Wheat for Man

April 10, 2012 | 35 comments
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It’s pretty obvious that wheat is spiritually required. Let’s list some reasons why:

1. The Doctrine and Covenants says directly, “wheat for man.”
2. Jesus ate wheat, and specifically gave wheat to his followers and commanded them to eat it. Multiple times.
3. Jesus specifically said that wheat is righteousness.
4. There are about a zillion other scriptural references to wheat.
5. Modern prophets have said a whole bunch of things about the awesomeness of wheat.
6. It is objective fact that wheat is yummy.

Now I realize, there are some people who may struggle with living this principle. Celiac folk, gluten-allergy people, or others who may be tempted by non-wheat attraction.

But it’s pretty clear that most people do just fine eating wheat. I personally eat wheat all the time. So do several of my friends! And I knew someone who used to not like wheat, but then he repented and now he loves wheat.

Finally, we should remember that God doesn’t change eternal principles just because some people are too weak or misguided to live them.

So, pull up that bowl of cracked-wheat cereal, and brew yourself a mug of Postum. And the next time that some unrighteous soul tells you they aren’t eating wheat (whether ostensibly for health reasons or out of mere preference) please tell them as gently as possible that they’re going to hell.

35 Responses to Wheat for Man

  1. Kaimi Wenger on April 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I hope it’s obvious, but in case anyone is unclear, this post is not about wheat.

    It’s meant as an illustration of how easy it is to build self-righteous narratives out of selected scriptures and personal anecdotes; and how those narratives can cause harm, by marginalizing people with different experiences and ignoring their concerns.

    Because dammit, God is obviously in complete agreement with _my_ experiences and my interpretations of them.

  2. Adam Greenwood on April 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I’m glad the scriptures challenge us to use snark to destroy straw men.

  3. Tim on April 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. God would never create a man that couldn’t eat wheat and would be forced to sin in their abstinence from gluten.

    It’s obvious people choose to be intolerant of gluten and need to repent so they can eat wheat as God commands!

  4. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    an illustration of how easy it is to build self-righteous narratives

    I thought that was what being a professor was all about ;)

    I’m glad the scriptures challenge us to use snark to destroy straw me. And straw men as well.

  5. Kaimi Wenger on April 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Wheat men, Adam G.

  6. CatherineWO on April 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I actually have celiac disease and I get asthmatic attacks from perfume, but you would be surprised how many people at church in the past fifteen years have either not believed that either one of those was medically possible or have told me that I need to have more faith to overcome these challenges. Yes, this is a good analogy.

  7. mcgillicutty on April 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    My wife and daughter both have celiacs disease. Our experience has been mostly positive and our Bishop has allowed us to instruct the young men on how to prepare a gluten-free tray for sacrament to prevent cross contamination. Though at first he did ask my wife in annoyance why she couldn’t just have one piece a week. After a detailed explanation of the symptoms, he changed his mind.

  8. Craig on April 11, 2012 at 12:12 am

    My wife misses Postum…

  9. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

    But I *love* rice, Kaimi! Wheat upsets my stomach. I’m sure God wouldn’t want me to be sick to my stomach all the time, when I could be enjoying rice instead and feeling great.

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant.

  10. Cameron on April 11, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Luckily, the lack of a recent official proclamation on wheat signed by the apostles means I can keep on being a meatitarian until such a proclamation is issued.

  11. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 1:20 am

    But surely there’s a reason why the faux meat made from wheat is called satan…er…seitan. Right? Beware the wiles of seitan…

  12. Tim on April 11, 2012 at 7:10 am

    “My wife misses Postum…”

    Rumor is, she may not have to miss it for long:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:hg7LGDqeFLYJ:postum.com/+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

  13. Cydlawenhau on April 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

    #7: I’m kind of interested to know what your wife did before the gluten free try was available? And how’s that work anyway, do you always have one specific passer come to you?

  14. Sam Brunson on April 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Several years ago, I heard an NPR story on a group of nuns trying to develop a super-low gluten communion wafer (apparently, communion wafers have to include some amount of wheat). One has now been created and approved for the Eucharist.

