The “Word of Wisdom” is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. In short terms, it is a health code for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which we must abide by in order to go to the sacred temple and to have a healthy living. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently released a statement regarding its stance on the use of vaping or e-cigarettes, coffee-based products, marijuana, and opioids. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1 Cor. Instead of arguing from a position of fear, the Word of Wisdom argues from a position of confidence and trust. This episode in the Whitney store occurred in the middle of a massive transformation within western culture. By 1900, regular bathing had become routine for a large portion of the population, especially the middle classes, who had adopted gentility as an ideal.5 Tobacco spitting shifted from being a publicly acceptable practice among most segments of the population to becoming seen as a filthy habit beneath the dignity of polite society. 6 (May 3, 1824), 70; “From the Times and Advertiser,” Times and Hartford Advertiser, Jan. 3, 1826, 4. The “civilizing” process had been going on for centuries but accelerated up and down the social structure during the 19th century. See “Revelation, 2 January 1831 [D&C 38],” in Revelation Book 1, 51, josephsmithpapers.org. For other ways the Word of Wisdom may have departed from accepted wisdom, see Steven C. Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour through Modern Revelations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2008), 332–33. See Milton V. Backman Jr., “School of the Prophets and School of the Elders,” in Joseph: Exploring the Life and Ministry of the Prophet, ed. 20:1. Considered as a ‘code of health’ by members of the LDS faith, the Word of Wisdom is the name given to a section of the Doctrine & Covenants which was written by … Brigham Young, Discourse, December 2, 1867; February 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, shorthand transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Zebedee Coltrin reminiscence, in Salt Lake School of the Prophets, Minutes, Oct. 3 1883, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Edmunds Jephcott (New York, 1978); Georges Vigarello, Concepts of Cleanliness: Changing Attitudes in France since the Middle Ages, trans. (London, 1832), 2:101. By 1833, coffee had entered “largely into the daily consumption of almost every family, rich and poor.” The Baltimore American called it “among the necessaries of life.”18 Although coffee enjoyed wide approval by the mid-1830s, including within the medical community, a few radical reformers such as Sylvester Graham and William A. Alcott preached against the use of any stimulants whatsoever, including coffee and tea.19, The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. The Word of Wisdom: Hope, Healing, and the Destroying Angel Is an important book for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to read because it breaks down the Word of Wisdom into three sections, the Don'ts, the Sometimes and the Dos. See Lender and Martin, Drinking in America, 71–72; Tyrrell, Sobering Up, 225–51. 1988), 1213–38; Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Knopf, 1992); Dana C. Elder, “A Rhetoric of Etiquette for the ‘True Man’ of the Gilded Age,” Rhetoric Review, vol. 21, no. 2 (2002), 155, 159. They were to cry repentance unto the people and gather in the Lord’s elect. Tobacco came to be known as the “filthy weed,” and words like “disgusting” and “annoying” increasingly became associated with it. Members of the organization were encouraged to sign a temperance pledge not just to moderate their alcohol intake but to abstain altogether. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints (D&C 89). 10:9. Church Manuals (part of the correlated curriculum produced officially by the LDS Church) “We must obey the Word of Wisdom to be worthy to enter the temple. When the Word of Wisdom was first revealed members struggled with the don'ts. Generally what is taught is that the WOW commandment was given as a direct revelation from God in response to Emma's complaining about the men using chewing tobacco and messing up the floo… If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p.167). The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. By 1770, per capita consumption of distilled spirits alone—to say nothing of beer or cider—stood at 3.7 gallons per year.10, The American Revolution only exacerbated this reliance on alcohol. The Word of Wisdom remains to light our way. Wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging, Prov. The Lord counseled the Saints to not use wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks, D&C 89:1–9. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom brings temporal and spiritual blessings, D&C 89:18–21. By 1840, per capita consumption in America had fallen to about three gallons, the steepest 10-year drop in American history. According to Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants, 1 God revealed these guidelines to Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833. In the LDS Church, compliance with the Word of Wisdom is currently a … The Word of Wisdom is a health code included in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used by Latter-day Saints. Discussion was so frequent because abuse was so widespread. Kirtland had its own temperance society, as did many small towns.14 Precisely because alcohol reform was so often discussed and debated, the Saints needed a way of adjudicating which opinions were right. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. If you've followed the Word of Wisdom your whole life, you won't be surprised at any of what the good doctor has to say in this book. The strategy worked. Really interesting facts about the science behind Word of Wisdom counsel. