Okay, we’ve previously touched on a number of Word of Wisdom topics: medicinal marijuana, chicken marsala, meat eating. And we all know about the tobacco and alcohol part. But what on earth are we to think of the strange grains list? In case you had forgotten it, D & C 89:16-17 reads:
16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the groundâ€”
17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
What an odd list. So, men are supposed to eat wheat. Corn is for the ox, oats for the horse, rye and barley for animals. Other staple grains (notably rice, but also sorghum and millet, and non-grain soy) are ignored. (Well, they’re lumped into the back, which looks like they’re being classified as animal feed).
Are these verses part of the Word of Wisdom “requirements”? Should our missionaries, as they tell people to stop smoking and drinking, also be telling people to stop eating corn and rice and start eating wheat? Does this verse impact the longstanding debate over the Word of Wisdom and various low-carb diets? (And what about people with gluten intolerance? Doomed to hellfire and damnation?) Note that the placement of these verses, directly before the promise, suggests that they are pretty important. Do you need to be eating wheat in order to secure the promise that destroying angel will pass you by?
Pass the crackers, please.