Chapter One - The Law
29 And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:29)
It is curious, but this is one of two commandments given to Adam and in the beginning of our world, in our earliest recorded history, the Holy Bible. One might think that the instructions would have been: be kind to your neighbor, or … as ye sow, so shall ye reap. These were things told to us later in this early recorded history, but evidently the great Father of us all wanted to emphasize this by making it first. The other communication was to multiply and replenish the earth.
Please note here that this first communication included the word meat. In this connotation it means nourishment. The word meat is consistently used many times throughout the Bible and in most instances it means nourishment. The Lord uses another word: flesh. We shall see later how He regards the eating of this item.
The communication was so important that it has had enormous repercussions in the history of God’s dealings with mankind. In fact, it is the primary focus of the Bible. In order to reiterate and solidify this commandment in the minds of his children, God gave it again to them in a different way:
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16–17)
Now when the Father created all these things on the face of the earth, he looked at his creation and saw that it was good.
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1: 31)
The question here is, if it was all good, then what has happened? It is obvious to most educated observers that there is much rampant evil in the world. Evidently we are to understand that just by the simple act of eating or not eating certain things, other than what He originally gave us would introduce evil into the world. Then we now would have the knowledge of not just good, but of good and evil. By eating or not eating certain things we introduce evil into the world!
Obviously we all know that eating is important. But did we realize its great importance until we went back to the beginning to see that it was among the first commandments that our Father gave us. It is important to note that God had already told Adam that he had given him of every tree in which the fruit of a tree yields seed.
We are not told in our King James Version of the Bible which exact food Adam was forbidden to eat. However, we know the reaction of God when Adam disobeyed the commandment:
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:17–19)
The purpose of this book is to examine ancient scriptures and myths from different sources to determine what the food was. Our primary sources are the standard works: The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants. Also included are ancient scriptures recently excavated in various parts of the world, which include The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, The Dead Sea Scrolls, and others. Why is it important to know? If we are to eradicate evil in our world, then this is the most important question of our time.
Two birds are mentioned in early literature and scripture which speak of eternal life:
“The view that the phoenix lives in Paradise is also found in the rabbinical traditions. The bird Hol, which was also called Malham or Maltam, was said to have been the only bird or beast to refuse the fruit offered by Eve and for this reason to have been given the gift of eternal life by God. Here it is probably also assumed that this bird was allowed to remain in Paradise after the Fall. According to one tradition, after the fall of man the Jewish Phoenix went to reside in the mysterious city of Luz, to which even the angel of death could not gain admittance. (R. VanDenBrock, The Myth of the Phoenix, 326)
“In the grove of the sun there is no pale illness, sorrowful old age, cruel death, or raw fear: unutterable crime does not occur there, nor mad passion for money and killing; and bitter sorrow, ragged poverty, sleepless cares, and gnawing hunger are not known. (R. VanDenBrock, The Myth of the Phoenix, 329)
“In this region, according to Claudian, the fortunate sun bird rules entirely alone and protected by the inaccessibility of the region. Its abode is free of sick animals. And it does not have to suffer dire infection from the world of man. The bird is the equal of the gods: the duration of its life makes it the match of the stars and it has eternal life because of its capacity to renew itself. (R. VanDenBrock, The Myth of the Phoenix, 333)
“The main accent (in Classical and Early Christian literature) consistently falls on the symbolism of the phoenix as inaugurator of a new era; the appearance at the beginning of the rule of a new King or emperor is a derivative aspect of this symbolism, even though it sometimes seems to occur almost independently.” (R. VanDenBrock, The Myth of the Phoenix, 415)
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles. (Psalm 103:5)
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth. (Matthew 24:26–27)
36 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord, shall they be taken?
37 And he said unto them, wheresoever the body is gathered; or, in other words, whithersoever the saints are gathered; thither will the eagles be gathered together; or, thither will the remainder be gathered together.
38 This he spake, signifying the gathering of his saints; and of angels descending and gathering the remainder unto them; the one from the bed, the other from the grinding, and the other from the field, whithersoever he listeth.
