Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Word of Wisdom

Mormonism's naysayers love to poke at polygamy, theosis, and other seemingly "easy targets".

There are, however, a few harder targets that you rarely hear them talking about. One of these is the "Word of Wisdom", or the Mormon "health code".

You've probably heard about it, Mormons don't drink Coca-Cola (wrong). It's main points are:
  • Don't drink alcohol (it's for washing our bodies)

  • Don't use tobacco (it's for bruises and sick cattle)

  • Don't drink "hot drinks", i.e. coffee and tea

  • Herbs, grains (especially wheat), and fruit is good for man

  • Meat is to be used sparingly

That's it.

"Big deal" you say. Looks a lot like the health code we give to expecting mothers. "Everybody knows that stuff."

Oh yeah? Sure, everybody knows it now, but how about 30 years ago? How about 100 years ago? Get this: the Word of Wisdom was a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1833. The grain, fruit, and herbs part probably made sense, but what about the rest? In 1833 most of the Word of Wisdom made no sense.

My favorite part is this line: "strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies". They wouldn't have had a clue what that was for -- Louis Pasteur wouldn't be heard of for another 20 years. Fast forward to today, where on every wall at my work for me is a reminder of what a wonderful thing the Word of Wisdom is: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Yet another conveniently ignored piece of Mormon doctrine that has been a huge blessing in my life.

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Does anyone read this thing?

views since Feb. 9, 2008