The LDS (Mormon) scripture known as the “Word of Wisdom” was delivered to Joseph Smith in 1833, at a time when virtually all men were smokers and drinkers, and no one knew those were bad habits. The scripture says it is for the “weak and the weakest of all saints,” and it requires things of believers that few LDS people observe. Most do avoid “wine or strong drink,” which we are told “is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father.”
Mormons are also good about avoiding tobacco, which is “not for the body, neither for the belly . . . not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.” We’re told “all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man–every herb in the season therof, and every fruit in the season therof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”
Nowhere does it say to adulterate those foods to eliminate their fiber and make them acidic, full of chemicals and dyes, and toxic to people and animals. And most of my own people, modern Mormons, are grossly negligent with regard to the following counsel. They often rationalize this scripture away by saying that now that we have refrigeration, counsel about eating meat sparingly doesn’t apply:
“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 scriptural injunction is essentially identical to what science has taught us almost 200 years later. The huge, published body of work now known as the Oxford/Cornell China Project is a 30-year study following 6,500 people. It documents with 8,000 statistically significant correlations that a diet containing only 5 percent animal protein prevents disease, whereas a 20 percent animal protein diet aggressively promotes disease.
Plenty of scriptural support for the use of grains is found throughout the canon of Christian scripture. The idea of soaking and sprouting grain and drying it into bread comes from an apocryphal book of scripture known as The Essene Gospel of Peace that some say is the teachings of Jesus to a congregation of Essenes. The LDS “Word of Wisdom” states, “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth.”
A rising gluten intolerance problem in this generation is likely the sad byproduct of genetically modified grains and not evidence that grains are not nutritious foods for humans.