39 For verily there shall be a new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
40 And there shall be no unclean thing; for the earth becoming old, even as a garment, having waxed in corruption. (Luke 17:36–40 JST)
Other ancient scriptures abound, which are considered by many scholars to be valid sources for truth. Joseph Smith had this to say about the Apocrypha:
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha — There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;
2 There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.
3 Verily, I say unto you that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated.
4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;
5 And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;
6 And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. (D&C 91:1–6)
The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden are also early sources. In the First Book of Adam and Eve we find these pertinent scriptures:
29 Of your own free will have you transgressed through your desire for divinity, greatness, and an exalted state, such as I have; so that I deprived you of the bright nature [Holy Ghost?] in which you then were, and I made you come out of the garden to this land rough and full of trouble. (Lost Books 6:29)
Then Adam said unto God, O Lord, Thou didst create us and make us fit to be in the garden; and before I transgressed, [stopped the eternal progression] Thou made all beasts come to me, that I should name them. Thy grace was then on me; and I named every one according to Thy mind; and Thou madest them all subject unto me. But now, O Lord God, that I have transgressed Thy Commandment, all beasts will rise up against me and will devour me, and Eve Thy handmaid; and will cut off our life from the face of the earth. (Lost Books 7:3–5)
We must now ask ourselves this question: Why would the beasts be angry with Adam for eating the forbidden fruit? Does this displeasure of the creatures give a hint as to what the forbidden fruit or food might have been?
So Adam and Eve have been cast out of the garden.
But when thou camest to dwell in this strange land, thy animal body could not be on earth without earthly food, to strengthen it and to restore its powers. (Lost Books 40)
There is a question here: Why do Adam and Eve now have animal bodies?
Then came the Word of God to Adam and said unto him: O Adam, as to what thou sayest, Bring me into a land where there is rest, it is not another land than this, but it is the kingdom of heaven where alone there is rest. But thou canst not make thy entrance into it at present; but only after thy judgment is past and fulfilled. Then will I make thee go up into the kingdom of heaven, thee and thy righteous seed; and I will give thee and them the rest thou askest for at present. (Lost Books 46:1–4)
God Said again to Eve, What is that he promised thee in the garden saying, at the time ye shall eat of the tree your eyes will be opened, and you shall become like gods, knowing good and evil. But Lo! He has burnt your bodies with fire, and has made you taste the taste of fire, for the taste of the garden; and has made you see the burning of fire and the evil thereof, and the power it has over you. (Lost Books 46:5)
Then came the Word of God to Adam and Eve, and said to them. This is he who was hidden in the serpent, and who deceived you, and stripped you of the garment of light and glory (the Holy Ghost?) in which you were. This is he who promised you majesty and divinity. Where then, is the beauty that was on him? Where is his divinity? Where is the glory that rested on him? (Lost Books 51:5–6)
Obviously the adversary and the fallen ones (Nefalim) had long ago lost their bright natures.
But now that I have transgressed, that bright nature is gone from me and I am come to this miserable state. And now I come to this, that I cannot see you, and you do not serve me as you were wont. For I am become animal flesh. (Lost Books 55:3)
The adversary is expelled from heaven.
But when he fell from among us, there was great joy in heaven, because of his going down from us. For had he continued in heaven, nothing, not even one angel would have remained in it. But God in His mercy drove him from among us to this dark earth; for he had become darkness itself and a worker of unrighteousness. (Lost Books 55:3, 13–14)
Once Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden food — which one can see by the above scriptures that it was possibly a food that needed fire in order to be eaten — they lost their bright natures. They lost the Holy Ghost, which, if it had remained with them, would have continually renewed their bodies and allowed them to have eternal life.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. (D&C 89:21)
They were disconsolate because they knew now that they were only animal flesh and were subject to death.
This also gives a clue as to why our enemy was expelled from heaven, undoubtedly for doing the things which he tempted Eve to do: eating a forbidden food in the exalted sphere, thus he became a fallen being himself and took a third of the hosts of heaven with him — they who had also fallen because of that sin; The fallen ones – the Nefalim.
