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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Law of Health

“The Lord Has Given Us A Law Of Health”
Compared to the Bible by Connie Raddon

Color Key:
Quotes from the Ensign in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.

One of the monthly sections of the Ensign is called “What We Believe”.  In the February 2012 issue, this article is entitled “The Lord Has Given Us A Law of Health”.  It is found on page 8-9.

The article begins, “One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body.”  This refers to the LDS belief that we all existed in a pre-mortal life as spirits.  They also believe that the spirits who lived their pre-mortal life worthy enough, would get the blessing of coming to earth to gain a physical body.  (I want to stay on the topic of a law of health, so just as a side note: this belief is not consistent with what the Bible teaches, but I will go further into that in other articles.)

The Ensign continues, “Our bodies are holy and so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16). 

So let’s take a look at 1 Cor. 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

This verse does indeed say that we are temples of God and that the Spirit of God lives inside us.  But the LDS Church mistakenly assumes this applies to everyone.  It does not.  1 Corinthians is a letter written by Paul, specifically to believers – those who have already accepted Christ and been born again.  You can find that easily when you turn back to 1 Cor. 1:1-2 where it says: “Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God… To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”

So as the Ensign claimed, yes, our bodies are holy temples – but ONLY after they have been sanctified in Jesus.  I hope that is understood very clearly:  It’s JESUS who makes us clean – nothing else.  (Especially not what we eat or drink, or refrain from eating or drinking.)

The Ensign article continues, “Because our Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies, He revealed essential information on how to do so.  Much of this information is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89 and is known as the Word of Wisdom. 
            Here we learn several things we should and should not do to keep our bodies healthy.  The spirit of this law is to consume nutritious foods and to refrain from anything that is habit forming or harmful to our bodies.”

So basically the spirit of this law is to eat things that are healthy, and not eat things that are  harmful.  When I read this, I just shook my head with my forehead in my palms thinking to myself, I can’t believe I used to be so grateful for this “wisdom” that I was told to be from God!  Our simple common sense can figure out that eating nutritious foods is good for our bodies, and eating or drinking harmful substances is bad. 
It now seems not only ridiculous, but insulting to have to be told this as claimed revelation from God.  I can’t think of a louder way to scream to Mormons that they are not capable of thinking for themselves, and must look to their leaders to even know what they should and shouldn’t eat.

Just because something is wise to do or not do, does not mean that it is a revelation or a commandment from God.  Do we really need to be commanded, or have the LDS prophet receive a revelation for mothers to not give all their children maximum doses of Benadryl to help the kids fall asleep – NO!  We have common sense.  Do we need revelations to tell us to not get drunk and drive?  NO!  We have common sense.  

“Among the things the Lord commands us not to take into our bodies are alcohol and tobacco…”

This is contradicts what Jesus Himself did…
Matt 11:19: The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber…

Calling someone a “winebibber” back then was like calling them an alcoholic.  They were making exaggerations to falsely accuse Jesus.  We know Jesus ate – But His accusers called him “gluttonous” as an exaggeration.  We also know Jesus drank wine, but his accusers again exaggerated and called him an alcoholic.

John 2:9-10: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, ‘Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast keep the good wine until now.”
That was an account of the first miracle Jesus performed.  It was turning water into wine.  Not cheap wine, watered down, or anything like just grape juice, but the “good” wine, which meant the most fermented.

1 Timothy 5:23: No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
Paul gave this instruction to Timothy for some kind of stomach problem Timothy was having: to not drink only water, but to use a little wine.

The Ensign article also says, “The Lord counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) Prophets have explained that this means coffee and tea…”
 (Quick question to consider:  Why wouldn’t the Lord explain to Joseph Smith that “hot drinks” meant coffee and tea when this supposed revelation took place?)

“Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are to be used ‘in the season thereof’ and ‘with prudence and thanksgiving’ (D&C 89:10-11)”

“Meat and poultry have been ‘ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. (D&C 89:12)”


Deuteronomy 14:26  “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires; for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”

God is saying to eat and drink whatever you want – and glorify God in doing it.

In Matthew 15, Jesus is teaching the people about God’s commandments and man’s traditions:
Matt 15:11, 17-18  “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man…Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

Jesus is telling us that God is concerned and interested in what is in our hearts – not in our stomachs.

Paul explains it again in Romans 14:17  “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 8:8  “But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.”

See how the Bible teaches that what we eat or drink does not matter to God?  What does matter is that we have given our heart over to Jesus Christ, our Lord, God, and King.  Once we have done that, all our sins are forgiven – past, present, and future – so what we eat can’t make even a tiny dent in the surety of our eternal life in heaven. 

Actually, the LDS law of health (Word of Wisdom) is a very good idea in a lot of its points – eating meat sparingly, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid addictive substances and other harmful things.  But instead of just being a suggestion, the LDS Church makes your salvation depend on obedience to it.  You cannot go to the temple if you do not obey the Word of Wisdom.  If you can’t go to the temple, you cannot get sealed to your spouse for eternity, or perform ordinances that the LDS leaders claim are required for salvation. 

When I was a teenager, my dad was the bishop of our ward.  He told me that bishops hold a high calling of being “judges in Israel”.  Part of what that meant was that bishops should interview members at least once a year to make sure they are still worthy to attend the temple.  After the member answers all the interview questions, the bishop is to judge the worthiness of the member.  One of these questions is “Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?”  Another one is “Do you keep the Sabbath Day holy?”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Colossians 2:16…
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths.”

I think that’s pretty clear – no man on earth has the right to judge us based on what we eat or drink.  Sorry, bishops, but according to the Bible, you are out of line.

I would challenge you, if you are LDS, to study this further.  Read Romans 14 – the entire chapter, and ask yourself – is the Word of Wisdom from God?  Or is it invented by men as another rule you must follow to be a good Mormon?

The teachings in the February 2012 issue of the Ensign
are NOT Biblical, and therefore,
NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.

Brigham Young issued a challenge on May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46):  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the February 2012 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

Resources used for this article:
The Word of God (The Bible)- King James Version and New King James Version
The LDS magazine, “The Ensign”
“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face” by Shawn Aaron McCraney
My research parter, Art Haglund.

Thank you also to my husband, Ken, who sacrifices time with me while I study and write,  and provides proofreading and editing services!

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