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I recently read an article entitled “Do Vegetarians Live Longer?”.  There were numerous studies cited that support eating a purely vegetarian diet vs. a meat-based, or Paleo diet.  However, a couple studies that stood above the rest was a study that showed eating mostly plant-based diet with some meat (mostly fish) is the best diet for longevity.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

pescetarians—those who have a mostly plant-based diet but eat some seafood—were the true winners, with a slightly lower mortality rate than vegans, ovo-lacto vegetarians, and indiscriminate meat eaters. This may have to do with the food, but it could also be because pescetarians tend to put quite a bit of thought into their intricate dietary direction. Because they are often pickier when it comes to the food choices they make, they might do the same when it comes to other aspects of their lives such as exercise, smoking, getting enough sleep, etc.

Given the basic principle of Paleo eating is that our bodies are designed to eat the way our ancestors ate, it looks like we’re supposed to be eating (say it with me now) a largely plant-based diet and some animal products.

This research falls in line with a revelation given to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, called the The Word of Wisdom, which has been called many times “God’s Law of Health”.

Compare the statements above to some quotes from the Word of Wisdom:

inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father

tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man

all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man

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

All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.

Most people know that Mormons do not drink strong drinks or smoke or use drugs, but when you look more closely at the Word of Wisdom, there are a lot of “dos” as well such as eating mostly grains, fruits, and vegetables.

It looks like Science may have caught up with what God revealed a couple of hundred years ago and what our ancestors did thousands of years ago!

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In General Conference this week one of the Twelve Apostles, Jeffrey Holland said (paraphrased) that many Christians err in the verses in Revelation 22:18-19 that state:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

  19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book 
President Holland goes on to state that the “words of the book of this prophecy” are pertaining to only the book of Revelation and that having additional scripture such as the Book of Mormon is not adding or taking away from the book of Revelation.  He says many Christians err in that they think the “book of this prophecy” is the whole Bible and that many books in the Bible were written well after the book of Revelation was written. 
If this is the case, one could argue that even though Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and other scripture, he did indeed add to the book of Revelation in at least five chapters which you can view here (make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the Book of Revelation translations).  One could argue that the hard life Joseph led and the imprisonments he had to face, the many babies that he and Emma had that died, and ultimately what caused his death were all part of the curses described in the book of Revelation.
The curse in Revelation doesn’t only mention adding to the book, but taking away from the book as well.  One could argue on the other hand that Joseph Smith wasn’t adding anything, but he was restoring the “plain and precious truths” that were taken out of the Bible as the Book of Mormon suggests.  One could argue that the “curses” that came as a result were persecution that has happened to other earlier Christians who translated the Bible or to those who don’t have the “fulness of the gospel.”  One could argue that Joseph Smith was persecuted because Satan was trying to thwart the work from progressing, etc. 
I can see why someone could side on the first option.  Especially those Christians who believe the Bible is all God has revealed and ever will reveal and that further revelation isn’t necessary and that throughout all the years there hasn’t been anything taken out of the Bible.  However I personally disagree with this.  I feel that continuing revelation is necessary and that many truths were indeed taken out of the Bible throughout the years.  In addition, if God had prophets and apostles before why wouldn’t he have them now?
What are your thoughts?

03-07-08  Recently this post was posted on the postmormon.com website and I have received many comments from former members who are eager to debate doctrine.  My intention with this post was not to debate whether Joseph Smith was a prophet or the LDS church is true/false, etc.  Any comments made that are not uplifting or off-topic will be deleted.  If your intentions lead to off-topic discussions you are invited to go to another forum. Here is the original post:

I was on vacation a couple years ago in Hawaii and there was an interesting lesson on how to strengthen against apostasy.  I jotted down the 9 steps to strenthen against apostasy and put them in my scriptures.  This morning I came across them again and thought I’d share. 

Personally, I feel apostasy is distancing myself from the Lord and His teachings and truths that he has revealed to me about His gospel and teachings.  Each one of us have had different things revealed to us and it is up to us to keep searching and growing in light and truth.  When we stop searching by praying, studying scriptures, serving, etc. we are taking steps towards apostasy.  Following these suggestions can help us maintain the Holy Ghost and help us endure to the end.

