The Strength of the Lord

The strength of the Lord was a miracle bestowed upon all the Nephites and Lamanites who had repented of their sins and come to Christ. Basically, it gave a person supernatural strength. It was first bestowed upon Lehi and party during their eight year walk to Bountiful, because they needed it for the long and arduous journey. When they arrived at the promised land, the strength of the Lord was again needed to protect the Nephites from the Lamanites, who always greatly outnumbered them.

The diet of the two nations

For the trip to Bountiful, the party was commanded to eat nothing but raw meat which they hunted in the wilderness. The Lord made the meat sweet to them, which was yet another miracle. At the promised land, though, they were commanded to plant seed and raise crops and animals, which they did. The party, though, soon split, with those who would come to be known as Nephites continuing to farm the land, and the Lamanites continuing to eat after the fashion of their eight-year journey in the wilderness, hunting their food and often eating it raw.

The two forms of diet had a different effect on their bodies. The farmers’ diet, which resembled our modern Word of Wisdom, made the Nephites physically weaker and less sexually charged. As a result, they had less sex, and thus produced less children than did the Lamanites. The protein rich hunter’s diet of the Lamanites, in which they drank the blood of beasts, etc., made them sexually charged and physically stronger than the Nephites. The Lamanites had lots of sex and produced children like rabbits.

The war practices of the two nations

The Nephites had no standing army. They merely went about their lives raising crops and animals, constructing buildings, mining out precious metals and other occupations of industry. They had prepared weapons of war in case they ever needed to defend themselves, but they did not train for war, nor were they supposed to. Nevertheless, they were commanded of God to defend themselves from the Lamanites even unto bloodshed.

The Lamanites, on the other hand, did not raise crops nor construct buildings. They lived in tents, like their fathers did on the eight-year trip, and they spent their time hunting and training for war. Their skill was “in the bow and in the cimeter and the ax.” In other words, the Lamanites had standing armies that were always trained for war and raiding. Additionally, the Lamanites were a blood-thirsty and ferocious people, delighting in wars and bloodshed.

The Lamanites were plunderers who had an everlasting hatred towards the Nephites, therefore, they were always the ones who attacked first. From all appearances, the Nephites were easy pickings. They were small in number, compared to the Lamanites. They were farmers who did not train for war, therefore, the Lamanites were more skilled in war than were the Nephites. And their diet made them physically weaker than the Lamanites.

Based on all of these variables, the Lamanites should have easily wiped the Nephites out.

Weaker, out-numbered and out-skilled…by design

The Lord commanded the Nephites to do these things so that He could show forth His strength in them. Despite the farmer’s diet making their bodies physically weaker, the strength of the Lord made them vastly stronger than the Lamanites. Despite not training for war, it also made them more skilled in warfare than the Lamanites. And despite being outnumbered, it caused one Nephite to be able to defeat scores of Lamanites, so much so that larger groups of Lamanites would routinely be scattered by small numbers of Nephites. In short, the Nephites became faster, stronger, more enduring, more skilled and had more energy than the Lamanites, despite the Lamanites constantly training for war.

for every man of teancum did exceed the lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war | insomuch that they did gain advantage over the lamanites

A sign to all nations

Now, this miracle was to be a sign, both to the Nephites and to the Lamanites, as well as to the Gentiles, that God was with those who repented of their sins and exercised faith in the Lord. It served to cull the iniquitous from the ranks of the Nephites, for those who went to battle who were impenitent, would not have the strength of the Lord, and would get mowed down by the Lamanites. It also served to fortify the faith of the faithful, for when they obeyed the commandments of the Lord and trusted in Him, having faith that He would give them of His strength, and then they left their farms to go to battle, they would witness firsthand that they had the strength of a God in them, that allowed them to impossibly defeat a superior force. This sign would be witnessed by the faithful Nephites many times throughout their lives, for the Lamanites would attack from time to time, and they could testify to this miracle to their children, encouraging them to put their trust entirely in the Lord and to keep His commandments.

For the Lamanites, it also served as a sign, for they also would witness, time after time, an impossible miracle, in their defeat at the hands of the weaker, less numerous Nephites. It should have caused them to stop and wonder and repent of their sins and acknowledge that the Nephites were supported by the hand of a God, but they were very set in their violent ways.

For those latter-day Gentiles (and Lamanites) who would end up reading the Book of Mormon, it would serve as a sign or a witness to which those who endeavored to establish Zion would seek. The casualty numbers for both sides of each war indicate to the reader just how impossibly powerful the strength of the Lord was. It truly fit the description of “matchless and marvelous.” For example, Zeniff’s numbers show an 11:1 ratio, meaning that for every eleven Lamanites that were killed, only one Nephite died.

The Nephites’ pride

Although the Lord intended the bestowal of His strength to develop faith and trust in Him, often many of the Nephites, after witnessing this miracle, became prideful, thinking that they could sin and God would still give them of His strength. This despite the fact that the Lord had plainly stated to them:

i will not show unto the wicked of my strength | to one more than the other | save it be unto those | who repent of their sins | and hearken unto my words |

At the end of their civilization, this pride caused their entire destruction, for they were great sinners by that time and did not have the strength of the Lord with them, nevertheless, they believed they were still invincible because the Lord still protected them somewhat from the Lamanites, that is, until they broke the final commandment of the Lord and attacked the Lamanites.

Then the Lord fully removed this miracle and they were left to themselves, a physically weaker, vastly outnumbered nation whose skills were no match for the war-trained Lamanites, who then wiped them completely off the face of the earth.

The times of the Gentiles

During our time, it has been prophesied that this ancient gift will return to all those who repent of their sins, exercise faith in the Lord and ask for it.

and it shall be said among the wicked |

let us not go up to battle against zion | for the inhabitants of zion are terrible | wherefore | we cannot stand |

They will be terrible, in part, because they will have the strength of the Lord. Unlike the ancient Lamanites who couldn’t get it into their heads that they “could not stand” against the strength of the Lord that was within the Nephites, and so kept attacking them anyway—thinking that this time they had enough numbers to wipe them out, or that this time the Nephites were spread too thin, etc.—the Gentiles, when they witness the strength of the Lord will be entirely freaked out and will desire to “sit this one out” and not attack the inhabitants of Zion.

The Gentile way

The way of the Gentiles is this: some eat a grain-based diet like the ancient Nephites, becoming physically weak like unto them, while others eat a high protein diet, like the Lamanites. Still others eat a mix between the two. In fact, you can find just about every possible type of diet among the Gentiles, for every Gentile seeks to obtain physical health, strength and beauty by his or her diet, and so many dietary theories exist based on this or that scientific finding.

The Gentiles also have standing armies, like the Lamanites did, and rely upon their armies and police forces, etc., who train for war and combat, to protect them from their enemies, using the most advanced weapons technologies that they can find, invent and afford.

Many Gentiles live a sedentary lifestyle with high caloric intake, resulting in physical obesity and lots of diseases, becoming even weaker, physically, than the Nephites. On the other hand, many engage in various physical education courses, classes and training programs to keep their bodies in as physically fit a shape as they possibly can, like the Lamanites, which also helps in conflicts. A good number of civilian Gentiles also arm themselves with additional weapons and take self-defense courses, such as martial arts, etc., again like the Lamanites, so that they can defeat an attacker.

Some Gentiles only defend themselves, like the Nephites, while other Gentiles will preemptively attack, or even pillage, like the Lamanites. Still others sometimes defend and sometimes attack, whenever it suits their purpose. Always, though, the Gentiles depend upon their numbers and war skill and weapons technology, like the Lamanites, to see them through conflict.

In other words, the Gentiles rely upon the arm of flesh.

o lord | i have trusted in thee | and i will trust in thee forever | i will not put my trust in the arm of flesh | for i know | that cursed is he | that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh | yea | cursed is he that putteth his trust in man | or maketh flesh his arm |

And thus the Gentiles are cursed.

The Zion way

The Gentiles of this day and age, who will repent and come unto Christ, will be justified, purified and sanctified, receiving a remission of their sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost, having angels minister to them, and hearing the voice of the Lord speak to them from the heavens. Such people, following the commandments of the Lord, will eat according to the dietary guidelines found in the Word of Wisdom, which will make them physically weak. This is by the design of the Lord, so that He can show His power and miracles in His people.

In this physically weakened, but spiritually strong, condition—for they have obeyed the voice of the Lord and fulfilled His dietary sayings and other commandments, becoming spiritually strong—they may now ask and receive what they will. And ask they will, even for all of the miracles that the Lord bestows upon His faithful. As the Lord has said:

and all saints | who remember to keep and do these sayings | walking in obedience to the commandments | 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 |

It is not the diet that will give the saints the strength of the Lord, “running without being weary and walking without fainting,” for the diet makes the saints physically weak, or physically weaker than many other types of diets. It is not the diet that gives “health in their navel and marrow to their bones,” for anyone who eats after the manner of the Word of Wisdom still may, and often still does, become sick. It is the keeping and doing of these sayings, along with keeping all the other commandments, that allows a person to ask the Lord for what they will, and receive it.

Again, the Lord’s law of strength and health has nothing, whatsoever, to do with the kind of diet you eat or the kind of exercise or strength training you do. The principle is simply this: if you exercise faith unto repentance unto the remission of your sins, and continue to hearken unto the voice of the Lord, which includes these dietary guidelines, you may ask for the strength of the Lord and He will give it to you. You may ask for health and He will give it to you. You may ask for wisdom and knowledge and He will give it to you. And so on and so forth.

All of these things are intended to be miracles, which operate on faith, not the natural outgrowth of a superior diet and exercise regime. The strength you will get will be supernatural strength, the health, supernatural health, the wisdom, supernatural wisdom, and the knowledge, supernatural knowledge. It is meant to be a miracle.

The LDS are weak-bodied, weak-minded, fools

The LDS have misunderstood the Word of Wisdom. They have thought that the Lord has given them a superior diet which would produce superior physical specimens. He hasn’t and it doesn’t. They have thought that by merely obeying certain parts of the diet, the “thou shalt nots,” that the Lord would give them health and strength. Others have thought that if they obeyed both the “thou shalt nots” as well as the “thou shalts” of the sayings, that they would get the promised blessings of strength, health, wisdom and knowledge, yet still the promises have remain unfulfilled. Still others try to twist the revelation into a scriptural support for their current dietary lifestyle. If they are vegetarians, they stress the “sparingly” clause of the meat. If they are meat-eaters, they claim the comma is misplaced in that clause.

Still others look at the Word of Wisdom with the wisdom of the world in their minds and realize that such guidelines will not produce the best results. And they wonder, “How on earth could this be inspired of God?” So, they come to the conclusion that the Word of Wisdom is a lower law, and thus that the health guidelines they have learned from the nutritionists are higher laws. And on and on go the rationalizations, the end result being the production of weak-bodied and weak-willed fools.

Weak-bodied, because scripturally, all physical bodies of men that do not have the strength of the Lord are considered weak.

and they saw | that they had become weak like unto their brethren | the lamanites |

for behold | they saw that the strength of the lamanites was as great as their strength | even man for man | thus had they fallen into this great transgression | yea | thus had they become weak | because of their transgression | in the space of not many years |

Weak-willed, because strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness is required to obtain the strength of the Lord, through repentance of all one’s sins, and the LDS do not “look unto the Lord, as they ought” (1 Ne. 15:3.) They look to the Word of Wisdom diet, not to the Lord, to obtain the blessing.

