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Word of Wisdom

From the beginning, God has given counsel to man concerning what he should or should not take into his body.

In Genesis 1:29 he gave this counsel to Adam, "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." And in Genesis 9:3-4 he gave Noah this counsel, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." And again in Deuteronomy 14:2-3 Moses received this counsel, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. These are the beast which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat." ("Holy Bible", King James Version).

There are numerous examples of words of wisdom given throughout the scriptures on what we should and should not it. The question then should be, 'Why has God counseled us through all time on such things?' Because God knows that the proper care of our bodies is not only a temporal one, but also a spiritual one. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 it reads, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" ("Holy Bible", King James Version)

On February 27, 1833 the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was given a revelation from God concerning the use of harmful substances. In Doctrine and Covenants 89:4 it read, "Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils an designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation." (Doctrine and Covenants) To preface this revelation, it should be noted the circumstances leading up to it. The year was 1833 and in the Prophet Joseph Smith's home over the kitchen, was a room known as 'The School of the Prophets' where instruction was given to the men of the Mormon Church. These men would come hundreds of miles to be instructed by the prophet. When the men assembled for the meetings after breakfast, the first thing they would do was to light their pipes, and smoke while talking and listening to the Prophet. As soon as their pipes were out a large chew of tobacco would then be taken. The room was filled with smoke from the pipes and the floors were covered with spit from the chewing of tobacco. This, with the complaints of the Prophet's wife Emma at having to clean the filth of the floor and the room, made the Prophet call upon the Lord relating to the conduct of the men in using tobacco. Thus, the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was revealed to Joseph Smith.  Thus the revelation known as the 'Word of Wisdom' was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833.

Doctrine and Covenants 89:1-2 reads, "Word of Wisdom for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion…To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints…"


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