LDS Holistic Living: Vaccinations and Autism

Aug 30, 2014

Because parents everywhere find immunizations to be an agonizing decision, one that must now be made over and over from the birth of a child until it’s time to fill out mission papers, I am passing on this free offer from LDS Holistic Living because I believe the information is critical.  Whether you choose to immunize of not, the real issue is our freedom to make our own medical decisions.

LDS Holistic Health is offering two free audios and a free viewing of a documentary through Monday night.  These are about the dangers of vaccinations.  Go here to read their post and offer (you need to enter your credit card information, but the code they give you will override the card):  LDS Holistic Living.   

Ebola, A Zoonotic Disease

Many of you may be worried about Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, a heartbreaking disease that has taken many lives in West Africa.  The disease seems to prefer tropical climates, but many missionaries are (or were) in such places.  And many missionaries are in places that have unsanitary conditions.  I would like to share a few thoughts that may be helpful.

For nearly two decades I have been living the Word of Wisdom strictly (although the word “strictly” seems confining and doesn’t fit the feelings of freedom, simplicity, and improved health this doctrine has brought me).  Here is what I have been taught and what I believe to be true about zoonoses (zoh-ah-NO-seez); I invite you to prayerfully consider these things, do your homework, be observant, and use your own common sense.

Ebola is an zoonotic disease, one passed from animals to people.  The first article linked above says, ““The virus is killed when meat is cooked at a high temperature or heavily smoked, but anyone who handles, skins or butchers an infected wild animal is at risk of contracting the virus.”

  • A zoonosis is any disease or infection that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans.  Animals thus play an essential role in maintaining zoonotic infections in nature. Zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents. As well as being a public health problem, many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products.World Health Organization  

1.  The first thing we need to understand is that food is political.  The government subsidizes the meat and dairy industries, and there is cross-employment and cross-influence among agencies and agribusiness.  There is also a desire not to cause panic or interfere with markets.  Did you notice “obstacles to international trade” in the definition above?

2.  The pathogens that cause disease live in the warm, dark, and moist bodies of animals and humans.  They cannot survive in fresh air, sunshine, or dryness; they do not live in plants or plant foods.  They like human bodies because humans are the only “animals” on the planet who operate at 98.6temperatures.  All animals are either above or below that internal temperature, making the pathogens less active and less harmful.  At 98.6o the pathogens “mature” and become most active.  They also eat more dead human cells and defecate more, releasing greater amounts of corrosive and toxic waste product.  It’s those waste products that do the damage.

3.  These pathogens are passed around easily in body fluids, but very seldom in the air – otherwise our hospitals would be as full of sick doctors and nurses as they are of patients.

4.  No veterinarian would ever touch an animal’s raw flesh or body fluids with his bare hands.  He would wear gloves.  He would not touch anyone or anything else with his hands wet with flesh or fluid, gloved or not.

5.  No doctor would ever touch your raw flesh or your body fluids with his bare hands.  He would wear gloves.  He would not touch anyone or anything else with his hands wet with flesh or fluid, gloved or not.

6.  Anyone who gets paid to handle food must take a Food Handlers class in which they are taught how to protect the public from food-borne illness that come in animal foods.  They are taught to wear gloves and not to let raw animal flesh or fluids cross-contaminate other foods.

7.  Why has nobody bothered to warn you that in your own kitchen you should not touch raw animal flesh or fluids with your bare hands?  Nor should you touch anything or any person if your hands have raw animal flesh or fluids on them, gloved or not.  Also, you must keep raw meat and juices away from other foods to avoid cross-contamination (don’t let your packaged meat drip into the salad in your refrigerator).

8. This is the hard one:  do not put any animal flesh or fluids into your mouth, even at the dinner table.  Remember that pathogens lurk in warm, moist, dark places where there is flesh and fluid for them to eat.  Don’t invite them to dine on yours.

9. The Utah State University Extension Service website has some food handling instructions. Read them thoughtfully.  The University is an agricultural college, and they try hard to make food safe, but they also want you to buy meat and dairy.  Here is a poster from the World Health Organization.

