After a long day on Friday, I was thrilled to arrive home and find that some gracious friends of ours from Taiwan had surprised us with a superb Taiwanese dish they brought over. Inside the exotic banana leaf packaging (my photo doesn’t do justice to this beautiful treat) was a delightful mixture of rice, nuts, mushrooms, and other exotic ingredients (they included a bottle of a hot and sweet pepper sauce well suited for this dish). I was so grateful for their kindness. As I chowed down on this expression of friendship from a family of mostly-Catholic friends, I felt that I was having a Zion moment – a little taste of heaven as I experienced a combination of culinary delight and undeserved kindness from wonderful friends willing to share so freely and with such love.
And that’s when it hit me. Just being nice is not enough. It’s good, but not sufficient for our eternal destinies. When we consider the lofty goals of Zion on earth and heaven beyond, we must realize that it will not be enough to just be surrounded by nice people. No, I believe we will be surrounded by nice people who can cook. If we are to experience heaven on earth or anywhere else, we have a lot to learn from my Catholic friends. Please, I want to be in their kingdom! And based on their love and cooking skills, I think it’s got to be Celestial.
Prepare to build Zion, my brothers and sisters, by learning not just the scriptures, but also the skills of cooking and sharing good food. Christ Himself told us to feed his sheep. There is something ennobling and joyful about good food, and I am so grateful that Christ in Luke 24 showed us all the eating is still part of life once we are resurrected. Now let’s get cooking!
(And I’d like to point out that if you move into my ward, you’ll find that we have a couple of especially Christlike people who are known for just dropping by with delicious food. It’s amazing how much ministering they do with food as a divine tool. I have been blessed many times by their kindness, as well as many others in our area. Food: in the hands of the Christlike, it’s the path to the human soul.)