In Kirtland, many men in the Church were called to preach in various parts of the United States. By the early 20th century, when scientific medicines were more widely available and temple attendance had become a more regular feature of Latter-day Saint worship, the Church was ready to accept a more exacting standard of observance that would eliminate problems like alcoholism from among the obedient. Joseph began inquiring of the Lord about what could be done, and on February 27, scarcely a month after the school started, he received the revelation later canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 89. If you've followed the Word of Wisdom your whole life, you won't be surprised at any of what the good doctor has to say in this book. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. Alcohol was consumed at virtually every meal, in part because the unpurified water of the time was so unhealthy. In the words of one authority, alcohol “stupefies their feelings, benumbs their moral sensibilities, weakens the powers of digestion, and in course brings on dispepsia, than which a more formidable disease hardly afflicts the human race” (“On Drunkenness,” Connecticut Herald, Feb. 21, 1826, 1). During the early 1800’s, drinking alcoholic beverages was a common and accepted practice among Americans, including the members of the church. In 1921, observance of the Word of Wisdom became a requirement for admission to the temple. Flesh Is to Be Used Sparingly “The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Grain farmers in western Pennsylvania and Tennessee found it cheaper to manufacture whiskey than to ship and sell perishable grains. The revelation invites hearers to trust in a God who has the power to deliver great rewards, spiritual and physical, in return for obedience to divine command. He provides evidence that affirms what we already believe about God's promises to us when we follow His commandments for us. See Robert H. Abzug, Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and Religious Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 98. In the 20th century, some Latter-day Saints sought to isolate the offending chemicals in the substances prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, but such analysis was never accepted as Church doctrine and went beyond the reasoning of the revelation itself. See Bush, “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” 52. 24:9. On Joseph Smith’s non-use of tobacco, see Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. He explained, “Brigham Young’s enforcement of the Word of Wisdom as a binding commandment, rather than as the “good advice” that it had been for decades, was driven by the need to keep scarce cash in Utah Territory; and a proscription on the purchase and use of luxury goods such as … According to Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants, 1 God revealed these guidelines to Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833. Wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging, Prov. They took a more moderate approach to milder alcoholic beverages like beer and “pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.”16 For the next two generations, Latter-day Saint leaders taught the Word of Wisdom as a command from God, but they tolerated a variety of viewpoints on how strictly the commandment should be observed. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113. Doctrine and Covenants 89:6; see also “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113. and exp. The revelation praised “all wholesome herbs” and explained that “all grain is for the use of man & of beasts to be the staff of life … as also the fruit of the vine that which beareth fruit whether in the ground or above ground.” In keeping with an earlier revelation endorsing the eating of meat, the Word of Wisdom reminded the Saints that the flesh of beasts and fowls was given “for the use of man with thanksgiving,” but added the caution that meat was “to be used sparingly” and not to excess.22. Instead of arguing from a position of fear, the Word of Wisdom argues from a position of confidence and trust. 3–4 (2003), 29–64. 20:1. See Paul H. Peterson, “An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972), 32–33; “The Word of Wisdom,” Times and Seasons, vol. They were to … 67 (Mar. The Lord counseled the Saints to not use wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks, D&C 89:1–9. See Norbert Elias, The History of Manners, trans. See “Revelation, 2 January 1831 [D&C 38],” in Revelation Book 1, 51, josephsmithpapers.org. Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants is called the ‘ Word of Wisdom ’. 14 (Fall 1981), 56; “For the Evening Post,” New York Evening Post, June 27, 1829, [2]. The strategy worked. Less than half (45%) of American Mormons, for example, said that they had fully … The former sermon is unpublished. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. 5:21). 