But the wealth of wisdom in the DOs of the 89th section of the Doctrine And Covenants is truly inspiring. The more I study health and nutrition the more I realize just how inspired Joseph Smith was when he received this revelation.
In fact, I think that most of us underestimate how powerful this knowledge is.
Since the Lord created our bodies, who would be better to tell us how to take care of them?
Why did the Lord gives us this revelation?
It is useful to note the reason the Lord gave for giving this revelation.
4 "Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and 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—"
Now, I have heard various latter-day-saints use (perhaps I should say misuse) this scripture for a wide variety of conspiracy theories, but it actually was applied by the Lord for our temporal salvation in regard to what we do with our bodies.
In researching health I have found that the Lord knows what he is talking about. Indeed conspiring men have designed evil plans in these last days in regard to our food supply and our health. Most of what you find in a grocery store these days is not healthy. It is only designed to stimulate your taste buds to hopefully addict you to the product. There is actually not much thought given to health in the majority of our food supply, even though the flashy exteriors of the packages would claim otherwise.
At first I chalked this up to ignorance on the part of the company decision makers. But as I continued to research I recognized that it was an unmistakable conclusion that the leaders of these companies know that they are offering up unhealthy products designed to addict customers. Oh yes, they are careful not to make them too deadly so that you would notice right away. In fact they don't mean to make them deadly, they just don't care to make them healthy. Healthy foods don't cause addiction, and therefore don't create as good a bottom line for the company.
Most people pass this warning (verse 4) off as warning against alcohol and tobacco companies, and people selling illegal drugs. While that is part of it, the 'Word Of Wisdom' covers so much more. The Lord doesn't say this warning applies to verses 5-9, He says it applies to the entire 'Word Of Wisdom'.
Who is the 'Word Of Wisdom' for?
This revelation was given for all saints, even the weakest. And yet I'm still surprised by the members of the church who claim that this won't work for them. They are special and different. The Lord evidently forgot about them while He was giving this revelation. So many people have become so blinded by following main-stream thinking about health, that they have not recognized the wonderful bounty of health and wisdom that can come through simply following the path set out by the Lord.
Follow along and I'll help you to understand that it is indeed for all of us. Everyone can follow this plan, and will benefit from doing so. The only people who can't follow this plan are the ones who won't try. It works every time it is tried.
Your doctor or nutritionist disagrees? Science disagrees? Perhaps they need to look at better science.
Yes, modern science and technology have made tremendous strides in gadgetry, but my personal opinion is that we are in a dark age of science and understanding because we have latched onto the philosophies of men and ignored the wisdom and council of God.
Trust God, and lean not unto thine own understanding (or the understanding of learned men). Do your own research and look to God through the Holy Ghost for confirmation of the truth. Yes, use logic. But be sure that it is logic founded on the sure foundation of the word of God. Remember that anytime philosophies of man disagree with God, God is always right.
If you really look, you will see that science is all over the place on just about any issue these days. Main stream science tends to lock onto science that denies God and the spirit. Indeed, anti-God academia maybe the great and abominable church that perverts the right ways and takes away truth. It has blinded and deceived many of even the elect.
All of the things I'm sharing with you here are backed up by science, but it may not be the main-stream science pushed by large institutions. Much of what we have been told about health is simply wrong. Trust God on this.
This revelation is for all of us, no matter what anyone else has told you. Yes, this revelation is even meant for you.
What does the 'Word Of Wisdom' tell us to DO?
We will get into more detail about the DON'Ts in another article, but for now lets look at the DOs.
Herbs (veggies) and fruits
I was once challenged that there is no mention of vegetables in the 'Word Of Wisdom'. Of course that is a silly argument, all vegetables are easily covered in 'all wholesome herbs".
Of special importance here is the note that we are to use all these things with 'prudence and thanksgiving'. Indeed some people who research subtle energies in our bodies and in food claim that food is actually changed energetically when we pray over it.
In other words we are supposed to learn about these foods and the prudent ways to use them. For instance, we have learned that some plants taken in certain doses are poison to our bodies. It would not be prudent to use them in that manner. Note that the word 'prudent' denotes being wise and careful and looking to the future.
It is of course always important to give thanks for all of these things.
On this point science seems to agree completely with God. There are many reports and studies telling us how wonderful fruits and vegetables are for helping our bodies to be clean and strong. Particularly when eaten in season. Fresh and raw is nearly always the best ways to consume these things. They are filled with wonderful enzymes and vitamins and minerals to help the body function well.
Next comes the provisions for eating meat.
Some science would tell you that meat is nearly a perfect food for getting all the nutrients that man needs. Why does the Lord say to use it sparingly?
Well, as it turns out in these latter-days, most meat is loaded with toxins that are dangerous for the human body. Animals bodies have a tendency to accumulate toxins, so as our world becomes more polluted and men try to make more meat for less money, the animals flesh becomes more and more toxic.