Fools, because they have misunderstood the Word of Wisdom, thinking it comes under natural, and not supernatural, law. In other words, they have assigned a natural result to it. They expect the strength, health, wisdom and knowledge of men to be the result of complying with this law. They do not expect anything superhuman or supernatural to come from keeping its sayings. (If you don’t believe me, look at any General Conference talk on the Word of Wisdom. All blessings that are thought to come of it are based upon natural consequences of obeying its divinely revealed, “natural laws of health.”)

Now, I do not exclude myself from that company of fools. Until I just now typed out these words, in this very essay, I myself understood it as a natural law begetting natural results. But now I know otherwise and clearly see that I was wrong. It is a supernatural law given to produce, or show forth, supernatural results, by the faith of the people trusting in their Lord and asking Him for these miracles.

How to obtain the strength of the Lord

The first step is walking through the gate, namely, exercising faith unto repentance and receiving a remission of sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. At this point, you can speak with the tongue of angels, shout praises to the Holy One of Israel by the power of the Holy Ghost, and worship the Father in the name of the Son with “clean hands and a pure heart.” (See 2 Ne. 25:16 and Alma 5:19.)

The second step is to keep the commandments of God, including the Word of Wisdom sayings, continuing in constant prayer and fasting to retain a remission of sins from day to day.

The third and final step is merely to ask God for His strength, for once you are “purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done” (D&C 50:29.)

But what of my [fill in the blank] regime?

Like the Nephites of old, who didn’t need a special type of superior diet, or special training, or special weaponry (the common weapons of the day sufficed), or special anything, to defeat the Lamanites, so the modern Gentile does not need to change the Lord’s instructions, neither adding to nor subtracting from them, to obtain His strength. No strength or military or defense training is required. Nor are dietary supplements needed. There is no need to alter the Word of Wisdom, at all. It is a very simple process: ask and ye shall receive, after ye have become purified by exercising faith in Christ, repenting and receiving a remission of all your sins.

Even after writing this, I am certain there will be those who will object based upon soil nutrient depletion (requiring supplementation) or who will claim that relying upon their particular diet or self defense/strength training does not disqualify them from receiving the strength of the Lord, so, let me be very clear on this point: you must rely wholly upon the merits of Christ to receive of His strength. If you attempt to rely partially on God and partially on your own strength, through dietary modifications and/or defense/strength training, the Lord will leave you to yourself, to defend yourself by your own arm of flesh.

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  1. Lol — so we weaken ourselves physically [as the Nephites], yet weaken ourselves spiritually [as the Lamanites] — I guess that’s instability due to double-mindedness.

    Sounds like we’d be better off picking one or the other [hot or cold], instead of trying to do both strategies — and ending up lukewarm.

  2. I also guess this precludes me from doing posts on paleo-nutrition in the future now doesn’t it?

  3. This post is merely on the miracle known as the strength of the Lord. Not everyone is interested in obtaining that miracle, so, I do not see any barrier to doing posts on paleo-nutrition. I see it (now) as a works of the Father, works of man, thing. The works and science of man have, indeed, brought us advances in nutritional understandings and many people may love to know that. But the things of God appear to be based on, or work by, faith and miracles. I have lately been consciously striving to remove my focus and energies from the works of man as I’ve sought the works of the Father and perhaps this is why I finally noticed this strength of the Lord doctrine as it pertains to the Word of Wisdom.

  4. Hi there, I’d like to share my opinion in the subject.

    First of all, I must say it differs from LDS Anarchist, so I know we understand things differently. He has given his reasons for what he believes, now I’ll share my reason for what I believe. It’s ok to have different opinions as we grow in light and truth, and most of all, it’s important to not come into an argument, but be peaceful. With this in mind, I’ll proceed to state my view.

    I agree with the distinction of natural health, and the strength of the Lord. The strength of the Lord, doesn’t come through natural, man made methods, but our bodies need to be vivified and renewed by the Spirit. It comes, as mentioned on the post, after we repent, make a covenant with the Lord, and then receive the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. Our bodies are renewed, and we even become faithful enough to ask for that strength of the Lord. It’s super strength if you want to call it that way. This is so much bigger that natural strength, that even if you were the healthiest man on Earth, the gap between the strength of the Lord and your health would still be so big that it would be impossible to recognize the miracle.

    My disagreement comes about what brings natural health on this World. A high protein diet does not bring natural health to you. It might help in developing muscle and burning fat. However, when eating a high protein diet, your body becomes highly acidic. Your blood becomes acidic and your body has to work night and day to neutralize that acidity. At first your body uses organic Sodium to neutralize the acids, but this organic sodium is low in people with a high protein diet, since the organic sodium comes from raw fruits and veggies (this organic sodium has nothing to do with salt, which is inorganic sodium). Because organic sodium is low in people with high protein diets, the next thing taken to neutralize those acids is calcium. Then your body enters into an unending cycle of taking calcium from your bones to neutralize acids, and then replacing that calcium taken again, making your bones extremely week. As your body becomes more acidic, more bacteria grows inside your body. Viruses also reproduce speedily, and sickness abounds. Your body starts to decay, and maintaining health is extremely difficult, even for professional athletes, many of which drop dead at times, when nobody knows why; it was because of the extreme acidity produced by the high protein diet combine with the acidity produced at the time of exercise.

    Now many people think you need protein to be strong, to create tissue and muscle. YOU DON’T! Your body needs amino acids in order to do this. When you eat protein, your body has to transform that protein into amino acids, leaving a high amount of toxins and acids. But when you intake amino acids from natural sources, your body doesn’t create the toxins or acids that are created otherwise. What are the sources of natural amino acids? Organic RAW fruits and veggetables. They are full of enzymes, which are by definition amino acids. Amino acid supplements don’t work, because they are synthesized and still create toxins and acids in your body. When you eat a high raw fruit and vegetable diet your body becomes healthy and strong, as healthy and strong as the natural body can be.

    Now, what is the problem then with the Word of Wisdom? there is no problem except our understanding of it. We just don’t understand it. When the Lord tells us to eat fruits, he doesn’t mean just the 3 or 4 fruits we are used to (banana, apple, and a berry here and there). There are hundreds of different kinds of fruits the LORD HAS CREATED (so we still rely on Him) for our health. When he says we need vegetables, he doesn’t mean the two veggies we are used to (spinach, lettuce, and peas). There are hundreds of vegetables the LORD HAS CREATED (so we still rely on Him) for our health. When the Lord told us to eat grains, he didn’t mean the genetically modified corn and wheat we are used to, the LORD HAS CREATED (so we still rely on Him) hundreds of different types of heirloom grains for our health, which can be sprouted and not cooked. Other sources of health and strength are wine and beer, which we are commanded to partake of in the Word of Wisdom, but the institutional Church has banned those.

    Some sources of health and strength that you might not know about are: Raw cacao, Macca Root, goji berries, mulberries, golden berries, kale, blue green algae, spirulina, chlorella, heirloom corn, spelt, heirloom wheat, kamut wheat, heirloom rice, raw milks (sheep, goat, camel, cow), grass-fed chicken eggs, cultured foods, fermented foods (kefir, raw butter, sauerkraut, fermented apple juice, fermented grape juice a.k.a. wine, fermented barley a.k.a. beer), and I could go on and on with an innumerable list of products non familiar to most LDS.

    The intent of the Word of Wisdom was to bless all Saints with the best natural health possible, which again, is still nothing compare to the strength of the Lord. Still the Word of Wisdom is not the higher law, since first of all, the Word of Wisdom was meant to be a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all Saints, and it was given not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom. And the Lord said that those who remembered to keep and to do these SAYINGS (not these law), and keep the commandments as well, would receive blessings among which are health and spiritual knowledge. Health includes diet, and spirituality as well. You can’t be healthy without being spiritually healthy.

    This is, more or less, my view on natural health, strength of the Lord, and the Word of Wisdom. By the way, I believe that unless one keeps the natural laws of health the best way possible, the strength of the Lord cannot come to that person, even though the natural laws of health don’t produce per se the strength of the Lord.

  5. Couple things:

    your body has to transform that protein into amino acids, leaving a high amount of toxins and acids

    You don’t “transform” protein into amino acids — proteins are amino acids. And what “toxins” are you referring to — NH4+? I can agree that high-protein could not be considered an ideal/optimal human diet — but that’s really because of the heavy metabolic load and increase in water demands that excess amino acids can cause.

    I would say that, if you take an evolutionary approach to what might be an “optimal” human diet that we are designed to eat — I would say that the survival of our species has been the story of a perpetual struggle for starch and fat [maybe water too].

    As your body becomes more acidic, more bacteria grows inside your body.

    I know this is the case with excess starch in the gut other animals — are you suggesting that this happens in response to excess protein in humans?

    Amino acid supplements don’t work, because they are synthesized

    I assume you mean “industrially synthesized” — and that’s your problem with supplements — because aren’t even natural proteins and enzymes synthesized by the organism you’re eating? What about the fact that most commercial supplements are synthesized by bacteria [which are living things]?

    Also — AMC — are you a raw foodist?

  6. I tried to leave out of the OP a lot of scriptural quotes because I wanted, for the most part, to put it in my own words and also because I didn’t want to take time out to look up all the references I could have put in it, but just wanted to push the thoughts out. But here I will give a few scriptures that lend support.

    First, I want to show that the Nephites, despite their non-career warrior status (they were farmers), their physically weakened state and their smaller numbers, were commanded of God 1) never to attack their enemies, meaning that they weren’t to initiate or instigate any war, and 2) to defend themselves even unto bloodshed and not permit their enemies to slay them. Again, I am emphasizing that these were commandments of God given to them, in case any peace-niks happen in here.

    and they were doing that | which they felt was the duty | which they owed to their god | for the lord had said unto them | and also unto their fathers |

    that inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense | neither the second | ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies |

    and again | the lord has said |

    that ye shall defend your families | even unto bloodshed |

    therefore | for this cause were the nephites contending with the lamanites | to defend themselves | and their families | and their lands | their country | and their rights | and their religion |
    (Alma 43:46-47)

    now | the nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies | even to the shedding of blood | if it were necessary |

    yea | and they were also taught never to give an offense |

    yea | and never to raise the sword | except it were against an enemy | except it were to preserve their lives |

    and this was their faith | that by so doing | god would prosper them in the land |

    or | in other words | if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of god | that he would prosper them in the land |

    yea | warn them to flee | or to prepare for war | according to their danger |

    and also | that god would make it known unto them | whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies |

    and by so doing | the lord would deliver them |
    (Alma 48:14-16)

    The next scripture shows that the strength of the Lord was a miraculous sign witnessed by everyone on the battlefield that testified of the Lord’s presence among the people. These are Amulek’s words:

    nevertheless | after all this | i never have known much of the ways of the lord | and his mysteries and marvelous power |

    i said |

    i never had known much of these things

    but behold | i mistake | for i have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power | yea | even in the preservation of the lives of this people |
    (Alma 10:5)

    Finally, here is a scripture that shows that it was always the intent of the Lord to have a weak (think Word of Wisdom weak) and simple people in the latter-days, to showcase His miraculous power:

    and also gave commandments to others | that they should proclaim these things unto the world | and all this | that it might be fulfilled | which was written by the prophets |

    the weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones | that man should not counsel his fellow man | neither trust in the arm of flesh | but that every man might speak in the name of god | the lord | even the savior of the world | that faith also might increase | that mine everlasting covenant might be established | that the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world | and before kings and rulers |

