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The Word of Wisdom


“When we first heard the revelation upon the Word of Wisdom many of us thought it consisted merely in our [not] drinking tea and coffee, but it is not only [not] using tea and coffee and our tobacco and whisky, but it is every other evil which is calculated to contaminate this people.  The Word of Wisdom implies to cease from adultery, to cease from all manner of excesses, and from all kinds of wickedness and abomination that are common amongst this generation—it is, strictly speaking, keeping the commandments of God, and living by every word that proceedeth from His mouth.  This is the way I understand the Word of Wisdom, consequently we have to keep all the commandments…in connection with the Word of Wisdom, in order to obtain the blessings, for unless we do keep the commandments of God, and not offend in any one point, we have not full claim upon the blessings promised in connection with this portion of the word of the Lord.”

Ezra T. Benson, “The Word of Wisdom”, April 8, 1855 (Journal of Discourses, Volume 2)



“This Word of Wisdom which has been supposed to have become stale, and not in force, is like all the counsels of God, in force as much today as it ever was.  There is life, everlasting life in it—the life which now is and the life which is to come.”

Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 184



“Instead of doing two days’ work in one day, wisdom would dictate to [the Saints], that if they desire long life and good health, they must, after sufficient exertion, allow the body to rest before it is entirely exhausted.  When exhausted, some argue that they need stimulants in the shape of tea, coffee, spirituous liquors, tobacco, or some other of those narcotic exertions.  But instead of these kinds of stimulants they should recruit by rest.  Work less, wear less, eat less, and we shall be a great deal wiser, healthier, and wealthier people than by taking the course we do now.  It is difficult to find anything more healthy to drink than good cold water, such as flows down to us from springs and snows in our mountains.  This is the beverage we should drink.  It should be our drink at all times…it may be remarked that some men who use spirituous liquors and tobacco are healthy, but I argue that they would be much more healthy if they did not use it, and then they would be entitled to the blessings promised to those who observe the advice given in the ‘Word of Wisdom’”  (emphasis added)

Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 187



“Do you know that it is your privilege so to live that your minds may all the time be perfectly within your control?  Study to preserve your bodies in life and health, and you will be able to control your minds.” 

Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 190



“Prepare to die is not the exhortation in this Church and Kingdom; but prepare to live is the word with us, and improve all we can in the life hereafter, wherein we may enjoy a more exalted condition of intelligence, wisdom, light, knowledge, power, glory, and exultation.  Then let us seek to extend the present life to the uttermost, by observing every law of health, and by properly balancing labor, study, rest, and recreation, and thus prepare for a better life.  Let us teach these principles to our children, that in the morning of their lives, they may be taught to lay the foundation of health and strength and constitution and power of life in their bodies.”

Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 186



Given for a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints…I have warned you, and forwarn you, by giving you this word of wisdom by revelation…And 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 given unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.”

D&C 89:3, 4, 18-21

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