Latter-day Prophets and Apostles’ View on Meat

In April 1976, Theodore M. Burton gave a talk about the Word of Wisdom and reminded us that at the time of the revelation, “The dangers involved in the use of tobacco, tea, coffee, and the excessive use of meat were just not known in those early days. But the Lord knew of these perils and warned his children in order to protect them both in body and in mind. In my opinion, there is a great need for such counseling in this day in which we live.”
Do you think the meat intake of the average American is a little “excessive”?

President Spencer W. Kimball gave a talk in April 1978 where he was recalling primary songs of his youth, and recounted “Drink no liquor, and they eat but a very little meat,” and then He remarked, “I still don’t eat very much meat.” At the time he was the Prophet of the church.

In a talk about the church welfare system in October 1973, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone talked about eating less of the foods that were going up in price. “Have your eating habits changed a little over the past year? Ours have, greatly…. Our meat diet has considerably decreased.” Later, in April 1976, Elder Featherstone reiterated this idea in a talk about food storage and cutting grocery bills when he said, “Get your protein from sources less expensive than meat. The grocery bill is one that can be cut…. Think carefully; buy only the essentials.” Apparently he didn’t think meat was an essential.

A beautiful talk called A Principle with a Promise was given in April 1983 by President Ezra Taft Benson where he mentioned the scripture in D&C 89 that says the word of wisdom was given as “a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints,”. He said he used that passage to help some sisters on his mission to give up their tea “because they did not want to be considered the “weakest” of those who are or can be called Saints.”

He added an interesting bit that ties into everything I have learned about eating a plant-based diet when he said “Scientific studies have confirmed that Latter-day Saints have less incidence of heart problems, all forms of cancer, and other diseases because of their adherence to the Word of Wisdom.” Now, He gave that talk in 1983, and the rate of heart disease has dramatically increased with the excessive meat consumption that has grown with the commercial farming industry. And as with other traditional ideas, the “eat meat sparingly” concept has been tossed by the wayside.

President Benson continues, “In this revelation the Lord counsels us to use meat sparingly. I have often felt that the Lord is further counseling us in the this revelation against indiscriminately killing animals, for He has said elsewhere in scripture, “Wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:21.)

Learn more about what God said about the use of meat, and when it becomes a “need.”

As to what we were counseled to eat, President Benson explains, “Wheat is particularly singled out as being good for man, as is the fruit of the vine—vegetables and all fruits. This is the wisdom of the Lord on the matter of sound nutrition and diet.”

That last statement confirms my commitment to follow the new lifestyle my family has chosen to be filled with plant-strong whole foods.

Another statement in President Benson’s talk that struck a cord with me was that “The Word of Wisdom allows us to know that the Lord is vitally concerned about the health of His Saints. He has graciously given us counsel for improving our health, endurance, and resistance to many diseases.”

Learn more about how a plant-strong whole foods diet actually prevents and reverses heart disease and other health problems plaguing the United States.

I found it so interesting that President Ezra Taft Benson actually talked about the waste of land and resources that the livestock industry is creating when he said:
“May I remind you that it generally takes several times as much land to produce a given amount of food when grains are fed to livestock and we consume the meat. Let us be careful not to overdo beef cattle and other livestock projects on our welfare farms. From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority.”

Watch this video to see how the farming industry’s inefficient use of land is causing more world hunger, while the wealthy are being provided with more meat.

I strongly believe that our Heavenly Father is not happy with what is happening in the livestock industry that has taken over the land meant to grow plants and whole foods from the earth that would be enough to feed everyone on this planet, all in the name of making a profit.

The cruelty and torturing of these animals would be completely illegal if done to a domestic animal, but is being wholly overlooked by the FDA for the livestock industry. See what is going on in the livestock industry today, and ask yourself if God would be pleased with what we’re doing to his creatures in the name of our “need” for meat (or rather, making a profit on food).

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2 Responses to Latter-day Prophets and Apostles’ View on Meat

  1. Go to this site for more church leadership quotes on meat. a couple of my favorites are:
    Brigham Young taught, “You mothers and daughters in Israel… You may think that these things are not of much importance; …but let the people observe …and lay the foundation for longevity,… Do you think they will stuff themselves then with… beef, pork… No; you will find they will live as our first parents did, on fruits and on a little simple food, and they will never overload the stomach… The strength, power, beauty, and glory that once adorned the form and constitution of man have vanished away before the blighting influences of inordinate appetite and love of this world. Then let us not trifle with our mission, by indulging in the use of injurious substances. These lay the foundation of disease and death in the systems of men, and the same are committed to their children, and another generation of feeble human beings is introduced into the world…” JD V.12 pp 37,118,119

    And while I can’t find the source right now, Hyrum Smith said this (slightly paraphrased but accurate to the idea): We are told that we ought not to eat meat except in times of famine and winter. And why then? Because the animals will die anyway and may as well be used as not.

    • plantsonly says:

      Wow, I really love those quotes Mary! People think it says to eat meat in the winter because their body needs the meat in the cold weather. I think the reason was different, and I love what Hyrum Smith said. We should only use animals if there is no other option, and never use them wastefully!

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