    (D&C 1:18-23)

  7. Here are a couple of more scriptures regarding the prophecy of the weak things using the strength of the Lord in the latter days:

    and it shall come to pass | that there shall be a great work in the land | even among the gentiles | for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people | for i am god | and mine arm is not shortened | and i will show miracles | signs | and wonders | unto all those who believe on my name | and whoso shall ask it | in my name | in faith | they shall cast out devils | they shall heal the sick | they shall cause the blind to receive their sight | and the deaf to hear | and the dumb to speak | and the lame to walk | and the time speedily cometh | that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men | but without faith shall not anything be shown forth | except desolations upon babylon | the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication | and there are none | that doeth good | except those | who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel | which i have sent forth unto this generation | wherefore | i call upon the weak things of the world | those | who are unlearned and despised | to thresh the nations | by the power of my spirit | and their arm shall be my arm | and i will be their shield and their buckler | and i will gird up their loins | and they shall fight manfully for me | and their enemies shall be under their feet | and i will let fall the sword in their behalf | and by the fire of mine indignation will i preserve them |
    (D&C 35:7-13)

    and for this cause | that men might be made partakers of the glories | which were to be revealed | the lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel | his everlasting covenant | reasoning in plainness and simplicity | to prepare the weak | for those things | which are coming on the earth | and for the lord’s errand | in the day when the weak shall confound the wise | and the little one become a strong nation | and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight | and by the weak things of the earth the lord shall thresh the nations | by the power of his spirit |
    (D&C 133:57-59)

  8. @Justin:
    I’m glad to answer, or try to answer any questions you might have.
    The definition of “transform” is the following, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary: “to change in composition or STRUCTURE” also “to change in character or CONDITION”.

    Protein is structured with a chain of amino acids linked through peptide bonds. For your body to be able to use that protein, it has to change the structure of it, break the bonds, and then take the amino acids to be able to form new tissue and new muscle (protein). So, by changing the structure of the protein your body is transforming it in order to use it.

    Protein breakdown creates a numerous amount of toxins, among which are the nitrogenous wastes which cross over the blood-brain barrier, giving heed to different neurological disorders. When your brain doesn’t work well, your whole body can’t work either. Hence the importance of avoiding this unnecessary transformation or braking down of the protein, by in taking readily available amino acids found in raw fruits and veggies.

    There are other problems related to this, but I guess this things I mentioned will suffice.

    Any kind of virus lives and develops in acidic environments, dying and losing power on alkaline ones. There are a good amount of acid producing foods (these are not necessarily acid at the moment of ingest, like lemons for example, which are acidic, but once digested, they are alkaline), among which are all kinds of meats. Meats in their raw form, are not as acidic as when cooked. There are other acidic or acid producing foods, like cooked grains, processed foods, and others. Being acidic doesn’t necessarily means bad, but eating only acid producing foods is bad. There is a balance. However, we are in one side of the balance right now with our diets, which is the acidic one. So excess protein for sure produces an acidic environment in your body, and therefore a perfect situation for bacteria and viruses to grow.

    Finally, the difference between natural and synthetic amino acids is that many amino acids are converted from the trans form into the cis form, or the trans-fatty form, which are not biologically active. They are basically dead molecules (not much intelligence on them). Even further, some amino acids are converted from the L form to the D form, which is neurotoxic and nephrotoxic.

    Again, there is more to this, but it will suffice.
    Let me know if you have more questions, and sorry this became a scienciquy post…hehe. We want to get away from science and more into God, unless they both match, and we know for a fact.

    @LDS Anarchist
    I agree with everything you said, except with the fact that the Lord wants his people to become weak physically in order to show His power.
    The way I understand it, is in the last days, His elect will be the weak things of the World (the ones considered with no power or influence among the masses). No matter how healthy or strong I am, even if I am the strongest and healthiest man in the World, a soldier can shoot me and I die, unless the Lord prevents that to happen. The Lord will give his elect his strength because they won’t have weaponry, and therefore, the Lord will fight their battles, and no weapon will be forged that will be able to destroy Zion. This has nothing to do with the personal strength or health of His people.

    Here are some references about the physical strength of some Nephites:
    Alma 48:11
    Alma 49:20
    Alma 52:36
    Alma 57:6

    Then, in the Book of Mormon, the term strong, or wax strong, usually means to increase, in number, or wickedness, or pride, or weaponry, etc.

    Alma 58:15
    Helaman 11:36
    Helaman 11:37
    3 Nephi 2:3
    3 Nephi 3:26
    4 Nephi 1:10, 40

    Anyways, sorry for the long comments…

  9. AMC,

    @LDS Anarchist
    I agree with everything you said, except with the fact that the Lord wants his people to become weak physically in order to show His power.

    I admit that the concept sounds strange, but there actually is scriptural precedent for this:

    and if men come unto me | i will show unto them their weakness | i give unto men weakness | that they may be humble | and my grace is sufficient | for all men | that humble themselves before me | for if they humble themselves before me | and have faith in me | then will I make weak things become strong unto them |
    (Ether 12:27)


    1) He gives men weakness. In other words, He bestows a gift of weakness.
    2) All gifts of God must be received, otherwise we incite the Lord’s anger. So, the second part is that the gift of weakness is received by men.

    for what doth it profit a man | if a gift is bestowed upon him | and he receive not the gift |

    behold | he rejoices not in that | which is given unto him | neither rejoices in him | who is the giver of the gift |
    (D&C 88:33)

    3) After the gift of weakness is received, the man becomes a “weak thing.”
    4) Then the Lord shows unto the man his weakness, or, in other words, the Lord shows to the man that he has received “the gift of weakness.”

    nevertheless | the lord god showeth us our weakness | that we may know | that it is by his grace | and his great condescensions unto the children of men | that we have power to do these things |
    (Jacob 4:7)

    behold | i will show unto the gentiles their weakness | and i will show unto them | that faith | hope | and charity | bringeth unto me | the fountain of all righteousness |
    (Ether 12:28)

    5) Next, the man sees his weakness, which is an act of agency, for just because someone shows you something, doesn’t mean that you look and see it. You must have eyes that see, etc.

    and it came to pass | that the lord said unto me |

    if they have not charity | it mattereth not unto thee | thou hast been faithful | wherefore | thy garments shall be made clean | and because thou hast seen thy weakness | thou shalt be made strong | even unto the sitting down | in the place which i have prepared | in the mansions of my father |

    (Ether 12:37)

    6) After seeing his weakness, or after seeing that he has received the gift of weakness, the man now can have a proper view of himself.

    and it came to pass | that it was for the space of many hours | before moses did again receive his natural strength | like unto man | and he said unto himself |

    now | for this cause | i know | that man is nothing | which thing i never had supposed |

    (Moses 1:10)

    7) He can now humble himself before God and acknowledge his own nothingness, unworthiness and weakness, and also acknowledge the greatness of God.
    8) If the man does these things (humbles himself before God)
    9) and exercises faith in God
    10) he receives the grace of God
    11) which grace causes that the man (a weak thing) becomes strong, meaning that the man receives the strength of the Lord.

    The whole process doesn’t start until God gives men the gift of weakness and they receive that weakness. So, yes, God wants His people to become physically weak so that He can make them strong. This pattern works because it strengthens the spirit by “weakening” the body.

    The pattern also applies to fasting, which works on the same principle, namely, depriving the body of its optimum nutritional requirements (so that it becomes weak), so that it can learn to live off of the Spirit of the Lord.

  10. I normally agree, understand, and feel the Spirit when I learn from you. I discovered the site weeks ago and have feasted and learned many beautiful truths. This is both from the articles and comments. What you say here though is so far outside of my experience so far that I have a hard time understanding. Not that I don’t understand the knowledge, I am by school a cultural anthropologist, and also trained by a chef and keenly interested in nutrition. You might say i wanted to be a culinary anthropologist. I even once undertook a book in this field, but after doing the research i found the fruit of my labor was not  was not a book at all.  I understand your knowledge.  I even see valid arguements there.  It remains, however outside of my experience and understanding. 

    My wife and I now completely live the Word of Wisdom, and all of our Temple Covenants as well. Let me explain how we live it, since it is plainly said it is given in a manner that even the weakest can benefit from.  We eat no meat, being beast or foul, but we do eat fish sparingly in the winter.  I am grateful for beer, and enjoy mild drinks as the Lord directs.  We eat a robust diet of preservative free, and chemical free food.  Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables locally and organically obtained.  We use the grains in the manner directed by the Lord.  We partake of the Sacrement in our home with bread my wife makes lovingly, and with wine, new and not aged for value, local and organic when possible.  I also use medical cannabis now to manage seizures I have had since late teenage years.   All of our medicine is now herbal, and with gratitude we have enjoyed all of its benefits to our overall health as well. Our diet is completed with a good dose of “Zion.” We eat honey and milk products (who doesn’t love cheese?) with relish and zeal. In fact most of our calories come from raw honey and raw milk and other dairy.

    I am not advocating my choices, but what I can say is that living the Word of Wisdom in this manner, coupled with the Temple Endowment, I have seen a complete healing of my body, an ability to access the Gifts of the Spirit as the Lord has seen fit to give me, and upon asking, receiving Gifts of the Spirit I need or desire.  I find I am directed by the Lord in my priesthood responsibilities in the home and guided intimately in our life.  We have found, together as a couple, that the Spirit is an constant part of our relationship.

    As I said, I am being completely healed (all the way, even hair where I haven’t had hair in years) and I was in a rotten condition before I really started to pay attention to the healing when the very week I completely moved to observing the Word of Wisdom as above my glasses (trifocals) were making me nauseous. Took them off, haven’t needed them. It has just been one healling change after another since then. The visual (hehe) changes aside, the many lessions, calcifications, and cysts growing on my brain are gone. My last MRI should only one 4cm one remaining, but the Lord assures me it will be gone on my next set of tests If we feel inclined to get tests. I don’t. The change has come so fast and drasticly large that family and friends have been misguidedly concerned or incorrect in some of there assumptions. I feel as young as I ever have, and in fact my wife says I look younger. I am strong, I have endurance. There has been loving emotional and mental healing. Life is great. Of course there are more changes and blessings, but some things are sacred, and others might seem boastful without context I am not unwilling to share, and in fact love to rejoice in how merciful and good the Saviour has been to my little family. I am just not sure of the social behaviors here on your site and would not want to bend or break rules.

    I hope you can see, I only share. Perhaps my experience might cause you to think in other ways about the Word of Wisdom. The blessing outlined really are given, at least that has been my observation.

    Of course professionally I advacate a Fisher-Gather Tribal lifestyle, strictly from an anthro background.

    Ps. I only have a phone for Internet, be merciful, typing is hard and I imagine my grammar is worthless not to mention the typos.

  11. Grr. So this is what I get for not refreshing before I posted. Your follow up comments clarified, and re-reading the the original post with those comments in mind brought more understanding. (stupid me, hit refresh if it has been most of a day).