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. But the spread of middle-class refinement in the early decades of the 19th century brought a new round of public critics. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. Alcohol was consumed at virtually every meal, in part because the unpurified water of the time was so unhealthy. Question: Does the Word of Wisdom prohibit the eating of meat except during periods of winter, cold or famine? Word of Wisdom. In 1921, the Lord inspired President Heber J. By 1800, tobacco was known to cure a long list of ailments: abdominal pain, snake bites, scurvy, piles, “madness,” and dozens of more ills. Leonard Arrington, official LDS historian, wrote An Economic Interpretation of Word of Wisdom, thoroughly documenting how and why Brigham Young took Smith’s good advice and turned it into a commandment. Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. The Lord often uses poetic words, with layered meanings, to teach us, and I believe that this is true of the words He uses in D&C 89, the Word of Wisdom. “Members of The Church of … In the 20th century, some Latter-day Saints sought to isolate the offending chemicals in the substances prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, but such analysis was never accepted as Church doctrine and went beyond the reasoning of the revelation itself. See John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1950). The term “strong drink” certainly included distilled spirits such as whiskey, which thereafter the Latter-day Saints generally shunned. It is also the name of a health code based on this scripture, practiced most strictly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Mormon fundamentalists, and to a lesser extent, some other Latter Day Saint denominations. In 1830, reformers persuaded the U.S. Congress to remove the import duty on coffee. Vaping is clearly against the Word of Wisdom.” The topics page on the church’s resource link defines the Word of Wisdom as a pattern for a healthy lifestyle. Grain farmers in western Pennsylvania and Tennessee found it cheaper to manufacture whiskey than to ship and sell perishable grains. See Christopher G. Crary, Pioneer and Personal Reminiscences (Marshalltown, Iowa: Marshall Printing, 1893), 25. They were to … Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. The Word of Wisdom in Mormon Scriptures. This was a time of “refreshing” (Acts 3:19), a moment in history where light and knowledge were pouring down from heaven. Eat the foods at the bottom part of the chart sparingly, if at all. To prepare these recent converts for their important labors, Joseph Smith started a training school called the School of the Prophets, which opened in Kirtland on the second floor of the Newel K. Whitney mercantile store in January 1833.1, Every morning after breakfast, the men met in the school to hear instruction from Joseph Smith. See Lester E. Bush Jr., “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” Dialogue, vol. 67 (Mar. Those who adhere to the Word of Wisdom, the revelation says, shall “receieve health in their navel and marrow to their bones & shall find wisdom & great treasures of wisdom & knowledge even hidden treasures.”26 These lines link body to spirit, elevating care for the body to the level of a religious principle.27. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113, josephsmithpapers.org; punctuation standardized; see also Doctrine and Covenants 89:8. The revelation invites hearers to trust in a God who has the power to deliver great rewards, spiritual and physical, in return for obedience to divine command. 3–4 (2003), 29–64. Those who wish to be baptised members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be willing to listen to and obey the prophets- which includes such things as the Law of Chastity, paying our tithing, and the Word of Wisdom, even though these things are not commandments. On Joseph Smith’s non-use of tobacco, see Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. All things which come of the earth are to be used with judgment, not to excess, D&C 59:20. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113. LDS Quotes on & about Word of Wisdom presented in an easy-to-read format. [20] Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. The Word of Wisdom contains two kinds of instructions: (1) prohibitions, and (2) counsel. The revelation praised “all wholesome herbs” and explained that “all grain is for the use of man & of beasts to be the staff of life … as also the fruit of the vine that which beareth fruit whether in the ground or above ground.” In keeping with an earlier revelation endorsing the eating of meat, the Word of Wisdom reminded the Saints that the flesh of beasts and fowls was given “for the use of man with thanksgiving,” but added the caution that meat was “to be used sparingly” and not to excess.22. They “immediately threw their tobacco pipes into the fire,” one of the participants in the school recalled.29 Since that time, the inspiration in the Word of Wisdom has been proven many times over in the lives of the Saints, its power and divinity cascading down through the years. Latter-day Saints who learn of the American health reform movements of the 1820s and 1830s may wonder how these movements relate to the Word of Wisdom. See W. J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 25–57; W. J. Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America,” OAH Magazine of History, vol. Less than half (45%) of American Mormons, for example, said that they had fully … The term “strong drink” is a biblical phrase applying to wine, but temperance reformers often gave the term a more expansive definition that included distilled spirits. 