Living the Word of Wisdom

Living the Word of Wisdom has been hard for me to learn.  The easy part of it is that I feel like the scripture is so very clear.  The hard part is that boy-oh-boy does it mean opening a can of worms for people.  I remember teaching a lesson on the Word of Wisdom in Relief Society a few years ago and two women literally yelled at me when I mentioned that President Gordon B. Hinckley had said to Mike Wallace that we don't drink caffeine.  I was simply making the statement to the class that he had said it on 60 Minutes.  The reaction from the women was "I can't live without my diet coke!"  

Well, yeah - I felt that way once, too.  I used to drink a six pack a day or more.  I gave it up not because I felt any need to be virtuous, but because I started to feel crappy when I drank it.   I would say the vast majority of my friends and family who are Latter-Day Saints drink diet coke, don't exercise, eat meat at most meals, and survive on fast food.  It's not a judgment call that I am making.  It's simply a fact.  The healthy eating part of the Word of Wisdom has not been heavily emphasized, while the don't drink, don't smoke part has.  

I have been loathe to ever put it out there that one of my reasons for making this transition is my desire to attempt to live the Word of Wisdom more fully.  Mostly out of fear of backlash and people yelling at me or telling me that I am wrong and evil (I have gotten both in the past 8 months).  But then last week I met a BYU student who said, "So what is your health challenge?"  I found myself looking straight into her eyes and saying, "My desire is to help families transition to eating based on the Word of Wisdom by adopting a whole food, plant-based diet."  Those eyes lit up and she said, "That is so cool!"  

Maybe I'm not so crazy after all.

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