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swampgeek

Word of Wisdom of Sorts...

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I have been a member of the Church for about 15 years and have often pondered this about the WOW...

Ok, I know the basics and I have seen\had many discussions about the nuances of the letter of the law, the spirit of the law, and so on. My quandary is, have any of you had a similar thought about this particular scenario or is it just me? You are sitting at a temple recommend interview or in a PEC meeting and worthiness issues come up pertaining to WOW observance and the person sitting across from you is obese? If someone is having the occasional glass of wine, or the celebratory cigar, etc. is this any more of an issue than someone who is not eating "sparingly"?

I am not condoning any of the aforementioned variances, just submitting them as examples, there are many more possibilities. I have just chewed on this mentally on different occasions and thought it would be a thought provoking exercise. Thoughts?

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I have been a member of the Church for about 15 years and have often pondered this about the WOW...

Ok, I know the basics and I have seen\had many discussions about the nuances of the letter of the law, the spirit of the law, and so on. My quandary is, have any of you had a similar thought about this particular scenario or is it just me? You are sitting at a temple recommend interview or in a PEC meeting and worthiness issues come up pertaining to WOW observance and the person sitting across from you is obese? If someone is having the occasional glass of wine, or the celebratory cigar, etc. is this any more of an issue than someone who is not eating "sparingly"?

I am not condoning any of the aforementioned variances, just submitting them as examples, there are many more possibilities. I have just chewed on this mentally on different occasions and thought it would be a thought provoking exercise. Thoughts?

WOW is between you and the Lord. Not between your bishop/stake leader and the Lord. So, if YOU are obese and believe you are breaking the WOW because you did not eat sparingly, when you are asked the question in your temple interview, then answer honestly... regardless of whether the guy giving you the interview is a tattoo-sporting, caffeine-jacking, donut-eating fat blob.

And when it comes to the WOW - there is no such thing as "more of an issue". It's either you broke your covenant or you didn't... breaking the covenant a little bit is breaking the covenant... same as breaking it "a lot bit". So yea, eating 100 slices of pizza in one sitting is as much against the WOW as sipping 1 teaspon of coffee.

But just because somebody is fat doesn't mean he is breaking the WOW. Just like if somebody is thin doesn't mean he is following the WOW. So, how do you know if a fat person is breaking the WOW? You don't. The Lord does.

Remember, Jesus didn't tell the people to stone the adulteress...

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If someone is having the occasional glass of wine, or the celebratory cigar, etc. is this any more of an issue than someone who is not eating "sparingly"?

I'd say yes, because there's nothing in the WoW about "eating sparingly".

"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;"

See, it's just talking about meat. Not partially hydrolized soybean oil, or ice cream, or any of the other nonmeat things we eat that make us fat.

If you want to think about the WoW as a diet plan, you need to go up one verse:

"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving."

I suppose one could make the argument that intentional overeating is not using food with "prudence". But again, intentional overeating isn't the only thing that makes us fat either.

LM

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It's a start, but these are the comments that go round and around. I understand the arguments on both sides. I'm not looking at the WOW as a diet plan per se, but you can say "This is the intent", or "That is the intent.", but the fact about how we look at certain things doesn't change. The stigma particularly attached to some aspects of our lives bear out the way things are placed higher in our list of importance.

Dietary issues with being overweight, exercise vs. the inability to exercise, health issues, etc. are used way more often than the actual instances of over weight percentages of the general population, LDS or not. It's a cop out in many cases. So let's see, I'll just smoke herbal cigarettes instead or fermented honey drinks, or herbal teas for that matter.

Like I stated in the OP, I do not have a problem with the WOW, I am simply referring to the issues that seem to be "uncomfortable" to talk about as eluded to by Changed. I'm not looking for a way "around" the WOW, I am just discussing the appearance of hypocrisy in the way we as an LDS society approach the issues at hand. ;)

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It's a start, but these are the comments that go round and around.

And by and large they are the same comments that go round and around every time someone brings up this particular issue.

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So, if YOU are obese and believe you are breaking the WOW because you did not eat sparingly, when you are asked the question in your temple interview, then answer honestly...

But that's just it, there is no such a question as "are you eating sparingly?" :confused:

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WOW is between you and the Lord. Not between your bishop/stake leader and the Lord.

Just a correction on this. Wow is between you and your bishop or stake leader if you are attempting to get a temple recommend. One of the questions is "Do you keep the Word of Wisdom."

Edited by pam

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If a person has an addiction to alcohol, tobacco or drugs, it becomes self evident that it is something they chose to use. However, if a person is overweight, we do not know if it is because they eat a lot or has to do with genetics or not.

Yes, obese people should seek to lose weight, especially if it has to do with food addictions. Any addiction is harmful to the spirit. However, for membership and temple attendance, we require a minimal obedience to the WoW. We can easily say: a person is drinking alcohol and so shouldn't go to the temple. However, how does a bishop determine when someone is too fat to attend the temple?

