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Why does the Lord want me to be healthy?

Good health is an important part of being self-reliant. Safeguarding our health will allow us to fulfill our divine potential and serve others more effectively. The way we treat our bodies affects our spiritual health and our ability to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost. In order to preserve our health, we should obey the Word of Wisdom, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and other resources will help the young women understand why the Lord wants us to be healthy?

1 Corinthians 6:19 (Our bodies are temples of God)

D&C 88:124 (Guidelines for keeping our bodies and minds healthy) 

D&C 89 (The Word of Wisdom)

Boyd K. Packer, “The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, 17–19

Physical and Emotional Health,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 25–27

Video: “A Brand New Year 2010: Physical Health”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Display side by side a picture of a young woman and a picture of a temple. Ask the young women how their bodies are like temples (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Invite each young woman to discuss with someone else in the class why it is important to keep our bodies and minds clean and healthy.
  • Write on the board “Why does the Lord want us to be healthy?” Invite the young women to share possible answers and look for additional answers throughout the lesson. 

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand why the Lord wants them to be healthy. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the young women to make lists of things they are doing to keep their minds and bodies healthy. Divide the class into groups, and assign each group to search one of the following scriptures, looking for counsel to help them keep their minds and bodies healthy: D&C 88:124; D&C 89:5–9; and D&C 89:10–16 (if they need help understanding the counsel in D&C 89, see True to the Faith, pages 186–88). Have each group report their findings. Ask the young women to review their lists and determine if there are additional things they could do to maintain their health. Invite the young women who feel comfortable doing so to share any changes they plan to make that will bless them now and in the future.
  • If necessary, briefly review the Word of Wisdom to ensure that the young women understand the Lord’s counsel regarding physical health. Write on the board, “Why has the Lord given us the Word of Wisdom?” Ask the young women to suggest some answers. Invite the young women to read D&C 89:18–21 to find the promises the Lord makes to those who obey the Word of Wisdom. How are each of these promises fulfilled in our lives? (If they need help understanding these promises, suggest that they refer to President Boyd K. Packer’s explanation in his talk “The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises”). Invite them to share their testimonies of this doctrine or of blessings they have received by living the Word of Wisdom.
  • Show the video “Physical Health,” and invite the young women to watch for reasons we should keep our bodies healthy—including both temporal and spiritual reasons. Ask them to share what they find. As part of this discussion, consider sharing this statement from President Boyd K. Packer: “Surely the Word of Wisdom was given so that you may keep the delicate, sensitive, spiritual part of your nature on proper alert. Learn to ‘listen’ to your feelings. You will be guided and warned and taught and blessed” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996). How has President Packer’s promise been fulfilled in the lives of the young women? 
  • Invite the young women to read “Physical and Emotional Health” in For the Strength of Youth. Ask some of the young women to list on the board several items of counsel they find, and ask others to list the blessings promised to those who follow this counsel. Ask them to discuss how the way they treat their bodies affects their spirits. How could they use the lists on the board to explain their standards to friends of other faiths?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand why the Lord wants them to be healthy? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Keep track of what they eat for a week and evaluate whether they are following the Lord’s counsel regarding physical health.
  • Complete Knowledge value project 3 in Personal Progress.
  • Plan a Mutual activity that includes exercise and healthy foods.