  12. This morning I asked the Lord why I was so weak, I have a bad health, but I tried to life the word of wisdom. My father is 82 years old. He smokes and drinks a lot and he is healthier than me. I’m 46 years old with many illnesses. I know a lot about the gospel, even more then many members of the Church. I have recieved visions, inspiration, knowledge, great understanding of the scriptures, but I didn’t understand why I was unhealthy in many ways. Now I know and understand. I life the word of wisdom and I fitness a few times a week, my health improved by doing those things, but I never recieved the strength I wanted and needed. I will ask the Lord specifically for his strenght, mentally and fysically. I need to repent even more and I hope the Lord will forgive my stupidities, sins, weaknesses ect.

    Now I know that the Lord can give me more strenght, even more then I expected. My father is healthy, but no member of the Church and he knows allmost nothing about the gospel, I became a member 21 years ago and I know a lot about the gospel. I never smoked, drink alcohol or used drugs. I have believed in Jesus my whole life and I still do. Today I learned even more about my savior and his strenght.
    I thank you all and I thank my savior. Now I understand why I’m weak and strong the same time. God is my strenght, I do my best and God does the rest!!! I prayed this morning for understanding and a few
    minutes later I recieved an-mail with the anwsers. It made me cry and also very happy. I felt the spirit and I will keep on living the word of wisdom, but my strenght comes from the Lord. I will pray even more and more specifically for the things I need and also for my family and other people. J.C. = my Savior + my Strength.

  13. Holy moly:

    many amino acids are converted from the trans form into the cis form, or the trans-fatty form, which are not biologically active

    There is no such thing as a cis or a trans amino acid. D or L — you got right — but what on earth is a “trans-fatty amino acid”.

    And all these “enzymes” that are good to eat — what do you suppose they are? Enzymes are proteins. A diet high in enzymes is a diet high in protein.

    I’m not here to advocate a high-protein diet. As I said, it’s metabolically stressful [dealing with NH4+ in the urea cycles] and increases water demands [hydrolyzing those peptide bonds].

    I just can’t read things like “trans-amino acids” without pointing out that that’s really just a bunch of drivel.

  14. fogetting.son — thanks for putting your experience here. I enjoyed reading it.

  15. Also AMC:

    Any kind of virus lives and develops in acidic environments

    Then what of the strategy of using lactic acid producing, commensal gut bacteria as competitive exclustion against pathogenic bacteria?

    Protein breakdown creates a numerous amount of toxins

    I know that “toxins” is a favorite buzzword in the natural food/raw/vegan crowds — but besides NH4+, what “toxins” are you suggesting are released when the peptide bonds are hyrdolyzed?

    Finally, the difference between natural and synthetic amino acids…

    This talked entirely past the distinction I was making. Unless an animal as an amino acid racemase to convert the D-form to the L-form — supplements cannot just be mixed together in a vat of chemicals [because that would produce 50% D and 50% L], which is what I would agree is dead molecules with no life in them.

    Instead, in most cases, companies use bacteria to synthesize the amino acid [making it 100% L], which is then purified and sold as the supplement.

    So the line between “natural” and “synthetic” is blurier than you are trying to make it — because a supplement at the drug store was likely produced by biological life, albeit in an industrial process [which if you want to make the case that industrialization of food production is bad, then that’s something else entirely than talking about “natural” vs. “synthetic”].

    But, I can agree that for the purposes of this post, it would likely be best if we’d

    get away from science and more into God, unless they both match

  16. I can agree with the Nephite / Lamanite diets, and the Lord making His works manifest by giving strength, but I wonder if we are not in a very different situation now. We are choosing to be weakened, lulled into being weakened, rushing willingly into our weakening. It isn’t that our dietary choices give one or an other group of people advantages in survival, a useful thing in by-gone days, but rather as a Church (and not a Gospel living people) we are sucking in the world through a straw and paying a deadly price.

    In the last year we have lived with both sets of parents. They now do things we were taught never to do as children, by them, and when we talk about it with them we are told they were wrong and it isn’t that bad after all. That or they become defensive and shout it is too hard to change. Or too late.

    We would have been grounded for living the Sabbath the way they do now.

    Chemicals, medicines, packaging and convience. All of the world. It is cankering our souls, literally. We have been taught by the Lord and by many Prophets how to be healthy. We choose not to. Perhaps he is allowing us to weaken ourselves, only so he might pour forth his scourges promised for these last days. One last grand weakening so to say, but I really believe that he tried his best to raise up a strong, Zion worthy, Zion ready people. We failed I suspect.

  17. On a somewhat unrelated note, but worth adding. What do you think the Church’s expectation of our general health and strength is to be?
    Having recently, and I hate the word fought but it seems to fit best, fought distribution services to have a pair of garment bottoms made that fit. They are more than willing to sell (clears throat, sell…grrr) bottoms for men of a larger size, I know this, I used to buy said sizes, but now they don’t make them small enough without special ordering, and they were unwilling to do so. So says I, give me the pattern, we used to do that as a Church, and I will make my own. No. That was their response. Now, I believe that a man is taught in the Temple all he needs to know to make, mark, and wear his own garments, but for whatever reason I was told not to do this, in this case, and to in fact push it. So, here I am, still sitting in oversized bottoms day after day,with a Bishop that is working on it for me. We will see how this ends for me, but irony aside, it bothers me that the expectation of our leaders is we are going to be unhealthy. Indicated by the sizes readily available.

  18. So says I, give me the pattern, we used to do that as a Church, and I will make my own. No. That was their response.
    Now, I believe that a man is taught in the Temple all he needs to know to make, mark, and wear his own garments, but for whatever reason I was told not to do this…

    You are entirely right about that — I just make my own by cutting the marks into pre-existing clothing, making normal everyday garments into authorized priesthood garments [this was initially brought-up in the comments of The Garment post — and then fully expounded in the follow-up post, The Garment, with additions].

    forgetting.son — I’m interested in what exactly the Distribution Services representative said, did they give any sort of reason why they would not allow you to have a pattern to make your own?

  19. I think there is a general misunderstanding outside the paleo/primal sphere as to what the diet mostly consists of. It is not a high protien diet. It is a high fat diet. Your body will us either carbohydrate as fuel or fat as fuel. When grain is eliminated your main fuel source becomes fat.

    Try going into a wild setting anywhere in the world and bring back all the food you can forage. The largest pile would be fat, then protien, then carbohydrate.

    I am not quite sure why everyone (raw foodists, vegitarian/vegan, WOW followers, SAD followers, etc.) is so concerned about protien. It really isn’t all that hard to meet your protien requirements with almost any diet.

    For a personal experience: After my wife and I were married I noticed she would go to the bathroom upwards from 15 to 20 times a day (#2). I asked her why she went so much and her reply was, “Isn’t that normal? It’s always been that way.” I informed her that it wasn’t and that she should get check out. Long story short the doc made sure she upped her fiber to almost 50g a day. We redoubled our efforts to live the WOW and switch to everything whole grain. We would eat from our own garden and get plenty of fruits in the season therof. My wife patriarcal blessing informs her to “live the WOW to the very letter.”

    Even after living this way for quite some time she still suffered with health problems. One of those health problems was debilitating seasonal allergies. Another long story short, my wife when to a healer who happens to be in our stake (she is able to read energy). She informed my wife of a gluten intollerance, along with an intollerance for pasturized dairy and factory farmed beef. Within 3 days of eliminating these things from our diet she saw her allergies disappear. Also our 2 year olds night terrors went way.

    We have since transitioned into a primal/paleo lifestyle after discovering the WOW it say that grains are for times of famine and excess hunger. We eat animals that have either been killed by our own hands or that we have watched die. We use many of the organ meats to show thanksgiving. We enjoy huge amounts of vegetables, mostly fromour garden. I still acknowledge our shortcomings as mortal beings. I still beg the Lord to bless us with what we lack, both spiritually and physically. I do enjoy the ease at which I can maintain a healthy weight.

    I think I agreed with the OP until it mentions that we must live the WOW as stated to recieve the strength of the Lord. I do not claim that the diet I choose to live is superior the WOW, the raw food diet, a vegitarian/vegan diet, etc. My personal belief is that the Lord wants us to take care of our bodies. The WOW is one way that can happen (however most people that say the live it are far from living it). I do not believe it is the only way to obtain health as demonstrated by many, many people.

    Sorry for the long post, I am pretty pasionate about this subject.

  20.  So fancy with all your indents and links and all that, perhaps I will take sometime to learn.

    In response… It was actually very bureaucrat, or maybe corporate is a better description.  When pressed, every reaction has been a near “call center” scripted response.  I did not press too hard, and reasoned without contention, but the response is nearly identical:  “We do not sell patterns or authorize anyone to make their own.”  I have also asked why saints in the past were allowed to, but we are not.  The response to that was surprise, I have a feeling they were not trained on that question when answering the lines.  Perhaps not even aware that we used to make our own.

    I actually feel bad for those who have had to deal with me, and I have always been kind and not grumpy.  I was placing them in a poor situation though. Exacerbated that they wouldn’t make bottoms to fit, even though I was more than willing to pay the un-subsidized price, I started asking logical questions.  If I can’t get some, may I make some.  Finally someone did let me know they would send my “case” to someone about even authorizing getting my size made.  This was months ago.  I suppose that is my answer.  Well my Bishop is aware now.

    I would follow your example, but the Spirit has constrained me.  My personal answer is doing this is right and good, but nor for me.  I wonder sometimes if that is because I am under so much scrutiny already given my choice of medicine.  I have been very open with my Bishops, but I also come complete with a beard, stretched earlobes, and tattoos.

    Footnote: it has been interesting to be independently taught by the Spirit many of the thing discussed here and the to come upon a site like this later and see I am not the only one being moved in these ways.

  21. Bren:

    When grain is eliminated your main fuel source becomes fat.

    I think you mean “starch” [instead of grain]. There are good sources of starch that are not grain. And the problem with grain isn’t the carbohydrate component — but the protein fraction [e.g., gluten].

    I am not quite sure why everyone (raw foodists, vegitarian/vegan, WOW followers, SAD followers, etc.) is so concerned about protien. It really isn’t all that hard to meet your protien requirements with almost any diet.

    Completely agree. There are data from observations made of tribal cultures that show they will regularly discard meat that is too lean, and will report having “nothing to eat” when there’s an absense of starch [yet abudance of wild game].


    Sorry for the long post, I am pretty pasionate about this subject.

    It wasn’t that long — and I am too.

    The typical “Paleo” paradigm doesn’t always fix health problems for everyone. That’s because “Paleo/Primal” often divides things into good and bad catagories somewhat arbitrarily. “Good” and “Bad” food is relative to your body’s function and your own metabolic situation.

    So if “paleo” has become anything for me and how I eat — it’s about figuring out which foods I am intolerant of and either avoiding it or working on becoming more tolerant. If you have a gene mutation for a certain enzyme or you have malfunctioning gut bacteria, then it doesn’t really matter anymore if a food is designated “paleo” or not.

  22. Bren,

    I think I agreed with the OP until it mentions that we must live the WOW as stated to recieve the strength of the Lord.

    When I wrote this post, I was certain there would be people who would mention food intolerances and other health conditions which make living the letter of the Word of Wisdom unavisable or impossible.

    My understanding is that the principle is as Nephi stated, namely, “that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne. 3:7.)

    Now, the Word of Wisdom was not given as a commandment, nevetheless, it does still show forth the “will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days” (D&C 89:2.) So, the question is, how does the Lord prepare the way for a person who has [name your physical condition] so that he or she may “do these sayings” (D&C 89:18) and obtain the promises attached to them?

    It is my understanding and belief that step one given above in the OP (under the section How to obtain the strength of the Lord) must not be skipped, because once step one is accomplished, the Lord can then prepare one’s body to be able to live the Word of Wisdom, as well as accomplish all the commandments. Again, it is intended to be a miracle, just as the Lord caused a miracle to happen in the obtaining of the plates of brass, which was an impossible task that the sons of Lehi were commanded to do.

    But if you skip that step and simply attempt to live the Word of Wisdom before your body is renewed (see D&C 84:33), then you may find yourself incapable of accomplishing the “will of God in [your own] temporal salvation.”

  23. I had an opportunity yesterday, after I published this post, to talk to a friend of mine about it, and he brought up the fact that evil and conspiring men are poisoning the food supply, which comment made both me and him think of the same set of scriptures, which address such poisonings:

    and these signs shall follow them | that believe | … | and if any man shall administer poison unto them | it shall not hurt them |
    (D&C 84:65,71)

    and these signs shall follow him | he shall heal the sick | he shall cast out devils | and shall be delivered from those | who would administer unto him deadly poison |
    (D&C 124:98)

    In other words, the Lord is going to prepare the way, miraculously, that His elect can accomplish all of His sayings, despite the attempts of men to foil the designs of the Lord.

  24. Totally off-topic, but I don’t know how to contact Justin and I was wondering what he thought about this article. I was wondering, also, if he’d write an article about it (of course, it would be all right with me if any of you on LDSA chose to write one on it).

    Chapter 17 of Women and Authority, about women having the priesthood.

  25. Justin,

    I guess it seemed like a long post since I typed it all on my phone.

    I agree with your good and bad starch comment. I enjoy my tubers and squash from time to time. However my main macronutrient consumed daily is healthy fat (mostly from animals). I have always understood the role of animals having grown up on a farm, but now I will rarely eat an animal without giving thanks to Father for the animals sacrifice. Since we are so intimate with the slaughter of our meat, the scene when the animal died will usually come back to my mind and leave me humbled. I also agree that we as paleo followers can sometime lump things into categories that will work for everyone. You definatley need to listen to your body.

    LDS Anarchist,

    First I want to say that I love your blog. I found it almost a year ago and it has opened a world of like thinkers to me. I have felt for a long time that my fellow brothers and sisters have fallen into a state of false security that all is well in Zion and that nothing will ever happen because we are special. I would get frustrated in Sunday Scool and Priesthood by the same questions and answers week in and week out. I have gleaned a lot of great topics of study from your blog an others you have referenced.

    Back to the post…
    I aknowledge that I have not fully completed the first step since I am not aware of any time when I have spoken with the tounge of angels. I have been moved, touched, and directed by the spirit, but have never experienced any of the greatest gifts which are talked about occasionally on this blog. Perhaps that is what I am lacking. While living the WOW to the letter I would ask for health. However I suppose if it was not necissary at that moment then I did not need to be blessed.

    I have grown a little skeptical of the WOW over the last few years. I say that with love. As most know it was not a commandment at first. And we have all heard the story about Emma asking if tabacco was really OK since she was cleaning it up all the time. The other part that doesn’t get told all that often, but I am sure most at this site are aware, is that one of the brother in the school (can’t remember his name right now) came back with something along the lines of “wouldn’t be great if he also said that tea and coffee were not allowed,” since the women like to partake in those beverages more than the men.

    Also at that time the temperance movement was around. I understand that it was a lot more restrictive than the WOW, but contrary to what is said in Sunday School these days, it wasn’t some completely new idea that wasn’t talked about my doctors. Eating the right foods to become more spiritual was something practiced by some religions at that time. Reverand Graham (the inventor of the graham cracker) felt a higher fiber diet would curb sexual urges. Kellog went along those same lines. Monks would go on vegan/vegitarian diets in some monestaries to lower labido.

    Again, my personal thought is that the WOW is one way a person can stay healthy. However, I still think the Lord will bless those with who ask with faith no matter what their diet so long as they repect their body while doing so.

    I love posts that make you dig deep into why one believes the way they do.

  26. Bren — I especially like your point on connecting with the slaughter of your meat. So much of behind why people are having food issues is they are disconnected from it.

    There’s no sense of husbandry with nature anymore.

  27. Toni — I answered your question on the Spicing up your church experience: Women’s edition post.

  28. Man, it’s hard to keep up with this post, with so many comments to read, so forgive me if I haven’t read all of them, and maybe this, my last response contradicts something that has been previously clarified.

    Justin, Amino Acids are in D- or L- form, but their conformation can be trans or cis. Trans amino acids are not a type of amino acids, but a conformation of any kind of amino acid. Some trans fats occur naturally, but when artificially synthesizing amino acids, we can change their structure making a new conformation of them that is not bio-active. This also happens frequently when food is microwaved, or even happens with baby formulas that are used to substitute mother’s milk. Because they are not bio-active, bugs don’t get on them, so they have an increased shelf-life.

    Take a look at this paper for example:

    Click to access 12475212.pdf

    Justin, I don’t get offended for any comments made, so I’ll try to explain as many times as I can if you don’t understand and if you want to understand. However, if you don’t want to understand, I’d rather drop the subject and just continue with our way of thinking.

    Also, again, enzymes are not proteins, they are amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. When you need to build a wall, you use bricks, and arrange them in the way that is needed and glue them together with some kind of substance. However, if someone tells you that you can use a certain wall, to build your own wall, you are first going to have to separate all the bricks from that wall, to be able to build your own wall. In the process of doing this, you create by products that you don’t need. The staff that you used to glue the bricks of the first wall is no longer usable, because it dried up. So you need to work hard to get rid of it, before you start using a new substance to put the bricks together. This is what happens when we use protein vs amino acids to build our own tissue or muscle. It’s better to use bio-available amino acids than to use dead protein that has been cooked or artificially synthesized.

    We were not talking about acidity in the stomach, but about blood acidity. If lactic acid produces good bacteria, and this keeps bad bacteria from growing, go ahead and do this. This is one of the reasons why I suggested the use of cultured or fermented foods like kefir. Acidity is bad when running through your blood. This is a whole book of information, so I recommend you to read this book:

    As you noticed, I didn’t criticized the paleo/primal diet. If people are happy with that, well good for them. I only share my view on health and strength. I’d like to keep it that way, and avoid criticism.

    @LDS Anarchist
    Ether 12:27 is not talking about physical strength or weakness (which is different than carnal) from my point of view. It is true that we are given weaknesses to be humble, but this has nothing to do with the Lord telling us to follow the Word of Wisdom so that we can be physically weak. As forgetting.son has mentioned, and as my experience and the experience of the many clients and people that I’ve helped testify, following the Word of Wisdom, in its true meaning (which I believe it’s pretty close to what forgetting.son has exposed), will give you health, and natural strength, more than any other diet.

    I’ll stay away from commenting for a while…

  29. for a bunch of guys that want Zion so bad, i’m surprised to see you guys so contentious in responses… some of your responses if a person doesn’t agree with you are more abrasiveness and mocking, than humble and open minded…interesting…

  30. Justin, Amino Acids are in D- or L- form, but their conformation can be trans or cis.

    Then you’re referring to the phi/psi angles of the peptide plane — in which [contrary to fatty-acids], the trans form predominates in nature.

    My problem with what you were doing there [and why I asked you a follow-up question about it] is that you were trying to mentally connect people’s minds to “trans-fats” [which we know are bad], by calling certain proteins a “trans-fatty form” — which has nothing to do with proteins or peptide bond angles.

    Justin, I don’t get offended for any comments made, so I’ll try to explain as many times as I can if you don’t understand and if you want to understand.

    I understand the subject just fine — my academic background is in nutritional biochemistry — so my goal is just to keep you honest because I know “toxins”, “enzymes”, “trans-fatty proteins”, and “acidic body”, etc. are all buzzwords in many pseudoscience nutrition circles — and I wouldn’t want you to get too loose with using them here unqualified.

    Like this:

    Also, again, enzymes are not proteins

    Enzymes are unquestionably proteins — even wikipedia will tell you as much. To continue with your brick analogy — I can make a wall with my bricks, I can make an oven with my bricks, or I can make a fence with my bricks, etc. — but “protein” is the term that means anything made from bricks [amino acids].

    That you’d try to make some distinction between proteins and enzymes hints to me that you have no biochemistry background to speak from.

    If you are trying to make a distinction between structural or fibrous proteins and globular proteins [which is what enzymes are], then do so — but there’s no need to say something that’s complete malarky.

    I only share my view on health and strength. I’d like to keep it that way, and avoid criticism.

    Then share your views/experiences with food in your own life. That’s entirely subjective and I’d never question your own experience. But I won’t be able to restrain myself from calling out “trans-fatty amino acids” and “enzymes are not proteins”.

    But I don’t advocate high protein diets — nor does D&C 89 — so I could probably let the matter drop.

  31. .

    I assume you are referring to my criticisms of some of what AMC [as opposed to Bren or forgetting.son] wrote about nutrition. This is because some of what he/she [I don’t know which one yet — you two know each other right?] wrote made claims concerning objective things.

    There is no “open-mindness” about the predominance of either cis or trans peptide bonds — I can’t be “humble” about the non-existence of a “trans-fatty amino acid” — or whether enzymes are or are not proteins.

  32. Lol — and what on earth do enzymes have to do with wanting Zion?

  33. AMC,

    @LDS Anarchist
    Ether 12:27 is not talking about physical strength or weakness (which is different than carnal) from my point of view.

    That I know of, there are only two components to our lives, that which acts (spirit) and that which is acted upon (element.) Element is the physical component of us, therefore, if Ether 12:27 is not talking about physical weakness, then it must be talking about spiritual weakness.

    Now, consider this, if the Lord were to give unto man spiritual weakness, would this not lead man into temptation? In other words, why would the Lord weaken the spirit of man, which would make it easier for the devil to captivate them? Does such a strategy make sense to you? Could you really call that a beneficial gift? Isn’t the gospel all about strengthening our spirits against the devil and his temptations?

    Also, consider the scripture that says, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

    (Of course, I noticed that you wrote that carnal is different than physical, so please, by all means, elaborate on what you mean.)

  34. @Justin
    Justin, this is Angel. I though you knew it was me, sorry about that. I don’t know if you remember me from your blog talking about Native Americans. By the way, I had something to tell you about that, but I’ll do in a personal message or something.

    It is great that you have a background on nutritional biochemistry. Maybe we call all learn something from this. All my responses have been made from information I’ve learned, I haven’t made up anything. Now if the information I learned is not correct, then maybe I would be in error.

    However, I’d like still to make sure people know the difference between enzymes, and protein. When I said enzymes are not proteins, I meant enzymes that come from raw fruits and veggies are not the same as protein that comes from cooked animal protein. Even though enzymes are made off a combination of protein (although not all of them, as for example the Ribozymes), made off of amino acids, the function of enzymes differs than that from protein (as in the protein we obtain from dead foods). Even if there were enzymes in the meat (which there was when it was raw), after you cook it, those enzymes transform into a non bio-active compound, therefore your body cannot assimilate them as it could before or as it can with raw fruits and veggies.

    Without enzymes your body cannot perform practically any chemical reaction in your body, event if you have a great amount of protein available, therefore your body is left to create all enzymes needed, which is a big problem in the long term.