Such issues end up being between man and God.

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But that's just it, there is no such a question as "are you eating sparingly?" :confused:

Yes there is... but it's not worded like that. It's worded as "Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?".

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Yes there is... but it's not worded like that. It's worded as "Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?".

Again, where in the Word of Wisdom does it say that we should eat sparingly?

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Just a correction on this. Wow is between you and your bishop or stake leader if you are attempting to get a temple recommend. One of the questions is "Do you keep the Word of Wisdom."

I respectfully disagree - in context.

Because, a bishop asking you about the WOW is just like him asking you about tithing - he is not going to get a 30-day drug test or sobriety test or ask you for your W2's. He is only there to ask you the question as an "agent" of the Lord. How you answer the question is between you and God... with the power of discernment given to the bishop by God.

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But he also has the gift of discernment to use as well. This could determine whether you get a recommend or not. I guess it's just a matter of how we look at things. I see your point as well. But I still somewhat disagree as to whether it's between your Bishop and you as well.

Edited by pam

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"Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?"

I don't recall it going issue by issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that is pretty much it for the question. Which means... there really is a lot of personal feeling and interpretation at stake.

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Yes there is... but it's not worded like that. It's worded as "Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?".

Then in order to answer that question you have to go back to what the word of wisdom entitles (no tea, no coffee, no tobacco, no alcohol, etc) and "eating sparingly" isn't one of them.

The "sparingly" counsel is about meat and heck a lot of people eat meat every single day, in every meal and they still get a temple recommend because that particular question isn't in the list for a temple recommend interview.

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Again, where in the Word of Wisdom does it say that we should eat sparingly?

Are we really gonna do this??? Did you read my original post? Did it mention anywhere in there that "you should eat sparingly"?

Yes, the word of wisdom specifies meat to be eaten sparingly - which is kinda not a surprise if you are a scout because you must have studied the food pyramid. The rest is in the season thereof - which, of course, in this day and age of processed food is not followed anymore...

But, when I am eating 100 slices of pizza in one sitting, I don't care how YOU interpret the Word of Wisdom - if the bishop asks me if I have obeyed the Word of Wisdom I will have to say NO - because, MY "law of health" that I covenanted with God on my baptism tells me that I must stay healthy to the best of my ability and lining up my arteries with globs of fat is contrary to that law.

Therefore, like I said - it is between me and God. If you want to eat 100 slices of pizza in one sitting and avoid 1 teaspoon of coffee and call it following the "law of health", that's not my concern.

Edited by anatess

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I respectfully disagree - in context.

Because, a bishop asking you about the WOW is just like him asking you about tithing - he is not going to get a 30-day drug test or sobriety test or ask you for your W2's. He is only there to ask you the question as an "agent" of the Lord. How you answer the question is between you and God... with the power of discernment given to the bishop by God.

My bishop makes it always very clear that it is between me and the Lord and he is just asking the questions.

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Then in order to answer that question you have to go back to what the word of wisdom entitles (no tea, no coffee, no tobacco, no alcohol, etc) and "eating sparingly" isn't one of them.

The "sparingly" counsel is about meat and heck a lot of people eat meat every single day, in every meal and they still get a temple recommend because that particular question isn't in the list for a temple recommend interview.

While I could not care less about how much/little meat any of you eat a day, this raises an interesting point. All sorts of people will defend a high meat intake by saying the "sparingly" council was based on that time period where it was hard to refrigerate and whatnot.

Again, personal interpretation.

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Then in order to answer that question you have to go back to what the word of wisdom entitles (no tea, no coffee, no tobacco, no alcohol, etc) and "eating sparingly" isn't one of them.

The "sparingly" counsel is about meat and heck a lot of people eat meat every single day, in every meal and they still get a temple recommend because that particular question isn't in the list for a temple recommend interview.

See my post above.

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"Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?"

I don't recall it going issue by issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that is pretty much it for the question. Which means... there really is a lot of personal feeling and interpretation at stake.

That is the official question yes... However if the person doing the interview is in tune with the spirit and the spirit prompts them to ask other questions they can. And if they get prompted that the question wasn't answered in a way that the Lord agrees with, they are fully empowered to say no..

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That is the official question yes... However if the person doing the interview is in tune with the spirit and the spirit prompts them to ask other questions they can. And if they get prompted that the question wasn't answered in a way that the Lord agrees with, they are fully empowered to say no..

Therefore the point of my comment. If the Bishop discerns that the answers are not in a way that the Lord agrees with he can say no. This can then become an issue between the Bishop and the person being interviewed. In that there may be things they need to work on first.

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Are we really gonna do this??? Did you read my original post? Did it mention anywhere in there that "you should eat sparingly"?

