Quail

Be careful what you wish for. And how much you wish for it. And how you allow that wish to influence your decisions.

As the children of Israel traveled to the promised land, some of them “fell a lusting” (Numbers 11:4). They wanted meat, and they wanted it now! The manna, which miraculously appeared six mornings every week, had become tiresome. They had run out of creative ways to cook it (see Numbers 11:8), and it was driving them nuts. “Our soul is dried away,” they complained, “there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:6).

Sounds like the whining of the privileged, doesn’t it? “This free food is boring! Give us something more interesting!” The Lord responded in a surprising way: by giving them exactly what they wanted, in large quantities. If they were craving meat, they would have meat: lots of it. Here’s what he instructed Moses to tell the people:

The Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you.

Numbers 11:18-20

Soon after, “a wind from the Lord…brought quails from the sea,” which fell into their camp in piles up to three feet tall (Numbers 11:31). Were they careful how they added this new form of protein to their diet? Of course not. They gorged on the new food, and some of them became very ill. Some of them even died. They named the place Kibroth-hattaavah (קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה), “The Graves of Desire,” because their suffering and death was a direct result of their own unrestrained appetites.

Alma admonished his son Shiblon to “bridle all [his] passions” (Alma 38:12). He told another son, Corianton, to “cross [himself]” in all of “the lusts of [his] eyes” (Alma 39:9).

Today, I will keep my desires in check. I will remember the folly of the Israelites and will avoid allowing my passion to override my reason.

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