    The reason of my first comment, was to show my view, and explain why the Word of Wisdom, which says we need to eat mostly fruits and veggies, and avoid meat, works for the benefit of our bodies, versus the weakening of it. I explained in very simple terms at first, and then you went into more deep science in biochemistry, which I am not an expert on, so I tried to explain as best as I could. However, you have to think that maybe your background comes from a corporational root not really interested in making distinctions between real health and pharmaceutical health (if you can call it that). For example, the distinction between an enzyme and a simple protein. They are not the same. Enzymes can be made of protein (although not all), but protein doesn’t have to be an enzyme. This distinction is fundamental in understanding health, which I believe I’m an expert on, because of my background, and because of the experience that I have. You can know more biochemistry, but I probably know more health. I don’t say this a to be competitive at all, I just mention it to clarify our backgrounds and our fields of expertise, in this wicked World.

    Other than that, I love you!! hehe
    Anyways, high amounts of raw fruits and veggies will make you strong and healthy for a variety of reasons, the biochemistry of which I leave to you. Although, we need to think about the possibility that we don’t fully understand how the biochemistry of our body really works, as I as an astrophysicist don’t claim to understand how the Universe works.

  35. I came across this just now, which was posted five hours ago:

    Wheat for Man

    Perhaps there is a Word of Wisdom spirit going around?

  36. Btw, I don’t care one way or another whether anyone discusses science on this or any other post of mine. It is just that, for this particular topic of the strength of the Lord, science can’t explain it. If we look at it scientifically, the Lamanites should have wiped the Nephites out fairly soon after Nephi first split from Laman and Lemuel. The Nephite prophets were always stating this obvious, scientific fact. For example, king Benjamin said:

    yea | and moreover | i say unto you |

    that if this highly favored people of the lord should fall into transgression | and become a wicked and an adulterous people | that the lord will deliver them up | that thereby they become weak | like unto their brethren | and he will no more preserve them | by his matchless and marvelous power | as he has hitherto preserved our fathers |

    for i say unto you |

    that if he had not extended his arm | in the preservation of our fathers | they must have fallen into the hands of the lamanites | and become victims to their hatred |

    (Mosiah 1:13-14)

  37. AMC — I don’t really want to debate science with you any further either. Because I’m seeing that on the whole — it’s mostly nit-picking with terms that I’m doing [based only on my educational background on the subject], and not really based on if I actually agree with what you are saying overall

    Mainly — I didn’t want any raw-foodist, pseudoscience nutrition woo confusing anyone. For example,

    Without enzymes your body cannot perform practically any chemical reaction in your body

    Glosses over the fact that your body synthesizes the enzymes it needs to do all the chemical reactions.

    The only exception would be exogenous enzymes for digestion [e.g., lactase in raw milk helps you digest the lactose, even if you are lactose intolerant]. This is because enzymes are a type of a protein, which means, unless they are helping you in the gut, then they are being absorbed at the epithelium as individual amino acids [meaning they are completely deconstructed back to the bricks — bye-bye enzyme function].

    However [for example] — I agree with your distinction between “living food” and “dead food” [though I don’t agree with raw-foodism] — so maybe I might call it “informed food” versus “dumb food”.

  38. Also, I had thoughts for a post on my thoughts about eating food [informed food vs. dumb food] — which I was going to not put together after this post [because it was basically about food] — but you’ve kinda spurred me to perhaps go-ahead and start writing it.

  39. Btw, I don’t care one way or another whether anyone discusses science on this or any other post of mine. It is just that, for this particular topic of the strength of the Lord, science can’t explain it.

    Right — which is why I originally commented on here: “I also guess this precludes me from doing posts on paleo-nutrition in the future now doesn’t it?” — because I agree that it’s the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit interacting with our spirit that we should be concerned about, and not so-much the physical interactions of food particles with the physical body.

    So when AMC is touting his raw-vegan buzzwords as a way to make people healthy — the only way it could be considered so is in the spirit of this post [i.e., it makes you weak enough to have to seek the strength of the Lord].

  40. Enzymes obviously have nothing to do with Zion… It’s the spirit of contention and the “all knowing” approach that contradicts Zion… If you can’t see that clearly stated in the simple comment, then there is nothing else that can be said.

  41. Here are some links to posts on HuntGatherLove:

    Quick notes on acid-base balance, for the “acidic body” and “alkaline foods” buzzwords.

    Breaking the vicious cycle, for the “toxins” and “cleansing” buzzwords.

    The middle way, of which I’ll quote some of here:

    I also would note that food sensitivities don’t care about the paleolithic [or about raw-foodism, veganism, or anything for that matter]
    I am personally quite sensitive to vegetables like broccoli, onions, and cauliflower. Honestly, they do a number on my stomach worse than any grain.

    I think people get caught up in [their own “perfect human diet”]-paradigm thinking that because we evolved with [certain foods, then they] must be good. I find that interestingly my stomach feels much better if I get starch from regular potatoes rather than sweet potatoes. The latter is considered “more paleo” though that stems from botanical ignorance.

    Either way, I don’t really follow an orthodox “paleo” diet either, though I do use what I learn about the paleolithic to think about what I eat. I think there is tons of room for experimentation, particularly as the evidence for starch consumption in the paleolithic becomes stronger and stronger.

    I don’t think there is much room for combining “paleo” [or whatever your “perfect human diet” paradigm] with various religious philosophies […] I know plenty of people who follow a “paleo” diet that is compatible with their religion, such as kosher or halal folks, but they don’t claim that their diet is somehow better because of it or that it explains their diet’s success.

    And Amenorrhea and raw vegan woo, which is directed towards things women might hear from raw-vegan pseudoscientists, to quote:

    If you do not want to eat animal-based foods, consider following Wranghams example and eating some cooked food.

    I think a lot of vegans initially benefit from raw veganism because so many cooked vegan foods are so horribly processed (and it is an excellent weight-loss diet). Some of them succeed because they are able to eat massive amounts of fruit or tons of calorically dense nut concoctions, though many eventually succumb to nutrient rather than calorie issues (or they are post-menopausal and telling young women that not having a period is normal, which just boggles my mind).

    When I think of what unhealthy veganism means, I not only think of raw veganism, I think of Foodswings in Williamsburg, which serves up such unhealthy delicacies as breaded fried processed soy-meat. There are plenty of alternatives to both diets, such as steamed root vegetables, soaked or sprouted lentils, or fermented buckwheat.

  42. .

    Enzymes obviously have nothing to do with Zion… It’s the spirit of contention and the “all knowing” approach that contradicts Zion… If you can’t see that clearly stated in the simple comment, then there is nothing else that can be said.

    I’m interested — why is it that you are perceiving me as being “contentious” with AMC — and aren’t seeing AMC as “contentious” with me?

    We have both disagreed with each on certain things here equally. It would be like if I was 5 miles south of a certain point, and you were 5 miles north of that same point — yet a 3rd person viewing us would say that I’m 10 miles away. It would indicate the perspective that 3rd person is coming from. So would you say that it’s because you are viewing this from the perspective of knowing him [and not knowing me]?

    I’m also interested in what you’d say the difference is between being “contentious” and “disagreeing” with something. DYC4557 once said:

    I love how we all think LDSA is so smart. Well okay we at least respect him enough to comment on his posts etc. But then Justin says in effect, “I don’t believe what LDSA just said”. That is as it should be. Free to think and not bound to bow to just one man, ANY one man’s ideas. We were not so bound even to God, nor did He expect it of us.

    I can disagree with LDSA, but dyc4557 didn’t say he felt that either of us were being “contentious” — yet when I disagreed with AMC, you’ve said my contentious spirit would hinder Zion.

  43. I read through the Wedemeyer, et al. (2002) paper AMC linked to above. The paper is on using models to predict protein-folding based on how proline works [since it’s weird in that it’s not really an amino acid because its R-side chain curves back and forms a Schiff base with its amino group — it makes a circle on itself basically].

    It’s interesting because the “rigidity” proline residues impart to proteins, especially our collagen, [caused by that unique structure] can be used to predict the folding sequence [which can be used to predict the function of an enzyme based on its amino acid sequence].

    Anyway — the paper was interesting because it suggested that in the unfolded state, the bovine enzyme they were using had a heterogeneous mix of cis and trans peptide bond angles with proline — but that, in the native structure [folded as it would be in a biological setting], only one set of proline isomers was present. Which agrees with the thoughts I’ve had recently on looking at the source behind what informed your food [was it nature that informed your food, or was it corporations and food scientists].

    Though I don’t think there is a case to be made from the paper for:

    go[ing] vegan, go[ing] raw! And follow[ing] the gorila diet!!

    Especially in light of this presentation on the human gut, which talks about the unique cultural practices humans have for exogenously processing their food [prior to eating it] — which includes cooking [as well as fermenting, soaking, etc.] — which has allowed us to fuel a larger brain because we don’t need to fuel a huge colon [like that gorilla does so he can eat his 60% fiber diet].

    And even if we want to look at the gorilla, we can then look at the fact that the gorilla is getting that fiber fermented in the colon into short-chain fatty-acids that he absorbs and uses for energy — and he’s therefore getting 60% of his diet from fat — and then I guess I’d be all for “following the gorilla diet”, like Bren suggested earlier.

  44. Back on the subject of the post — when I first starting studying nutrition, I was bothered by the obvious influences of Kellogg and Graham, et al. and the teetotaling, high-grain, high-fiber fervor of the mid-19th century that there appeared to be in the word of wisdom. “Why would that be there?” I would think — “Well, that’s not right…,” etc.

    The #1 comment we get when we talk about paleo-nutrition with our LDS friends/family is, “But what about the wheat is good for man? Isn’t it the staff of life? Etc.

    Sure, you can play some tricks with commas and say meat is only good sparingly or say that only applies in the winter or because they didn’t have refrigeration, etc. – and you can say grains are good all the time or they’re only good during starvation times – or whatever.

    But like you wrote LDSA:

    The LDS […] have thought that the Lord has given them a superior diet which would produce superior physical specimens. He hasn’t and it doesn’t.
    Still others try to twist the revelation into a scriptural support for their current dietary lifestyle. If they are vegetarians, they stress the “sparingly” clause of the meat. If they are meat-eaters, they claim the comma is misplaced in that clause.

    Still others look at the Word of Wisdom with the wisdom of the world in their minds and realize that such guidelines will not produce the best results. And they wonder, “How on earth could this be inspired of God?” So, they come to the conclusion that the Word of Wisdom is a lower law, and thus that the health guidelines they have learned from the nutritionists are higher laws. And on and on go the rationalizations, the end result being the production of weak-bodied and weak-willed fools.

    I’ve always approached the word of wisdom as a revelation of a “superior diet” – and have been frustrated with the fact that it’s not.

    But — essentially – it’s not a superior diet, and that’s the point.

    That answers all those challenges like, “Oh, [this part of the word of wisdom] that you abstain from is actually healthy for you,” or “Don’t you know that [that part of the word of wisdom] that you follow is actually unhealthy” – much easier now.

    The answer can be, “Of course I know it’s less healthy for me physically to do that – that’s precisely why I’m doing it.

  45. So I didn’t read all the comments, I was trying but there are a ton.

    In D&C 89:18 18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments…

    The health benefits are not based on the food part alone, rather when combined with obedience to the commandments.

    Also, maybe Justin’s point of health, Lamanites ate well and had strength, but lacked the Lord’s Strength, while Nephites had the Lord’s Strength at times and lacked the physical strength, is an example like so many other things in the Book of Mormon: they needed each other and when they were united and took the best from both then Zion occurred.

