Word of Wisdom and Physical Health

A boy eating fruit.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

The Word of Wisdom recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. It includes prudent counsel on foods that provide healthy nutrition and emphasizes moderation, which can help prevent obesity and eating disorders.

The Word of Wisdom also indicates substances that are not good for the human body. Avoiding coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and dangerous or illegal drugs has been accepted as an essential commandment for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Abuse of prescription drugs should also be avoided to ensure good health. While some substances such as caffeine and guarana are not specifically included in the commandment, they can nevertheless inflict much harm to a person, often in subtle ways.

Following the Word of Wisdom shows respect for your body. Other ways to show respect include following the counsel of latter-day prophets to avoid body piercing (except pierced ears for women) and to avoid tattoos. Such practices may defile the body by placing foreign substances like inks and metals into and through the skin. They also increase other health risks since they are often performed in uncontrolled conditions where serious diseases can be easily transmitted.

“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, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen“ (Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21).


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