    I mentioned the story to my bishop, and he went out and bought gluten-free wafers. We don’t have anyone (that we know of) in our ward with celiac disease, but if someone were to visit or move in, we would just have to go to his office and add a wafer to the tray.

    (That said, wheat certainly is yummy.)

  15. Jettboy on April 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    My take away was actually opposite (surprise that) what others did. It was that wheat IS considered important in the Scriptures so stop attacking those who find it important. In other words, those with Celiac, gluten-allergy, or others who don’t like wheat stop complaining if the use of wheat is the norm as instructed by the revelations. Do what you can to get as close to that ideal as possible, even if you have to find a suitable substitute.

  16. Kaimi Wenger on April 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Heck yeah it is, Sam. Especially if you deep-fry it and serve with celery salt, like the Ensign recipe recommends. I only hope that my link in the post inspires someone to try out those “wheat treats.”

  17. Kaimi Wenger on April 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Maybe my favorite Jettboy comment ever.

  18. Meldrum the Less on April 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

    What are the most obvious symptoms of celaic disease when wheat is consumed? Diarrhea and flatulence?

    So might I conclude from the spiritual diarrhea and flatulence showered upon us steadily from pulpit and publications that a sort of spiritual celiac diseae from too much consumption of spiritual wheat is endemic in the central church? Maybe the analogy stinks, I don’t know.

  19. Chiekos Tacos on April 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    If anyone is interested in history of gastronomy, you will find that celiac disease, gluten intolerance, etc., did not exist when the revelation was given. Industrial agriculture and chemical farming have created a number of health conditions that were previously nonexistent. The wheat we eat is not the same wheat our ancestors ate. Say that ten times, fast. This isn’t to say all wheat is now bad for all people, simply that some people have food sensitivities that make them more susceptible to these conditions.

    According to http://www.postum.com, Mormon coffee will be available again this winter.

  20. Ardis E. Parshall on April 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Yeah, there’s something skeevy about that website … maybe it’s the way they repeatedly write “ever sense” this and “ever sense” that … I’ll be happy to be proved wrong, but I don’t think *this* particular amateur hour is going to bring back Postum.

    What this country needs is a good Defense of Postum Act.

  21. mikka on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    #13 Cydlawenhau, in one ward I was in there was a pair of brothers who had celiac; they either provided the bread for the entire congregation to use, or just skipped.

  22. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Ardis #20 – “What this country needs is a good Defense of Postum Act.”

    ROFL!

  23. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    What I want to know is why this post isn’t at Wheat and Tares.

  24. John Mansfield on April 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    There’s a solution for those with some wheat-related disability or aversion: Call everything wheat. Rice is wheat, tomatoes are wheat, orange juice is wheat. Problem solved.

  25. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I wonder if “wheat” might be more correctly translated as “grain” in most of those references…

  26. Romni on April 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Oh sure, we can say we are OK with ‘grain’, but where does it stop?

  27. Lucy on April 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    #6. It is objective fact that wheat is yummy.

    Objective fact / eternal verity.

  28. Landon on April 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    1. The Doctrine and Covenants says directly, “mild drinks made of barley” and “wine of your own vine”
    2. Jesus drank wine, and specifically gave wine to his followers and commanded them to drink it. Multiple times.
    3. There are about a zillion other scriptural references to wine and alcoholic drink.
    4. Joseph Smith drank beer and wine, and a bunch of the first prophets operated bars.
    5. It is objective fact that beer is yummy.
    I’m going to be tipping back an Beckle’s Brown ale tonight with a clean conscience.

  29. Stephen Hardy on April 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    #19: “If anyone is interested in history of gastronomy, you will find that celiac disease, gluten intolerance, etc., did not exist when the revelation was given.”