Thus have you transgressed my commandment, and therefore have I brought upon you all these sorrows. For I am God the Creator, who when I created my creatures, did not intend to destroy them. But after they had sorely roused my anger, I punished them with grievous plagues, until they repent. But if on the contrary, they still continue hardened in their transgression, they shall be under a curse forever. (Lost Books 6:8–10)
The sin of choosing the forbidden food brought not only hardness of heart, but plagues upon mankind, plagues which are still upon us because we are choosing the same foods. Some of these plagues are colds, flu, allergies, leukemia, Epstein Barr, measles, mumps, baby-killing RSV; the maimers: polio, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and MS; and the killers: heart disease, cancer, AIDS, mad cow disease (Creutzfeldt Jacob), Ebola, and on and on.
From what act of partaking or sin do these diseases come?
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
It is interesting to note here that actual sins cause disease.
10 Then Adam and Eve took of the corn, and made of it an offering, and took it and offered it up on the mountain, the place where they had offered up their first offering of blood. [The story indicates it was their own blood — a metaphor for sorrow.] (Lost Books 68:10)
1 But when Adam saw that the elder brother hated the younger, he endeavored to soften their hearts, and said unto Cain, Take, O my son, of the fruits of thy sowing, and make an offering unto God, that He may forgive thee thy wickedness and thy sin.
2 He also said to Abel, Take thou of thy sowing and make an offering and bring it to God, that he may forgive thy wickedness and thy sin.
3 Then Abel hearkened unto his father’s voice and took of his sowing, and made a good offering, and said to his father Adam, Come with me, to show me how to offer it up.
4 And they went, Adam and Eve with him, and showed him how to offer up his gift upon the altar. Then after that they stood up and prayed that God would accept Abel’s offering.
5 Then God looked upon Abel and accepted his offering. And God was more pleased with Abel than with his offering, because of his good heart and pure body. There was no trace of guile in him.
6 Then they came down from the altar, and went to the cave in which they dwelt. But Abel, by reason of his joy at having made his offering, repeated it three times a week, after the example of his father, Adam.
7 But as to Cain, he took no pleasure in offering; but after much anger on his father’s part he offered up his gift once; and when he did offer up, his eye was on the offering he made, and he took the smallest of his sheep for an offering, and his eye was again on it.
8 Therefore God did not accept his offering because his heart was full of murderous thoughts.
9 And they all thus lived together in the cave in which Eve had brought forth, until Cain was fifteen years old, and Abel was twelve years old. (Lost Books 77:1–9)
It is interesting that in this version, God is pleased with Abel because of his pure body. Obviously Abel had not partaken of the forbidden food. What is more interesting is that in this version, Cain is the keeper of the flocks as he makes an offering of the lamb, and Abel is the farmer. (Moses 5:17 and Genesis state the opposite.) To have been obedient to God, it seems that Abel would have obeyed this command from God:
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:19)
The Creation Tablet: Courtesy of Duane Erickson... see appendix
This is called The Creation Tablet. It is a Michigan plate that depicts Old Testament scenes, which demonstrate the use and correct understanding of the marks Son of the Right Hand and Son of the Left Hand as they are applied to various scenes throughout the Michigan tablets and the Illinois stones. The carving on the left side of the plate shows Cain killing Abel. On Cain’s side of the picture are the flocks of sheep, indicating that they belong to him. This is presented for the reader to draw his own conclusions and is another witness that Cain was the keeper of the flocks. See page 7, Volume 4, Issue Number 26 of Ancient American, P.O. Box 370, Colfax, WI 54730 or go to www.ancientamerican.com for more information about the early Americans. Notice the staff in the hand of Abel, an indication that he held the priesthood.
