Journal of Discourses 12:199; “It seems to be a pretty general idea among the people that swine’s flesh can be more easily raised than any other; but there is no doubt that, with proper care and attention, other kinds of meat might be produced with equal facility. For some reason God, by special law, prohibited its use to the children of Israel; and it certainly seems desirable that we should also discontinue its use, as within the past few years in some countries where a great amount of pork has been consumed the people have been afflicted with a kind of pestilence—a disease which is considered incurable. It is therefore wise and prudent for us to adopt plans to procure supplies from other sources.” – George A. Smith, Salt Lake City, April 6, 1868
Leviticus 11:7-8; “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.”
Acts 10:13-15; “And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”
I find it interesting this leader of Mormonism couldn’t explain why the Israelites weren’t supposed to eat pork. Equally noteworthy is that I know of no Mormon teaching today prohibiting the consumption of pork.
In the Old Testament God set His people the Israelites apart from other nations to separate them as His own. In doing so He also implemented laws that He intended for them to obey. With the advent of our Lord Jesus, dietary laws were no longer in force. In Mark 7:18-20 Jesus told His disciples that it wasn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the heart.
Today there are many Christians who believe this is a misreading of the Bible. Many believe that because Jesus came to fulfill the Law and not abolish it we need to obey the dietary restrictions God placed upon the Israelites.
A closer look at this subject tells us otherwise. In addition to the passage in Acts listed above we also have the Apostle Paul who told us that if by eating foods that might offend someone who is less mature, it’s better for us to abstain at that time so we can be a good example for Jesus – Romans 14:1-23.
The Mormon Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) tells members to eat meat sparingly in the winter months, but Mormons today don’t abide by that either.
Several years ago my mother and I stopped at a McDonald’s drive-thru window for a quick breakfast before heading out to do whatever it was we were doing that day.
I placed my order for an egg-McMuffin requesting mine with no meat. When we got to the window I checked my order and sure enough they had included the meat so I pulled it off and made the comment that if I were Jewish I wouldn’t be able to eat my sandwich (never mind that we wouldn’t have eaten there to begin with). My dear mother said; “Well that’s rude. You shouldn’t say mean things about the Jews.”
My heart went out to her and still does today whenever I think of that scenario. It took me over an hour to explain to her from the Bible how the Israelites were commanded not to eat pork and they still hold to that system today. I can still remember when I learned about the OT dietary laws after becoming Christian and wondered why I’d never been taught these things as a Mormon.
For an organization who believes you need to live the “laws of God” to be saved we find it odd they don’t enforce or clearly teach about the historical aspects on this one.