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D&C 89. The revelation known as the Word of Wisdom can be broken into four parts: 1)Explanation for its existence (1-4) 2)Don’ts (5-9) 3)Dos (10-17) 4)Word.

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Presentation on theme: "D&C 89. The revelation known as the Word of Wisdom can be broken into four parts: 1)Explanation for its existence (1-4) 2)Don’ts (5-9) 3)Dos (10-17) 4)Word."— Presentation transcript:

1 D&C 89

2 The revelation known as the Word of Wisdom can be broken into four parts: 1)Explanation for its existence (1-4) 2)Don’ts (5-9) 3)Dos (10-17) 4)Word of Wisdom Promise (18-21)

3 The Circumstances on Feb 27, 1833 I think I am as well acquainted with the circumstances which led to the giving of the Word of Wisdom as any man in the Church, although I was not present at the time to witness them. The first school of the prophets was held in a small room situated over the Prophet Joseph's kitchen, in a house, which belonged to Bishop [Newel K.] Whitney, and which was attached to his store, which more probably might be about fifteen feet square. In the rear of this building was a kitchen, probably ten by fourteen feet, containing rooms and pantries. Over this kitchen was situated the room in which the Prophet received revelations and in which he instructed his brethren. The brethren came to that place for hundreds of miles to attend school in a little room probably no larger than eleven by fourteen. When they assembled together in this room after breakfast, the first they did was to light their pipes, and, while smoking, talk about the great things of the kingdom, and spit all over the room, and as soon as the pipe was out of their mouths a large chew of tobacco would then be taken. Often when the Prophet entered the room to give the school instructions he would find himself in a cloud of tobacco smoke. This, and the complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floor made the Prophet think upon the matter, and he inquired of the Lord relating to the conduct of the Elders in using tobacco, and the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was the result of his inquiry. (Brigham Young, JD, February 8, 1868, 12:158.)

4 “Not by commandment” The reason undoubtedly why the Word of Wisdom was given—as not by "commandment or restraint" was that at that time, at least, if it had been given as a commandment it would have brought every man, addicted to the use of noxious things, under condemnation; so the Lord was merciful and gave them a chance to overcome, before He brought them under the law. Later on, it was announced from this stand, by President Brigham Young, that the Word of Wisdom was a revelation and a command of the Lord. I desired to mention that fact, because I do not want you to feel that we are under no restraint. We do not want to come under condemnation. (Joseph F. Smith, CR, October 1913, p. 14.)

5 Conspiring Men "Evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men.... “ The purport of that impressed me in the twenties and the thirties of this century. I just ask you... to recall the methods employed by certain tobacco interests to induce women to smoke cigarettes. You remember how insidiously they launched their plan. First, by saying that it would reduce weight. They had a slogan: "Take a cigarette instead of a sweet.“ Later, some of us who like the theatre, noticed that they would have a young lady light the gentleman's cigarette. Following this a woman's hand would be shown on billboards lighting or taking a cigarette. A year or two passed and soon they were brazen enough to show the lady on the screen or on the billboard smoking the cigarette.... Now, it is common to see beautiful young ladies depicted on billboards, and in the popular journals advertising certain brands of cigarettes.... "The radio has become one of the most successful means of advertising cigarettes. Attractive programs are presented, not for the purpose of entertaining the youth, but for the purpose of enticing and encouraging them to reach for a cigarette.“ Parents meekly submit to this and later deplore the fact when their children are hopeless cigarette addicts” (David O. McKay, CR, September 1949, pp. 185-86.)

6 Hot Drinks The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I understand that some of the people are excusing themselves in using tea and coffee, because the Lord only said ‘hot drinks’ in the revelation of the Word of Wisdom.... “Tea and coffee... are what the Lord meant when He said ‘hot drinks.’” (In Joel H. Johnson, Voice from the Mountains [Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1881], p. 12.)

