Word of Wisdom Class
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Blue Springs Congregation -10-18-2003
Teacher--Mildred Nelson Smith from Lamoni, Iowa
Nutritionist, Author, Humanitarian

Brunch was prepared by Martha Staggart  from Gallatin, MO
Nutritionist and Economist, attends Cameron, MO Congregation 

Excerpts from the class which deal with the subject of the double negative in Section 86: "not only."

Sister Martha is speaking:

"I knew in I Corinthians 3 and 6 it talks about the body being a temple of God for the Spirit of God to dwell in and not to defile it so I started reading Section 86...I started rereading Section 86 and it seemed pretty basic to me.  It talked about no hot drinks or strong drinks, using whole grains, fruit of the season, wholesome herbs, limiting meat and I thought this is going to be easy.  From my nutrition point of view it sounded very much like God's plan was what they used when they changed the basic four to the Food Guide Pyramid a few years ago...I viewed the Word of Wisdom as a mountain...and I know the view from the mountain-top is going to be worth the climb and probably a place that I want to live...and that not keeping of the Word of Wisdom is one of the four clouds over Zion, and that God wants us to be healthier people, able to do the work of Zion.  I also know that if we climb the mountain that we've got to do it one step at a time.  If we try to reach Word of Wisdom at the top of the mountain in one quantum leap we're probably not going to get there, well slide down and not have a sure foot-hold so it's going to be little steps, one at a time to get us there.  We have a lifetime of habits, acquired tastes, traditions to change.  Research said it takes twenty-one days to change a habit if you have consistent behavior.  I firmly believe it takes far longer to change eating habits than twenty-one days--probably years.  So the important thing is to take small manageable steps.

So taking a look at today's brunch, while it wasn't perfect from my novice point of view, it was my first steps up the mountain. Obviously we did not have any hot beverages.  I hope nobody missed coffee or tea.  We did not include those because, I think that nobody argues that "strong" drinks means alcoholic, many people believes that it means coffee and tea.  So they were not served.  In fact, back in 1949 Israel A. Smith in a Saints' Herald article said that tea and coffee qualify as strong. 

Tea, coffee and strong drinks don't help with any bodily functions, and they have stimulants in them which could be considered strong.  So that was where I came from on that.  Also in the D.C. 119 it says to avoid tobacco and not be addicted to strong drinks in any form, and caffeine is certainly addictive.  If you don't believe that, try doing without your things that have caffeine in them and see what it does to you.  You have to wean yourself off of those slowly. 

It also talks in Letiviticus 10 and Judges 13 about warning of wine and strong drink.  Now the no hot drink part makes sense to me.  AMA and American Cancer Society both recommend that beverages be served at 120degrees or less.  That is to avoid damage to the mouth, esophagus and stomach.  So that made sense.  Today you got water, tomato juice and fresh apple cider--every fruit in the season thereof. 

I kind-of labored over the breakfast casseroles.  Was meat to be used only in time of famine or winter?  There is a double negative in Section 86 to be, and it confused me.  Where you put the emphasis can change the whole meaning.  And it is not punctuated to read it one way but ..."  Martha read the confusing paragraph, still confused.  "So I compromised.  We had one with sparing meat and one with veggie casserole with broccoli, mushrooms and red peppers... 

The brunch was purposefully not much different from the foods that we are used to eating.  That's because I believe it takes time to change our habits and our taste buds.  And small changes that fit into our busy lifestyle are more likely to be the ones that will last and be more effective--much more lasting than that one quantum leap to the top of the mountain.  So I think that by taking small steps at a time, one after another, one day at a time, I believe we can all climb Mt. Word of Wisdom and be a healthier and happier people and more pleasing to our God. Thank you."


Sister Smith Answers Martha's Question

Toby Edwards’ introduction of Mildred Nelson Smith

"She has five children...Mildred, herself has a Master's Degree and started out as a school teacher and became involved in a community that was built in Southern Missouri for needy people...She has always had her heart in feeding people well.  She comes to us from Lamoni where she now lives...she has written several books, one of them, "The Word of Wisdom With Promise," and that is available still and has a study guide with it...printed in 1997 updated...She comes to us in her maturity...and has a lot to offer..."

