Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Half the Wisdom?

The "Word of Wisdom" is the nickname of Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the chapter which famously instructs Mormons not to smoke or drink.  The same section is often interpreted as prohibiting the use of tea and coffee.  Mormons swear by the health and spiritual benefits of following the Word of Wisdom and are proud to follow it.

At least...they follow most of it.

In D&C Section 89, verses 12-15, the Lord seems to be advocating near-vegetarianism.  It says that animals have been provided by God for human consumption, but are to be used "sparingly."  It continues by stating that animals should only be eaten in the case of winter, excess hunger, or famine.

Why is this part ignored?

Eating meat sparingly was at best glossed over in my Sunday School lessons.  When we studied Section 89, it was always "don't drink, don't do drugs, don't drink coffee and tea, and eat healthy."  That was pretty much the  gist of it.  But why only teach half of it?  Why be proud of your obedience to it if there's obviously a part of it that you don't bother with?  That doesn't make any sense.

I have never met a vegetarian Mormon or a Mormon who makes sure only to eat meat when the situation is desperate.  I don't think there are many members who actually follow the Word of Wisdom exactly as stated in the scripture.  I mean, if you stop at a burger joint on a road're breaking the Word of Wisdom.  If you put bacon in your eggs in the're breaking the Word of Wisdom.  And if you eat turkey for might be going to hell.

And that does not seem right to me.

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