Bruce McConkie Was Right!

Advice

Even when I was a happy trooper for Mormonism, Bruce McConkie tended to amuse me. Apostle or not, in light of his statements about evolution and the virgin birth I always viewed him as somebody who had never quite matured to adulthood, a living proof that one can graduate from an American law school while remaining utterly uneducated, another variety of the American species, the perpetual teenager but instead of joining a rock band at forty, desperately trying to project gravitas while uttering childish nonsense. His pretense and his ignorance where so painfully obvious, it was almost endearing.

Of course, I was also moved by his deathbed testimony and I especially respected him because he was willing to admit that he had been wrong about race. Most of his peers in the LDS hierarchy are not mature enough to admit as much about any doctrinal dispute. If there were a tradition of leaders acknowledging error, Mormonism would be a better place.

So I am happy to pay Bruce McConkie respect and acknowledge that he might have been right about Coke all along. Back in the day when Coke somehow became legitimate in Mormon company, McConkie responded to a question that in his opinion, the consumption of Coke did violate the Word of Wisdom but that the Word of Wisdom was not the gospel.

The New York Times reports that Coke extracts calcium from bones and might be responsible for chronic kidney disease.

The research into Coke and kidney disease is preliminary but still, in this matter, Bruce might be the man.

13 thoughts on “Bruce McConkie Was Right!

  1. Ah hum…

    That’s one of the ‘Crazy’ things about details… throw enough darts at the dartboard, a few will score.
    some of the WOW things ‘appear’ to be right on…but So What? are any of them beyond common sense? What about iced tea? Hot Chocolate???
    my advice: Stick ye therefore with & to the Basics of Christian Living: love for God & neighbor….. (Hopefully) those will Never fade away!

    I would also like to see (but haven’t, of course) more positive dietary pointers than those mentioned in the WOW.. how about those ppl in Italy that live without heart disease? the ppl of the world that have virtually ZERO dental problems……

  2. The health benefits aren’t really the point even if a lot of people inside and outside the Church think they are.

    Another fun fact- I read a book on ADD that says that caffeine has a particularly bad effect on the ADD brain. It acts as a temporary way of focusing for ADD subjects, but in the long term, it gradually breaks down the brain connections that allow concentration and actually makes the ADD worse.

    So in my case, dad’s prohibition on caffeine was probably a pretty darn good thing.

  3. seth R:

    Did you see the FP letter that “OKd” de-caf beverages? I DID. Again, the church lets a bit of ambiguity ride….
    Check This: with PEOPLE, things said in church take on a life of their own: Witness BY’s racism, birth control/organ transplants,Polyg, on and on and on…. the Fundys perpetuate the oldies, even/in spite of their present appearance of WEIRDNESS.

  4. The health benefits aren’t really the point even if a lot of people inside and outside the Church think they are.

    Are you alluding to following the Word of Wisdom as a way of showing obedience and setting yourself apart from the non-Mormons of the world? If so, I always found that reason creepy and cult-like (though I personally don’t consider the LDS church to be a cult). I can understand following the WoW as a form of health consciousness, but to follow the WoW to show obedience to the brethren and solidarity with other Mormons? Ugg, just no.

  5. I was a child in the late 70s and early 80s. These things were still in flux then, and my dad has always been highly orthodox, and a fan of McConkie’s. When I grew up, and my dad made it clear that it was my life and my choices, I kept the practice because it seemed like a good thing.

    It’s not just the obedience thing. Nor is it just the health thing. It’s a matter of being spiritually in tune with the world around you.

    Even if it weren’t a part of the WoW, I see being in a state of dependence on a caffeine buzz to be damaging to spiritual awareness. I went to law school outside of Utah and honestly there was something a bit pathetic about how my classmates couldn’t even function without the stuff. I had a friend of mine who, while we were studying for the bar exam, came up to me “Seth, I just don’t understand it. I’m completely spent. And I’ve had six Red Bulls today, so I should be able to do this… But I can’t.”