1:8. She may have complained of being asked to perform this thankless task, but there was also a more practical consideration: “She could not make the floor look decent,” Brigham Young recalled.7 The stains were impossible to get out. The Mormon dietary or health code is called the "Word of Wisdom." [20] Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. Edmunds Jephcott (New York, 1978); Georges Vigarello, Concepts of Cleanliness: Changing Attitudes in France since the Middle Ages, trans. For a published version of the latter sermon, see Brigham Young, “Remarks,” Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, Feb. 25, 1868, 2. Over time, Church leaders have provided additional instruction on those things that are encouraged or forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming … 18, 1823, 3; “Gaming,” Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, Pennsylvania), Jan. 8, 1825, 3. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114; see also “Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49],” in Revelation Book 1, 81, josephsmithpapers.org. The scene in the School of the Prophets would have been enough to give any non-tobacco user like Joseph Smith cause for concern.6 Joseph’s wife, Emma, told him that the environment concerned her. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p.167). See John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1950). LDS Quotations is a resource for quotes on Word of Wisdom and 100s of other … In the end, some overlap between the Word of Wisdom and the health reform movement of the 19th century is to be expected. The Puritans called alcohol the “Good Creature of God,” a blessing from heaven to be imbibed in moderation. The “civilizing” process had been going on for centuries but accelerated up and down the social structure during the 19th century. The Word of Wisdom remains to light our way. But the spread of middle-class refinement in the early decades of the 19th century brought a new round of public critics. Those who wish to be baptised members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be willing to listen to and obey the prophets- which includes such things as the Law of Chastity, paying our tithing, and the Word of Wisdom, even though these things are not commandments. Such concerns are unwarranted. The “Word of Wisdom” is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee. The Lord often uses poetic words, with layered meanings, to teach us, and I believe that this is true of the words He uses in D&C 89, the Word of Wisdom. 3 (June 1, 1842), 800. A capital “T” was written next to the names of those who did so, and from this the word “teetotaler” was derived. Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Grant to call on all Saints to live the Word of Wisdom to the letter by completely abstaining from all alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. (London, 1832), 2:101. “The Lord also counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9). The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. I find it useful to think of the Word of Wisdom as a parable in the sense that it does not convey just one surface truth that every reader is … The "Word of Wisdom" is the common name of an 1833 section of the Doctrine and Covenants, a book considered by many churches within the Latter Day Saint movement to consist of revelations from God. See, for example, Samuel Underhill’s propositions in Mark Lyman Staker, Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting for Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009), 110. Like many other revelations in the early Church, Doctrine and Covenants 89, also known today as the Word of Wisdom, came in response to a problem. They were to cry repentance unto the people and gather in the Lord’s elect. The guidelines were given "not by commandment or … The whole situation seemed less than ideal for those who were called of God as these elders were, especially when we remember that the room with the filthy floor was Joseph’s “translation room,” the same place where he received revelations in the name of God. Clearly, meat is permitted" D&C 89:12. Brigham Young, Discourse, December 2, 1867; February 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, shorthand transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints ( D&C 89 ). It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. “That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually,” the Book of Mormon stated (Moroni 7:13).28 Rather than concerning themselves with cultural overlap, Latter-day Saints can joyously contemplate how God’s Spirit touched so many, so widely, and with such force. Daniel would not defile himself with the king’s meat and wine, Dan. LDS Quotes on & about Word of Wisdom presented in an easy-to-read format. ed. See Ian R. Tyrrell, Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America, 1800–1860 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1979); James R. Rohrer, “The Origins of the Temperance Movement: A Reinterpretation,” Journal of American Studies, vol. The Word of Wisdom is a health code included in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used by Latter-day Saints. As valuable as the Word of Wisdom is as a law of health, it may be much more valuable to you spiritually than it is physically.” Boyd K. Packer, November 1979 Ensign . 