I was a normal Latter-day Saint, eating meat sparingly. Showing sandwiches that Jessica and I proudly make, I sent a picture to my father-in-law one time, and he replied where is the meat.
About a month ago, my wife said that we could eat more meat in the winter according to the Word of Wisdom. This peaked my interest because Americans love meat. Most Latter-day Saints may be overlooking a scripture verse in the Word of Wisdom. The following topics will be addressed according to my introduction: The story of the overlooked word of wisdom scripture verse, the controversy, and doctrine of this topic.
My wife said maybe since it is winter, we can eat more meat. My intrigue in my wife’s comment required me to look it up.
Where did you get this idea from?
It says it in the Word of Wisdom.
Let’s see the section in the Doctrine and Covenants. “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; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” This means that we should eat meat only in times of winter, cold, or famine; not more meat in the winter, Jessica.
Does God prefer that we would be vegetarian? Since there is no death in the millennium, will we have to quit eating meat? Should we eat, drink, and be merry with meat, for in the millennium there is no death? Verse 13 is overlooked by most people in the church. God has said that “It is pleasing unto me that [flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air] should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” This is a peculiar perspective. The exception in which we should consume or use the flesh of animals must be of an all-knowing being. The reasons for the perspective is not explained. Maybe flesh is allowed to be eaten in the winter because grain and vegetation cannot be grown in the winter. His infinite wisdom is not explained.
I don’t know the history of why American’s love to consume so much meat, but I know that the Atkins diet encouraged protein as a primary source of calories. A good thing about the word of wisdom is that people do not need to completely give up consuming meat. When I first met my in-laws, I noticed that they had something against eating carbohydrates. They would have a large protein dish and a salad as their dinner. My mother-in-law would bash on “cowboydados.” I commented that they should eat more carbohydrates because wheat is the staff of life for man according to verses 11-17. They would prepare some carbohydrates for dinner for me. I was a health freak back in my day. One of those people that would refuse to eat sugar. I still eat meat now because it is cold in Idaho as we are entering the winter. I will further address the issue of the high consumption of meat.
Protein is controversial for many reasons. One reason is that protein draws calcium from our bones to digest it; secondly, there is only a specific amount of protein daily that your body can absorb. The excess protein is wasted. The combination of wasted protein and calcium leads to osteoporosis. The last is one that not many people think of. Excessive meat consumption exacerbates individuals in water consumption. One may ask why would water consumption be exacerbated by the high consumption of meat. Imagine how much water it takes to raise the livestock. The preparation for cattle to grow to be ready to be butchered must take a lot of water. The water consumption of the United States is much higher than the replenishing rate. Reservoirs and aquifers are being depleted. Aquifers hold freshwater, storing it in the earth, which was naturally filtered through the many layers of soil. California is in a drought, and farming practices don’t let water to be restored to the aquifers.
One thing that always puzzled me is whether we will eat meat in the millennium. At the beginning of time, we would have to answer for all things that we have killed; however, in the end of times, there will be no death. How could we eat flesh? Today one may state the diet of the mosaic law or that Peter was shown a vision that he can eat all different meat. The mosaic law was fulfilled, and the second evident scripture is a sign that the mosaic law is fulfilled. Man can eat any meat. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Genesis 9:3) “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.” (JST Gen. 9:10–15 (Appendix).) I understand the previously quoted scripture, which was given after the flood, to mean that we can eat meat, but we should eat it only if it is absolutely necessary. “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.” The suggestion to eat flesh after the flood makes sense because there was nothing else that the family of Noah can live on. They would have to start from scratch to cultivate their fields of grain again. There is no record of flesh being eaten before the flood. Would you say that it is a long stretch to believe that the consumption of meat was not the culture of Adam’s family before the flood? After the fall of Adam, God said unto him “thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” (Genesis 3:12-13) I believe that in the beginning Adam’s family did not consume the flesh of beasts, and it will be the same during the last days and the millennium as God has said “It is pleasing unto me that [flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air] should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16)
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