10.  Milk is an animal fluid.  Cheese is highly concentrated animal fluid.  That fluid is designed in the exact formula the baby animal for whom it is intended will need.  The mother cow’s milk is not the right formula for the human baby (or the human adult).  In fact, cow’s milk may well be the most dangerous food of all.

If you want to know more about milk, go to Jane Birch’s article on Meridian Magazine, What About Dairy and Eggs?  You might want to take Jane’s advice and “try going for a month without them.”   (The Utah State website used to point out that bacteria double in 20 minutes at room temperature.  Think of cereal bowls and baby bottles.)

I hope you will teach your children, especially your missionaries, to wear gloves when they cook raw meat, and to not cross-contaminate anyone or any other food,  If they must eat meat they should make sure it is extremely thoroughly cooked.

If zoonotic diseases do work as described here, the doctor and nurse who have been brought home to America to be treated for Ebola are fortunate; they have a great chance of survival and there is little danger to the rest of their treatment team who are being very careful about body fluids.

That still leaves a lot of people in Africa at risk.  Unfortunately they won’t know that the problem may be in their food supply.  (The bat may be well cooked, but how protected was the person who prepared it?)  Hundreds have already died, including two members of our church.  I find this very sad.

If infected people crossing our southern borders can infect others through airborne transmission, then Ebola becomes our plague too — and then “unrestrained government” may become an even worse problem.

If the Ebola plague is contained, there will certainly be other plagues in our future.  Let this one be our warning.

The Word of Wisdom ends with a promise.  Who executes that promise?  If plagues come in the winds, then we are all mere victims being acted upon, dependent upon Divine intervention of some sort for protection.  If plagues come in foods that we have chosen not to eat, then we are agents, freely acting, exercising our gift of agency in following the Giver’s directions.  A portion of Divine intervention has already happened through those scriptural warnings.  We benefit in the form of physical strength and spiritual growth, first from the act of choosing obedience and second by the actions of doing the hard work of obedience.  Whether we live or die is ultimately in God’s hands, but what matters most is  what we have become and where we are found working when the Savior calls us home.

Our Bodies As Blessings, Another Ensign Article

July 5, 2014

Years ago, in a setting I don’t even remember, a friend exclaimed, “Our Church is a class act!”  Yes, it is, in the best sense of the word.  I had a beautiful opportunity to experience that “classiness” last Sunday morning when a friend of my daughter’s was in Salt Lake for a convention.  She stayed an extra day to visit Temple Square on Saturday because her family loves my daughter’s family and she wanted to understand their church.  Her plane didn’t leave until noon on Sunday, so my daughter suggested she attend a broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I was delighted to have the privilege of escorting her there.

The Music and The Spoken Word Independence Day program did not disappoint us. In the summer the performances are held in the Conference Center to accommodate the large crowds, and we had just enough time left to tour the building.  Musically, artistically, technically, architecturally, and socially (as in hostesses and tour guides), the entire experience was an exquisite, celestial, “class act” and a visual and spiritual representation of the Savior.

As I dropped this lovely Christian woman off at her hotel so she could pack and catch her flight home, I felt so blessed by this opportunity.  Driving home with the cruise control on, the road uncrowded, and the sun shining, I evaluated myself.  How is my spirit?  And how is the body I maintain for it?  Given my limitations, ignoring the worldly expectations and judgments, what am I made of?  Is there be sufficient granite to keep me standing strong in the storms that are coming?  Sufficient velvet to keep my heart tender?  Sufficient beauty and light to reflect the Savior’s love?  Will my very body, inside and out, bear the stamp of my church?

That thought was probably generated by another Ensign article, the fourth this year that deals with our bodies.  The author is also a “class act” and her article is a work of literary art.  She said, “. . . when I keep [Christ’s] perspective, my body becomes a tool to bless the lives of God’s children, and proper maintenance and care of that tool demonstrates my recognition of His noble purposes.”

Some years ago we went to Nauvoo, a city made beautiful because, again, our Church is a “class act.”  The Nauvoo countryside was gorgeous and the buildings handsome.  We were able to attend the newly finished temple so our youngest daughter could receive her ordinances.  She also danced as Hyrum Smith’s wife in the Pageant.  It was a magnificent experience.  However, I also saw a few pictures of the earliest days of Nauvoo when it was simply a shanty town!

