myself how to apply it to me in a way that I feel serves the greater purpose, like most commandments.

And I've tried Sugar Busters and South Beach and stuff, and it was my dad (who lost 40lbs on Sugar Busters) who reminded me about the W o W eating guidelines, and I decided for myself that it is probably wise to not "shun" the very substances that God provided to be the "staff of life", so I have tried to be more wise AND moderate when choosing good food.

Interesting comment, Rebecca! It was "food for thought"...ha ha...haha

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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