a Law of Health
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Mormons do not drink alcohol, coffee, or tea and avoid harmful substances including tobacco. Mormons choose to follow God’s law for physical and spiritual health that emphasizes the importance of healthy foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the spirit and the body make up the soul, and what affects the body also affects the spirit. When we take care of our bodies without turning to drugs or artificial stimulants we are more likely to feel peace, vigor, confidence and have a higher capacity to serve others. When we defile our bodies with drugs, alcohol, tobacco and even unwholesome foods, we adversely affect our soul.
In addition to an emphasis on health, Mormons typically fast once a month and subsequently donate the money they don't spend on meals to the poor. Periodic fasting has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the body.
As a result, studies show that Mormons live up to ten years longer than their fellow citizens and enjoy well documented health benefits. See the results of a UCLA study on this topic.
Mormons believe that in addition to health benefits, they receive spiritual blessings for taking care of their health and the poor.
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You may also call to speak with a missionary over the phone. Please call: 1-888-537-6600 (in U.S. and Canada only).
Joseph Smith received a revelation recorded in the 89th section (known as the Word of Wisdom) of what is known as the Doctrine and Covenants (recorded revelations to Joseph Smith and other Church leaders) that was given for our spiritual and temporal (or physical) benefit. This outlaws all things that can cause harm to our body, but naming in particular: tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea (black, green, or that comes from a "tea" leaf only), and all illegal drugs.
Coffee and tea may seem strange to some, but we can easily see the addictive effects that coffee has on people, many feel that they can´t function without drinking it and can cause severe withdrawals...when we subject ourselves to addictions, we are robbing ourselves of that precious gift to choose and can’t function without this substance. The body becomes dependent on this thing and it becomes difficult to change, so we are commanded to avoid such substances.
The Word of Wisdom also advises us to maintain a healthy and balanced diet so that we can have energy.
Our avoidance of coffee, tea, alcohol, and other harmful substances is rooted in our seeking of the influence of our Heavenly Father in our lives. In order to more constantly feel the His Spirit, we need to maintain our bodies in such a way that we will be able to listen to Him, rather than being driven by addiction or compulsion.
While people often focus on the negatives what we CAN'T do, the rest of the law called the Word of Wisdom is very important too. We should eat fruits and grains and vegetables, and only eat red meat sparingly.
I believe our body is a precious gift from God. To help keep my body and mind healthy and strong, I believe that God wants me to follow a law of health. This law is known as the Word of Wisdom, and it teaches which foods and substances you should and should not use to maintain the health of your body and to keep you free from evil influences. I believe that God promises blessings of health, strength, protection against evil, and greater receptiveness to spiritual truths as we treat our bodies with respect and reverence.
Besides the obvious health issues, the scriptures have helped me to understand more concerning the 'Word of Wisdom.' 1 Corinthians chapter 6 says, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" If our body is a temple, a sanctuary or dwelling place for the Holy Ghost, we must keep our bodies clean. The Holy Ghost is so important in guiding and protecting us each day of our lives. It tells us "all things what we should do." As we keep our bodies pure, we allow that guidance to remain with us.
These days there are so many choices when it comes to food and what we take into our bodies. Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to make good choices about how to feed your family. There is all this talk about fat content and calories and chemicals and nutrition. Sometimes it feels like just when I've got things figured out someone comes along and says that something I am eating is bad for me.
Heavenly Father knows our bodies best of all. They are his creations. He has not left us on our own to figure this stuff out. He has given us a law of health that is basic and easy to understand.
After reading this section I then pray and ask my Heavenly Father how he wants me to apply this knowledge and where I should start. In this world where there are so many choices and opinions it is wonderful to have a place I can go to get my Heavenly Father's instructions.