Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Promptings to Reconsider the Word of Wisdom

A few years ago I became a reader of a blog that completely inspired me. It was written by a LDS mother of four in Arizona named Stephanie Nielson who fed her husband and four children a completely vegetarian diet. They had a lovely life, seemed so full of energy and vitality, and their countenances simply glowed.

Last August the parents of this family were in a very terrible accident. A small plane crash left Mr. Nielson's body covered in 30% burns and his beautiful wife nearly 80%. As thousands watched, held their breath and prayed that these parents would be spared, we were in awe of the news that their bodies were responding anxiously to treatments and recovering well. Stephanie, family and friends said many times, was fighting for her life. Doctors, more than once attributed the Nielson's successes in recovery to their commitment to a healthy lifestyle and the overall condition of their very healthy bodies. They admitted that most people would have never survived what they had gone through.

That really got me thinking about their bodies and how strong they must have been. Stephanie's sister Courtney wrote a blog (click here to read it) about the vegetarian lifestyle that her sister and brother-in- law led. Reading that made me think even more. Were the Nielson's enjoying the blessings that The Word of Wisdom promised? Health in their navel and marrow in their bones. Did the destroying angel surely pass over them as the scriptures promised? 

In addition to their story, is the story of my own father who has been battling with cancer for years.  In his research and study and own prayer and fasting he has been prompted to change his diet to more closely follow the Word of Wisdom.  Miraculous changes have been made in his body and his doctors have been asking what he has been doing to promote such positive changes.  They tell him, whatever he is doing, keep it up.   He has significantly reduced his meat intake and cut out refined foods.  He eats more whole grains and fruits and vegetables.  He has seen great improvements in his overall health.

Last September I began to really study the Word of Wisdom. I read it multiple times a week. I read a few books on food and diet written by non-LDS authors that were promoting healthy eating and eating well as a cure for medical conditions. Everything I was reading was falling in line with the Word of Wisdom.

As I continued to study the scriptures, books and articles on the internet, I became more and more intrigued. I really wanted someone (else) to talk to about all that I was learning (besides my ever so patient and ever so busy husband). I found out one day that a friend in our ward (Nichole) was reading a book that I was reading called In Defense of Food. She and I started discussing some of the things that we had read. They were so exciting! We both had stronger desires to eat more healthily and feed our families more nutritious food. We both desired to garden and both talked about The Word of Wisdom.

I thought that it might be neat to gather up a group of sisters who were also interested in doing some reading and researching on the topic of the Word of Wisdom. I have a strong desire to live it more fully and to gain a testimony of the blessings that it promises. The blessings in The Word of Wisdom are some of the greatest in the scriptures. They are ours to claim. But it is not easy. Habits need to change, mindsets altered -- leading usually to discomfort and uneasiness. Hopefully, through this enrichment group we can support each other in our goals to live the Word of Wisdom more fully, that we can see positive changes in each other and gain testimony and a love for this wonderful revelation and the promises contained.

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