7 89:10-17 The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Clearly, meat is permitted. Naturally, that includes animal products, less subject than meat to putrefactive and other disturbances, such as eggs, milk, and cheese. These products cannot be excluded simply because they are not mentioned specifically. By that token most of our foodstuffs could not be eaten. That man can live without meat is well known, and he may live well if his knowledge is such as to enable him to choose adequate vegetable protein. And, all have the right if they so choose to live without meat. The phrase "in the season thereof," referring to fruits and vegetables, has raised much speculation. It indicates simply the superior value of fresh foods as demonstrated by modern science, but does not necessarily prohibit the use of fruits or vegetables out of season if preserved by proper methods. (John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1951, 3:155-57.)

8 The Promise While Joseph Smith might write those words, he couldn't fulfil that promise.... Observance of that commandment has placed the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the tops of these everlasting mountains in a class by themselves. Not only do we have the lowest death rate of any people in all the world, but we also have a high birth rate as well. That was the promise that was given by the Lord in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord said that the destroying angels should pass by us and not slay us if we kept his counsel. What has been another result? The age of men and women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has increased until the average term of life among us is longer than among any other people in the world. Another promise: The Lord said that he would give to those who would keep this word of wisdom, "great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures." I refer you to the February, 1944, number of The Improvement Era wherein was published a graph showing the relative position of the states of the Union as to the number of scientists born in those states in proportion to population. Strange as it may seem, if you began at the lower corner of that graph and followed up state by state, you would come to the state of Massachusetts next to the highest on the graph, yet you would not have reached the state of Utah. You have to go twenty percent points higher up the graph to find Utah, the state that has produced more scientists born within its borders per capita than any other state in the American Union. That wasn't an accident; it was fulfilment of the promise of God as a result of observance of the Lord's commandments. (George Albert Smith, CR, October 1945, pp. 21-22.)

9 The Word of Wisdom is spiritual The Word of Wisdom is spiritual. It is true that it enjoins the use of deleterious substances and makes provision for the health of the body. But the largest measure of good derived from its observance is in increased faith and the development of more spiritual power and wisdom. Likewise, the most regrettable and damaging effects of its infractions are spiritual, also. Injury to the body may be comparatively trivial to the damage to the soul in the destruction of faith and the retardation of spiritual growth. So I say, every commandment involves a spiritual principle. (Stephen L. Richards, CR, April 1949, p. 141.)

10 89:21—The Destroying Angel This reference to the destroying angel passing by the children of Israel brings to mind that to persuade the Egyptians to let Israel go, "... the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharoah that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle... and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." (Exod. 12:29-30.)Exod. 12:29-30 But in his death-dealing mission the "destroyer" was to pass by, and did pass by, without slaying the firstborn therein, the homes of those Israelites who had marked their door lintels and side posts with the blood of a lamb, as directed by the Lord. [Ibid., 12:21-22.] From this promise in the Word of Wisdom and other scriptures, it appears that there are destroying angels who have a work to do among the peoples of the earth in this last dispensation. [Sec. 86:4- 7.] The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that because all flesh was corrupted before him, and the powers of darkness prevailed upon the earth, these angels were "waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned." (Sec. 38:11-12.) That was in 1831. In 1894, President Woodruff said: "God has held the angels of destruction for many years lest they should reap down the wheat with the tares. But I want to tell you now, those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out the judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out. Calamities and troubles are increasing in the earth, and there is a meaning to these things." (IE 17:1165.)Sec. 86:4- 7Sec. 38:11-12 Now... in view of this revealed knowledge and understanding which the Lord has given concerning what is transpiring about us, is it not a glorious thing to have the assurance that if we will clothe ourselves with bodies purified through observance of the Word of Wisdom, these destroying angels will pass us by, as they did the children of Israel, and not slay us? Well, this is one of the blessings to follow observance of the Word of Wisdom. (Marion G. Romney, CR, October 1952, pp. 32-33.)

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