Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Lord's Law of Health

 I teach the 2nd Sunday of every month at Church. This month, the lesson is on The Lord's Law of Health (also known as The Word of Wisdom). The following is my outline for the class I will be teaching. I always enjoy seeing how people interpret different things, so this is my interpretation. Comments are always welcome!

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

The choices we make about the use of our physical "temples" will effect us throughout all eternity. 
  • Our bodies are holy
  • Because our bodies are so important, Heavenly Father wants us to take good care of them, no GREAT care of them :)
  • Heavenly Father knows we can be happier, healthier people if we take care of our bodies.
So, what is the Lord's Law of Health and why do we need it?
-The Lord's Law of Health is revelation given in the scriptures. The Lord knows there are temptations all around us to treat our bodies unwisely or to take harmful things into them. So for this reason, He has told us which things are good for our health and which things are bad. Much of this info can be found in Doctrine and Covenants section 89.
-The Lord's Law of Health isn't just for our physical health, it is for our spiritual and mental health too.

There is no question that the health of the body affects the spirit, or the Lord would never have revealed the Word of Wisdom.….To a great extent, we are physically what we eat. Most of us are acquainted with some of the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom, such as no tea, coffee, tobacco, or alcohol. But what needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects—the need for vegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat. We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner.     
–Ezra Taft Benson
I thought this story, by President Brigham Young, about how the Word of Wisdom came to be was pretty interesting:

“The first school of the prophets [a special school for the early leaders of the Church] was held in a small room situated over the prophet Joseph’s kitchen. … [This was the room where] the prophet received revelations and in which he instructed his brethren. The brethren came to that place for hundreds of miles to attend school in a little room probably no larger than eleven by fourteen [feet]. When they assembled together in this room after breakfast, the first [thing] they did was to light their pipes, and, while smoking, talk about the great things of the kingdom, and spit all over the room; and as soon as the pipe was out of their mouths, a large chew of tobacco would then be taken. Often when the prophet entered the room to give the school instructions he would find himself in a cloud of tobacco smoke. This, and the complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floor, made the prophet think upon the matter, and he inquired of the Lord relating to the conduct of the elders in using tobacco, and the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was the result of his inquiry” (in Deseret News [Weekly], 26 Feb. 1868, 18).

I thought that story was pretty great. Why? Because it shows how much of an influence a woman can have on some pretty important things :)

So, we are commanded not to take certain things into our body, what are they?
  • Wine
  • Strong drink (meaning drinks that contain alcohol)
  • tobacco
  • hot drinks (according to Church leaders this is in reference to coffee and tea)
  • Drugs, unless necessary as medicine
  • We should avoid anything that we know is harmful to our bodies
  • We should not use any substance that is habit forming
  • We should also avoid overeating.
The Word of Wisdom doesn't tell us every little thing to avoid, but it does give us a great guideline. The Word of Wisdom is a very valuable temporal law but it is also a very valuable spiritual law. By living the Word of Wisdom, we become stronger spiritually (awesome!)


“Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication. The Word of Wisdom is a key to individual revelation” (President Boyd K. Packer in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 16; or Ensign, Nov. 1989, 14).

-What are some things that are not specifically mentioned in the WoW (Word of Wisdom) that we should avoid?

The Word of Wisdom is one of the recognized and distinctive practices of members of the Church. Generally, others not of our faith acknowledge that members in good standing abstain from tobacco, coffee, tea, and all alcoholic beverages. Scientific studies have confirmed that Latter-day Saints have less incidence of heart problems, all forms of cancer, and other diseases because of their adherence to the Word of Wisdom. These studies have demonstrated that not only will one live a longer life, but also that the quality of one’s life will be better. 
-President Ezra Taft Benson
-The WoW teaches that certain things are good for our bodies, what are they?
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Wholesome herbs
  • The flesh of birds and animals
  • Meat should be eaten sparingly
  • Fish
  • Grains, especially wheat
How has the use of the things blessed you?  I know in my attempt to have a healthier and longer life I have stopped drinking soda and eating fast food. I have noticed a huge difference in my energy level and just the overall way that I feel....I just feel cleaner, if that makes sense.

-Work rest and exercise are also part of the Lord's Law of Health. Why?

 A latter-day prophet has told us that we should keep our bodies healthy. He counseled, “Nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep are necessary for a strong body, just as consistent scripture study and prayer strengthen the mind and spirit” (Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 60; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 46).

-What are the blessings we can receive from keeping the Lord's Law of Health?
Physically we have been promised good health. As a result of this good health we “shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20). This is a great blessing, but the spiritual blessings He has promised us are even greater than the physical ones.
The Lord promises us that we “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19). (What are “hidden treasures”? The most sacred and deep things of God) We will be taught important truths by the Holy Ghost through revelation.


President Spencer W. Kimball said, “For observing the Word of Wisdom the reward is life, not only prolonged mortal life but life eternal” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 211).

What a great quote! Love it.

I personally know how great I feel when I live my life in accordance with this wonderful revelation known as the Word of Wisdom. The part of the Word of Wisdom that has always been difficult for me, is overeating. I have made an extremely conscious effort in my life as of late to put things in my body that help me be a better wife and mother, things that fuel my body to be the best I can be not just stuff that looks good and is full of sugar and other wonderful things :) 

The Word of Wisdom was given to Joseph Smith in the form of a revelation in 1833 (that's a whole lot of years before the world of science caught on and started recommending the things learned in the WoW as a good practice for everyday living).
President Ezra Taft Benson told this story, which I found pretty neat:

Several years ago an investigator gave this testimonial about Joseph Smith. He said that the Word of Wisdom was the revelation that most attracted him to investigate the Church. “There is no possible way,” he said, “that Joseph Smith could have known what we now know in the medical world about the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee. Yet this has all been substantiated by medical science.”
He said that this was the beginning of his earnest investigation of the gospel, for he reasoned that if Joseph Smith could be so accurate on a matter that medical science validated over a hundred years later, the rest of the teachings of the Church deserved investigation. He did so and is now a member of the Church.

Isn't that a great story?

I'm grateful for the Word of Wisdom. I am grateful for the guidelines it gives us. I am grateful for the blessings that I have received and that can be received by following the guidelines. I know these guidelines were given to us to help us live better, fuller lives. And how can anything that does that be considered bad? It can't.......end of story :)

I would love to hear your comments!
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Great post Em! Looking forward to hearing all of your remarks tomorrow! Love you gazillions!

  2. Oops, Mama Price, not Papa Price,made the last comment.
    Love you Em!


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