  46. LDSA
    I read this article with great interest as I have been attempting to live according to the word of wisdom for quite a while. After a few months of eating this way I was so weak that I made my husband cook me a huge elk steak medium rare and man that was the best meal ever! It brought my strength back as well. So I can see how a meat based diet could make one stronger whereas a grain based diet could make one weaker.

    What I would reall like is if you would elaborate on your thoughts about the verse, “do to thoughts that do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men.”…… mentioned men are poisoning our food supply. I think it’s much more than that, but I won’t write all of that here. What I want to point out is that if there is poison in our food supply wouldn’t that make us weak? If God’s intention is for us to be weak couldn’t we achieve that with a fast food diet? Why say that because of “conspiring men” I(God) am giving you these suggestions so that instead of becoming weak on their food you can become weak on my food?

  47. liv435,

    It is the principle of “my way vs. your way.”

    for my thoughts are not your thoughts | neither are your ways my ways |

    saith the lord |

    for as the heavens are higher than the earth | so are my ways higher than your ways | and my thoughts than your thoughts |

    (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    i | the lord | stretched out the heavens | and built the earth | my very handiwork | and all things therein are mine | and it is my purpose to provide for my saints | for all things are mine | but it must needs be done in mine own way |
    (D&C 104:14-16)

    So, God wants to give us a gift of weakness, which then will lead to a gift of strength (the miraculous strength of the Lord.) But God must be the one giving the gift of weakness and we must be the one receiving it from God.

    It doesn’t matter what God commands or suggests that we do. Whatever are the instructions we receive, if we hearken to His voice, He will supply the promised miracles.

    If, however, we try to circumvent His appointed way, no such miracles will be given. In other words, God doesn’t want us to be weak, He wants us to be strong, and He has appointed this specific way for us to become strong. Any other way is not ordained of God.

    So, if you attempt to obtain the strength of the Lord while obeying all the commandments but while also discarding the Word of Wisdom and going with your own diet, regardless of what it may be, the Lord will not give you of His strength, because you have not hearkened to His voice, and have gone on your own path, thinking your ways are higher than His ways.

    Now, regarding the conspiring men who poison and genetically alter the food supply, deplete the nutritional content of the soil and do other dastardly deeds to increase profits, sicken the population and to accomplish other wicked purposes, the Word of Wisdom becomes a protection to the saints, because it is a principle with a promise.

    In other words, had there been no Word of Wisdom, and the Lord simply allowed His saints to eat, drink and smoke whatever they wanted, the evil and conspiring men would still have enacted their plans. But by giving these principles and attaching promises to them, now the saints are empowered to exercise faith to obtain the promised blessings of health, strength, wisdom and knowledge, despite the poisonings, genetic modifications and nutrient depletions. In other words, the Lord, through the Word of Wisdom, has bound Himself to protect His saints from the plans of these evil men, by giving this law and promises.

    None of these protections, though, are based upon natural law. It is simply based upon “the Lord said that if you do this, you will get that,” meaning that it is based on the law of miracles, or the promises of the Lord, which can only be obtained by doing things in the Lord’s own way.

  48. I neglected to give some background on this post, which is what I’ll do now (a little late, I know.)

    I’ve had the topic of the strength of the Lord in my mind for quite some time. I believe that I had mentioned it to one of my personal friends, but I don’t think I ever completely unfolded it to his view nor did I ever feel compelled to write it down. So I just kept it in my head, largely to myself. All that changed a few days ago.

    A few years ago, some extended family members of mine had approached my children about attending a martial arts course. My kids then approached me and everyone begged and pleaded with me to let them attend, citing discipline, confidence, etc., as positive outcomes. I had misgivings, but finally consented. They attended two or so courses and then stopped going.

    One of my children, however, really took a liking to it. A few days ago, as I pondered about that child, I realized that I had made a major mistake with him in allowing him to attend, for I plainly saw that he had got himself in the “relying on the arm of the flesh” rut and that he had a tendency to boast in his own strength.

    This isn’t to single him out, for I also saw that almost all children, being smaller and less powerful than adults and many other children, tend towards boasting in their own strength, but the martial arts training gave my boy a real sense of strength, speed and advantage over others, which exacerbated this typical condition among children.

    Adding to that are all the influences young people have, in which the whole world that is presented to them is one continual scene of fighting and violence and boasting in one’s strength, whether in the movies, on television, in comic books, in video games, on the radio, or just among the children in the street. Everyone, everywhere, is taught to be prideful and to boast in, and rely on, their own strength, essentially adopting Korihor’s doctrine in which “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature” and “every man prospered according to his genius” and “every man conquered according to his strength” (Alma 30:17.)

    As I pondered on these things, I decided that I would write an essay on the strength of the Lord, to get the thoughts out so that I could properly teach my children this doctrine, because I saw the strength of the Lord as an antidote to the satanic doctrine of pride, boasting and reliance on one’s own arm of flesh, for, in order to obtain such supernatural, superhuman strength, it required humility, repentance and faith.

    I had never intended to publish the essay. However, as I began to type it out, I found myself diverting into uncharted territory (the bits about the Word of Wisdom), and finding the information completely new and fascinating to me, I decided to share it on this blog. It was never my intention to even mention the Word of Wisdom, but out it came, nonetheless.

    And that is the background on the post.

  49. I see a link here between the physical and spiritual in the LDS culture. Just like too many saints are obsessed about what the Word of Wisdom REALLY says so they can have an optimal body, they also focus too much on the works aspect of the gospel and everything they must do, to make sure they are doing “all they can do” so Christ can “make up they rest.”

    I feel we have floated more towards the Law of Moses attitude of “Tell me exactly what I need to do (I mean every minute detail). That way I do not have to bother with this prayer and fasting business. I am already too focused on getting ahead in the world.”

    We have moved too far away from relying wholey on the Lord in every aspect of our lives.

  50. Thank you for your response. Wow! I’ve got a lot of pondering to do. I really feel the truth of everything you wrote. I have also had very similar experience with my sons only their big thing instead of martial arts has been eating healthy. They have been trying to live the WoW so they can be strong-haha I’ve been discussing this post with them and they are so open it’s awesome. Of course my 15 year old asks, “So if I eat raw meat I’ll be stronger? Hmmmm…”

    I really think the order you put is correct as well. Receiving a remission of sins should be first and foremost. It does say it’s adapted to capacity of “the weak and weakest of all saints” I think the word “saint” is used too freely. A saint is someone who is sanctified right? So it’s adapted for the weak and weakest of all those who are sanctified. Hopefully after being sanctified it would be a little easier to follow! I mean coffee is one of the most amazing things on the planet. It makes me happy:) So for now I will focus on repentance and work on obtaining the strength of the Lord later. Thanks again!

  51. So it’s adapted for the weak and weakest of all those who are sanctified

    This is something I hadn’t thought about until I read what you just wrote there. D&C 89 calls it:

    adapted to the capacity of the weak
    and the weakest of all saints
    who are
    or can be called saints

    [D&C 89:3]

    Is the “or” re-defining/re-stating the same thing in two ways — or is it listing two different things? Is it possible to be in the catagory of “weakest of all who can be called saints” — but not be sanctified? Meaning:

    ** Is it adapted to the capacity of the weakest of all who are/can be called saints [as one catagory]?
    ** Is it adapted to the capacity of the weakest of all who are saints and the weakest of all who can be called saints [as two catagories]?

    The meaning of the conjunction “or” in the scriptures can be vague at times.

  52. From the 1828 dictionary:

    SAINT, n. [L. sanctus.]

    1. A person sanctified; a holy or godly person; one eminent for piety and virtue. It is particularly applied to the apostles and other holy persons mentioned in Scripture. A hypocrite may imitate a saint. Ps. 16.

    2. One of the blessed in heaven. Rev. 18.

    3. The holy angels are called saint. Deut. 33. Jude 14.

    4. One canonized by the church of Rome.

  53. I also liked the mention [in the OP] of the interaction between a hunting culture [Lamanites] and an agarian society [Nephites]. That same dynamic plays out in multiple places throughout the Bible [Garden of Eden/Lone and Dreary World, Cain/Abel, Esau/Jacob, etc.].

    It’s essentially the left-brain/right-brain dynamic for how we experience life and our place in the earth.

    The hunting societies understand the separateness of life. They see that [for example] as the animal is cut, that its life was self-contained in that bag of skin. That animal was a total-entity, and once its blood is gone, its life is gone and that’s the end.

    and whatsoever man there be
    of the children of israel
    or of the strangers that sojourn among you
    which hunteth and catcheth
    any beast or fowl that may be eaten
    he shall even pour out the blood thereof
    for it is the life of all flesh
    the blood of it is for the life thereof
    I said unto the children of israel

    ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh
    for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof

    whosoever eateth it shall be cut off

    Their god is the father in the sky because they are nomadic. Where they are on the earth at any given time changes, so they have less connection with that — but their sky is constant. So their god is up-there, separate from the earth.

    On the other hand — the agrarian societies better perceive the interconnection of life. They see that as [for example] a plant is pruned, it is able to produce more. They see how new sprouts can emerge from rotted, hewn trees. They perceive life as an interconnected branch instead of as separate islands.

    I am the true vine
    and my father is the husbandman
    every branch in me
    that beareth not fruit
    he taketh away
    and every branch that beareth fruit
    he purgeth it
    that it may bring forth more
    abide in me
    and I in you
    as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
    except it abide in the vine

    no more can ye [bear fruit]
    except ye abide in me

    I am the vine
    ye are the branches
    he that abideth in me
    and I in him
    the same bringeth forth much fruit
    for without me
    ye can do nothing

    Their god is the mother of the earth because they are sedentary and seed-planting. They cultivate the soil, and understand the flow of energy that takes place — connecting soil-to-plant and plant-to-human and back again to the soil. Their goddess is the very elements themselves and is a pervading, in-dwelling, and ever-present force.

  54. Tilling the earth appears to have given to the Nephites as a commandment/pattern from God. For example, Mormon says of the seer/king Mosiah:

    and king mosiah did cause his people | that they should till the earth | and he also | himself | did till the earth | that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people | that he might do | according to that | which his father had done | in all things | (Mosiah 6:7)

    “That he might do in all things according to that which his father had done” (re-arranging the words.) It seems to me that they tried to pattern themselves after the righteous men who preceded them. His father, the seer/king Benjamin, preceded him, who likely patterned his own life after his father, the seer/king Mosiah, and so on. King Zeniff also did the same as king Mosiah:

    and i did cause | that the men should till the ground | and raise all manner of grain | and all manner of fruit of every kind | (Mosiah 10:4)

    The original man who started the pattern appears to have been Adam:

    and after adam and eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit | they were driven out of the garden of eden | to till the earth | (2 Ne. 2:19)

    Those are Lehi’s words, so this Nephite teaching can be traced to him.

    Nevertheless, the Nephites also hunted:

    behold | i went to hunt beasts in the forests | (Enos 1:3)

    I would suppose they also gathered, (for gathering is a gospel principle, and their lives seem to have been ordered by God so that all things in their lives would testify of Christ and His gospel, so that they would be constantly reminded of “death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God” (Enos 1:23.) So, the Nephites appear to have been farmers who also hunted and gathered.