It is easy to see that the following verses could have been a source for The Myth of the Phoenix:
Seth and his children dwelt on the mountain below the garden; they sowed not, neither did they reap; they wrought no food for the body, not even wheat, but only offerings. They ate of the fruit and of trees well flavored that grew on the mountain where they dwelt. They were happy, innocent, without sudden fear. There was no jealousy, no evil action, no hatred, among them. There was no animal passion; from no mouth among them went forth either foul words or curse; neither evil counsel nor fraud. (Lost Books 11:10, 12)
There is a further indication that Adam’s posterity knew of Adam and Eve’s transgression, and knew that they had repented and followed their teachings. In The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, and in the Second Book of Adam and Eve, we see the continued curious teaching of the posterity of Adam to their children:
[Death of Seth] … and he commanded him (Enos) to feed his people in righteousness, in judgment and purity all the days of his life. After the death of Seth, Enos rose at the head of his people in righteousness, and judgment as his father had commanded him. (Lost Books Chapter 12:12, 15)
1 After the death of Enos, Cainan stood at the head of his people, whom he fed in righteousness and innocence. (Lost Books 15: 1)
[Death of Cainan] Then Mahalaleel stood over his people, and fed them in righteousness and innocence. [Death of Mahalaleel] He then kissed his face, and said to him, O Jared my son, I adjure thee by Him who made heaven and earth, to watch over thy people, and to feed them in righteousness and in innocence. (Lost Books 16:1, 5)
1 Then Jared kept his father’s commandment, and arose like a lion over his people. He fed them in righteousness and innocence, and commanded them to do nothing without his counsel. (Lost Books 17:1)
12 Then Jared turned to his son Enoch, and said unto him, Thou my son, abide in this cave, and minister diligently before the body of our father Adam all the days of thy life; and feed thy people in righteousness and innocence. (Lost Books 21:12)
7 Enoch said also to them, Watch over your souls, and hold fast by you fear of God and by your service of Him, and worship Him in upright faith and serve Him in righteousness, innocence, and judgment, in repentance and also in purity. (Lost Books 22:7)
What did these early Patriarchs mean when they said “upright faith” and told their children to feed the children in righteousness and innocence? The Book of Enoch, as translated by R.H. Charles gives us a hint. The Book of Enoch was most prized by the early Christians. It was drawn upon no fewer than 128 times in the New Testament:
[Enoch speaking to the people] Woe to you, ye obstinate of heart, who work wickedness and eat blood; whence have ye good things to eat and to drink and to be filled? From all the good things which the Lord Most High has placed in abundance on the earth, therefore ye shall have no peace. (R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch 140)
But in those days blessed are all they who accept the words of wisdom and understand them. (R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch 142)
Be not Godless in your hearts, and lie not and alter not the words of uprightness, nor change with lying the words of the Holy Great one, nor take account of your idols; for all your lying and all your godlessness issue not in righteousness but in great sin. And now I know this mystery, that sinners will alter and pervert the words of righteousness in many ways, and will speak wicked words and lie and practice great deceits, and write books concerning their words. (R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch 150)
Again Enoch mentions the word uprightness. There is obviously a great difference between the good foods mentioned by Enoch and the foods that have blood. Enoch considered the people of his day who ate blood (foods taken in violence) to be wicked. If Enoch were here today, he would have to consider the majority of the people of the world wicked, as we live in a world where partaking of the blood of innocents is a common practice and one that is accepted as normal.
12 There is none that doeth good, no not one. (Romans 3:12)
Once we have determined in our own minds what the food was that brought death into the world, we can then read the Bible with understanding and know that it was a perpetual source of irritation to the Lord that his children were not obeying this commandment and that this was the reason He continued to send His prophets to teach and warn the people throughout its recorded history. Was the disobedience of eating of this food the original sin? Did it bring upon us every other sin that was mentioned in the Bible? If it did, how did it? These questions will be answered in this treatise.
Important Questions: If we repent of eating the forbidden food, can we then regain the opportunity of having our bright nature, or the Holy Ghost which Adam and consequently his posterity lost because of the eating of this food? Will softening our heart to the plight of the innocent prepare us for this? And will the regaining of the Holy Ghost renew our bodies to the point of recapturing eternal life?
We shall continue our journey through the Bible with an opened understanding to see what God’s prophets teach us about this.
