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I am teaching a 12 Steps class in July, and final comments on the Word of Wisdom

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Jun 21, 2009

On Friday, July 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 at Classic Books and Gifts in Lehi, I have been asked to teach a 12 Steps to Whole Foods class.   Here’s the link to sign up:


I have taken some time off of teaching classes but am getting back into it, with my new book coming out next month.   I’ll post in the next few days that we’re preselling the book in the GreenSmoothieGirl.com store, so stand by.   I’ll also let you know if classes I have coming up are open to the public.

My final thoughts on that revolutionary scripture known as the Word of Wisdom, that was far (200 years, almost) before its time.   I long wondered why we are counselled not to drink “hot drinks” (coffees and caffeinated teas, we assume from historical analysis),  and  only minimal  animal flesh, but nothing is said about refined foods like white flour and white sugar that are currently destroying America’s health.   And LDS people provide  those foods  in abundance at EVERY SINGLE CHURCH EVENT, including the ones for children.  The Primary handbook asks teachers not to feed kids junk food, but teachers routinely do it anyway.  We don’t drink or smoke, but we experience the same obesity rates as everyone else and we’re infamous for making up the difference in what we DON’T  smoke/drink . . .  in sugar intake!

I have two theories about this.   First (this one is a no brainer), at the time of the revelation in 1833, white flour and sugar were virtually unknown.   More importantly, we cannot be given a higher law until we’re living the lower law.   Bluntly: we are  not living the lower law.

Many of our children are on drugs.   Utah (the highest LDS population) abuses prescription drugs more than any other state in the nation.   We eat tons of animals and ignore and rationalize away verses 12-15 of D&C 89 (see the part on God approving of eating animals  sparingly in times of winter, cold, famine).   We eat to excess and have obesity rates  similar to the national average.   All of these are gross violations of the law that is supposed to be for the “weakest of the Saints.”

I personally am ready for a higher law. I don’t say this to be arrogant.   I say this because I crave further light and knowledge; I have a lot of questions.    I wonder, what would God tell us regarding lifestyle and diet, IF WE WERE CLEARING THE VERY, VERY LOW BAR He is currently holding for us to clear?

Apocryphal texts of John refer to not eating any animal flesh and living very close to the Earth.   I’d love to know what God really wants for us . . . a Word of Wisdom 2.0, if you will.   (Oh, and hey, that reminds me: I will announce here very shortly a Green Smoothie 2.0 video I did, part 1 and 2.)

Let’s live the lower law so we can be given more light and knowledge on our path to a truly abundant life rich with divinity.

Posted in: Books

13 thoughts on “I am teaching a 12 Steps class in July, and final comments on the Word of Wisdom”

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  1. I’ve been away for a while, so how refreshing to come back and read this. Well said. I’ve just started a six week Tree of Life liver cleanse (at home) and let me tell you…I wish I’d not procrastinated for so long. So far, it’s the easiest thing ever and clearly what my body needs. Yes, we do default to bad habits, too often, and more light and knowledge are always welcomed!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Of course, you’re assuming that your interpretation of the Word of Wisdom is correct. Now, I admit that I think your interpretation is right. It’s the simplest interpretation. But I have LDS friends eat nothing like you do, and they believe they are eating fully in compliance with the Word of Wisdom and they have absolute testimonies that they are eating the way the Lord intends them to. I don’t mean to be controversial and negative; I’m just saying that no one can really know what revelation anyone else receives and whether anyone else is doing what the Lord intends. They believe they are clearing the bar and that if everyone would eat the way they do, they too would receive greater light and knowledge. It is just humorous for me to see both “sides” saying the EXACT same thing.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Many of our children are on drugs. Utah (the highest LDS population) abuses prescription drugs more than any other state in the nation. We eat tons of animals and ignore and rationalize away verses 12-15 of D&C 89 (see the part on God approving of eating animals sparingly in times of winter, cold, famine). We eat to excess and have obesity rates similar to the national average. All of these are gross violations of the law that is supposed to be for the “weakest of the Saints.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I am not morman. Just wondering what D&C stands for?

  5. Anonymous says:

    D&C stands for Doctrine and Covenants. It’s another set of scriptures we believe to be revelation to the prophets back in the 1800’s when the LDS church was re-organized.

    Robyn, I’m SO glad I found your site and discovered that you are local. My journey started with Raw food because my youngest son has autistic tendencies and took a major turn for the worse. I have a friend who eats raw and I felt inspired to talk to her. Many things have happened since then which I’m not going to to get into, but our son is responding well to the dietary changes. My husband and I have been talking about the Word of Wisdom a lot lately too. He’s not interested in a raw lifestyle and I’m embracing it fully. You have brought up some VERY good points.

