Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diabetes and the The Word of Wisdom: Not What You Think

My second son has Type 1 diabetes. If someone does not have diabetes, why would we insist that they live in compliance with the "standards" that are such a vital part of my son's life? To ask everyone else to refrain from sugar simply because he has to be careful of his glucose intake would be ludicrous. Likewise, if others have not understood the Word of Wisdom and have not entered into a covenant to apply it in their own lives . . .

Part of my son's growth is learning how to watch out for and protect himself through living his own particular and unique ("peculiar") standards, while allowing others to live their lives according to the dictates of their own consciences.


Anonymous said...

But I'm guessing that you and your family do all you can to support him in making those choices,and may even at times choose to eat what he does,because your'e that kind of people.Somebody pointed out to me a while back that the WOW is given according to the capacity of the weakest-that is we all live according to the capacity of the weakest in solidarity with him/her.I finally got why it is that I don't have a glass of wine with my meals even though it may be good for my health and unlikely to make me into an alcoholic,something which i had previously resented.I'm now able to teach this principal to my children with far greater conviction,and am beginning to see it as a fundamental principal.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that we legalize drugs and other things? I think that the difference between this idea and your son's issue with Diabetes is that he has a deficiency - his pancreas is not producing insulin in a functional manner. However, drugs and other substances (including Alcohol and Tobacco) are not good for ANYONE'S body. These substances physically change us -often in a way that is not only harmful to us, but is harmful to others around us.

Anyways. I'm not sure if this is what you're getting at, but if it is, then I'd have to say that I'm fine with the government controlling substances even if they don't have a testimony of the word of wisdom.

Papa D said...

Anonymous, living in solidarity with the weak is a concept too many people (even LDS members, unfortunately) don't really understand and value enough.

chococatania, I hadn't considered how this post might be taken with regard to currently illegal drugs. It never crossed my mind when I was writing it. I simply meant we shouldn't demand others follow the rules we cherish, no matter how important (or eternally significant) they are to us.

Frankly, I'm conflicted about the legalization of drugs. I don't like the violent, manipulative underpinning of the illegal drug trade, but I'm not sure most of that would be eradicated by legalization - at least, as long as a medical need was required to obtain a subscription of some sort. I also don't want cocaine, heroin, etc. available OTC, but that would be about the only way to make them legal and available without the current drug dealer middlemen. Otoh, we already sell alcohol OTC without restriction, so we are more than a little hypocritical in this regard.

Obviously, the ideal solution is to provide an outlook and opportunity that eliminates the motivation and need for the drug in the first place - and as much as I've thought about it over the years, I just don't know if there really is any other good solution.

Anonymous said...

I guess your point is that we might not expect the same from others as we do from ourselves ,this is a commitment that we have freely made,and others haven't.I'm really comfortable with that,and find it difficult that there are others who will not allow alcohol on their property,or associate with others who are drinking,although I can understand that there are risks in doing so.I don't think we persuade people by condemning them,I think that breeds misunderstanding.We simply would have no missionary opportunities out here' in the mission field' if we never associated with people who drink.But on the occasions when they fall down drunk we do get to say 'I told you so'.Ironically,of course.

Papa D said...

During my college days, I worked at a neighborhood soda fountain pharmacy that sold cigarettes. (Think the same atmosphere as the old TV sitcom "Cheers" - "Where everybody knows your name") Whenever a regular customer whom I knew quite well bought cigarettes, I would grin and say, "Still using the cancer sticks, huh?" - or something similar.

I could get away with it, because we knew each other well - and because it was a gentle prod, delivered with a grin. I'd never dream of saying that to some generic customer whom I didn't know as well. I know some people believe in overt, in-your-face evangelism of anything they personally believe deeply, and I do believe there are some issues that are important enough to be somewhat (or even blatantly) confrontational, but I generally stick with the idea in this post.

Unknown said...

Amen... but in the end, others' health does affect us, does it not?

My husband's been vegetarian (almost vegan, and loves his raw fruits and veggies) for 10 years or so now. I have always loved him for his approach; he just is. If people ask, he's upbeat and matter-of-fact about it.

Preachiness never has a place, but in the end, doesn't a society full of weakened immune systems (and with an inclination for the other, preventable type of diabetes) affect us quite a bit?

How do you handle that balance?

Papa D said...

NSG, Great point. "I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves" is one of my favorite quotes of any kind.

Notice, I still gently chided the friend who bought cigarettes. *grin* However, I would have stopped even than if he has asked me to do so.