I saw it today. The beast. The HOLE that is commonly called Negativity -- it sucks people in and spits them out into red-faced ravening wolves, ready to turn on each other and reduce their normal respectful character into beings they wouldn't normally be.
Okay, I exaggerate (as I'm apt to do for a small lift of the corner of your lip--not really a smile, but close enough). But let's just say that I saw and read some things today that shocked me a bit.
I said in a past post that I had never dealt with people truly being offended by my food beliefs, but today, I got it. And I feel like I need to say a few words. Okay, two words: I'm sorry.
I'm sorry that I should have added a footnote to all my spiritual findings, clarifying that these are my findings and my feelings. No, the church has never come out and officially declared exactly how we should eat. The scriptures, quotes, examples, research, and thoughts that I present on this blog . . . that ANY of us present on this blog belong to us as individuals.
Do those of us who choose to eat PBWF (Plant-Based Whole Food), Vegetarian, or Vegan diets judge or condemn others for not? Certainly not. Right now, there's not a single member of the General Authorities who have said that they eat that way, and they are called of God, they are righteous and self-Sacrificing people who are closer to touching the Heavens than I am.
Do I feel impressed to share my beliefs? You betcha. My mom's testimony and how she felt when she deepened her outlook of the Word of Wisdom was one of the first things that made me consider something different. I needed that outside influence. In her own words:
You should know something about myself. I'm 50 years old and for the first time in my life I actually feel good. I know that sounds crazy, but I have suffered with arthritis and obesity much of my adult life. I've tried everything and nothing seemed to work for very long. I made some big changes over a year ago and have lost almost 50 pounds. I was courageous to try something different. But now that I have made such a huge decision in my life, I'm healthier than I've ever been. Such a shame to have waited to find out till I was 50. But mostly, I am surer that ever that Joseph Smith is a prophet. What an amazing man.
Now, let me make myself clear. I am not saying that [other decisions are] wrong. I simply have been on a journey, as well as my sweet daughter . . . I will not judge you. Neither with the Lord. In fact, I am sure of it when I say that eating meat will not hold you away from the Celestial Kingdom.
But there are somethings that will--how you treat all of God's children. I will say that what you eat is not important. Find what makes you happy. If you are happy, and sure of decisions you have made, then BE HAPPY. BUT if you're not happy then I suggest that you open your mind and find what makes you happy. Then it won't matter what any one else says, you know what makes you happy.
I certainly have compassion for you. I've been there. And with love in my heart, I would also hope you find what is important.
She's said many of those things to me over the months and something stirred inside me. Something made me desire more. And now, I find it a great blessing.
How can I, after finding something so great, that makes me so happy, that makes me feel so energized, so healthy, and so much closer to my Lord . . . can I not share it? If I were to share the gospel with a friend who is not a member, I would hope they would not think I was personally attacking and commanding that they change their views. I would hope, that they would perhaps feel that same stirring that I did as a kid, and want to learn more.
This is my motivation behind this blog. Despite the unintended negativity and well-meaning friends, I've had just as many people privately thanking me for sharing my findings and my journey.
The Word of Wisdom was not given to us as a Commandment nor a Constraint (89:2). Portions of it (strong drink, drugs, and hot drinks) were eventually made a commandment for worthy temple members 100 years after the revelation was received.
The rest of it, is 100% up to us. If the things I have shared, have expressed and laughed about have offended you, again, I say: I'm sorry. None of this has ever meant to be a personal attack on anyone's eating habits. As my mom has said, I hope you feel joy in your choices. Really! Our purpose here is to feel JOY! God's purpose is to bring about our JOY! Find it and follow it!
But, please . . . let me share mine :)