Lesson 38: Good Health Habits

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 138–40


Each young woman will understand the importance of developing good health habits.


  1. 1.

    Provide paper and pencils for the class members.

  2. 2.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development



Pass out the paper and pencils. Have the young women list the following things for the past twenty-four hours.

  1. 1.

    All foods consumed

  2. 2.

    Number of glasses of water and other liquids consumed

  3. 3.

    Number of hours slept

  4. 4.

    Number of hours spent in physical activity such as work, sports, dance, or exercise


Ask the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Is this a typical day’s record for you?

  2. 2.

    Are you eating healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs?

  3. 3.

    Do you drink six to eight glasses of liquid a day?

  4. 4.

    Do you avoid taking any over-the-counter medicines to excess?

  5. 5.

    Do you get enough rest to rejuvenate your body?

  6. 6.

    Do you get enough physical exercise?

  7. 7.

    How could you improve your physical health?

The Lord Has Given Guidelines for Our Health

Scripture discussion

Have the young women read aloud Doctrine and Covenants 89 and Doctrine and Covenants 88:124.

As the scriptures are being read, have class members suggest the guidelines from these scriptures that should be listed under the headings “You should—” and “You should not—.” Discuss these guidelines from the Lord to make sure that the young women understand the importance of his counsel.

You should—

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

  • Eat grains

  • Use meat sparingly

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Retire to bed early

  • Arise early

You should not—

  • Drink alcohol

  • Use tobacco

  • Use hot drinks

  • Be idle

  • Sleep longer than necessary


Read and discuss the following statements from Church leaders about the Lord’s guidelines for good health:

“The Word of Wisdom, section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, remains as to terms and specifications as found in that section. There has been no official interpretation of that Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that ‘hot drinks’ meant tea and coffee.

“With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided” (“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, May 1972, p. 50).

“The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early (see D&C 88:124), that we should not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4), and that we should use moderation in all good things. In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us. Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies in certain elements in the body can promote mental depression. A good physical examination periodically is a safeguard and may spot problems that can be remedied. Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion, and a change of pace is necessary, and even its anticipation can lift the spirit” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, pp. 91–92; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 66).

Teacher presentation

Explain that the Lord has provided specific guidelines for the care of our physical bodies. Good health and vitality depend to a great extent on our attitude about these guidelines and the health habits begun early in life. We will receive blessings when we comply with these laws.

  • What are some of the blessings promised to those who comply with the Lord’s laws? (see D&C 89:3, 18–21).

Blessings of Good Health Habits Extend to Unborn Generations


Explain that the young women’s care of their bodies today affects their success and happiness in life and their future roles as wives and mothers and women in this dispensation.

Discuss the following questions with the young women.

  • Why is a healthy body especially important to young women?

  • How important is your health to you now?

  • How important will your health be to you as a future wife and mother?

  • How will what you do to your physical body today affect your unborn children?


Have the young women number from 1 through 7 on their papers. Have them write true or false for each of the statements you read. Correct the quiz.

True-False Quiz

  1. 1.

    Malnutrition in a mother can cause serious problems to her unborn child as well as to her. (True)

  2. 2.

    Mental and physical deficiencies can be caused to an unborn child if the mother uses alcohol regularly. (True)

  3. 3.

    Drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and morphine do not cause addiction to an unborn child. (False)

  4. 4.

    Some venereal diseases can cause blindness in an unborn child or can be passed on to the child as it is born. (True)

  5. 5.

    Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a higher percentage of miscarriages and premature births. Their babies also have a lower weight at birth. (True)

  6. 6.

    Chromosomal changes may occur in the unborn child as a result of a woman taking the drug LSD. (True)

  7. 7.

    Bulimia and anorexia in a teenage girl can cause her to be unable to conceive children later in life. (True)

Teacher presentation

Explain that young women who take care of their bodies will be more likely to have healthy children and to enjoy good health throughout their lives.


Scripture and testimony

Have the young women read 1 Corinthians 3:16–17. Bear your testimony about the great value of our bodies and the importance of keeping them as healthy as possible.

Read the following statement:

“When you observe the Word of Wisdom … and other good health practices, you remain free and have control over your life. You gain the blessings of an undefiled body, an alert mind, and the ability to receive help and support from your Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost” (For the Strength of Youth, p. 13).

Lesson Application

Encourage the young women to select a health habit they want to improve and resolve to begin taking necessary time to do it. Choose one yourself. Tell the young women what you intend to do. Then check on each other periodically for encouragement.

Class projects such as exercise programs, bicycling, or jogging can help the young women continue their efforts.