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Some data:

  • I live in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • I am a convert of almost 30 years.
  • I struggle to study scripture regularly. But I've been at it irregularly for a long time.
  • Despite not having a scholarly temperament, a little piece of me wants to be Hugh Nibley when I grow up. (My attention span would be measured in seconds. That of a scholar is measured in years, even decades.)
  • I have a master's degree (Library Science), but just now looked up the word "exegisis".
  • I am here because I love the moment when scholarship or discussion contributes to my understanding of a scripture's meaning, and would like to contribute to producing such moments for others.

Some thoughts on the Word of Wisdom, overweight, and wanting too much[edit]

(This material was written in response to a question on the D&C 89 page about whether its a sin to be overweight.) On the question, "Is it a sin to be overweight?" (Note for full disclosure: I am very significantly overweight myself, and it ain't glandular.) Being overweight is a condition: righteousness is about behavior (including behavior of thought). This condition results from some combination of many factors, not all of which are understood. In most of us, though, overweight results from patterns of behavior which are unrighteous, or at least suboptimal. One such cause is gluttony, to use an old word, which seems to me to be tied in with selfishness and ingratitude. In food, as with other things, the notion seems to be that the Lord gives us things which he expects us to use in the right way and in appropriate amounts and balance. --Rpederse 12:38, 17 Oct 2006 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this today, and feel (as I often do) that I'm seeing the shadow of an important principle out of the corner of my eye. It seems to be that there's a principle of "Take enough, but not more than enough" that lies behind many of the commandments. When the Lord blesses us with food, we're welcome to partake, and do so joyfully. Over-partaking, though, smacks of gluttony and greed. We're not asked to be entirely unconcerned about our appearance: it's desirable to be "neat and comely", but "costly apparel" often indicates avarice and pride. Within the bounds the Lord has set, sexuality is an appropriate expression of love, without the taint of sin some faiths ascribe to any sexual act. The righteous seeking of knowledge and wisdom can become the damning greed of a Faust or the spiritual blindness resulting from "looking beyond the mark" for "things they could not understand." (Jacob 4:14) Even our holiest desires can go out of bounds: Alma desires to preach the gospel with mighty power (Alma 29:1-2), but understands "but behold...I do sin in my wish." In many things, we're learning to take what we need, and be content with only what we need.--Rpederse 02:00, 19 Oct 2006 (UTC)