Wednesday, August 30, 2006 Observation:
A number of months ago the doctors did some blood work on me and discovered that I was running a little anemic. There was no apparent cause so they suggested I go on iron pills to build up my blood. I don't do well on iron pills because of some side effects I would rather not mention. About that time Jo Anne's sister Judy was also having a problem being anemic and her doctor had recommended 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses each morning. She said it had done her a world of good and that I should try it. I frankly admit I am not into health food healings and was very skeptical, but then the lyrics of a song from my youth suddenly came into my mind. It was sung by Jane Wyman, Jimmy Duranty, Danny Kaye, and Groucho Marx. I am sure you will be grateful beyond measure to receive the lyrics to the great old song "The Blackstrap Molasses".
Black strap molasses and wheat germ bread
Makes you live so long you wish you were dead
Add some yogurt and you'll be well fed
With black strap molasses and the wheat germ bread
As wonderful and impressive as those lyrics are I was still a little bit leery about blackstrap molasses so I went to the Internet and discovered that blackstrap molasses comes from sugar cane, but from what is commonly known as the "third boiling". The "first boiling", or "first molasses", has a high sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted from the juice. "Second molasses" is created from a "second boiling" and sugar extraction. The third boiling of the sugar syrup gives blackstrap molasses. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized by now and the blackstrap molasses contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. One tablespoon provides up to 20 percent of the daily value of each of those nutrients. Blackstrap is often sold as a health supplement..." [Wikipedia Encyclopedia]
Guess what? I tried it and it works! My blood count went up dramatically, the anemia disappeared, and who knows, maybe I'll live till I wish I were dead!
You are probably thinking -- "Poor old Jack has finally lost it! Can you believe an observation about blackstrap molasses?"
Actually, it was a statement made by Elder L. Tom Perry that I heard while listening to BYU TV the other day that started me ruminating about blackstrap molasses. I cannot remember the audience he was addressing, but it seemed to be a BYU student devotional. He said he felt that one of the sad characteristics of our society is that so many of us are suffering from "mental malnutrition". The thought then came to me that perhaps another way of saying it is that we are in so many cases "spiritually anemic". We partake too frequently and too much of only the "first boiling", "first molasses" that is shoveled into us by the media -- too much sugar and empty calories! And then I remembered Elder Holland cautioning us that we are feeding our people from the pulpit, in the classroom, and even our children at home, too many "Theological Twinkies". Twinkies just won't do it for the body or the spirit -- it's that "first boiling" -- too full of sugar! I thought that the "spiritual blackstrap molasses" we need each day is contained in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the "third boiling", "third molasses"; the inspired, concentrated distillation of truth, prophecy, wisdom, and teachings of the ages that if ingested constantly and consistently will eliminate "mental malnutrition" and "spiritual anemia" as nothing else can. It actually even tastes better than a Twinkie.
Nobody ever said it better than Book of Mormon Jacob: "Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy... and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted..." [2 Nephi 9:51]