5:21). Moderation rather than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the “do nots” of the Word of Wisdom until the early 20th century. The Word of Wisdom is part of the church’s gospel that pertains to physical health, including topics such as the use of prescription and illegal … Lyman Beecher, a leader in this reform movement, advocated even more extreme measures, endorsing full abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Many faiths have dietary laws, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of them. 1:8. By the early 20th century, when scientific medicines were more widely available and temple attendance had become a more regular feature of Latter-day Saint worship, the Church was ready to accept a more exacting standard of observance that would eliminate problems like alcoholism from among the obedient. 3 (June 1, 1842), 800. 3:16–17. See Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Drinking in America: A History, rev. They took a more moderate approach to milder alcoholic beverages like beer and “pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.”16 For the next two generations, Latter-day Saint leaders taught the Word of Wisdom as a command from God, but they tolerated a variety of viewpoints on how strictly the commandment should be observed. The prohibition in question is against ‘hot drinks.’ The clouds of smoke were so thick the men could hardly even see Joseph through the haze. This incubation period gave the Saints time to develop their own tradition of abstinence from habit-forming substances. The American Temperance Society adopted a formal pledge of abstinence from all alcoholic beverages in 1831. See Paul H. Peterson, “An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972), 32–33; “The Word of Wisdom,” Times and Seasons, vol. LDS Quotations is a resource for quotes on Word of Wisdom and 100s of other … The Church’s “Doubling Down” on the Word of Wisdom Could it be that the speculation of the possibility that coffee and tea was soon to be made kosher (so to speak) in Mormonism cause the leadership some angst. 6:10 (Gal. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints ( D&C 89 ). 1981), 881; Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America,” 17. Today Church members are expected to live this higher standard.17, American temperance reformers succeeded in the 1830s in no small part by identifying a substitute for alcohol: coffee. The room was very small, and about 25 elders packed the space.2 The first thing they did, after sitting down, was “light a pipe and begin to talk about the great things of the kingdom and puff away,” Brigham Young recounted. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. “The Lord also counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9). This is not to say that all health proposals of the time relied on elaborate argumentation. On the tightening up of Word of Wisdom observance, see Thomas G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 258–71; Paul H. Peterson and Ronald W. Walker, “Brigham Young’s Word of Wisdom Legacy,” BYU Studies, vol. 42, nos. In 1921, observance of the Word of Wisdom became a requirement for admission to the temple. The former sermon is unpublished. Over time, Church leaders have provided additional instruction on those things that are encouraged or forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming … “That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually,” the Book of Mormon stated (Moroni 7:13).28 Rather than concerning themselves with cultural overlap, Latter-day Saints can joyously contemplate how God’s Spirit touched so many, so widely, and with such force. Do not drink wine nor strong drink, Lev. In the words of one authority, alcohol “stupefies their feelings, benumbs their moral sensibilities, weakens the powers of digestion, and in course brings on dispepsia, than which a more formidable disease hardly afflicts the human race” (“On Drunkenness,” Connecticut Herald, Feb. 21, 1826, 1). See Steven R. Sorensen, “Schools of the Prophets,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. Strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it, Isa. Alcohol became viewed more as a dangerous tempter and less as a gift from God. See Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 339; Joseph F. Kett, “Temperance and Intemperance as Historical Problems,” Journal of American History, vol. We find that there is a high degree of variation in Word of Wisdom compliance. For centuries nearly all Americans had consumed large quantities of alcoholic beverages, much like their European counterparts. Doctrine and Covenants 89:6; see also “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113. Strong drink, the revelation says simply, is “not good.” Similarly spare explanations are given for the injunctions against tobacco and hot drinks.25 The revelation can be understood more as an arbiter and less as a participant in the cultural debate. The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. In the end, some overlap between the Word of Wisdom and the health reform movement of the 19th century is to be expected. By the mid-1830s, the ATS had grown to well over a million members, many of them teetotalers.13, Encouraged by the ATS, local temperance societies popped up by the thousands across the U.S. countryside. He and Emma lived in the Whitney store, and the task of scrubbing the spittle from the hardwood fell upon her. Clearly, meat is permitted" D&C 89:12. Joseph began inquiring of the Lord about what could be done, and on February 27, scarcely a month after the school started, he received the revelation later canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 89. See Norbert Elias, The History of Manners, trans. 