Word of Wisdom
The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom.
In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord revealed that the following substances are harmful:
- Alcoholic drinks (see D&C 89:5–7).
- Tobacco (see D&C 89:8).
- Tea and coffee (see D&C 89:9; latter-day prophets have taught that the term "hot drinks," as written in this verse, refers to tea and coffee).
When people purposefully take anything harmful into their bodies, they are not living in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. Illegal drugs can especially destroy those who use them. The abuse of prescription drugs is also destructive spiritually and physically.
The Lord also declared in the Word of Wisdom that the following foods are good:
- Vegetables and fruits, which should be used "with prudence and thanksgiving" (see D&C 89:10–11).
- The flesh "of beasts and of the fowls of the air," which is "to be used sparingly" (see D&C 89:12–13).
- Grains such as wheat, rice, and oats, which are "the staff of life" (see D&C 89:14–17).
To those who keep the Word of Wisdom, the Lord promised:
"All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
"And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
"And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
"And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them" (D&C 89:18–21).
The best course is to completely avoid the substances that the Lord prohibits in the Word of Wisdom. Those who have engaged in addictive behaviors can stop and become free from addiction. Through personal effort, strength from the Lord, help from family members and friends, and guidance from Church leaders, anyone can overcome addiction.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 186–88
"When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction"
Corrie Lynne Player, Ensign, Jan. 2005, 62–66
How can family members cope when drugs and alcohol invade their home?
"A Plague on the World"
Gordon B. Hinckley, New Era, July 1990, 4–7
It is difficult to resist when your peers are pulling you down into the swamp of narcotics. It takes steel in your spine to say no.
"Addiction or Freedom"
Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 1988, 6–9
We are free to take drugs or not. But once we choose to use a habit-forming drug, we are bound to the consequences of that choice.
"A Principle with a Promise"
Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1983, 53–55
Joseph Smith received the Word of Wisdom in a revelation 150 years ago. It is a law—a principle with a promise. If we obey the provisions of the law, we receive the promises.
"Observing the Word of Wisdom—Politely"
Robert E. Wells, Tambuli, Feb. 1984, 9–12; or Ensign, Aug. 1983, 21–23
Dealing with the problem of protocol when entertaining and being entertained by those with standards different from our own.
"Not for the Body"
Harold G. Hillam, Ensign, Oct. 2001, 18–21
Each day brings more and more evidence showing how important it is to live the Lord's law of health and how dangerous forbidden substances are to our bodies.
"The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises"
Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1996, 17–19
While the Word of Wisdom requires strict obedience, in return it promises health, great treasures of knowledge, and that redemption bought for us by the Lamb of God.
Janet Thomas, New Era, Sept. 1995, 40–44
Smokeless tobacco is not harmless. This bait is for suckers only. If you are tempted to bite, here are some things you should know.
"The Word of Wisdom"
Eduardo Ayala, Ensign, Nov. 1990, 10–12
Without question, the Word of Wisdom is one of the commandments which we most need to obey in these days.
"The Word of Wisdom: 'A Principle with Promise' "
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 22
"Living the Word of Wisdom"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 29
"The Word of Wisdom: A Law for the Physical and Spiritual Health of the Saints"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, Chapter 36
"Observing the Word of Wisdom"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, Chapter 21
"Living the Word of Wisdom"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, Chapter 11
"Word of Wisdom"
Guide to the Scriptures
"Word of Wisdom"
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
(Please note that the contents of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, a joint product of Brigham Young University and Macmillan Publishing Company, do not necessarily represent the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
Addiction Recovery Program
LDS Family Services
"The Lord's Law of Health"
Gospel Principles, Chapter 29