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Emmanuel Goldstein

Word of Wisdom question

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33 minutes ago, raven2 said:

Not sure. I started this to see what other members have to say on this.
[...]
your thought?

Frankly, I do not pretend to understand all the reasons for the Lord's words, or even exactly what those words are teaching. It sure sounds to me like the Lord is saying that we should limit our consumption of animal flesh, preferably to (1) the wintertime and (2) times of famine. How strong is that teaching? The entire Word of Wisdom was explicitly not given as commandment, but as counsel. Although we have taken it upon ourselves as a commandment, that doesn't resolve the issue of how we treat meat.

My own tentative solution has been to try to treat all food, but especially animal flesh, as sacred. I have often said that I believe every meat-eater should be required to kill and dress at least one animal per year, to drive home the point that meat doesn't come from the store. There would be some unwilling to do this. Great. They don't get to eat meat. Eating meat is for those who openly acknowledge what it is they're doing and what the cost is to another formerly living being. It's not immoral to eat meat, but it should not be a light thing. The book of Genesis teaches:

Quote

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

A more modern translation would be something like, "Every living animal shall be food for you, just like fruits and vegetables are. But do not eat meat that still contains the lifeblood."

Interestingly, Joseph Smith rendered those verses as follows:

Quote

But, the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat. And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.

This seems to be saying, as you suggest, that eating meat should be an occasional thing. How do we interpret "And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives"? Does that mean we have to be starving to death before we should be killing and eating animals? I don't think so. Eating itself is required to sustain life, and I think this is what the Lord is saying above. Don't kill animals for the fun of watching them die (which, shocking though it may be to our modern sensibilities, has been a popular sport and pastime throughout human history). Slaughter animals for food, not for mere sport. At least that's my interpretation.

Edited by Vort

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Guest Scott
1 hour ago, raven2 said:

12 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;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

how would you interpret these two verses of the word of wisdom?

What does sparingly mean? Is the focus a season or temperature thing or neither.

As far as the early Church members go, they lived in places like Upstate New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska.  In those places and in those days, winter is definitely a time of hardship when it comes to things like non-meat foods (especially fresh vegetables, fruits, etc).

I think your getting to caught in the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.

I don't think it ever meant that church members were supposed to carry around a thermometer so they can decide whether or not it was cold enough to eat meat, but the spirit of the words were that you should not be wasteful or gluttonous with the consumption of meat.

What is sparingly?   Do we really need it to be defined with an exact amount?  You can find many health and doctor recommendations online.  A few years ago, I asked a doctor in our ward what he thought sparingly means.   His recommendation was that daily meat consumption should be about the same size as your hand minus the fingers.   I liked his recommendation because it's easy to picture and gauge.

The spirit of the law concerning the Word of Wisdom is simply that we are supposed to live a healthy lifestyle.    Eating ten hot dogs a day is not healthy, so I'd say that it isn't inline with the Word of Wisdom.   

You do make a good point though.   Other than tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, the other parts of Word of Wisdom are often ignored.   If you are doing a lot of unhealthy things on a regular basis, it doesn't seem like you are following the spirit of the law.  Of course that's up to the individual as well.  We shouldn't have to be commanded in every single thing.    I think it is obvious that eating a 2lb. hamburger for example, is not eating meat sparingly, even if sparingly wasn't specifically defined.   

As as see it, the Lord simply wants us to live a healthy life and wants us to have a healthy body, so he gave us some simple rules and guidelines to help us out.  I see no reason why we should have to be commanded with every single thing that we should or shouldn't do or consume and in exact amounts.     

 

 

Edited by Scott

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2 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

There is another scripture that says whosoever forbids others not to eat meat is not of God. (Paraphrased...someone will tell you the reference. It ALWAYS comes up in these discussions.) There is another scripture in Genesis that strongly forbids eating meat. 

So how do we reconcile these scriptures?  For myself, I have decided that I needed to make the decision for myself but that I should also not tell others what they should do. I have chosen not to eat meat, but to everyone else....I say "You do you."  I truly believe God knows our hearts and blesses us for our efforts to follow Him. 

I chose to follow a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle and it has been such a blessing to me health wise.  I lost a considerable amount of weight and have kept it for for over a year now, got off a blood pressure med, and both of my diabetes meds!  My kidney function was tanking and is now normal. My cholesterol is great.  My husband calls this the Word of Wisdom diet.  :)

But we have to let others make their own choices.  When I go to a Ward event, any time of the year, I eat before hand and go simply to socialize because its pretty much guaranteed that there will be nothing there that I feel is healthy...and I really love the greater health that the Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle provides.

nutritionfacts.org is a great place to get more information if anyone interested. 

To those who say they feel better eating meat, white flour, sugar etc....I say fine, you do you. 

