Sunday, May 23, 2010


When I stopped eating sugar in January, I did it to be healthier, thinking that I understood the intentions behind my actions. But recently, in conversations with friends and my own gospel study, I discovered that I had underestimated my desires.

Of late, I have been thinking about what I eat in terms of my personal stewardship over my body. If my body is the "temple of God" and has been "bought with a price" I have a responsibility to maintain its sanctity by what goes into and out of it. We are told to "glorify God in [our] body" and that proper treatment and use of our body will lead to its sanctification.

We learn that the "natural man is an enemy to God." Thus, in this life we are to "bridle all [our] passions" and subject our carnal desires. This, in my opinion, is one of the principle purposes of fasting - to learn how to allow our Spirits to gain traction over our bodily desires, to practice the arts of self-mastery so that we can be more in-tune with the Lord's guidance of our lives. I also believe this is a major theme in the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom provides guidance that can facilitate self-mastery and strengthening of the spiritual. By helping us to bridle some of those passions, we are promised the blessings of wisdom, knowledge, strength, and divine protection. It is for our temporal salvation, "that every one of [us] should know how to possess [our] vessel in sanctification and honor."

Eating is tricky, because so often we do not immediately see the effects of what we do, or we don't tie food directly to how we feel. While we often focus on certain facets of the connection between the physical and spiritual, we often miss that connection when it comes to eating. But the virtues of patience and self-mastery can be so perfectly developed in making decisions about what we eat. We live in a society of self-indulgence, even hedonism at times. We want things, and we want them now. I am reminded of President Uchtdorf's talk on patience. We are becoming so unaccustomed to having to wait for anything or postpone pleasure, and this includes our eating habits. "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." But how often are we ceding our rule over our spirit to our temporary desires? Do you know how sweet a strawberry is when you eat no other sugar?

I am not advocating that everybody stop eating sugar - it is simply my personal decision based on my feelings of my stewardship over my body. But, I feel strongly about my need for self-mastery and temperance. I feel that what I eat has an influence on my ability to feel the Spirit and communicate with God. As I practice self-mastery, my spiritual tendencies are refined and I feel I am a better steward over what God has given me. "The same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler

Milton alert! I feel privileged to report that we've got a veritable Office Space-inspired drama ensuing at my very own office. It started off innocuously enough. Our coworker came a knockin', asking if his interns could borrow staplers to do lit reviews. Why, who could turn down those cute little interns? And they needed those staplers for such a noble task (that much ennobled by our dislike of it).

Enter scene right: intern #1, with a penchant for walking in all circumstances upon his tiptoes and pasting a perpetually perplexed look upon his face. Also to be noted, a high-toned, low-volume manner of speaking.

Intern #1 walks to Big Intern Boss' office, perplexed at not finding him there. In his bewilderment, he happens to fortuitously turn around and lo... what does his eye fall on? A shiny (not red) stapler.

Complication: Said stapler is currently cohabiting with another coworker, who will certainly lay claim to the stapler.

Intern's solution: Lurk and maneuver body to size up the stapler from every angle until the owner of the stapler turns around to find him there.

Intern: "Um, I think that's my stapler."
Coworker #1: "Well, let's see... I'm pretty sure this is my stapler."
Intern: "No, see, I know that's my stapler."
Coworker #1: "When I started here, this stapler was in my office, so I think it's mine."

Coworker #2 intervenes: "Hi, Intern #1. Were you looking for a stapler? Because I put my stapler in your cube so that you could use it."
Intern: "Oh, really? I didn't see anything."
Coworker #2: "Yeah, I did. Do you want me to come and show you where I put it?"

*Intern and coworker #2 enter Intern's cube. Intern takes one look at the stapler and instantly responds, "Oh, no. See, that's not my stapler. My stapler had a sticker on the top. That's why I know Coworker #1 has my stapler. See, it's the sticker."
Coworker #2: "Well, this is a stapler and it works just fine, so how about you use this?"
Intern: "But she has my stapler."