Gospel Principles, Lesson 29,
The Lord's Law of Health taught by Bethany Fox
[Bethany did a fine job with the lesson today, nerves and all. It was good to get to know her and feel of her spirit. Thanks for your study and preparation, Bethany, and thanks to all who participated. The thing that strikes me about all the Gospel Principles lessons is that the Lord always tells us the why. I love knowing the why. e ]
Our bodies are temples of God
One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body. Why? We need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20). Our bodies are holy.
Because our bodies are important, our Father in Heaven wants us to take good care of them. Why? He knows that we can be happier, better people if we are healthy. The Holy Ghost can be with us if our bodies and minds are clean.
Our Father knows that we face temptations to treat our bodies unwisely or to take harmful things into them. For this reason He has told us which things are good for our health and which things are bad. Much of the information God has given us concerning good health is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89. This revelation is called the Word of Wisdom.
We must obey the Word of Wisdom to be worthy to enter the temple. Why? If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us. If we defile the “temple of God,” which is our body, we hurt ourselves physically and spiritually.
Commanded not to take certain things into our bodies
- Wine and strong drinks, meaning drinks containing alcohol. Why? Strong drink often brings cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague into the home. It often is a cause of dishonesty, loss of chastity, and loss of good judgment. It is a curse to all who drink it. Expectant mothers who drink can cause physical and mental damage to their children. Many automobile accidents are caused each year by people who drink alcohol.
- “Tobacco is not for the body” (D&C 89:8). Why? It is harmful to our bodies and our spirits. We should not smoke cigarettes or cigars or use chewing tobacco. Scientists have shown that tobacco causes many diseases and can harm unborn children.
- The use of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9). Why? Church leaders have said that this means coffee and tea, which contain harmful substances. We should avoid all drinks that contain harmful substances.
- We should not use drugs except when they are necessary as medicine. Why? Some drugs are even more harmful than alcohol and tobacco (which are also drugs).
- We should avoid anything that we know is harmful to our bodies. We should not use any substance that is habit forming.
- We should also avoid overeating.
Why avoid these things when the rest of the world embraces them? Many of your comments could be summarized to this. God is very committed to our agency. These substances limit our choices. When we give up control willingly to a substance we enter the gateway to greater and greater bondage, to addiction, and to loss of freedom. God longs for us to choose Him and greater access to his power through the Spirit, and then greater and greater freedom.
Certain things are good for our bodies
- Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are good for us. We should use them with wisdom and thanksgiving.
- The flesh of birds and animals is also provided for our food. However, we should eat meat sparingly (see D&C 49:18; 89:12). Fish is also good for us to eat.
- Grains are good for us. Wheat is especially good for us.
Work, rest, and exercise are important
Other scriptures tell us how to be healthy. They tell us that we should “cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; … cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, Why? that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124).
Thomas S. Monson counseled, “Nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep are necessary Why? for a strong body, just as consistent scripture study and prayer strengthen the mind and spirit.”
Our Heavenly Father has given us health laws to teach us how to care for our bodies. Why? The scriptures tell us about God’s laws: “No temporal commandment gave I … , for my commandments are spiritual” (D&C 29:35). This means that His commandments concerning our physical state are for our spiritual good.
When we keep the Lord’s law of health and obey His other commandments, the Lord promises to bless us physically and spiritually.
Why? Physically we have been promised good health. As a result of this good health we “shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20).
Why? The Lord promises us that we “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19). We will be taught important truths by the Holy Ghost through revelation. President Boyd K. Packer taught:
Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication. The Word of Wisdom is a key to individual revelation.Why? The Lord also promises that the destroying angel shall pass us by. President Heber J. Grant said,
If you and I desire the blessings of life, of health, of vigor of body and mind; if we desire the destroying angel to pass us by, as he did in the days of the children of Israel, we must obey the Word of Wisdom; then God is bound, and the blessing shall come to us.e