Word of Wisdom

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I have gone through the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) probably hundreds of times, and I have not been able to find anywhere in there that states that coffee, tea, strong drinks or tobacco is harmful to our bodies.

My question then is that if the Lord hasn’t told us to abstain from these things because they are bad for our health, why do members of the Church go out of their way to establish any negative effects these substances have on one’s health?

12 thoughts on “Word of Wisdom

  1. Well, I don’t know, but the “run and not be weary, walk and not faint” thing seems to apply. Granted, it does not say anything is bad for you, but saying that avoiding something will make you healthier does seem to say that the stuff is bad for you.

  2. The disclaimer, of course, is that the passage says “all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments…shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.”

    Those blessing are predicated on total obedience, not just observing the Word of Wisdom.

  3. It clearly states that “hot drinks are not good for the stomach” and prophets have stated that the hot drinks referred to are coffee and tea (those being the most prominent hot drinks at the time it was given.) It also says that tobacco is for healing cows, not people! When you use something for a purpose contrary to its design, you’d be foolish not to expect problems!

    Besides, it’s not just LDS people establishing the dangers of these things. Caffeine is highly addictive and coffee is acidic. It causes and exacerbates ulcers. The cancerous effects of tobacco are well known. These facts have been well established in the medical and scientific fields.

  4. Having just witnessed your olive oil dilemma (“extra virgin, virgin, or plain ol’”), which does not appear you’ve actually resolved, I shutter trying to comprehend the quandary the Word of Wisdom, and its associated revelations, practices, and customs, must present to you. I can only suggest personal prayer, counsel with trusted LDS leaders, and a little luck.

    Considering the WofW, is a caffeine-free diet Coke OK?

  5. Sigh.

    Ok, Roger you dont’ understand my husband. I will try to explain him to you. He doesn’t have any personal dilemmas with any of these questions. He has no problesm with the Word of Wisdom, or using extra virgin Olive oil for blessings. He raises these questions, not as a personal quest, but to find out where traditions and interpretations come from. To gain an understanding of what OTHER people think. Trust me, he isn’t experieincing a crisis of faith.

    As a matter of fact, he did resolve the olive oil question. He wanted to find out the origination of traiditions behind the extra virgin olive oil use and that was explained.

    Oh and for the record, as a family we dont’ use any other grade of olive oil, not just for blessings, but for other kitchen uses. It’s the best grade out there and the healthiest.

    He also doesn’t dispute the fact that coffee and tea and tobacco is bad and unhealthy and that we shouldn’t and don’t consume them. Honestly, when you read what he posts, it’s exactly as he is asking. He just wants to see what people have to say.

    See Kim I DO have to explain you to people.

  6. “It clearly states that ‘hot drinks are not good for the stomach'”

    No, it doesn’t. In fact, what it does say is that “hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” It doesn’t say anything about whether it is good or bad for the stomach.

    “It also says that tobacco is for healing cows, not people!”

    Unless you consider treating bruises to be healing: “tobacco…is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle”.

    “it’s not just LDS people establishing the dangers of these things.”

    I never said otherwise.

    “This world doesn’t accept ‘God told us to’ as an answer, so we look for ‘established facts’ to back up our position.”

    Why should it matter whether the world accepts it or not?

    “Having just witnessed your olive oil dilemma”

    What dilemma?

    “I shutter (sic) trying to comprehend the quandary the Word of Wisdom…must present to you.”

    The Word of Wisdom present no quandary to me. It is a very basic principle, and reading it leaves no uncertainty in my mind.

    “I can only suggest personal prayer, counsel with trusted LDS leaders, and a little luck”

    You think I should pray and counsel with priesthood leaders to try to get an understanding why members try to justify the reason for the Word of Wisdom? Do you think the Lord will open my mind to the reason why people do things?

    “Considering the WofW, is a caffeine-free diet Coke OK?”

    It certainly isn’t listed among the things we should avoid. Then again, it isn’t listed among the things we should consume.

  7. Oh…thank you Mary. Your insights are helpful for understanding the context of the olive oil and Word of Wisdom remarks. The red tracings of past phone numbers at the Hot Pepper blog are still baffling (grin)? Any insights there?

  8. The only thing I know is, Kim has been able to memorise all the phone numbers he has ever had (well, most of them). That’s all I know. Truly :)

  9. My question then is that if the Lord hasn’t told us to abstain from these things because they are bad for our health, why do members of the Church go out of their way to establish any negative effects these substances have on one’s health?

    On the more psychological side of things, I think we do it to counter all the people who ask us why we give these things up. This world doesn’t accept “God told us to” as an answer, so we look for “established facts” to back up our position.

  10. “This world doesn’t accept ‘God told us to’ as an answer, so we look for ‘established facts’ to back up our position.”

    Why should it matter whether the world accepts it or not?

    It shouldn’t. Humans, however, are herd animals. We have this need to not be considered “other.” This need often leads to people (especially people of faith) trying to rationalize their beliefs so that their friends and neighbors can understand it. I also think it has something to do with convincing them to see our side of things. I don’t think anyone ever converted anybody by reasoned argument but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop trying.

  11. if the Lord hasn’t told us to abstain from these things because they are bad for our health, why do members of the Church go out of their way to establish any negative effects these substances have on one’s health?

    Because modern human beings are obsessed with their own physical health. I’m surprised that these people aren’t also touting baptism for its hygenic benefits.

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