The late LDS (Mormon) prophet Gordon B. Hinckley was kinder than I was in my statement yesterday that LDS people are mostly “grossly negligent” in their observance of Word of Wisdom scripture. He said this: “I regret that we as a people do not live [the Word of Wisdom] more fully.”
The late LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson said, “To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours . . . We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the ‘kings meat’–and whose countenances show it.”
In the Bible, Daniel and his men refused to eat the rich diet of the king (meat and wine), and instead drank water and ate “pulse”–fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. At the end of 10 days, everyone witnessed that Daniel’s group looked better and were stronger, and had more wisdom and understanding.
We have a great promise in the Word of Wisdom if we follow its simple counsel (that only a small fraction of LDS people actually follow completely). The promise is that “all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings . . . shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.”
Those are great promises! They are the same promises made by courageous and outspoken medical doctors like Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish, John McDougall, Joel Fuhrman, Mehmet Oz, William Castelli, and Caldwell Esselstyn, to those who commit to a whole-foods, animal-protein minimized diet. These are the same promises that you find in hundreds of studies authored by the greatest researchers of our time, including the Oxford/Cornell team led by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. But in the case of the Word of Wisdom, God is the maker of the promises.