Recently, a member of our family went on a vegan diet (eating no meat, dairy, or eggs) in order to help with a health issue with the heart. After 2 months of the diet, they went to the doctor, and the doctor was amazed at how much our family member had improved and asked what they were doing. When they told him, he said it was nothing short of a miracle and to keep it up.
This experience led me to re-read what many Mormons call the “Lord’s Law of Health” or the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to Joseph Smith in the early 1800′s and contains many of the Mormon health laws that make Mormons famous such as not drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee.
However, one of the parts overlooked by Mormons and also by those outside the church is the part about eating meat vs. eating grains and vegtables. It reads:
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbsGod hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
Some have questioned if this means that Mormons should be Vegetarians. After a little bit of research, I discovered there are a few levels of Vegetarianism, one of which is called “Flexetarianism” or “Semi-Vegitariansim”. This is defined as a Vegetarian (someone who doesn’t eat meat) in most cases, but occasionally eats meat.
Therefore, I would say that if a Mormon is strictly adherring to the Word of Wisdom, they are only eating meat in extreme situations, or in other words, occasionally.
Occasional means something different though to many people. For some, occasional means once/day. Others, occasional could mean once/year. According to the Word of Wisdom, occasional (as outlined above) means only in rare circumstances, or in the winter.
The Word of Wisdom ends with a promise for those who follow it that they will receive “health to their navel and marrow to their bones” and they will be able to “run and not be weary and walk and not faint”. These are amazing promises, and I’ve seen them fulfilled with members of my family who follow the principle.
I’ll admit, I’m not good at giving up the meat. I work out a lot and have a thing in my head that I need to have protein. Therefore, my diet includes meat at least once/day. I eat very lean meat (i.e. turkey, fish, chicken), but I do eat meat nonetheless. Maybe if I were to become a True Mormon and follow the Word of Wisdom more strictly, I could get that ache out of my knee when I play basketball!!
Does anyone have any experiences with following this type of diet outlined in the Word of Wisdom and gaining better health, or even better, a closer relationship with God? If so, please share.