18, 1823, 3; “Gaming,” Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, Pennsylvania), Jan. 8, 1825, 3. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114; see also “Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49],” in Revelation Book 1, 81, josephsmithpapers.org. The answer was unequivocal: “Tobacco is not for man but is for bruises & all sick cattle; to be used with judgement & skill.”8, Tobacco was just one of a host of substances pertaining to bodily health and cleanliness whose merits were hotly debated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean at the time the Word of Wisdom was received. As early as 1784, both Quakers and Methodists were advising their members to abstain from all hard liquor and to avoid participation in its sale and manufacture.12 A more aggressive temperance movement took hold among the churches in the early decades of the 19th century. Isaac McCoy,” New Hampshire Repository, vol. Well, I’m here to tell you that the Word of Wisdom proved to be the b. (For more on this and to see the teachings of LDS leaders on the Word of Wisdom, click here. The idea soon became a central plank of the American Temperance Society (ATS), organized in Boston in 1826. As a consequence, the number of distilleries grew rapidly after 1780, boosted by settlement of the corn belt in Kentucky and Ohio and the vast distances to eastern markets. " The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868. Grant to call on all Saints to live the Word of Wisdom to the letter by completely abstaining from all alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. and exp. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114–15. For a published version of the latter sermon, see Brigham Young, “Remarks,” Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, Feb. 25, 1868, 2. During the early 1800’s, drinking alcoholic beverages was a common and accepted practice among Americans, including the members of the church. “Hot drinks”—which Latter-day Saints understood to mean coffee and tea20—“are not for the body or belly,” the revelation explained.21 Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. I will be discussing this principle in greater detail in the next article. Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants is called the ‘ Word of Wisdom ’. ed. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. On February 27, 1833, the Lord revealed which foods should we eat and which substances must be avoided. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. After the Revolution, tea drinking came to be seen as unpatriotic and largely fell out of favor—the way was open for a rival stimulant to emerge. For other such arguments, see “Twenty Dollars Reward,” Daily National Intelligencer, Sept. 23, 1823, 4; “Rev. She may have complained of being asked to perform this thankless task, but there was also a more practical consideration: “She could not make the floor look decent,” Brigham Young recalled.7 The stains were impossible to get out. The Mormon dietary or health code is called the "Word of Wisdom." Joseph Smith announced this revelation Feb. 27, 1833. 1 A a Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion— 2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the a word of wisdom, showing forth the order and b will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days— On the night Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni for the first time, in the fall of 1823, the angel quoted a line from the book of Joel and said it was about to be fulfilled: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,” the passage read (Joel 2:28; emphasis added). Whoso forbiddeth that man should not eat meats is not ordained of God, D&C 49:18–21. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The, Signs of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ. The Word of Wisdom is sometimes heralded by LDS members as a divine straight-forward principle and even as evidence that the LDS Church is true, since the LDS Church is apparently the only organization that has this knowledge and how could Joseph have known these things before modern science proved them true. I find it useful to think of the Word of Wisdom as a parable in the sense that it does not convey just one surface truth that every reader is … The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. Besides rejecting the use of tobacco, the Word of Wisdom also came down against alcoholic beverages: “Inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or Strong drink among you behold it is not good, neither mete in the sight of your Father.”15, Nevertheless, it required time to wind down practices that were so deeply ingrained in family tradition and culture, especially when fermented beverages of all kinds were frequently used for medicinal purposes. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. 24 (Sept. 1996), 383. 14 (Fall 1981), 56; “For the Evening Post,” New York Evening Post, June 27, 1829, [2]. The Puritans called alcohol the “Good Creature of God,” a blessing from heaven to be imbibed in moderation. Frances Trollope, a British novelist, reported disdainfully in 1832 that in all her recent travels in the United States, she hardly ever met a man who was not either a “tobacco chewer or a whisky drinker.”9, Drinking, like tobacco chewing, had clearly gotten out of hand. Once the pipes were smoked out, they would then “put in a chew on one side and perhaps on both sides and then it was all over the floor.”3 In this dingy setting, Joseph Smith attempted to teach the men how they and their converts could become holy, “without spot,” and worthy of the presence of God.4. 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