In my past, when I was grossly overweight, sickly, sloppy, and lacking in energy, I was that shanty town. Today, with much help from nearly two decades on a plant food diet, I am a far better representation of my church and its stamp upon my life.  There is still plenty of room for improvement, but I do aspire to become, eventually, a beautiful temple.

So may I suggest a standing ovation to Victoria Webb Rutherford, the very talented author of this latest, and most magnificent, article, “The Gift of Our Physical Bodies.” Let’s also applaud Marissa Widdison for a very nicely done companion piece in the July Friend, “My Body Is A Temple.”

And thank you Hyrum Smith, (the real one), also a “class act,” for this from the “Times and Seasons, ” June 1842:

God only is acquainted with the fountain of action, and the main springs of human events; he knows where disease is seated, and what is the cause of it; he is also acquainted with the spring of health; the balm of Gilead of life; he knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigour, and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour, promote peace between him and the brute creation, and as one of the little wheels in Gods designs, to help to regulate the great machinery, which shall eventually revolutionize the earth, and bring about the restoration of all things, and when they are restored he will plant the tree of life, whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.

President Kimball on Sparing Animals Not Needed for Food

Spencer W. Kimball was born in rural Arizona in 1895. In April of 1978, as President of the Church, he talked about his boyhood and family and church life. He said the children loved to sing in church, and if they forgot a verse they could always join in on the chorus. And he sang, right there in the Priesthood meeting of General Conference. Unfortunately, this talk is not among the many on the Church YouTube channel, but the text is on lds.org. The title is “Strengthening the Family – the Basic Unit of the Church.” Here is a little of the text:

    • I remember the song “In Our Lovely Deseret,” which Sister Eliza R. Snow wrote. She composed many of our songs. I can remember how lustily we sang:

      Hark! Hark! Hark! ’tis children’s music,
      Children’s voices, O, how sweet,
      When in innocence and love,
      Like the angels up above,
      They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet

      I am not sure how much innocence and love we had, but I remember we sang it, even straining our little voices to reach the high E which was pretty high for children’s voices. I remember we sang:

      That the children may live long,
      And be beautiful and strong

      I wanted to live a long time and I wanted to be beautiful and strong—but never reached it.

      Tea and coffee and tobacco they despise.

      And I learned to despise them. There were people in our rural community who were members of the Church who sometimes used tea and coffee and sometimes tobacco. The song goes on:

      Drink no liquor, and they eat
      But a very little meat

      [I still don’t eat very much meat.]

      They are seeking to be great and good and wise.

      And then we’d “Hark! Hark! Hark” again, “…

He finished that song and then said:

    • One of the songs that has disappeared was number 163, “Don’t Kill the Little Birds,” and I remember many times singing with a loud voice:

      Don’t kill the little birds,
      That sing on bush and tree,
      All thro’ the summer days,
      Their sweetest melody.
      Don’t shoot the little birds!
      The earth is God’s estate,
      And he provideth food
      For small as well as great.

      I had a sling and I had a flipper. I made them myself, and they worked very well. It was my duty to walk the cows to the pasture a mile away from home. There were large cottonwood trees lining the road, and I remember that it was quite a temptation to shoot the little birds “that sing on bush and tree,” because I was a pretty good shot and I could hit a post at fifty yards’ distance or I could hit the trunk of a tree. But I think perhaps because I sang nearly every Sunday, “Don’t Kill the Little Birds,” I was restrained. The second verse goes:

      Don’t kill the little birds
      Their plumage wings the air,
      Their trill at early morn
      Makes music ev’ry-where.
      What tho’ the cherries fall
      Half eaten from the stem?
      And berries disappear,
      In garden, field, and glen?

      This made a real impression on me, so I could see no great fun in having a beautiful little bird fall at my feet.

The following October he repeated his feelings about the birds.  The title is ”Fundamental Principles to Ponder and Live“. The text and video are on the Church website and the video is on YouTube. At 5:29 minutes he talks about the Creation and then says, “I read at the priesthood meeting at the last conference the words to the verse of the song years ago, ‘Don’t Kill the Little Birds,’ with which I was familiar when I was a child growing up in Arizona.”  I really remember him singing.  If anyone has the recording of that Conference, please listen to it and tell me.