    A major concern I have is the junk food and processed foods wherever we go and being given to my children. It’s very frustrating because people don’t even ASK parents if it’s okay! What if they have allergies? It’s just assumed that kids eat the candy and ALL the junk all the time! I have a little boy that comes over here all the time who won’t even touch any fruits or veggies I try to offer. He’ll only eat carrots dipped in Hidden Valley Ranch. He didn’t like my fruit leather I offered him either. These kids are already desensitized to food and the sweetness that real food can be. I don’t want to live in a bubble. Is there a happy medium?

  6. http:// says:

    Doctrine and Covenants . . . it’s a book of scripture.

  7. http:// says:

    When my children were small and I hadn’t resolved their health issues yet (it takes some time), I really went all-out. Halloween, I walked around and gave baggies of “alternative” treats (dried fruit, nuts, etc.) to neighbors in advance of taking the kids trick or treating. (Didn’t work too well, by the way: people would drop the junk candy in the bag and then realize it was my kids, and say, “Oh! Wait!” and try to fish the candy out of my children’s bag. LOL!)

    But I talked to their school teachers and church teachers and asked them not to feed my child junk. They are always sensitive and careful if you do that. It may not seem a “happy medium” but childhood doesn’t last forever. It caused teachers to raise the bar for the rest of the kids, sometimes, too. (p.s. Tell them you also don’t feed your kids chemical sweeteners, like Nutrasweet, and remember that most people know NOTHING about these issues.)

    Family events: I would take my own raw, alternative treat for my kids. I’d feed them the healthy parts of what was served, skipping the meat, sugar, etc.

  8. Anonymous says:


    Just last Sunday I told our Sunday School class of Adults a story about the Word of Wisdom. By following a “Word of Wisdom” diet similar to what you are teaching, my husband was able to completely get off of 6 daily medications, “cure” his life-long asthma and many allergies, and fight off cancer. It has been a true miracle in our lives. We eat veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus plenty of alkaline water with greens in-between.

    Last night, at a church dinner, a sister told me that she was worried about coming and finding something really nutritious to eat, but remembered I would be there with my large bowl of leafy greens (garden-grown spinach and lettuce), and my three trays of about 21 different kinds of fresh grated and chopped vegetables and soaked almonds. Most of the other salads had sugar in one form or another, and most of the main dishes had meat in them. Of course there were plenty of sugar filled desserts!

    Keep up the great work!!

  9. You are bold and insightful–always a delight to read your blog!


  10. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what I have been feeling! For two years I have been looking into and researching what the best diet would be to take off baby wieght pounds. I couldn’t find a single diet I could feel good about. Even a little good about doing. So I went to the word of wisdom and really started to try and live that as best I could. I was definitly good on the don’ts but I started to live the do’s. That is when I found greensmoothiegirl! It was exaactly like what you say, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear!” I feel, for me and my family, that this is what coensides the Word of Wisdom. Its a way to live it to the fullest.

    Thank you so much for helping me understand the Word of Wisdom and to fully live it! I have not only enjoyed the physical benefits, but even more spriritual benefits!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      I’m so glad you “get it!” The “do’s” are so neglected, aren’t they? But they are what make the WoW a joy instead of a drudgery. We forget that the foods God gave us in their whole state are actually delicious, colorful, varied, flavorful, fun, and fabulous–until we really start studying how to use them and then doing it!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I found your site a couple of weeks ago, met you last week in Federal Way,Wa. Much of what you say, I have already learned am am practising. I have spent hours reviewing old blogs to glean new information & insights. Your insights & thoughtful comments regarding Dr. Mercola’s views are appreciated.

    Discussion on the Word of Wisdom & how we LDS live it or not resonates deeply, those same thoughts/feelings fill my heart. A relative was ill 2 years ago, in the hospital when they x-rayed, the fat layers were so thick, that the organs couldn’t be seen. This person has a love relationship with food. Food is love. It breaks the hearts of all those who love him. It appears that consuming large amounts of unhealthy food is more important to him than his relationships with family & friends. Addictive behavior. People in this situation, and there are many, cannot tolerate an open, frank discussion regarding dietary changes. It’s too frightening. You’re right on when you say that example is the best teacher…and an open door policy.

    Thank you for the additional light & knowledge you have shared with your readers. I am hungry for more….

  12. Love this post. I have same feelings and frustrations.

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