“Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?,” is a question often asked to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in regards to abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and other addictive substances. Members of the Church (known as Latter-day Saints, but often referred to as Mormons) might explain that this is part of a commandment called the Word of Wisdom. Nonetheless, the Word of Wisdom is so much more than avoiding certain drinks or substances.
In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 6:19 it reads:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Before we came to earth, we lived with God as spirits. When we learned as much as we could, we were sent to earth to receive a body to further progress. Our bodies are sacred gifts from God, our Heavenly Father, and after we die and are resurrected - our bodies will be perfected and united back with our spirits. It is this knowledge that enables Latter-day Saints to strive to take care of their bodies which are the temples of their spirits. When we take care of our bodies, it strengthens us physically and spiritually, so we can be our best selves to support the rigors of life, make important choices, serve our fellow man and all other matters that come our way.
The Word of Wisdom was revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833 - well before the medical community knew the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol! It can be found in Doctrine & Covenants section 89. However, not only has God revealed harmful substances, but there is also a focus on what we should be doing to strengthen and take care of our bodies. We are commanded to eat healthy foods in season, partake of meat sparingly and we are promised spiritual as well as physical blessings from following the Word of Wisdom.
More recently, prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have counseled us to avoid illegal drugs, abstain from abusing prescription drugs, avoid over-eating, get the appropriate amount of sleep, exercise regularly and fast for two meals once a month - all of which help us to master our appetites and be in control of ourselves.
Members of the Laguna Niguel Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share their feelings on the Word of Wisdom: