Friday, March 28, 2014

One Change Isn't Enough

I'm pretty good at the don'ts in the Word of Wisdom. Coffee, smoking, tea, drinking, illegal drugs, abuse of legal drugs -- I don't do any of that. But the Word of Wisdom has other things to follow. Early to bed, early to rise, eat meat sparingly, grains are good for you, eat your veggies, and when God says that you shall run and not be weary, I'm fairly sure that means he wants me to move around from time to time. These are things that I've not been too good at following.

And then I went on a mission. Suddenly, I have thirty minutes of required exercise every morning, I don't have time to snack on sugary things all day, and I'm blessed with companions that know how to eat a whole lot healthier than I do. My body started to feel a whole lot better and I even started to lose weight, which has never happened to me before.

I love these. I don't eat them anymore.
But then I plateaued. I wasn't getting better, and in some aspects, my health seemed to get worse. Another round of changes denied me regular use of sugary cereals and blessed me with high-fiber breakfasts: cracked wheat, homemade granola, ten-grain cereal. As I started cutting out a lot of sugar, my body felt happier. When I don't eat those things I'm supposed to, or have too much of the not-so-good for me, I know pretty quickly.

It was during one of these not-so-fun times that I had a heart-to-heart with my Heavenly Father.

"Heavenly Father!" I said. "I am doing so much better than I used to. I am exercising, I don't eat Marshmallow Mateys anymore, and I have never eaten so much cracked wheat in my entire life! Why do I still feel sick and tired?"

"Because there is more you can do."

"But I'm healthy now! Isn't this what healthy is?"

"Sister Johnson. When have you ever told your investigators that two or three changes is enough?"

Somewhat chastised, I said, "Never."

"I am happy for the changes that you have made, and I have given you blessings of health and strength. But there is always more you can do."

"Okay. Fine."

Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 says, "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated-- And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

The better I obey a commandment, the better my blessings will be. My entire life, I will strive to find new ways to keep the commandments more exactly. I won't be perfect at them, especially the Word of Wisdom because Easter comes once a year and Cadbury Creme Eggs now come in packs of five. But I'm working on it. And that's the point.

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