    I don’t care where you’re from, that’s messed up. Not just his physical health, I think this guy was messing with his head too. I’ve heard about people seriously harming themselves OD-ing on those things.

    I just think this stuff kills-off your receptiveness and awareness. Maybe that sounds all too mystical for you. But I don’t see why ‘latte lifestyle liberals’ are all peachy-keen if some eccentric at Berkley wants to swear off meat as some sort of “spiritual journey,” but when a Mormon does it, it’s somehow disgusting.

    I believe in a spiritual reality that co-exists alongside the physical. And I do think this stuff plays hell with it. So, I don’t mind keeping the WoW as laid out by Joseph originally and I don’t mind extending it to other modern stimulants. I might not agree with the Mormon culture that has sprung up around those verses of scripture. In fact, I might even share several of the gripes people here have about it. But I don’t find it wrong or weird at all to keep this principle as a part of my spiritual reality.

    And somehow, I don’t think I’m going to really give a damn at the end of my life that I missed out on a bit of caffeinated fizzy sugar crap. I just don’t see the regrets coming. Sorry.

  6. I went to law school outside of Utah and honestly there was something a bit pathetic about how my classmates couldn’t even function without the stuff. I had a friend of mine who, while we were studying for the bar exam, came up to me “Seth, I just don’t understand it. I’m completely spent. And I’ve had six Red Bulls today, so I should be able to do this… But I can’t.”

    Caffeine only gives you a short term boost that will eventually result in a greater crash. If you need to be attentive for a long time, you are better off with fruits and uncooked vegetables.
    Sugar has a similar cycle as caffeine, by the way.

  7. No offense to any attorneys present, but law school isn’t about becoming educated, it’s about learning a trade. Just like engineering, agriculture, welding, and the culinary arts, the schooling provided is directed toward tasks needed to do a job. It’s a trade school, a vocational education. A tough one, to be sure, but one nonetheless.

  8. Seth,

    As a coffee addict, I completely agree with you.

    I am at a stage in my own addiction where I am just trying to manage it. I generally don’t need to drink it to function in the morning, but find that I a couple of cups of the stuff keeps me going.

    Though I have always told my TBM sister that, if she wants to be healthier, and still consume caffeine, she ought to quit the diet Coke and switch to green tea.

  9. “Though I have always told my TBM sister that, if she wants to be healthier, and still consume caffeine, she ought to quit the diet Coke and switch to green tea”

    I’m not sure how healthy green tea is either, at least if you drink it in large quantities. I have heard, and I am willing to admit that I have just my observations, that drinking large quantities of green tea is bad for your bones. When I was in Japan, a lot of the older women had bent legs which apparently was a result of drinking green tea. Did you notice that when you were there Seth?

  10. I heard that too while I was there. But never could verify it.

    The bent legs may just be the fact that the Japanese hardly ever sit crosslegged. They always kneel and most of their homes don’t have western-style furniture. Everyone kneels on the tatami mats – mealtime, TV time, company time…

    I think doing that so much must affect your bone structure in some way. It’s dang uncomfortable for an American who isn’t used to it (fortunately, the Japanese are very much aware that it’s uncomfortable for their western visitors and don’t mind if you sit crosslegged or with your legs to the side).

    Secondly, I think that honestly, the pigeon-toed thing might just be a pose that Japanese girls and women consciously adopt. In Japanese culture, being pigeon-toed is considered “kawaii” or cute. It makes the woman appear more childlike, which appeals to Japanese men (don’t even get me started on the warped school-girl fetish in Japan). Just one of those cultural things I guess…

    As for the bent over elderly Japanese women, I imagine that’s because they’ve been bent over in the rice patties their entire lives. You only really see that posture among rural women.

  11. I suspect that if you held up green tea, or black, to any soda you would probably find that the tea was better for you.

    But, if all you are consuming is tea I am sure that it might have some unhealthy side affects.

    Seth and DPC, did you both go on missions to Japan?

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