The Lord also mentions here that it would be pleasing to not use meat unless we need to in winter, cold, or famine. Meat can be cured with salt and stored for latter use. Also during the winter plant life is not as readily available, so we may need to eat meat if we can't find herbs. It is also interesting to note that meat is harder to digest than herbs, meaning that it creates more body heat to digest meat than to digest other foods. Thus it is a good thing to eat in time of cold to help keep us warm.
However, due to the toxins that accumulate in meat, it would not be prudent to continue to eat it once plant life is available again as a source of food. And of course because of the toxins we would want to eat it very sparingly. We would try hard to find plant life to consume as much as possible.
Another interesting note here is that the B12 vitamins, that main stream thought tells us we can only get from animals, is only needed in very small amounts and can be stored in the body for later use for about a year. In other words a little meat once a year would really do the job. Of course if you want to get more accurate, a healthy body with healthy digestion eating whole foods actually doesn't need any additional Vitamin B12. The small amounts that are required can be created by healthy intestinal flora. No meat required.
Again note the importance of giving thanks to God when ever we do use these things.
So this section about grain, also includes a reminder that the flesh of animals should only be used in times of famine and excess of hunger. But all grain is for the use of man and beasts, to be the staff of life. In fact grain is for all animals of every kind with the possible exception of fish.
'Staff of life' means to be a pillar or a main support of life. In other words, grain is a very important requirement for life. Both in the animal kingdom and for children of God. Today there is much conventional wisdom from nutritionists, doctors, and even celebrities that grains should be avoided. Let me explain to you where they are coming from, and why they are wrong.
Many of the products that you find in a grocery store are grain based products. And they cause lots of health problems. The reason they cause lots of health problems is that they have been processed to death and are simply gunk in the body, clogging up the works and depleting energy and resources. Because of this doctors and nutritionists have identified these grain based products as being a major cause of allergies and disease in the human body, so they advise people to avoid grains.
So, was the Lord wrong about grains? Absolutely not. Prudence would dictate that we eat only whole grains, never bleached, stripped, highly processed grain by-products. Whole grains are an amazing source of just about everything we need. Whole grains don't cause the problems associated with grain based products.
Notice the phrase "wheat for man". It has been discovered that wheat, when used in it's whole viable form, is the very best food that can be found for causing balance and health in the human body. Wheat is so complex that tens of thousands of different amino acids can be made from it by the human body. Thus giving the body the ability to recover, heal, and rebuild itself.
Wheat can also be stored for long periods of time without nutritional loss. It even retains most of it's nutrition when baked into bread or cooked into whole wheat cereal. It can be eaten plain, or soaked, or sprouted, or baked or boiled. It can be eaten year round, and the sprouts can even be used as a substitution for greens when no greens are growing in the winter. In fact sprouting wheat actually adds to it's nutritional value to the human body. For instance, one of the only nutrients missing from wheat is Vitamin C, but once you sprout wheat there is the C.
But what if you are one of those people who has been told that you have a problem with wheat (or more specifically 'gluten')?
Do not despair. You can still eat wheat and get the great benefits of it. You simply have to avoid the gluten for a little while. In a few months your body can heal and then you can eat the gluten as well, as long as you only eat it in whole grain form. In the mean time instead of eating the whole grains of wheat, you will eat wheat sprouts, or wheat grass. The sprouts still have gluten in them, but most people who are gluten sensitive can still eat them just fine. If your problem is even worse, then you will have to go to the wheat grass for a time. Wheat grass contains no gluten, but most of the goodness of the wheat still remains.
Next, note the reference to fruit of the vine both above and below the ground. Grapes have excellent health giving characteristics, and are particularly useful for runners and other athletes for fuel and recovery. Below the ground we have potatoes, which are also great nutrition and seem to be particularly suited to help heal digestion. One lady wanted to see how nutritious potatoes really were, so she lived off potatoes for a whole year without any unhealthy side-effects.
Then note how the Lord says that barley and other grains are good for 'mild drinks'. Barley tea has been shown to be great at helping people to recover from cold and flu symptoms. Mild drinks are neither 'strong drinks' nor 'hot drinks'. Mild drinks are non-fermented, and also not made with high heat, thus the goodness of the grains is retained. Sun teas made from grains would be ideal.
Now many people would end the list of DOs from the "Word Of Wisdom" right here, but let's continue to read.
Did you see the other DOs?
"Walking in obedience to the commandments" should have jumped out at you.
What about, "shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge"? We must keep looking, studying and learning.
How about, "shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint." ? We tend to look at this as a promise, but isn't it also a directive?
Can you walk and not faint if you don't walk? Can you run and not be weary if you don't run?
Walking and running are two of the very best exercises that the human body can do. They are simple, require no special equipment, and can be done just about anywhere and at any age. The length and speed of the exercise is totally customizable to your fitness level, and if done regularly, the fitness level increases. Regular exercise is probably the most important essential of good health.
The "Word Of Wisdom" is a marvelous revelation from the Lord to instruct us how to best take care of our physical bodies. It applies to us all, and is another witness that Joseph Smith Jr. was a true prophet of God. The more I study health and fitness, the more I find the directions given in Section 89 to be profoundly true and important.