The Word of Wisdom


Adapted from Doctrine and Covenants Stories (PBIC037A)
School of the Prophets

1 During the winter of 1832–33, in Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Smith organized the School of the Prophets. Several carefully selected men were invited to attend.

Whitney store

2 The school was held in an upstairs room behind Newel Whitney’s store; Joseph taught the brethren in detail about the priesthood, the scriptures, and how they should live.

Some smoked or chewed tobacco

3 Several of the brethren smoked or chewed tobacco, and the schoolroom, which was part of Joseph and Emma’s living quarters, would fill with smoke, and the floor would be spattered with tobacco juice spittles.

Word of Wisdom

4 The situation bothered Joseph because meetings there were sacred and because Emma had to clean up the filth afterward. Joseph prayed about the matter, and the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was the answer that he received.

Alcohol and hot drinks not good

5 The Lord told Joseph that alcoholic beverages and hot drinks, especially tea and coffee, are not good for people to drink and that alcohol is only “for the washing of your bodies.”

Tobacco no good

6 Smoking or chewing tobacco is not good for the body either, “but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.”

Fruits, herbs and vegetables good

7 Fruits, herbs, and vegetables are to be eaten with wisdom and thankful hearts. And the meat of animals, fish, and birds is to be used sparingly. It pleases the Lord when we eat meat only in times of winter, cold, or famine.

Grains are good for man

8 The Lord said that grains are “the staff of life.” Rice, corn, oats, and especially wheat are good for man to eat. Rye, corn, and oats are particularly good for beasts of the field and for fowls to eat.

If we obey, we will be blessed

9 Those Saints who obey the Word of Wisdom and the rest of the Lord’s commandments will have healthy and strong bodies, much wisdom, and the protection of the Lord.