I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons); I have been all my life. I was baptized when I was eight years old. Before I was baptized, I promised God that I would never use tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol; that I would eat a balanced and healthy diet; and that I would stay away from all sorts of fads and extremes that would distract me from those promises. I am now 52 years old. I have filled many responsibilities in the church, including serving a two-year mission in Arizona. In all those years, I have faithfully kept those promises. I have never regretted them—especially back in the '60s, when a lot of junior high and high school students were smoking, drinking, and experimenting with drugs.
I have stuck to those promises all these years for two reasons: (1) I made a promise to God, and God is one Person I don't want to P.O.; and (2) because doing so keeps me healthy and better able to enjoy life. All of my food choices are guided, both consciously and unconsciously, by the promises I made Way Back When.
The first question I always ask myself is: is eating this food in accordance with the promises I made God? Next question, how healthy is this choice going to be? (Now, admittedly, I do indulge in the occasional cheeseburger, but still...)
When I was 20, I had the opportunity to study Old Testament Hebrew and Jewish thought under and Orthodox rabbi. Although we never really discussed the dietary requirements in any great detail, still, the rabbi's quiet example and the strength of his beliefs have led me to keep kosher where I might not have before. (To this day, I can't look a package of pork bacon in the face. Turkey or beef bacon, fine, but not pork.)
I very strongly believe that God wants more than anything else for us to be healthy and happy. To that end, He gives rules and laws that our intended for that purpose. When we live the laws, we prosper; when we don't, we nurse monster hangovers on Monday mornings and die at the age of 30 from cirrhosis of the liver.
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