Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How Can Anyone Eat a Strawberry and Not Believe in God?

It's so artfully designed, so intricate in form, texture, and flavor, obviously meant to be a mouthful of joy. How can anyone eat a fresh, ripe strawberry and not recognize the mastery of a loving Creator?

What a blessing food can be, what a testimony of the richness and variety of the Creation. And how good food can lift our souls and fill us with gladness and gratitude.

Food even played a role in a number of small spiritual experiences in my life. For example, during my mission in the Zurich, Switzerland Mission, I was stationed in St. Gallen near the end of my 2 years. My willing companion and I wanted to achieve a lot in those last few weeks, so we made a few extra sacrifices and tried to be extra efficient to have more teaching time. On the day before preparation day, we had largely run out of food, but we still had some rice, some sardines, and some tomato sauce. Rather than go shopping outside of preparation day, we decided to make do with what we had. I've always been into experimental cuisine, and it often works out surprisingly well - but not that day. My mixture of mashed sardines, tomato sauce, and rice was one of the least appetizing experiments I've tried. Ugh. We ate as much as we could, but we were hungry not long after.

s six PM approached and shops were about to close, we felt like taking some time off to get a bite of real food. But it was also prime teaching time, and we decided to keep working, heading toward some apartment buildings. We liked to joke a lot, and so we joked a little - still partly hopeful - about how our sacrifice of hunger might just qualify for a blessing or two. "Yeah, I think I would like the blessing of some good bread," I said. Nothing beats Swiss bread! My companion, Elder Angerhofer, said, "And I would like the blessing of some wurst." I then added cheese to my ideal menu, and he added nuts. Bread, cheese, sausage, and nuts. That's what we were thinking about as we cheerfully climbed the stairs of an apartment building and knocked on a door at the top of the stairs. It opened, and to our surprise, the woman who saw us seemed happy to see us, checked with her husband, and then warmly invited us in. This was not common. We were seated in the living room and were surprised to see something unusual on the table in front of us: a bowl of nuts. I think they were peanuts. We didn't actually eat any, but it raised our eyebrows - this was not a common thing to see in a Swiss living room. Thus husband and wife explained that they knew all about us and had met with missionaries before. The wife then got up and left as we kept talking with the husband. A few moments later she called us into the kitchen. "I thought you might be hungry - you missionaries always are - so I prepared a light snack for you." Spread out over the table was a feast for a king - at least in our eyes: delicious bread, cheese, and sausage (Italian style - delicious). Plus apple juice. It was one of the best meals ever because it was so appreciated.

That night we realized that the Lord was mindful of us and that He has a genuine sense of humor.

If you have missionaries in your area, whether you are LDS or not, invite them in for a bite. Chances are they could use a break and might even be on the hungry side.

From Matthew 10:40-42:
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Yes, even a cup of water to the missionaries will count. But think of the extra blessings if you can offer them something even more wonderful like good bread, cheese, and a strawberry or two.

Oh, say, did you notice verse 41? "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward." Why would Christ say that if there were to be no more prophets after Him?

Anyway, praise be to God for the wonderful blessing of delicious food. May we rejoice in His goodness and share good food liberally with those in need, with our friends and families, and with the Lord's servants.

7 comments:

Bookslinger said...

Yeah, the Lord knows how to take care of his missionaries. Your story is very close to the one in the July 2005 Ensign about two elders who ran out of food, and tracted out a house where the lady had been inspired to prepare a meal for people she didn't know were coming.

jeff g said...

I know that you probably weren't actually expecting a response to the title question, but it is always good to try to see things from other people's perspective.

Strawberries, like most fruit, are able to reproduce by being digested and excreted with feces. Thus it is in their best interst, biologically speaking, that there be as tempting to a would be eater as possible. They do this in two ways: 1) they taste really good when ripe and 2) they turn bright red when ripe. Thus they draw the attention of the would be eater with their color, and the eater knows that they are good to eat due to the past experience of tasting them.

Thus strawberries will acheive a higher genetic fitness if they are better tasting than other strawberries as well as a brighter shade of red when ripe. Thus, the agnostic will proclaim, no God needed.

Anonymous said...

Wow-----thats some heavy writing about a strawberry. i would love to see what the two Jeff's would write about a subject that really mattered.

Anonymous said...

Wow-----thats some heavy writing about a strawberry. i would love to see what the two Jeff's would write about a subject that really mattered.

jeff g said...

I think Jeff knows that I mean no harm in my comments. I've posted a few comments here (a few in defense of evolution) and Jeff has always accepted them (though not necessarily agreed with them I gather) with good will.

Mormanity said...

Jeffrey's comments are well taken and quite correct. It is the integration of function and aesthetics - art that works - that makes the strwaberry so remarkable. It's not enough to just be beautiful and delicious - it has to survive and compete. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Pass me another bowl.

Walter said...

Do lima beans prove the existence of Satan?