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Friday, November 12, 2010

FAQ Fridays: The Word of Wisdom

I LOVE '80s music.  Love it.  My mom thought it was funny because the songs I was listening to when I graduated high school were the same songs she was listening to when she graduated high school.  One of the songs I love most is "Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant.  As we drove up to my college, my mom and I were talking about the social scene back in 1983 when this song was actually popular. She remarked to me that she and her friends would get asked something similar to a line in the song that says, "don't drink, don't smoke--what do you do?".  I thought it was interesting that not only our musical tastes paralleled, but also our obtrusive aversion to harmful substances upon which most of our classmates were avidly experimenting (though 25 years spanned us).  What is it about Mormon kids that make them different in that regard?  Why don't we engage in those habits and vices? Are we just a bunch of "goody two shoes"?  We don't drink, we don't smoke--what do we do?

Are Mormons just a bunch of "Goody Two Shoes"?

You may have wondered why your Mormon friends pass up the cocktails at business parties, the coffee in the break room, and never seem to have a light.  It isn't just because we're the designated drivers; our feelings regarding the use of certain things are rooted much more deeply than that. 

We believe that our bodies are sacred gifts from God.  Paul says our bodies are "temples of God", where the Holy Ghost can dwell if we don't defile them. Heavenly Father wants us to take good care of them by not using substances that damage them or rob us of our ability to choose.  That ability to choose is one of the most precious tools He has granted for us to keep His commandments and be happy.  Kind of hard to do that if you're a slave to a bottle or a little white stick.  Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, God has revealed what we should and should not put into our bodies--we should avoid coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, and harmful drugs because they damage us and take away that ability to choose; on the other hand, we should eat nutritiously, choosing grains, fruits, vegetables, and meat sparingly.  (**Note: nowhere in the Word of Wisdom are we forbidden to drink sodas or caffeinated beverages.  We are counseled by the prophets to abstain from things to which we may become addicted--caffeine is an easy one for many people.  Myth Busted)  We are promised incredible blessings of health, strength, knowledge, and above all, spiritual safety
if we remember to keep this "principle with a promise". 

I'm thankful for these guidelines because I have been able to enjoy a happy, healthy youth, free from a lot of the problems that early smoking, drinking, and use of drugs bring.  I am also thankful because it is evidence to me that God cares so much that it even matters to Him what I eat and drink!  That's so cool to me.  So I (and my totally hip mom--she's even on facebook, I'll have you know!) don't drink and I don't smoke.  What do I do?  I live a productive, active life, and I get to share these blessings with others.  If you are involved with these addictive substances, the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help you.  He knows what it feels like and He wants to help you out!  Here's a site that may help if you're trying to quit.

Much Love,

Elder Spendlove

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Elder Nephew! :-) I also view the word of wisdom as counsel to healthy living in all aspects of our lives. Once we've mastered the temptations of harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco, I believe that we each can expand the meaning of the word of wisdom on a personal level. You bring up soda/caffeine as one example of an addictive substance for some. As we get better at living the word of wisdom, we can identify other "addictions" in our lives that stand in the way of a full and healthy life-- certain foods, activities, or even "inactivities". I believe that the word of wisdom is a law that we can continually improve on and that, in turn, the Lord will continually bless us in those efforts. Love you, Elder! :-)



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