And yes, I take a B12 supplement.  

Final thought...I like the idea of sparingly being meant like a spare tire. Only when needed and only for as long as needed, but you do you.

Thank you for sharing how you approach the word of wisdom. 

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2 hours ago, Vort said:

Frankly, I do not pretend to understand all the reasons for the Lord's words, or even exactly what those words are teaching. It sure sounds to me like the Lord is saying that we should limit our consumption of animal flesh, preferably to (1) the wintertime and (2) times of famine. How strong is that teaching? The entire Word of Wisdom was explicitly not given as commandment, but as counsel. Although we have taken it upon ourselves as a commandment, that doesn't resolve the issue of how we treat meat.

My own tentative solution has been to try to treat all food, but especially animal flesh, as sacred. I have often said that I believe every meat-eater should be required to kill and dress at least one animal per year, to drive home the point that meat doesn't come from the store. There would be some unwilling to do this. Great. They don't get to eat meat. Eating meat is for those who openly acknowledge what it is they're doing and what the cost is to another formerly living being. It's not immoral to eat meat, but it should not be a light thing. The book of Genesis teaches:

A more modern translation would be something like, "Every living animal shall be food for you, just like fruits and vegetables are. But do not eat meat that still contains the lifeblood."

Interestingly, Joseph Smith rendered those verses as follows:

This seems to be saying, as you suggest, that eating meat should be an occasional thing. How do we interpret "And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives"? Does that mean we have to be starving to death before we should be killing and eating animals? I don't think so. Eating itself is required to sustain life, and I think this is what the Lord is saying above. Don't kill animals for the fun of watching them die (which, shocking though it may be to our modern sensibilities, has been a popular sport and pastime throughout human history). Slaughter animals for food, not for mere sport. At least that's my interpretation.

Thank you for your comments.

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2 hours ago, raven2 said:

Not sure. I started this to see what other members have to say on this. 

We have winter season in Florida it just usually doesn’t snow. Is it about the season, cold weather, etc. I am not sure.

12 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;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

how would you interpret these two verses of the word of wisdom?

when I look at this I have asked myself:

What does sparingly mean? Is the focus a season or temperature thing or neither.

Like so many parts of the gospel it’s about balance, applying it appropriately to individual needs and direction of the spirit. 

I am also sure needs, not wasting and our stewardship of the earth also come into play.

your thought?

 

 

There’s no winter season in Florida.  Ok, maybe in North Florida.  But south of Orlando doesn’t have winter.  People call November winter but there’s no drastic climatic difference between September and November. 

The Philippines doesn’t have climatic seasons.  The sun rises and sets within a 30-minute window every single day and the temperature doesn’t change more than a few degrees here and there.  They have planting or harvest seasons or mating and birth seasons for agriculture.

The prohibition on coffee and tea is EXPLICITLY applied by the prophets via the Handbook of Instructions for today’s time as the mosern interpretation of the WOW as opposed to the 19th century time.  And that is why we explicitly apply it in our lives today as instructed.  Meat consumption, on the other hand, is left to each individual’s application to modern times especially after the invention of the refrigerator.  The killing of a beast that would have left meat unconsumed in the 19th century to be wasted and left to spoil in the summer does not apply anymore since the invention of the refrigerator gives us the ability to store unconsumed portions even in the high heat of summer for the following days.  But the WOW still binds us to eating meat sparingly - that is, to kill only what we will eat.  A summer barbecue of hamburgers and hotdogs that goes into your stomach instead of the trash fulfills this condition.

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27 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

There’s no winter season in Florida.  Ok, maybe in North Florida.  But south of Orlando doesn’t have winter.  People call November winter but there’s no drastic climatic difference between September and November. 

The Philippines doesn’t have climatic seasons.  The sun rises and sets within a 30-minute window every single day and the temperature doesn’t change more than a few degrees here and there.  They have planting or harvest seasons or mating and birth seasons for agriculture.

The prohibition on coffee and tea is EXPLICITLY applied by the prophets via the Handbook of Instructions for today’s time as the mosern interpretation of the WOW as opposed to the 19th century time.  And that is why we explicitly apply it in our lives today as instructed.  Meat consumption, on the other hand, is left to each individual’s application to modern times especially after the invention of the refrigerator.  The killing of a beast that would have left meat unconsumed in the 19th century to be wasted and left to spoil in the summer does not apply anymore since the invention of the refrigerator gives us the ability to store unconsumed portions even in the high heat of summer for the following days.  But the WOW still binds us to eating meat sparingly - that is, to kill only what we will eat.  A summer barbecue of hamburgers and hotdogs that goes into your stomach instead of the trash fulfills this condition.

Thanks for the info and interesting definition of sparingly.

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