Ahhhh the Ensign. Let’s see what we’ve got this month.
“Exhort them to Pray” by H.B. Eyring
That might be good.
Visiting Teaching Message.
L-A-M-E j/k
“The Lord Has Given Us a Law of Health” by ??? (what, some staffer?). That’s lame, there’s no authoritah in that!
Let’s see how they’ve packaged up the no alcohol, coffee, tea, drugs, tobacco checklist this time.

One of the great blessing we received when we came to earth was a physical body. Our bodies are holy and so important that the Lord calls them temples of God.

Dang, that chick in those leggings I saw yesterday had a nice temple. I bet she keeps the WoW!

He also tells us that none of His commandments are temporal but that all His “commandments are spiritual” (D&C 29:35). So His commandments concerning our physical health are also for our spiritual good (see D&C 89:19-21)

Hmmm, I wonder if my spirit would like Mike’s Hard Lemonade? Or maybe a caramel latte a la Starbucks?

Because our Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies, He revealed essential information on how to do so. Much of this information is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89 and is known as the Word of Wisdom.

Here we learn several things we should and should not do to keep our bodies healthy. The spirit of this law is to consume nutritious foods and to refrain from anything that is habit forming or harmful to our bodies.

Wow, right out of the gate we’re gonna talk about the spirit of the law. That’s a nice touch! Next up: the checklist…

Among the things the Lord commands us not to take into our bodies are alcohol and tobacco, which are drugs (see D&C 89:5-8). We should not use any drugs except when they are necessary as medicine. Those who misuse legal or illegal drugs need to seek help so their bodies can become clean again and free from addiction. A clean body is more receptive to the Holy Ghost. (emphasis mine)

Ah, here we go. The good ‘ole WoW checklist. Bring on the coffee and tea…

The Lord also counsels us against the use of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9). Prophets have explained that this means coffee and tea, which contain harmful substances. We should avoid all drinks, whether hot or cold, that contain harmful substances.(emphasis mine)

Wait what?? Did they seriously just put alcohol and drugs in one paragraph under the directive “commands” and coffee and tea in another paragraph under “counsels”? For the record, Ensign Staffer (or whoever wrote this), lest we rely too much on D&C 89, verses 2-3 actually explicitly says “not by commandment or constraint…given for a principle with promise.” (emphasis mine) Nevertheless, I understand what you’re up against here so no worries.

We should also avoid anything that is harmful to our bodies, such as overeating or refusing to eat enough healthy foods to maintain our health.

Wow, even a mention of overeating, and eating healthy foods to maintain our health. Maybe the Word of Wisdom is really becoming a law of health. BTW, in what verse in D&C 89 does it say something about overeating? Oh, it doesn’t. So I guess we’re really reading between the lines here. Hey, what is this article anyway…I gotta say though, I’m good with that here because it’s good wisdom in any case.

In addition to the things we should not do, the Word of Wisdom tells us things that we should do. Several of those things are shown here.

Those who obey the Lord’s law of health “shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:18-20).

In the Word of Wisdom and other scriptures, the Lord has revealed health guidelines:
1. Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are to be used “in the season thereof” and “with prudence and thanksgiving” (see D&C 89:10-11).
2. Meat and poultry have been “ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly” (D&C 89:12).
3. “All grain is good for the food of man” (D&C 89:16).
4. We should not “labor more than [we] have strength” (D&C 10:4).
5. We should develop proper sleeping habits so “[our] bodies and [our] minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124).

On a more serious note, I think this might be the best article/position I’ve seen the church put out regarding The Word of Wisdom. I really feel like it’s a pretty balanced discussion. We start with the spirit of the law, thereby avoiding the checklist mentality at the start, then we mention the major no-no’s, relegate coffee and tea to “counsel” (appropriately I think), mention overeaters anonymous, and wrap up with a list of good suggestions for what we ought to do to stay healthy.

It’s also interesting to note the title “The Lord Has Given Us a Law of Health.” This feels more like a law of health loosely based on D&C 89 with some updated wisdom, which I find to be a more palatable position than trying to more directly parse D&C 89 itself.

I like the move here, I really do. Now if I could just get the other teachers in the YM presidency to teach from this article instead of those blasted Aaronic Priesthood manuals (don’t even get me started on those).

Questions for today:

  1. For critics of the church, do you find this a balanced discussion of the Wow? What would you like to see different if anything?
  2. For traditional believers, does the differentiation of “commands” and “counsel” in conjunction with coffee and tea occupying the latter spot mean anything new, or do you feel it was always this way?
  3. Is this particular article, with the spirit of the law, list of don’ts, list of do’s etc. represent a new presentation for the WoW, is it an ushering in of a new “law of health,” or is this just old news?