Well, you said:

So, if YOU are obese and believe you are breaking the WOW because you did not eat sparingly, when you are asked the question in your temple interview, then answer honestly...

I got the impression you meant the question of "Eating sparingly" (which doesn't exist) but now (after your posts) I am seeing you meant the question "Do you keep the word of wisdom?"

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That is the official question yes... However if the person doing the interview is in tune with the spirit and the spirit prompts them to ask other questions they can. And if they get prompted that the question wasn't answered in a way that the Lord agrees with, they are fully empowered to say no..

Not denying that at all. Just saying that it really is the individual who is living the word of wisdom for himself--not the bishop living it for them. I think that's why there are no detailed questions of specifics: It's no good for an individual to be living specific health codes just because he was "Told to" and always worrying if he's doing it to the bishop's satisfaction and never managing to live it for himself and God.

I think this may even allow for better prompting for a bishop. Take the meat issue, for instance. Maybe the bishop is a vegan and is very staunch about eating meat sparingly. If there were a specific question of do you eat meat "sparingly"? we have to decide what sparingly means. If bishop says no? Is it true inspiration or his own feelings about meat getting in the way?

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In my experience, the WoW - in terms of worthiness issues - is a code for the following:

1. Abstaining from certain hot drinks, ie. coffee, black/green tea

2. Abstaining from alcoholic drinks

3. Abstaining from tobacco products

4. Abstaining from controlled substances

When I'm asked if I follow the WoW, I go by those four items, as that is what's culturally practiced at this time, and what the person asking the question really wants to know. If I get all worked up because I had a steak dinner the night before, he'll smile and move on to the next question. We all know there are other things in the WoW that most ignore, yet they are hidden treasures for true seekers of righteousness to find and work on when they're ready.

For example, the scriptures do make a pointed effort to tell us to take it easy on animal flesh, yet how many church potlucks have we all attended that didn't offer lots of meat-based dishes? Yet what happens to people who follow these words of wisdom and cut down on meat consumption and eat more whole grains and produce?

Some years ago I found a website by a church member who did a big write-up on the WoW when he decided to take the whole thing serious and not simply what is commonly practiced. He found that many modern-day prophets were actually vegetarians (or very nearly so), and the profound changes he experienced when he decided to practice the WoW in its entirety. When the Lord promises hidden treasures of wisdom to those who follow it, He's not kidding. Sadly, the web site has gone the way of the earth, which is too bad because the guy who put it together really had some powerful things to say. We have to find out for ourselves what the Lord means by those other things if we're ready to try.

Edited by gruden

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In my experience, the WoW - in terms of worthiness issues - is a code for the following:

1. Abstaining from certain hot drinks, ie. coffee, black/green tea

2. Abstaining from alcoholic drinks

3. Abstaining from tobacco products

4. Abstaining from controlled substances

When I'm asked if I follow the WoW, I go by those four items, as that is what's culturally practiced at this time, and what the person asking the question really wants to know. If I get all worked up because I had a steak dinner the night before, he'll smile and move on to the next question. We all know there are other things in the WoW that most ignore, yet they are hidden treasures for true seekers of righteousness to find and work on when they're ready.

For example, the scriptures do make a pointed effort to tell us to take it easy on animal flesh, yet how many church potlucks have we all attended that didn't offer lots of meat-based dishes? Yet what happens to people who follow these words of wisdom and cut down on meat consumption and eat more whole grains and produce?

Some years ago I found a website by a church member who did a big write-up on the WoW when he decided to take the whole thing serious and not simply what is commonly practiced. He found that many modern-day prophets were actually vegetarians (or very nearly so), and the profound changes he experienced when he decided to practice the WoW in its entirety. When the Lord promises hidden treasures of wisdom to those who follow it, He's not kidding. Sadly, the web site has gone the way of the earth, which is too bad because the guy who put it together really had some powerful things to say. We have to find out for ourselves what the Lord means by those other things if we're ready to try.

I've heard that many GAs and prophets throughout the years were either vegetarians or pretty close to it. Never really confirmed it, but hearing more "rumors" makes it all the more believable. Fascianting and thanks!

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I've heard that many GAs and prophets throughout the years were either vegetarians or pretty close to it. Never really confirmed it, but hearing more "rumors" makes it all the more believable. Fascianting and thanks!

I really wish that website were still there because it was really good reading - the guy had done quite a bit of research. I wish I had saved more than just a bookmark.

One thing he found that stunned and saddened me was that the Church apparently operates certain properties where if individuals pay a hefty fee they're allowed to go and hunt big game for sport, even to the point where they're pretty much guaranteed to bag an animal (meaning the creature has no fair chance). I've found that people seem to have interesting ideas on what the term 'stewardship' means, which is usually whatever is convenient.

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