Contemporary Jewish Thought Concerning this Period
The original research for the following thoughts was done by Vasu Murti in his book, They Shall Not Hurt or Destroy:
“God did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature and eat its flesh. Only every green herb shall they all eat together. (Rabbi Solomon von Isaac 1030–1105)
“Maimonides taught that meat was prohibited because living creatures possess a degree of spiritual superiority, resembling the soul of rational beings. (Mose Maimonides 1135–1204 Judaism’s greatest and most influential theologian)
“The very earliest periods of Jewish history are marked with humanitarian conduct towards the lower animal kingdom.... it is clearly established that the ancient Hebrews knew, and perhaps were the first among men to know, that animals feel and suffer pain. It appears that the first intention of the Maker was to have men live on a strictly vegetarian diet. Talmud (Shabbat 151b), He who has mercy on his fellow creatures obtains mercy for himself. (Rabbi Simon Glazer, 1971 Guide to Judaism)
“Ill treatment of a brute beast is with us a capital crime. (Josephus, a first century Jewish historian)
“The greatest sin is ingratitude. It must not be shown even to the brute. That man deserves punishment who overloads his beast, or beats or torments it, who drags a cat by the ears, or uses spurs on his horse... (Yehuda Ha-chassid, a Middle Ages Jewish historian)
“Be kind and compassionate to all creatures that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created in this world. Never beat nor inflict pain on any animal, beast, bird , or insect. Do not throw stones at a dog or a cat, nor should ye kill flies or wasps. (Sefer Chasidim, Book of the Pious)
“The Orthodox Code of Jewish Law says that there are no special blessings given for meat dishes. “It is not fitting to bless God over something which He created which man has slain.” Also in regards to the custom of not wearing leather shoes on Yom Kippur, “One does not ask for forgiveness of sins while wearing articles made from the skins of slaughtered animals.” Also, “It is forbidden, according to the Torah, to hurt any living creature. It is on the contrary, one’s duty to save any living creature, be he owner less, or if he belongs to a non-Jew. (Sulan Aruch, The Orthodox Code of Jewish Law)
“The boy who in crude joy finds delight in the convulsions of an injured beetle or the anxiety of a suffering animal will also be dumb towards human pain. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)
“Tenderness towards animals is one of the most beautiful features of the Old Testament. (William Leeky, British historian)
“It is inconceivable that the Creator who had planned a world of harmony and a perfect way for man to live, should, many thousands of years later, find that this plan was wrong.” And, “How can it be that such a noble and enlightened moral position (Genesis 1:29) should pass away after it once has been brought into existence?” And “In that future state (in the age of the Messiah) people’s lives will no longer be supported at the expense of the animals. (Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel)
“The word dominion is derived from the original Hebrew word “rahe,” which refers to compassionate stewardship, instead of power and control. Parents have dominion over their children; they do not have a license to kill, torment, or abuse them. (The Talmud, Shabbat 119; Sanhedrin 7 interprets dominion to mean animals may only be used for labor.) (Dr. Michael Fox of the Humane Society)
“Thou thinkest that flies, fleas, mosquitoes are superfluous, but they have their purpose in creation as a means of a final outcome … Of all that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created in His world, he did not create a single thing without purpose. (Talmud, Shabbat 77b)
“The Hebrew words Nephesh Chayah, or living soul are used in reference to animals as well as humans in Genesis 1:21, 24, 2:7 and four hundred other places in the Bible. The books of the Bible emphasize vegetarian foods. Flesh-foods, however, are mentioned with distaste and associated with bloodshed, lust, slaughter, and sacrifice. (Vasu Murti, They Shall Not Hurt or Destroy)
“The practice of vegetarianism is implicit in the teachings of Judaism and is evident from the oft-repeated phrases in Genesis ‘to man and all creatures wherein there is a living soul.’ This indicates a common life and a shared destiny and the principle is exemplified throughout Biblical writings. Nowhere is it stated that the abundance of flesh shall be the reward for observing the Law; rather, there are promises of fruits of the vine and pomegranates, wheat and oil, peace where each man shall sit under the shade of his own fig tree, not, let it be stated under the shadow of his own slaughterhouse. (Phillip L. Pick, founder of the International Jewish Vegetarian Society)
“The first law in the Bible is a dietary one — do not eat the forbidden fruit. It is a hukim, or an unexplained edict with the purpose of inspiring man’s obedience and building his character. There is no reason to avoid the infamous fruit except that it is the will of God. Significantly it is only after Eve defies God and eats the fruit that killing animals for food is recorded in the Old Testament. Then until the time of Noah, he who killed an animal was as guilty as he who killed a man. (Janet Barkas, The Vegetable Passion)
“I believe man’s downfall is paralleled by his cruelty to animals. In creating slaughterhouses for them, he has created slaughterhouses for himself … what is the future for mankind? When the Day of Judgment comes, we will be given that same justice that we gave the less fortunate fellow creatures who have been in our power. It is essential for an orthodox Jew to be vegetarian. (Stanley Rubens, Jewish Vegetarian Society)
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden “Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24)
“The cherubim is the head of a man on a body constituted with the parts of the beasts: as long as we constitute (construct) our bodies upon or with the body parts of the beasts, we will stand arm-less (without fingers and hands), in our own way and prevent ourselves from ever being able to reach up, (grasp, pick) and partake of the fruit of the tree of life.
