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The Burger Ban

Did the Lord say meat in moderation, or not?



The people who were present when the Lord visited the temple dining room the other day are keeping mum, but those who were in the next room said it sounded like the Lord was very angry.

“We had just served the Brethren their steaks—most of them order them medium-well—when there was a huge commotion,” said Pablo Neruda, a convert from Uruguay who has worked in the church’s food-service industry for nearly 20 years. “Maybe that’s why Our Heavenly Father decided to manifest himself on this particular day. It could be that he just got tired of seeing the Brethren stuff themselves with meat day after day. In any event, he didn’t beat around the bush, but just came right out and said, ‘No more meat, except when it’s really cold outside!’ I heard a lot of plates crashing on the floor, and it reminded me of Jesus and the money-lenders in the temple—not our temple but the one they had in the old days. It was a mess to clean up afterwards, too. It took us hours to get all the stains out of the carpet, because about half the Brethren like to plop about a whole bottle of A1 Steak Sauce on their steaks.”

Sources close to the Council of the Twelve confirm that the Lord did make an appearance at the weekly lunch the Apostles hold in their private dining room on the top floor of the temple, but these same sources have refused to comment on rumors that the Lord was angry that the members of his one true church haven’t been following—in fact, have never followed—his strictures on meat consumption, as outlined in Section 89 of the Doctrine & Covenants, where he explicitly laid down the law: “Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

It is not clear why the Lord waited more than 175 years to inform the Saints that he was displeased with their failure to observe the meat-eating provision of the Word of Wisdom. There is some speculation that the Lord operates on a different time schedule than we mortals do, owing to the fact that he exists in eternity. (Other experts contend the Lord is finally waking up to the threat to the environment posed by all those methane-emitting cattle, not to mention the epidemic of obesity among the faithful. It is estimated that if all Mormons pleased the Lord and took to heart his injunction to eat burgers only in the winter, the reduction in greenhouse gases, and cow and human gases as well, would be considerable.)

In any event, the Lord’s rare appearance on Planet Earth has thrown the Brethren for a loop.

“The Prophet and his PR people are at this moment trying to figure out how to respond to this unexpected development,” said Elder Dillworth Roundy of the church’s Ministry of Information. “Does the Lord’s visit constitute a revelation, or is it just a warning? A couple of apostles aren’t so sure it was actually the Lord. Elder Packer, for instance, is convinced the whole thing was just a trick pulled by liberals who want to get back at the church for its stand on homosexualists, though I, for one, fail to see the connection.”

If, in fact, it was the Lord (and the bright lights and rushing wind seem to indicate that it was), what will his command of “Hold the Burgers, Skip the Steaks,” mean to the eating habits of the faithful?

“This will really test the faithful,” said Dr. Howard McConkie, professor of semantics and gastronomy at Brigham Young University. “To a certain degree, alcohol, tobacco and coffee are acquired tastes. But who doesn’t like a juicy steak or a char-broiled burger with all the fixings? I think a lot of folks will wait and see if the Lord was really serious or just kind of flipped his lid on a temporary basis. The restrictions against meat-eating in the original revelation were pretty clear, but that didn’t stop folks from eating the flesh of fowls and cows year round.

“Speaking just for myself, I interpret meat to mean uncooked meat, so as long as heat is applied to dead flesh, you’re home free.”

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