The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 148 - D&C 89

We discuss the kickoff of the school of the prophets and then dive into the Word of Wisdom. We recommend everyone listen to episode 025 which was also on the Word of Wisdom. We tried to avoid repeating ourselves.

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4 comments on “Iron Rod 148 – D&C 89

  1. Ranae Oct 3, 2021

    I am confused by the approach taken on this topic which seems to be, ignore the Word of Wisdom because taking it seriously might make you give up some pleasures in life that everyone else gets to enjoy. Where are the supplemental scriptures? What about Jeremiah chapter 35? This chapter contains a story of the Rechabites who were invited by Jeremiah, by the word of the Lord, to be brought to the temple and given wine to drink. When they got there, they refused, giving their excuse as a command given by their father that “Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons forever.” Because of their obedience to a command of their ancestor, they refused a direct invitation by a true prophet under the direction of God…and they were blessed for their faithfulness. Their obedience to their father was contrasted against the disobedience of the Israelites to the Lord’s commandments to not serve other Gods in the lands he had given them.

    I am not making the point that God commanded them not to drink wine, or that the wine was inherently bad. It was their faithfulness they were blessed for. I can abstain from certain foods and drinks because it is how I was raised without condemning others who have different traditions. Isn’t this the approach taken by Daniel and his friends when they were in Babylon?

    At a time when the world has been obsessively consumed with matters of sickness and health, why was there no mention of what the scriptures have said about healing our bodies? Here are a few verses that supplement section 89, which stand in contrast to the propaganda of “conspiring men in the last days”:

    Alma 46:40 – “And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land — but not so much so with fever, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.”

    D&C 42:43 – “And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.”

    There are many people who have prayed and fasted about how to heal from serious medical issues who have been pointed back to D&C 89. They have been able to heal through changing back from the highly processed diets of modern society to a more natural way of eating. We have been so advertised to about proper diet that we don’t even see what is right in front of us. “Milk, it does a body good.” The word of wisdom is silent on the subject of dairy based foods. The four basic food groups? Designed by major industries to advertise their products as staples of a daily diet. Even the wheat, which is specified as good for man has been so modified, and processed, and bleached, and enriched, that millions of people have serious health issues as a result of eating modern wheat-based foods.

    I feel like the podcast this week was a bit one-sided, in favor of fitting in with the traditions of the popular culture. I don’t know how different the practices in Japan during Taylor’s mission were from my experience in Korea during the mid-nineties. However, the most common drink we were offered was a mild drink which we called “Cheerio water” which was created by boiling barley in water (there was no plain water). All water was boiled and flavored with something or other, so everything we drank was some type of tea. When teaching the Word of Wisdom, the only tea specifically forbidden was black tea.

    To me, the subject of health ultimately comes back to the question of who or what do I put my faith in? The world is saturated with a fear of illness and death. As a result, people run to doctors and hospitals with no real understanding of fundamental health and nutrition. The doctors are trained by the pharamceutical industries to sell drugs, and if they vary from the established protocols, they are threatened with a loss of liability protection and/or their medical license. This control of the doctors has come to the attention of the general public in the past year, but it has gone on for many decades. On the other hand, people who have faith in God’s creation of human bodies, and the knowledge to care for them the way they were designed, do not fear illness. They can work with their bodies instead of against them. Even in cases of severe illness or injury, I have found that the body doesn’t hurt when it has the building blocks it needs to heal. Feed the body (what it is missing) instead of silencing the pain has been a key bit of wisdom in raising my family.

    I have asked more than one medical professional for diet recommendations in the course of prenatal checkups. The medically trained doctors and midwives basically said I look healthy, stay off too much junk food, take a prenatal vitamin, and if I need more info to talk to a nutritionist. The lay midwives gave me recommendations for whole-food based super-food supplements and a list of foods to consume or stay away from if I wanted to have a healthy outcome. One approach fostered greater knowledge and agency, the other led to dependency on a system that showed little regard for me. I also had better outcomes with the second approach (better size/weight of baby, dealing successfully with pregnancy related health problems like morning sickness, restless legs, etc.)

    A couple more verses that just came to mind:
    Isaiah 5:13 – “Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge”
    Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest unto me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

    • Taylor Drake Oct 4, 2021

      The main focus of this episode was to provide the historical context for Word of Wisdom and point out how men have interpreted it ever since to be a hard and fast commandment, instead of good advice from the Lord. Conspiring men have transfigured the Word. All things have been given by God for our benefit and we are individually to apply wisdom in using them with thanksgiving (D&C 59:20).

      One other scripture we didn’t mention in the episode:
      Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    • I think our approach was the opposite of what you claim. Rather than ignoring what the Word of Wisdom says and teaching the precepts of men, we chose to take it seriously and read what it actually says and contrast that with what we’ve been taught it says. Anyone can choose to indulge or abstain from any food or drink they wish without judgment. But when they turn around and demand that others also indulge or abstain, and claim that God will withhold blessings from others if they don’t obey this non-scriptural “commandment”, then we have a problem.

      Hippocrates wrote 2,400 years ago: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” Like you, I think there is a lot of truth in that. But Section 89 doesn’t teach that, so we didn’t discuss it. I don’t think we were one-sided, I think we stayed on topic.

      One other thing to note. “Health in the navel and marrow in the bones” comes from Proverbs 3:7-8
      Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
      It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

      It isn’t talking about food being health in the navel and marrow in the bones…it is talking about humility and righteousness. I think we are putting way too much spiritual emphasis on what goes into our bodies and claiming that God has made statements that he hasn’t really made.

      I’ll end with Colossians 2:20-23
      If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

      • Ranae Oct 4, 2021

        That’s more like it. Your podcast summary is usually full of related scriptures.

        I don’t dispute the fact that the Word of Wisdom is not a commandment, nor should it be used as a basis for judging righteousness or as the determining criteria for baptism. But it does “[show] forth the order and will of God in the TEMPORAL salvation of all saints in the last days”. Its non-commandment status is consistent with D&C 29:34 where God says, “all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law, which was temporal”. Following the user’s manual for your car, so it will perform at optimum levels for the longest possible time, is quite different from obeying the laws concerning operating your car on the public roads. If you violate one, your car will have unnecessary problems, if you violate the other, you will face judgment.

        Related to your content about the details of the Word of Wisdom, I have a pamphlet that was written in the 1930s by Dr. John Christopher called “Just What is the Word of Wisdom?”. Just as you stated, he said that “hot drinks” meant anything that was hot enough to burn your mouth and throat because it could lead to cancer, including hot water. He also described “strong drink” as anything that could be habit-forming. That would include not only hard liquor, but also colas, coffee, or even aspirin dissolved in water.

        Dr. Christopher received his medical training from a non-pharmaceutical backed medical college, back when they were still open. He learned about nutrition, healing herbs, and working with the body to eliminate toxins and disease instead of suppressing symptoms. He was able to see “miracles” where the regular doctors had given up on the patients, simply by following principles of true health, as found in the Word of Wisdom and supplemented by a knowledge of cleaning the elimination channels of the body. He is an example of someone who applied the Word of Wisdom prayerfully to overcome first his own chronic ailments and then show others how to heal themselves.

        HIstorically, it is interesting to see how our access to alternate knowledge has been severely curtailed. How can we say we are “free to choose” if we are only given one set of options? That is why I think the health aspects of the Word of Wisdom need to be emphasized, and that people need to read the scriptures for themselves, instead of taking a summary of highlights from what they talk about in church.