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Wilford Woodruff on fasting

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#1 Vort


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:39 PM

Hyena's recent thread on fasting and my own current experiences are making me think about fasting. A quotation that I had attributed to Brigham Young appears actually to have been said by Wilford Woodruff:

It was remarked this morning that some people said they could not fast because it made their head ache. Well, I can fast, and so can any other man; and if it makes my head ache by keeping the commandments of God, let it ache. There may be some people whose health is so delicate and fragile that they would be harmed by fasting for twenty-four hours. Such people are very, very rare; for the vast majority of us, our overall health could only improve by avoiding food for a day. I believe if the Saints, and indeed anyone else, fasted once a month, they would see real health benefits.

(Available here and here; search for "head ache".)

Here's a great blog entry someone made on the subject:

A Fast Sunday « My Life in Zion

From my perspective, the Saints (myself included) do not understand or take nearly the advantage of this ordinance that they should. I am currently testing out a fasting regimen, which I might report on later. Anyone have any insights into fasting?
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
Nice hand, friend, but those are not the cards I dealt you.

Impenetrability! That's what I say!

#2 applepansy


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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

For me fasting has been difficult for about 24 years. I have chronic illnesses which require medications. When I fast I take my meds with a small amount of water. Is that really fasting? Some would say no. Some would say yes. It still bothered me personally. So I did some reading and studying about fasting asking myself the question "why do we fast?"

Fasting is about sacrifice. So... now I ask myself the question "what can I sacrifice to honor my commitment to fast?" The difference has helped me be more diligent in fasting and its also taken away the guilt about meds. When I start with prayer I can often skip meds and do a complete fast.

Since changing my attitude about fasting there have been amazing results, when combined with prayer.

#3 anatess


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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

Fasting is an important part of my testimony. It wasn't until I fasted and prayed over the apostasy that I finally reached the turning point in my personal struggle to find truth.

Being raised Catholic and converted LDS, I've practiced fasting and abstinence all throughout my life. Fasting is not the same as abstinence although one can be used in lieu of the other depending on the situation.

Regardless of whether we fast or abstain, the concept is still the same - we fast or abstain to allow the spirit to master the passions of the body. This frees and prepares the spirit for unobstructed prayer and meditation.

In Catholic practice, I fasted for at least 1 hour before Mass. I've carried on this practice into my LDS experience with Sacrament.

Also in Catholic practice, I abstained from something for all of the 40 days culiminating on Easter Sunday. This gives me a special opportunity to reflect on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. I continued this practice today as well.

And fasting and abstinence always goes hand-in-hand with almsgiving. The acts of charity - giving what one sacrificed to benefit another - magnifies the sacrifice into a very tangible act of love.

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