    Since I am a gastroenterologist and lecture on celiac disease regularly, and since about 1/3 of my extended family appears to have celiac diseae, I can’t help but want to respond, briefly, hopefully:

    Celiac disease appears to have been around for as long as wheat has been cultivated, about 9,500 years, (or about 3,500 years before Adam…oops) Medical records are sparse from earlier times because populations were sparse and medical understanding was even more limited, but it is thought that celiac disease was reported on by Aretaeus of Cappadocia, about 200 BCE. He described a syndrome suggestive of malabsorption with chronic diarrhea,thought possibly to be celiac disease. The condition began to be reported early in the mid-1800s but wasn’t well understood until World War II. During that war, a pediatrician in Holland noted an almost complete absense of celiac disease during a period when Nazi Germany re-directed all wheat from that country (causing a devastating famine) to their own troops. Celiac disease returned promptly when wheat was brought back into the diet after the war. The lack of reports before 1800 should not suggest that the condition did not exist. It isn’t hard to find people with chronic diarrhea and weight loss from early history. It is simply hard to weed out infections, vitamin deficiencies, under-nutrition, or other possibly causes of wasting and diarrhea from those early records.

    No one knows whether celiac disease is becomming more common or is simply more commonly diagnosed now. More than half of my patients have no symptoms, but are screened because of risk factors. They have injured intestines, but no symptoms… yet.

    Celiac disease is considered to possibly be one of those auto-immune conditions, like Crohn’s disase, like Lupus, etc which seems to possibly be more common now. It is almost certain that some sort of environmental factors are playing an important role in the increase in these conditions, but no-one knows what those factors are. “Industrial Agriculture” and “Chemical Farming” (whatever exactly those mean) may play a role. So may, some believe, our super-clean environment which may not give our immune system anything to “play with.” Nobody knows, so one should be careful before pointing fingers.

  30. Lorian on April 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Fascinating, Stephan Hardy. Thank you for that. My stomach has been aching ever since that bowl of shredded wheat I ate for breakfast this morning (thanks, Kaimi — I’ll send you the doctor bill…). :lol:

  31. prometheus on April 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Well that was an amusing post. :)

    In any case, I also have gluten intolerance (not 100% sure it is celiac because of a lot of other intolerances as well), and I have always brought in a small piece of rice bread, which the priests break and stash in one of the little water cups during the blessing and whatnot. There doesn’t seem to be enough cross-contamination to affect me doing it that way.

  32. queuno on April 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I have a niece with celiac’s. My brother provides a wafer to the teachers each Sunday to put in a certain tray, and they sit in the same place every week, and the deacons bring that tray to them first before going on to other rows.

  33. wendygirl on April 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I wanted to comment because when we first started Gaps diet- I couldn’t find any sacrament suggestions online, so maybe it will help someone.

    We have been avoiding all grains for a few years now- as I was guided by the spirit to do so- in an effort to heal our guts so that someday we can digest all the good things in the word of wisdom. Since my kids were all still little, I wanted them to still be able to take the sacrament, I was making bread and bringing a slice to Church, (made from nut or coconut flour, oil, eggs, banana, lemon and sometimes baking soda) but later found out some of us aren’t tolerating eggs. Now I bring a LaraBar, the ones with only almonds or cashews and dates. The priests break it up and put it in a glass cup on the tray. We try to sit on the same row every week, but it’s not always possible.

    Once we sat on the row in front of the celiac in our ward. The boys got the trays switched. I was the last served and didn’t realize my kids had eaten all her bread until it was too late. I looked back and saw the confused look on the girl’s face as she motioned to her mom that this was the wrong bread! I mouthed it’s okay, It’s gluten free. She was so relieved.

    Another friend takes the bread off the tray and puts it to her lips, (symbol) but doesn’t eat it.

  34. Rebecca Baron on April 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Another point that I think people may be missing is that in the Bible when they talk about wheat, it doesn’t necessarily mean wheat like most of you think of. There are several different varieties of wheat, such as spelt, my personal favorite and what I eat since I am allergic to wheat. It is much healthier, high in protein and much easier to digest than wheat. There is more about the varieties of wheat here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat

  35. DKL on April 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I eat Cheez-its. Lots of them. They’re made of wheat. That makes me righteous.

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