I have this secret little hobby at church. I love to hear the lessons on this scripture, the Word of Wisdom, and mentally collect all the ways that, almost invariably, the teacher or people in the class find ways to rationalize their way out of having to actually adhere to those last two verses. You know, the ones that say God gave animals for our use, but only sparingly, in times of winter, cold, or famine.
There is NO way to justify the way most of us are eating, against this counsel. But I’ve heard some really interesting rationalizations. A really good one is this: “That counsel was for people in 1833, not us, because they didn’t have refrigerators or freezers like we do.” Yesterday in church, it was about how the comma in that verse was added by church administration to make it clear that we’re actually being ENCOURAGED to eat meat. Well, that’s a comforting interpretation for those who don’t want their testimony of the Gospel of the Standard American Diet shaken in any way, but . . . I don’t think so!
I’m going to make a strong statement and welcome your comments about it: I think that the vast majority of LDS people are not living this scripture for the “weakest” of the Saints. Someone at church yesterday made the comment that worrying about those two verses is “straining at gnats.”
Tomorrow, the rest of that section of scripture, including some good stuff about whole grains.