A PRINCIPLE WITH A PROMISE…
It’s against the law to run out of gas on the autobahn in Germany. When people hear that, the most common response is something like, “That’s crazy.” At first, people will argue that there’s nothing you can do about running out of gas, but when they think about it further, it’s clear that of all the things that can happen on the Autobahn, running out of gas is the one thing you CAN prevent. You may not be able to avoid a flat tire, or a broken fuel line, but running out of gas is always the result of poor planning. You simply never get on the Autobahn unless you are sure you have the fuel necessary to get where you are going.
If we look at ours lives as journeys on the Autobahn, we can hardly be surprised when we get to be 60 or 70 years old and our bodies sputter to a stop because of a lack of proper fuel. What we do or do not put in our bodies is extremely important for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
THE WORD OF WISDOM
Most people who know very little about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do know that Mormons live by some type of health code. A while ago a major American television network produced an hour-long program about Mormons. The reporters involved covered a surprising number of subjects and did a very good job. When the Mormon health code, the Word of Wisdom, was discussed. The discussions centered around the restrictions on tobacco, drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea.. The Mormon woman being interviewed expressed the opinion that caffeinated drinks such as cola were also prohibited. This caused quite a stir among members of the church in America. At one place of business the next morning a group of Mormons were sitting around the conference table discussing the Word of Wisdom and if it prohibited caffeinated sodas. In attendance at that meeting were 10 people, 4 large mugs of diet cola, a dozen donuts and a gallon of chocolate milk. Only the caffeine in the soda was even considered to be a health risk, and therefore, against the Word of Wisdom.
The principle behind the Word of Wisdom is simple. Your body is a temple; take care of it.
It is generally considered by Mormons that if you avoid tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea you are living the Word of Wisdom.
In 2013 The United Health Foundation did and extensive study of the health of American citizens over age 65. The 50 states were then ranked according to how healthy their senior citizens were. When one considers that the majority of the people in Utah are Mormons, and if we believe that Mormons live by the Word of Wisdom, then it should be a foregone conclusion that Utah will rank number 1 . In reality, Utah ranked 9th.
The states were evaluated in 4 other categories as well:
- Obesity – The percentage of people over 65 who were obese.
- Smoking – The percentage of people over 65 who smoked.
- Diabetes – The percentage of people over 65 being treated for diabetes.
- Physical activity – The number of people over 65 who participate in no physical activity other than regular day to day activities.
In Utah, a state that “lives the Word of Wisdom:”
25.5% participate in no physical activity
24.6% are obese
74.9% are being treated for diabetes
This study alone makes it clear that the Word of Wisdom is much more than avoiding tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea.
Do we believe the Lord? Do we believe his promise in the Word of Wisdom? The closing verses give each of us the following promise.
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 in 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.
We believe IN Christ. Do we BELIEVE Christ?
Copyright © 2013 by Energy Media Works LLC
Scripture: The Word of Wisdom, Doctrine and Covenants, section 89 (Source – lds.org)
TED Talk: Teach Children about Food
NY Times Report: The Health Benefits of Fasting
Mormon Channel Audio Program: The Physical and Spiritual Benefits of Yoga