Sunday, July 12, 2009

I See... Food in Church

Food in Church? Cheerios for the little cherubs during an endless Sacrament Meeting service? What about freely-flowing sugar-packed sweet treats for primary angels that transform them into devils after church at home for the rest of their Sabbath-day observance? The righteous role of food in church is clearly the highest-profile non-doctrinal dilemma of the current generation properly obsessed with a healthy lifestyle. The Mormon Third Eye, however, trusts the revelation to Moses that all things bear witness of Christ, (Moses 6:63), and hence will attempt in the next few lines to see the beginning from the end on this very important issue.

Ever since Eve offered forbidden fruit to Adam, food has been important to our eternal salvation. The core question is- do the consumables in question bring us closer to Christ or put space between us and Christ? It is a simple question, but the answers can often be elusive and confusing if not sought through the lens of personal revelation. One of my wife's most distant LDS ancestors, Joseph Knight, fed Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery for several months so that they could worry about the getting the Book of Mormon translation right instead of what they had to do to buy their next meal. Millions of church members who have been subsequently converted by the power of that book are probably grateful for these meals. Much of the best quality time I've spent with inspired church leaders was not in a Stake Conference but over day-old submarine sandwiches eaten between Sunday sessions in the high council room with visiting General Authorities.

When I started my adult life in the gospel of Jesus Christ, I learned how important a little bit of the right kind of food could be to my personal salvation. I noticed that my mind and body would often misinterpret the soft, comforting, and quietly spiritual words of instructors and speakers in classes and meetings as involuntary permission to seek slumber. I learned that what these instructors and speakers were teaching was so important to me that I should do anything I had to do to stay awake, even if it meant consuming a constant drip of Sweetarts or Junior Mints to keep my mind temporarily stimulated enough to be open to the word of God.

Every once in a while, sometimes accidentally and other times intentionally, I would attend an important meeting “flying solo-” without any edible assistance to keep my mind focused on what was being taught. More often than not the results were spiritually disastrous; a powerful, moving testimony was shared from the pulpit, but I had missed it because I was too preoccupied battling the primeval urge to rest my mind.

I could ramble on for paragraphs on the pros and cons of ward dinner socials and the justice and mercy angles of providing busy food to small children during sacrament meetings. Clearly there are too many members playing hide-and-seek with Word of Wisdom principles and permitting excessive food consumption to put a lot of distance between themselves and God. The bottom line is that the right amount of the right food at the right place and time has brought me closer to my Savior. Perhaps if I were a more deeply spiritual individual I wouldn't need to suck on an occasional Altoid while I study the scriptures. I sense, however, that the Lord accepts a soul that prematurely seeks sleep if my heart is in the right place.

No comments:

Post a Comment