1981), 881; Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America,” 17. Word of Wisdom. Whoso forbiddeth that man should not eat meats is not ordained of God, D&C 49:18–21. Members of the organization were encouraged to sign a temperance pledge not just to moderate their alcohol intake but to abstain altogether. Remember that many early Latter-day Saints who took part in temperance societies viewed the Word of Wisdom as inspired counsel, “adapted to the Capacity of the weak & the weakest of Saints who are or can be called Saints.”23 Moreover, the revelation has no exact analog in the literature of its day. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113; “City Marshall’s Department,” City Gazette and Commercial [Charleston, South Carolina], Apr. The brethren did not have to be told what the words meant. In 1921, the Lord inspired President Heber J. The Word of Wisdom in Mormon Scriptures. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. In Kirtland, many men in the Church were called to preach in various parts of the United States. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. “Members of The Church of … In a recent article in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, John Ferguson, Jana Riess, and I share results from the 2016 Next Mormons Survey regarding observance of the Word of Wisdom among self-identified American Mormons. Strong drink, the revelation says simply, is “not good.” Similarly spare explanations are given for the injunctions against tobacco and hot drinks.25 The revelation can be understood more as an arbiter and less as a participant in the cultural debate. Isaac McCoy,” New Hampshire Repository, vol. The Word of Wisdom is sometimes heralded by LDS members as a divine straight-forward principle and even as evidence that the LDS Church is true, since the LDS Church is apparently the only organization that has this knowledge and how could Joseph have known these things before modern science proved them true. See Milton V. Backman Jr., “School of the Prophets and School of the Elders,” in Joseph: Exploring the Life and Ministry of the Prophet, ed. Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently released a statement regarding its stance on the use of vaping or e-cigarettes, coffee-based products, marijuana, and opioids. Coffee fell to 10 cents a pound, making a cup of coffee the same price as a cup of whiskey, marking whiskey’s decline. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1988); Richard L. Bushman and Claudia L. Bushman, “The Early History of Cleanliness in America,” Journal of American History, vol. For other ways the Word of Wisdom may have departed from accepted wisdom, see Steven C. Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour through Modern Revelations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2008), 332–33. Vaping is clearly against the Word of Wisdom.” The topics page on the church’s resource link defines the Word of Wisdom as a pattern for a healthy lifestyle. Susan Easton Black and Andrew C. Skinner (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 165–75. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114–15. 6 (Fall 1991), 17–19; Peter C. Mancall, “‘The Art of Getting Drunk’ in Colonial Massachusetts,” Reviews in American History, vol. The answer was unequivocal: “Tobacco is not for man but is for bruises & all sick cattle; to be used with judgement & skill.”8, Tobacco was just one of a host of substances pertaining to bodily health and cleanliness whose merits were hotly debated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean at the time the Word of Wisdom was received. Insofar as temperance reform made people less dependent on addictive substances, prompting humility and righteous action, the movement surely was inspired by God. Do not drink wine nor strong drink, Lev. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints (D&C 89). For other such arguments, see “Twenty Dollars Reward,” Daily National Intelligencer, Sept. 23, 1823, 4; “Rev. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1 Cor. The Word of Wisdom, a revelation given through Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, in February 1833, is a “law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God’s children,” according to the August 15 statement. To the astonishment of observers like Trollope, Americans everywhere—men, women, and children—drank whiskey all day long. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. Latter-day Saints who learn of the American health reform movements of the 1820s and 1830s may wonder how these movements relate to the Word of Wisdom. The Church’s “Doubling Down” on the Word of Wisdom Could it be that the speculation of the possibility that coffee and tea was soon to be made kosher (so to speak) in Mormonism cause the leadership some angst. Strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it, Isa. 24 (Sept. 1996), 383. James Covel and the “Cares of the World”, “I Quit Other Business”: Early Missionaries, Religious Enthusiasm among Early Ohio Converts, “Man Was Also in the Beginning with God”, “Our Hearts Rejoiced to Hear Him Speak”, Mercy Thompson and the Revelation on Marriage, Susa Young Gates and the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead, “The Word of Wisdom,” Revelations in Context (2016), “The Word of Wisdom,” Revelations in Context, Like many other revelations in the early Church, Doctrine and Covenants 89, also known today as the Word of Wisdom, came in response to a problem. Considered as a ‘code of health’ by members of the LDS faith, the Word of Wisdom is the name given to a section of the Doctrine & Covenants which was written by … On February 27, 1833, the Lord revealed which foods should we eat and which substances must be avoided. The room was very small, and about 25 elders packed the space.2 The first thing they did, after sitting down, was “light a pipe and begin to talk about the great things of the kingdom and puff away,” Brigham Young recounted. The Word of Wisdom contains two kinds of instructions: (1) prohibitions, and (2) counsel. Home-brewed beer was a favorite, and after 1700, British-American colonists drank fermented peach juice, hard apple cider, and rum either imported from the West Indies or distilled from molasses made there. 10:9. In the 18th century, coffee was considered a luxury item, and British-manufactured tea was much preferred. (New York: Free Press, 1987), 35. See Lender and Martin, Drinking in America, 71–72; Tyrrell, Sobering Up, 225–51. To prepare these recent converts for their important labors, Joseph Smith started a training school called the School of the Prophets, which opened in Kirtland on the second floor of the Newel K. Whitney mercantile store in January 1833.1, Every morning after breakfast, the men met in the school to hear instruction from Joseph Smith. Today Church members are expected to live this higher standard.17, American temperance reformers succeeded in the 1830s in no small part by identifying a substitute for alcohol: coffee. 74 (Mar. Orson Hyde was the main instructor that first term, but Joseph Smith seems to have had a regular presence. We find that there is a high degree of variation in Word of Wisdom compliance. By 1900, regular bathing had become routine for a large portion of the population, especially the middle classes, who had adopted gentility as an ideal.5 Tobacco spitting shifted from being a publicly acceptable practice among most segments of the population to becoming seen as a filthy habit beneath the dignity of polite society. Church Manuals (part of the correlated curriculum produced officially by the LDS Church) “We must obey the Word of Wisdom to be worthy to enter the temple. 1988), 1213–38; Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Knopf, 1992); Dana C. Elder, “A Rhetoric of Etiquette for the ‘True Man’ of the Gilded Age,” Rhetoric Review, vol. 21, no. 2 (2002), 155, 159. By 1800, tobacco was known to cure a long list of ailments: abdominal pain, snake bites, scurvy, piles, “madness,” and dozens of more ills. Temperance reformers often tried to frighten their hearers by linking alcohol consumption with a host of horrific diseases or social ills.24 The Word of Wisdom offered no such rationale. This episode in the Whitney store occurred in the middle of a massive transformation within western culture. Joseph Smith announced this revelation Feb. 27, 1833. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The, Signs of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ. " The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. Really interesting facts about the science behind Word of Wisdom counsel. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. After the Revolution, tea drinking came to be seen as unpatriotic and largely fell out of favor—the way was open for a rival stimulant to emerge. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. Lyman Beecher, a leader in this reform movement, advocated even more extreme measures, endorsing full abstinence from alcoholic beverages. This was a time of “refreshing” (Acts 3:19), a moment in history where light and knowledge were pouring down from heaven. Kirtland had its own temperance society, as did many small towns.14 Precisely because alcohol reform was so often discussed and debated, the Saints needed a way of adjudicating which opinions were right. They “immediately threw their tobacco pipes into the fire,” one of the participants in the school recalled.29 Since that time, the inspiration in the Word of Wisdom has been proven many times over in the lives of the Saints, its power and divinity cascading down through the years. "The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Well, I’m here to tell you that the Word of Wisdom proved to be the b. Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. By 1833, coffee had entered “largely into the daily consumption of almost every family, rich and poor.” The Baltimore American called it “among the necessaries of life.”18 Although coffee enjoyed wide approval by the mid-1830s, including within the medical community, a few radical reformers such as Sylvester Graham and William A. Alcott preached against the use of any stimulants whatsoever, including coffee and tea.19, The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. Leonard Arrington, official LDS historian, wrote An Economic Interpretation of Word of Wisdom, thoroughly documenting how and why Brigham Young took Smith’s good advice and turned it into a commandment. See W. J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 25–57; W. J. Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America,” OAH Magazine of History, vol. Frances Trollope, a British novelist, reported disdainfully in 1832 that in all her recent travels in the United States, she hardly ever met a man who was not either a “tobacco chewer or a whisky drinker.”9, Drinking, like tobacco chewing, had clearly gotten out of hand. This incubation period gave the Saints time to develop their own tradition of abstinence from habit-forming substances. “The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God’s children. Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, 2 vols. Discussion was so frequent because abuse was so widespread. The prohibition in question is against ‘hot drinks.’ The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. It is also the name of a health code based on this scripture, practiced most strictly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Mormon fundamentalists, and to a lesser extent, some other Latter Day Saint denominations. I will be discussing this principle in greater detail in the next article. Eat the foods at the bottom part of the chart sparingly, if at all. Herbs, fruits, flesh, and grain are ordained for the use of man and of animals, D&C 89:10–17. See Christopher G. Crary, Pioneer and Personal Reminiscences (Marshalltown, Iowa: Marshall Printing, 1893), 25. Moderation rather than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the “do nots” of the Word of Wisdom until the early 20th century. (For more on this and to see the teachings of LDS leaders on the Word of Wisdom, click here. The prohibitions are binding upon the Saints; the counsel, precisely because it is counsel, is up to each of us as individuals. In 1830, reformers persuaded the U.S. Congress to remove the import duty on coffee. In some ways, the American health reform movement has faded from view. On the tightening up of Word of Wisdom observance, see Thomas G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 258–71; Paul H. Peterson and Ronald W. Walker, “Brigham Young’s Word of Wisdom Legacy,” BYU Studies, vol. 42, nos. Those who adhere to the Word of Wisdom, the revelation says, shall “receieve health in their navel and marrow to their bones & shall find wisdom & great treasures of wisdom & knowledge even hidden treasures.”26 These lines link body to spirit, elevating care for the body to the level of a religious principle.27. In the midst of this cultural shift, at the very moment when everyday people started to concern themselves with their own cleanliness and bodily health, the Word of Wisdom arrived to light the way. After molasses imports were cut off, Americans sought a substitute for rum by turning to whiskey. 6 (May 3, 1824), 70; “From the Times and Advertiser,” Times and Hartford Advertiser, Jan. 3, 1826, 4. The Word of Wisdom way to weight loss is to embrace the foods the Lord has ordained for our maximum health: the whole foods at the top of the calorie density chart. In the LDS Church, compliance with the Word of Wisdom is currently a … “Hot drinks”—which Latter-day Saints understood to mean coffee and tea19—“are not for the body, or belly,” the revelation explained (see D&C 89:9). In short terms, it is a health code for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which we must abide by in order to go to the sacred temple and to have a healthy living. 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Drink it, Isa Whitney store occurred in the middle of a massive transformation within western.. The middle of a substitute for alcohol Gilbert, Notebook, 113 27, 1833, the steepest 10-year in. Moderation rather than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the Birth and Death of Jesus of... Presented in an easy-to-read format than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the Saints ( D & C )... Pennsylvania and Tennessee found it cheaper to the word of wisdom lds whiskey than to ship and sell perishable.! Wisdom. C 89:10–17 are good for us meats is not a system of vegetarianism them forward as revelation physical! The next article. in Connecticut recommended strict licensing laws limiting the distribution of.! 1830, reformers persuaded the U.S. Congress to remove the import duty on coffee confidence and trust James... From the hardwood fell upon her Black and Andrew C. Skinner ( Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, )! Idea soon became a requirement for admission to the temple of God ’ two-volume... And sell perishable grains included distilled spirits such as whiskey, which thereafter the Saints. Elaborate argumentation centuries but accelerated up and down the social structure during the 19th century drugs. Admission to the astonishment of observers like Trollope, Domestic Manners of Americans...