President Kimball ends that section of his address with the familiar quote from Joseph Smith, “I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.”  Here is the YouTube video:

Three Word of Wisdom Articles from the Ensign, 2014

It was so refreshing to see three articles in the Ensign magazine this year. I hope they were widely read, and I hope there will be more.

Nourishing Our Bodies and Our Spirits, Beverly Hyatt Neville, February 2014

The author talks about rising above our cultural food habits to being guided by the principles in the Word of Wisdom, a great thought.  It would mean beginning with the question: What does the Manufacturer instruct us to do to fuel and sustain our body machine?’

The author begins with apparent concern about protein and variety. I don’t know what variety was available to the people she was speaking of, but I know that Americans have plenty of variety — yet we often assume the best grains and fruits are only available in exotic countries, and we pay high prices to have them imported, and sometimes bottled, at high prices.  Is something wrong here?

As for protein, Americans have a cultural belief that high protein is necessary, which makes us fear a plant diet.  Yet if plant protein is not sufficient, that would that mean the Lord blundered in the Creation by putting low amounts of protein in plants.   I don’t know if by “sparingly” He means “infrequently” or “in small amounts,” or whether He means   “sparing the lives of animals,” but if diet is the concern, then He would have blundered again by saying it is pleasing to Him if we avoid the high protein foods.  In either case, the article is a delight.

Here’s a quick read about potatoes from the very informative website of Dr. John McDougall in California.  For more information about the history and sufficiency of plant food diets, you might enjoy this hour long video, The Starch Solution, also on his website.

A Principle with Promises, G. Craig Kiser, February 2014

This is an excellent article by a medical doctor.  Doctors who appreciate the benefits of plant foods are still rare, but they are becoming far more plentiful.  Dr. Kiser says the, “… meager intake of fruits and vegetables was listed as one of four bad habits associated with early death.”

In footnote #6 the author references T. Colin Campbell who headed what is known as the “Cadillac of Studies,” the “Cornell China Study.”  Dr. Campbell is from Cornell; the Emperor of China hosted the project.  Dr. Campbell’s book is titled, “The China Study” and is well worth reading; he found plant foods to be protective, and even curative, against both heart disease and cancer.

Dr. Campbell, the researcher, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, the surgeon who began curing heart disease with diet, produced a video, “Forks Over Knives,” followed by a cookbook.  You’ll find twenty videos, most of then about two minutes, and a couple of longer ones on the “Forks Over Knives” YouTube page below.  (The videos load automatically; you can move to the end of any that you don’t want to watch):

I Strive to Be Healthy by. . . March 2014

This great article is by young adults who bear testimony of things they do to improve their health.  One sister with “serious food allergies” found relief in green smoothies:

For a long time it was difficult for me to get any fruits and vegetables into my diet because of some serious food allergies. I could hardly eat more than four blueberries at a time without feeling ill. When I discovered green smoothies, everything changed.

At first my body struggled, but over time my allergies diminished substantially and I became full of energy. I love creating new smoothies, and I try to put the most nutrient-dense and colorful fruits and vegetables into them: kale, Swiss chard, spinach, lime, peaches, mango, strawberries, coconut, and so on. I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom and for the blessings I’ve received as I’ve incorporated its principles into my life.

It seems the Church is trying hard to get our attention on health matters.  We might improve the missionary work and save the Church a lot of money on medical costs if the MTC’s would feature and serve green smoothies and moms would serve them to their pre-mission children.

By the way, it may be that people with food allergies feel throat discomfort because their throats are coated with bacteria; the enzymes in fresh fruit or vegetables kill the bacteria, and the die-off (the decomposition of body chemicals) causes the throat to hurt.  Don’t blame the blueberries; they are your healers.  In time they’ll have your throat cleaned out, and the rest of your body — if you quit eating the foods you’re allergic to (usually dairy).  Read this sentence again and think of the plant foods cleaning house in the rest of you.  There is a very short animated graphic about 30 seconds into this video:

At first my body struggled, but over time my allergies diminished substantially and I became full of energy.

While others argue over protein and carbohydrates, we have the sure word of the Lord.  Our lives can be blessed by the Word of Wisdom.