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Question

 

Why have the leaders not tackled the problem of weight issues on its members?  I know the gospel is for us spiritually, but we have our heads in the sand on this topic.  Eat meat sparingly is not adhered. Nor is ‘your body is a temple’. I don’t want to be judgmental or sound critical.  But it is in epidemic proportions. The spirit cannot dwell in an unclean body. We are what we eat.  Nobody got fat eating fruits and vegetables.

Margie

 

Answer

 

Dear Margie,

I want to caution you and praise you. I’m happy that you care so much about the health of your fellow members, and I do get that sense from your post. Like you, I am concerned about the increasing obesity problem that we seem to have in the world today. However I also want to caution you. Obesity is not only a sensitive subject, it’s also a very complicated one. It would be rude and quite frankly, obnoxious of us to assume that all cases of obesity are because of slothfulness, laziness, or gluttony. To be clear Margie, I am not saying you think this way, but I do see that way of thinking sometimes in our life and culture.

We get questions about whether this or that food or drink is against the Word of Wisdom, even when the Word of Wisdom doesn’t say anything about said substance. We answer it by saying, “Sometimes you need to use your own judgment and follow the spirit. You cannot rely on the Church to make 100% of your decisions for you.” It’s the same basic thing here. Joseph Smith also said, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” Think of that quote. Perhaps Joseph Smith was cautioning us on our draconian attitudes when it comes to health laws and enforcing it on ALL.

Just because you believe that obesity is a key problem in our culture today (and I’m not saying you are wrong) does not mean that you know better than the Church and its prophets. As of right now, God has not instructed His prophets and leaders to preach about obesity or make changes to our health codes that I am aware of.

Sometimes we have “pet issues”-such as weight issues and other things we feel passionately about that we believe to be gravely sinful. Often times those issues are sinful to some degree, but we need to be careful that we don’t blow them out of proportion or lose sight of the big picture. While the saying, “Don’t be judgmental” is used incorrectly in our culture today, that doesn’t mean it’s always wrong. We need to make proper and righteous judgments based on all the evidence. If someone is overweight and we don’t know the entire story, it is strongly advised that we keep out opinions to ourselves and find other things to worry about.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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