Strengthening Against Apostasy

1.) Avoid those who would tear down your faith

2.) Keep the commandments

3.) Follow the living prophets

4.) Don’t debate points of doctrine (3Nephi 11:28)

5.) Search the scriptures

6.) Don’t be swayed from the mission of the church

7.) Pray for enemies

8.) Practice pure religion (James 1:27)

9.) Remember not everything has an immediate answer

 

As I look over these steps, I see things I can definitely improve on.  Questions to consider are: how do I react when someone from another faith comes on my blog and shares their experiences and even attacks me?  Do I pray for them or do I try to argue points of doctrine with them?  How am I doing with studying the scriptures?  Am I practicing pure religion as James describes it by visiting the homeless and the widows?  Am I impatient when I pray and demand an immediate answer?  Do I follow our modern day prophets or do I scoff at them? 

These are important things to consider.  I know the closer I am to the Lord and His Spirit, the happier I feel.  I hope we can all ponder these questions and be thankful if we’re on the right track and if we’re not, make some changes to get back on track.

 “The concept of a restoration is biblical and is frequently spoken of in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Peter spoke of the anticipated ‘times of of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken of by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.’ (Acts 3:21).  Latter-Day Saints understand this as a prophetic anticipation of a full and final restoration of the gospel in the development and fulfillment of the purposes of God in these last days.” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism

As a Latter-Day Saint, or Mormon, I believe this to mean that in the beginning, God revealed all truth to his prophets.  Throughout time, His truths became corropted.  Through divine revelations from God, Joseph Smith received a full restitution of all truths.  It is my personal belief that elements of these truths can be found in virtualy every religion though.

It seems that the past few days I’ve had experiences causing me to reflect on the truths that can be found in other religions.  I’ll share some of my experiences. 

During a recent business meeting a colleague and I started talking religion.  She knew I was LDS and I knew she was Christian.  One thing that has baffled me about most Christians is the fact that it appears to me they limit the abilities of God to just communicating to one people through one book (the Bible).  I told my friend in our conversation that I believe in the Bible and am grateful for the inspired book, but what I love about the Restored Gospel (the LDS faith) is that we believe in a God that is all-encompassing and who is the Father of all people and who loves us all equally.  We believe that God has revealed more truth to us in addition to the Bible and that he can reveal more truth in the future to us should he choose. (see Article of Faith 9)  To my suprise she agreed with me and called herself a “liberal christian” in that she believed that there is a lot of truth in the Bible as well as in other sources outside of the Bible and that God couldn’t and shouldn’t be limited to one book.  It was a very refreshing conversation for me.

My wife is on a recruiting trip in the Middle East for business.  She called me today and as she was describing the culture and the way the people would pray and how nice some of the people were she said “It’s amazing to see how many of the truths taught in Mormonism are found in other religions that aren’t even Christian.”  I agreed with her.

Finally, I was reading an article posted on the Temple Study Blog about the “scattered fragments” of the ancient temple rites of the
Egyptians and how they correlate with those of the Jews and essentially with those taught in Mormon temples.  I recommend reading the article for more specific information.

These three examples are ones of recent, but I’ve had experiences in the past with people from all faiths and even those without any religion who practice the principles of love, faith, charity, prayer, kindness, repentance, etc.  All of which, are truths that are universal and come from God. 

To answer the question “Does Mormonism Cover truths from all Religions?” I would personally have to say it does cover a good portion of truth, including truths found in other religions, but there is still more truth that will be revealed.  Even if the religion is slightly warped or even largely warped it all stems from an original religion that Heavenly Father taught Adam.  I’m grateful that Mormonism teaches that there is a way for those who don’t have a chance to hear about Jesus in this life to be saved; that God is all-loving and just and doesn’t limit Himself to answering and blessing the lives of all nations; that families and marriages are an eternal principle and not “til death do you part”; that Jesus is our personal Savior and the Savior of mankind; that God has revealed himself in the past and that he can and will continue to reveal himself in the future.

I don’t claim to be a religious expert, but I have experienced first hand Budhist and Daoist temples in Asia, the wide variety of Christian denominations throughout America and Europe, Jewish temples and people, Muslims, and even though some of the religions are pretty far from the actual truth, one can see a semblance of original truth that it came from.

So the questions I ask are: Do you agree with me that Mormonism covers truth from all Religions?  If so, what other truths or concepts in other religions can you think of that Mormonism covers?

If you don’t think it covers all truth, why don’t you think it does?

(02-21-08) It’s about a week after I wrote this post, but I just read an interesting blog on how Muslim’s believe that there is part of a Book of Abraham that was lost and it could be similar to the Book of Abraham that Joseph Smith translated that is found in the Pearl of Great Price.  Check out the post here: http://www.mormonheretic.org/2008/02/16/is-the-book-of-abraham-related-to-muslim-texts/

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