“We are our own (clumsy and grotesque) cherubim! The flaming sword represents the fevers of our own disease (which is contracted from the body parts, blood and violation of those animals), the hellfire of our own mindlessly, murderous ways, hence our own hellish premature and violate deaths. Living by the abattoir’s sword, we die by that selfsame sword! — barbecue and cook stove heated. (Thomas L. Rodgers)
After humanity partook of the forbidden food, the earth began to grow corrupt and full of violence. Humans began to experience pain, discomfort and sorrow. Cain murdered Abel. It is thought that sacrifice of animals began at this time. It is important to remember here that the only acceptable sacrifice to God is a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart — these O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth. (Genesis 6:11–13)
The Lord chose Noah to continue the human race because of his righteousness.
“According to the Torah, Genesis 6:9, Noah is considered a tzaddik, or a righteous man. Commentators say this is because he provided charity (tzedakah) for so many animals on the ark. The high level of awareness and concern given to the care and feeding of the animals aboard the ark reflects the traditional Jewish value of not causing harm to animals, or tsa’ar ba’alei chayim. This moral principle — officially set down as law in the Bible and elaborated upon in the Talmud (Shabbat 128b), the medieval commentaries and the Responsa literature—permeates the many legends that grew up around the leading figures in the Torah and in Jewish history. (Vasu Murti, They Shall Not Hurt or Destroy)
Kindness to animals has always been valued by the Jewish tradition; it has also been considered an important measure of a person’s piety, compassion and righteousness.
Here the controversy begins:
Although some Bible commentators believe that God gave man permission to eat flesh after the flood because apparently, everything had been flooded. Man had to have something to eat until he could begin growing his food. However, Noah and his family had carried grains with them — certainly they could make bread and sprout the food they needed as they had done on the ark. It is apparent what the instruction to Noah was in JST Genesis
9: 10, 11:
10 But the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat.
11 And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast I will require at your hands.
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar: and gave thanks unto the Lord, and rejoiced in his heart. (Genesis 9:4 JST)
Referring to the Books of Adam and Eve, we remember what was burnt or offered. The Lord told them to take of their sowing (corn) It wasn’t the animals. We also know from Psalms:
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart—these O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
5 And the Lord spake unto Noah, and he blessed him. And Noah smelled a sweet savor, and he said in his heart;
7 I will call on the name of the Lord, that he will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and he will not again smite any more every thing living, as he hath done, while the earth remaineth;
8 And, that seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, may not cease with man.
9 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
10 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
11 But, the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat.
12 And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands. (Genesis 9:5,7–12 Joseph Smith Translation)
If the Bible doesn’t make sense, then why should we as rational people be concerned with it? Is God a person who says one thing and then does another? Would he tell us not to eat a forbidden food and then a few years later tell us it is all right? There had to be an underlying reason for us not to eat flesh in the first place. First and foremost, it brought death into the world for the animals and as long as we continue to partake of it, it not only causes the loss of that bright nature (the Holy Ghost) which removes the armor, and consequently opens us up to every other sin, but it continues to cause premature suffering, pain and eventually death to the animals and then to us as we contract their diseases and eventually die from them. The livestock industry as we know it today has become a nightmare for the animals, a disaster for the people who work in the slaughter houses, a source of pollution, and desertification and erosion of the environment. In fact, God never changed concerning this first and important commandment. The consequences would be too enormous for the entire world. He is a God who loves his children and his creatures and for this reason would not bring suffering upon them for generations to come. His original plan could not be changed. However He has had patience with his children although they have caused him much irritation and long suffering. One cannot say that God does not shed tears for the pains of his children. One only has to be a mother or a father to know this.
6 For I am the Lord, I change not. (Malachi 3:6)
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
18 For he is the same yesterday, today and forever: and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
20 Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings, thou shalt be brought into judgment.
