Testimony: Anthony R. Vestor

God’s Warning to the Saints of the Latter Days

When our children were young, we fed them unsweetened baby
foods and they ate them without complaint. Then, for some unknown
reason—probably because we were already hooked on it—we
started giving them sugar-laden breakfast cereals and eventually soda
pop. As our son grew into adulthood, he developed health challenges
that have caused me to take a hard look at our diet, sadly recognizing
that we were responsible for leading our children astray in terms of
healthy eating.

Oh, I was a stickler on coffee and even caused problems in my home
congregation demanding we not serve coffee at potlucks. What a hypocrite
I was. I loved my caffeine laden soda pop, but didn’t recognize the
example I was setting by neither seeing nor teaching the wisdom in the
words set forth in D&C 86. But now, as my son’s health languishes, I
can! I can see that by not teaching by example the Word of Wisdom and
eating habits meant to strengthen and fortify, my children have suffered
various maladies not only during childhood, but now into adulthood.

Now that my son is ill and I’m studying dietary things in relation
to this illness, I recognize the effect our diets have on our health. We
are told that doctors do not know what causes ALS (a.k.a Lou Gehrig’s
Disease), but that what happens is the protective sheath around
the neurons begins to break down and the neurons begin to die – no
longer able to send the correct signals to the muscles, after which the
muscles begin to fail.

The medical community has no cure for ALS, even though they
know what is happening. In my research, I have found that a diet heavy
in greens and vegetables, with very limited meat (especially red meat),
can directly benefit the health of the neurons. It is not known whether
a dietary change after-the-fact can help the protective coating around
the neurons regenerate, but the fact that this kind of diet can “fire up”
the neurons is hopeful. That being said, it is amazing how difficult it is
to break old dietary habits, especially when we are addicted to much
of what makes up our food content. It requires a change of palate
which does not come easy, but it can be done.

As a family, we have committed ourselves to altering our diet and
we have all been surprised at the tastiness of some of our new food
choices. It takes a little more work, but we are having some success
in changing our ways and we are having fun cooking together. My
prayer is that God will have mercy on us for our past ignorance and
for ignoring his counsel in Section 86. Our hope is that he will heal
our bodies, our temples that play host to his Spirit—especially that of
my child! As I watch my son suffer the physical failing of his body and
endure the mental anguish of his ever-changing circumstance, I pray
the Lord forgive us our trespasses against his counsel—words of life
meant to raise up righteous generations for his Kingdom.