    The Jaredites also followed this same pattern, tilling the ground after they arrived at the promised land:

    and it came to pass | that they went forth upon the face of the land | and began to till the earth | (Ether 6:13)

    but also hunting game:

    and they did preserve the land southward | for a wilderness | to get game | (Ether 10:21)

    I suppose, then, that the Lamanites’ whole lifestyle, in the view of the Nephites, would have been considered as contrary to the commandments of God, for they were deficient, in that they did not till the ground according to the pattern given to Adam when he was driven out of the garden.

  55. The original man who started the pattern appears to have been Adam

    Time was not reckoned by Adam and Eve until they left the garden of eden:

    but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil
    thou shalt not eat of it
    for in the time that thou eatest thereof
    thou shalt surely die

    now I
    saw that it was after the lord’s time
    which was after the time of kolob
    for as yet
    the gods had not appointed unto Adam
    his reckoning

    It was once the polar configuration of Earth with Saturn was altered so that our planet was no longer in a plasma cocoon [“his presence“] — that the appearance of the rotating crescent shape on the face of Saturn in the sky allowed Adam and Eve to discern the passage of time.

    Which is why the sickle or scythe [crescent] and an abundant harvest was associated with the god Saturn [or Kronos] — and why any earthly king in ancient times was expected to provide for an abundant harvest for the people [as there had been such abundance during the “Golden Age”] — the earthly king trying to re-create the conditions of the heavenly king.

  56. I love the post. I think the principle of what to do to ask for the strength of the Lord and our confusion of what brings it about.

    I do have some different thoughts with parts of it and the comments.

    Alma 32:14 And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?

    15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty. Instead of poverty, physical weakness could be substituted. So I don’t the point the LDSA made when he said “LDSA said, “ So, yes, God wants His people to become physically weak so that He can make them strong.” is the ideal situation for the Lord.

  57. From the post, “In other words, the Lamanites had standing armies that were always trained for war and raiding. Additionally, the Lamanites were a blood-thirsty and ferocious people, delighting in wars and bloodshed.”

    That may have been the case. It also could have very well been a common view point held among the Nephites regarding the Lamanites …something similar to the way many Americans view Muslims from the Middle East.

  58. Nephi had the strength of the Lord (see 1 Nephi 4:31, where he holds Zoram fast), yet Laman and Lemuel were able to bind him in the wilderness on the way back from Jerusalem (see 1 Nephi 7:16) and also on the ship as they sailed in the ocean (see 1 Nephi 18:11.)

    They should not have been able to overpower their younger brother, because the strength of the Lord is dependent upon righteousness, therefore Nephi, being righteous, had it, whereas Laman and Lemuel, being wicked, could not have had it. So, he should have been much stronger than both of them combined. Yet, we find him being bound by them. It may have been that he put up no resistence to them, after all, these were his brothers and he loved them. He may not have wanted to hurt them.

    There was another occasion when they tried to throw Nephi into the sea as he began construction of the ship (see 1 Nephi 17:47-48), but curiously, they only made the attempt after he told them “that my frame has no strength.”

    From the abridged account, it appears that Laman and Lemuel were unaware of Nephi’s god-like strength in 1 Nephi 7:16, but appear to be aware of it by the time they reached Bountiful, which is why they tried to lay hands on him only after he told them he had no strength (in 1 Ne. 17:48.) Ever the loving brother, trying to protect them, he warned them not to touch him, lest they perish (in 1 Ne. 17:48.) But by the time they were on the ocean, they again made the attempt, so either their memories of his strength had faded with the making merry (and perhaps the booze), or they were remembering that they had, at one time, succeeded in binding him with strong cords before (in the wilderness before they made the eight-year journey.)

  59. EDITED by Justin: It was posted by a SPAM-bot — but I liked the comment

    While faith can grow and be strengthened in response to a series of private miracles (answers to prayer, spiritual manifestations of one kind or another, spiritual guidance, and direction received in the ordinary course of one’s life), external miracles have a more limited value in promoting belief. Samuel the Lamanite addresses this point as he prophesies to the Nephites of the miraculous events that will attend the birth and the subsequent death of Jesus Christ. As the angel explained to Samuel, the signs and wonders would be given “that there should be no cause for unbelief” (Helaman 14:28). External miracles and other evidences do not provide an adequate basis for belief, but they do undermine systems of unbelief. The honest in heart must recognize that unbelief is not consistent with all the facts. And so, men are free to believe or not, but if they choose not to believe, they cannot be saved, and their condemnation will flow from a righteous judgment. For the signs and wonders were given, and the worldview of unbelievers was visibly disproven for all who would be honest (see Helaman 14:29-31). To the extent men and women in this life receive internal miracles and spiritual witnesses of the truth, they are put in this same position (cf. Romans 1:20; D&C 88:82; 101:93).

  60. D&C 89:4
    I find the warning quite intriguing. Specially today, in this time. There are huge factory farming firms, and they feed the animal an incredibly amount of antibiotics. Same with sweeteners like chemical additives and refined sugar. We should handle our bodes like a holy temple but we consume to much fast food, and processed”crap”.
    But each it’s own.

    That aside, I always found the Word of Wisdom if taken seriously similar to the diet the gladiators had. They had a vegetarian diet, rich in carbohydrates (occasional calcium supplement) and very little animal protein. And we all know what a Gladiators job was.

    How about the Forefathers? Didn’t they have a similar diet?
    Abraham trained it’s servants in a way of combat otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to help out Lot, same with Jakob.


    Most Martial Arts, have a deeper meaning.
    Let’s take Kung Fu as an example, was teached by Monks who weren’t proud or boastful about “their” strenght. Practitioners of Kung Fu were Monks (spiritual) in the first line and on second they were Warriors (physical). Mostly to protect the weak. Many of the original teaching methods were destroyed during Mao’s time. He closed the temples. There are many places that will only teach you Kung Fu without it real meanings, and China is doing that, if you see those huge Kung Fu schools training Kids, but they don’t give them spiritual Food. The bigger school have fancy Hotels next to them, they sell Kung Fu completely out.

  61. Spambot, there is also this scripture:

    And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily. (3 Ne. 7:18)

    There seem to be only three options to any belief question. Either you believe, disbelieve or you are undecided either way. Choosing one option eliminates the other two. So, if you believe, then you do not disbelieve and you are not undecided. If you disbelieve, then you do not believe and you are not undecided. If you are undecided, then you neither believe nor disbelieve. If it was not possible for a person to disbelieve Nephi’s words, wouldn’t that mean that they had to either believe his words or that they were still undecided? And yet, the elimination of an option (disbelief) indicates that a decision has already been made, which would mean that the person could not be undecided, right? Which means that everyone who heard Nephi speak believed him. Anyway, I won’t go deeper into this topic with you, Spambot, as I suspect it would be a one-way conversation. I do appreciate, though, such on target spam. 😉

  62. I wasn’t sure where to put this, but as some of the comments above were on the topic of nutrition, etc., I’m putting it here.

    Yesterday I stumbled across two articles on human breast milk that I wasn’t aware of and which I found interesting:

    Can Adults Benefit from Drinking Breast Milk?

    Breast Milk and Its Many Uses

    I haven’t researched any further than these two articles, so I haven’t fact-checked any of this.

    Edit: One of the articles above has a dead link to one Howard Cohen, so I’ve done the legwork for the reader. Here are some links to Howard Cohen’s web site and articles about mother’s milk:

    A’s Story — Mothers’ Milk Helps Cure Stage 4 Colon Cancer

    Mother’s Milk and Cancer Cell Apoptosis

    Adults turn to breast milk to ease effects of chemotherapy

  63. I was reading through the WOW again the other day and something struck me as new. We are told that corn is for the ox. I had never given that much thought since I would usually focus on what humans should be ingesting.

    I thought of this post because I am curious to see if you think that feeding a ruminant such a damaging food as corn fits into your model of how the WOW is supposed to make us weak. It is pretty well documented now that grass fed ruminants are far healthier than grain fed (both for the overall health of the animal and for eating).

    Does feeding an animal food that is not appropriate good animal husbandry?

  64. Amulek taught in Alma 34:25, “Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.” The increase of the flocks was meant to be a miracle, accomplished by their faith and prayers and obedience to the Lord’s commandments. The principle applies equally to animals as well as humans. I have been toying with a new draft post that explains this principle in depth, but had decided to set it aside, but your comment makes me think that perhaps I ought to finish the post and publish it, after all…

  65. In the comment directly above, I mentioned a post I was writing. Well, here it is.

  66. The other day I was reading the account of Ammon and his expertness in getting back the Lamanite king’s flocks and his power in contending with the Lamanites who scattered the flocks, found in Alma chapter 17, and I was struck at Mormon’s vivid portrayal of the strength of the Lord and of Ammon’s confidence:

    Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words.

    And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.

    But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling; yea, with mighty power he did sling stones amongst them; and thus he slew a certain number of them insomuch that they began to be astonished at his power; nevertheless they were angry because of the slain of their brethren, and they were determined that he should fall; therefore, seeing that they could not hit him with their stones, they came forth with clubs to slay him.

    37 But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword; for he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him; yea, and they were not few in number; and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.

    Now, I suppose that Ammon slung those stones pretty dang fast, as in supernaturally fast, like a bullet, hence the astonishment. And I suppose that he cut off their arms in a single swing, cutting through bone and not just joints, with supernatural power, hence the astonishment. This is probably why the servants of the king said:

    And now, O king, we do not believe that a man has such great power, for we know he cannot be slain.

  67. If I could add to the above comment, by also quoting the first two verses of chapter 18 of Alma:

    And it came to pass that king Lamoni caused that his servants should stand forth and testify to all the things which they had seen concerning the matter.

    And when they had all testified to the things which they had seen, and he had learned of the faithfulness of Ammon in preserving his flocks, and also of his great power in contending against those who sought to slay him, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Surely, this is more than a man.

    Before I had any understanding of the strength of the Lord, that it was a miraculous thing, I would read such passages and think, “Well, they were simply astonished that Ammon killed and maimed these men and himself came away unscathed.” But I don’t think, anymore, that that was the point of Mormon mentioning these passages, but to show that Ammon’s actions were miracles, and that this is why king Lamoni was also astonished, just as the evil Lamanites were astonished, just as the servants were astonished. Likely, Lamoni had a bunch of dismembered arms in front of him, an examination of which showed that they had been cut clean through the bone, or shattered through the bone, and then to hear the testimony of all these servants saying the same thing, that these were one swing cuts, no hacking involved, just a single, unbelievably fast (as in so fast as to be a blur) and powerful swing that cut through anything that happened to be in the way, including bones, and that Ammon didn’t just do this once, but a whole bunch of times, demonstrating stamina and power that was simply impossible for a man to display. In other words, a God-like display of swordplay and slingshot work. Even the slung stones, perhaps, were accompanied by that typical sound of the gun-shot, as the bullets break the sound barrier. To move a stone as fast as a bullet using a sling surely is impossible, but if an arm could move that fast, surely it would be a blur, and if one could witness such a feat, astonishment would be the applicable word to describe the reaction. (To astonish means = “To stun or strike dumb with sudden fear, terror, surprise or wonder; to amaze; to confound with some sudden passion.” In other words, these people were struck with terrifying fear, not just surprise or wonder.) So, if such was the case with Ammon, then it is entirely understandable that king Lamoni thought that Ammon might be the Great Spirit (God). Anybody would have thought the very same thing.

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