21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever. (1 Nephi 10:18-21)
2 For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. (D&C 3:2)
It is preposterous to think that the Lord would destroy the earth and every living soul in it for the sins which are brought about by the specific act of partaking of the forbidden food and then change his mind and decide that it’s all right now. Because these verses have been misunderstood for so long, we have told ourselves:
8 … Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God — he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it be so that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. [first in body and then in mind.]
12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.
13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.
14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish. [Iniquity means treating things or beings unequally.]
17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish.
20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. (2 Nephi 28: 8–20)
The Lord here is speaking again of the destruction of the wicked. The same sins that brought upon the flood in Noah’s time are the same sins that will again bring upon us our destruction. When the Lord spoke of the wicked then and the corruption of the body, He is again speaking of the wicked now. The same things that corrupted the body then will corrupt the body now. The abominations the people of Noah practiced are the same abominations we practice now because we cannot, or will not, let go of the sin which brings all this upon us, the unjust and inequitable partaking of the forbidden food. We are not responsible for the whole world. In this instance, we can only be responsible for ourselves. At the last day, we will not stand as a group before the Lord our maker. We will stand individually and answer to Him for our sins alone. It is our responsibility to get this information or knowledge for ourselves and to act upon it. We cannot be saved in ignorance.
6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. (D&C 131: 6)
18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (D&C 130:18–19)
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones:
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures. (D&C 89:18–19)
It is easy to see that if we walk in obedience, we will obtain knowledge. This means to act upon the knowledge obtained. Knowledge has no efficacy if we do not act upon it.
61 If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. (D&C 42:61)
57 And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things. (Alma 5:57)
We have quoted some verses from the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the writings of Joseph Smith. There are many who say that Joseph Smith is not a true prophet of God.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)
How can we know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God? We can compare the teachings of Joseph Smith to the original word of God to Adam and Eve. We can also compare the teachings of Joseph Smith to the teachings of the important prophets of the Old Testament and finally we can compare the teachings of Joseph Smith to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is incumbent upon us in these crucial times to examine these teachings and to follow truth.
There are many members of the church, which was founded by Joseph Smith, who do not follow completely his original teachings because they are confused by tradition and/or habit, and obviously many members feel that breaking the Word of Wisdom is of little consequence. This cannot be a deterrent to finding and following the truth, either on the part of a Christian or on the part of each member of the church, to accept this responsibility of knowing the absolute truth for himself.
An early prophet of the church, Heber J. Grant, said, “The man who ignores the word of wisdom, does so at his peril.”
The current prophet of the church, Gordon B. Hinckley, is a vigorous man, age 96, who had this to say about it:
“I thank the Lord for a testimony of the Word of Wisdom. I wish we lived it more fully. But even though we do not, the Lord pours out his blessing on those who try. The promise is before us that if we will do so, we shall have health in the navel and marrow in the bones and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even the destroying angel shall pass by us as the children of Israel and not slay us.
To me it is marvelous that beyond the promise of a physical nature, it is the promise of hidden treasures of knowledge concerning things divine and eternal. (Gordon B. Hinckley, General Priesthood Session 1993)
34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88:34–35)
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated —
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:20–21)
Is God Pleased with His Church?
30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might
have power to lay the
foundation of this church,
and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness,
the only true and living church
upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking
unto the church collectively and not individually—
31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;
32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
33 And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts. (D&C 1:30–33)
We see that He is pleased with those who repent.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. (D&C 89:12–13)
Again, the purpose of this book is to examine scriptures both current and ancient as well as opinions from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish leaders, Christian leaders, ancient prophets, and Jesus Christ himself to substantiate once and for all the absolute truth about what we should eat, what we should not eat; at the same time we shall learn to distinguish a true prophet from a false prophet and may act accordingly. We can come unto Christ with clean hands and stand before Him at the last day confident that we have done our utmost to follow Him. There has to be a reason for this original teaching of what we should eat and not eat. We will learn that it not only affects the body, mind, and spirit of every individual, but has had major consequences for the earth itself and the animals which live upon it.
Search, ponder and pray are injunctions to us from the prophets to feed ourselves spiritually. It is believed that by so doing, we will arrive at the complete truth about what the scriptures really mean -- with the help of the Holy Ghost.
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