On tape #3 of the class, Sister Smith is addressing the subject of the double negative that she said had caused Sr. Martha some concern.  Sister Smith continues reading from Section 86:2a:

"And again, all wholesome herbs we have read, 'Yea, flesh also, of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, hath 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, cold,' and later on it's talking about in excess of hunger.

Again, earlier, our speaker said it's causing her a problem, I know, because so many people interpret that so differently.  But I will tell you how I interpret it, and then you ask the Lord what he says about it.  Because we said from the very beginning, it's not what we think we know about it, but what He knows about it that makes the difference. 

 He says, 'Yea, flesh also, of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, hath ordained for the use of man.'  We know that, don't we? We know that very well.  Back in Section 49 which we used earlier this morning when we were being instructed, the Lord said...'Whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats,'  You see, the Shakers were coming into the church and they believed two things. They believed that you shouldn't marry and you shouldn't eat meat.  And Joseph went to the Lord and said, 'What about this?'  He talks about the marriage first, and then he says, 'And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats,'  Now that's an ambiguous statement, but He goes ahead and explains it:

'that man should not eat the same is not ordained of God; for behold the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man, for food, and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance, but it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another;  wherefore the world lieth in sin; and woe be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.'

Whenever we talking about feeding the world, the first thing that anyone starts talking about is how we need to share the basic foods that we use.  For example, during the last world war, people had these little stamps that allowed them to eat a certain amount of meat and a lot of people were saying, "Oh, that's not enough."  We had a certain publication put out by the government saying that if we would just cut our use of meat to the place where we'd only use the animals that feed on grain and grass...that we can't use for other crops, we would find ourselves able to feed another nation as big as we are, and both we and they would be more healthful.

You see, the Lord is saying here, 'I made this for your use,'  I knew that they had to be used sparingly.  Remember at the top of our pyramid, now--sparingly.  They should be used sparingly.  But He said, 'It pleases Me, if they should not be used only in times of winter, cold, and excess of hunger.'  Now I wrestled with that statement for a long time when when I first offered my services when I first got my Master's Degree, I called Sister Arnson and said, 'I think I have something to share with the women of the church,' and she gave me an assignment.  I asked, 'How do I interpret this?'  And I wrestled with it a lot of ways.  I have a long testimony about     it but I won't take time to tell you now, but the final thing, the final information came to me a few years later, 1949 to be exact. 

I was standing up in front of the congregation in Lamoni in a reunion, and I was reading the very first verse of Section 86.  And if you have it there, open it up with me. The phrase, "not only" is the question here.  Does it mean not only in those times, or does it mean not except in those times.  And I was reading and it said, 'Inasmuch as man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments.  What does that mean?  Does that mean drink it all times, or does it mean "except?"  And I went back in Graceland's library and looked up the way these words were used at the time Section 86 was given and "not only" has meant "except" in every situation like this, but I hadn't seen it because there is that parenthetical expression that says, "neither meet in the sight of your Father."

I was standing there reading and I thought, 'The same term is used with respect to wine and strong drink as was used with respect to  meat.  How did I miss it before?  It said, 'It is not good, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments.  We have never questioned the way that's interpreted, have we?  And here we have the same term exactly, 'It's not good "except."  But He [God] says, 'It pleases Me,'  He doesn't say it's not good, He said, 'It pleases Me if they're not used, only in times of winter, cold.'

You see, the Lord is concerned about the feeding of all people, and He knows that there are lots of places in the world where they don't have meats like we have.  He also knows there are four--Paul says, and you can find this in your scriptures in your list there--there are four kinds of flesh--beasts, fowls, fish and man.  We don't eat man.  But He's [God] talking about which ones?  What did He say?  Beasts and fowls.  He doesn't even mention fish.  You see, when we start talking about feeding the world, the first thing we start talking about with respect to animal protein are fish and milk.  If we can get fish and milk into the diet where they're lacking in protein, then they're going to have much better chance at health. 

As I see it, He's not restricting the use of fish at all because if we quit eating fish, it wouldn't make any difference in the amount of grains that we could ship to other peoples.  And I know that we can't just ship grains to other people because they don't get to the people..."

(See also Elder Roy Weldon's vision on the Mountain of the Lord's House.)

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