Word of Wisdom – Spiritual Preparedness

Class 7: Word of Wisdom

Most importantly, we need to look after our spiritual relationship with God.

“Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.  Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul, and seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.” DC 98:5i-j

This section was given in December 16, 1833 and was given to the Saints in Ohio because they had “been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance…” DC 98:1a.  Seeing this, it is important to note that God is not implying that we should not care for our bodies.  He is just giving encouragement to those that have been persecuted.  Again, the greatest gift, eternal life (DC 12:3b), is the most important thing.

What is the importance of our bodies?

We are made after the image of God.

Genesis 1:29; 6:9; 9:13; Alma 13:44; Ether 1:80-82; DC 17:4a-b

The body is the temple of the Holy Ghost

John 2:19-22; I Corinthians 6:19

The body of Christ.

There are many members of the body of Christ.  We are all important.  Jesus Christ is the head of the body.

Romans 12:4-8; I Corinthians 6:15; 12:12-31(25-26); Ephesians 1:20-23; 2:16; 3:6; 4:4-6, 16; 5:30-33; Colossians 1:18, 24; 2:19; 3:15; DC 83:21b

What is the significance of the Last Supper in relation to the body of Christ?

Matthew 26:22-25; Mark 14:20-25; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-29; III Nephi 8:32-43; 9:40-45; Moroni 4:4; DC 17:22d

We are to take the bread in remembrance of His body.  We are making witness not just that we remember Him, but that we are part of that one body.

Christ was pure and perfect in Spirit and in Body.  When the body of Christ or the church is pure and undefiled it works better and perfectly.  Regardless of our feelings of importance or unimportance, our role in the church is vital in the perfect functioning of the church.

Death and resurrection of the body.

The first death is the death of the body.

James 2:25; II Nephi 6:25

When we die, we go directly to God.

Alma 19:43-46

Resurrection is restoration of our body to an immortal state.

Job 19:25-27; Romans 8:23; I Corinthians 15:35-44; Philippians 3:20-21; II Nephi 6:29-35; Alma 8:100-106; 16:232; 19:58, 65; III Nephi 13:27; DC 85:4a, 6c-g

What other things are important for and about our bodies besides nourishment?

Our sin defiles our bodies and likewise the body of Christ.

Matthew 5:31-34; Romans 6:11-14; I Corinthians 6:18; 9:27

What is the spiritual and physical importance of our eyes?

Matthew 6:22-24; Luke 11:34-37; III Nephi 5:113-115; DC 85:18

Our speech can control our bodies and actions.

James 3:2-6

We need to carry the life and meaning of Jesus within our bodies.

II Corinthians 4:10-11; Galatians 6:17; Philippians 1:20

We need sleep.

DC 83:13; 119:9a-c

What do the scriptures say about nourishment?

We have dominion over the earth and God has given us food that we can eat.  However, he has given us commandments on what and how to eat in the past.

Genesis 9:8-11; Leviticus 11; DC 59:4

What do we eat when we are in the service of the Lord?

Matthew 6:25-28; Luke 12:24-25 (These two scriptures refer to God providing for us.)

Luke 10:8; I Corinthians 10:27

Eating food and idols.

Acts 15:19; I Corinthians 8

What do the scriptures say about meat?

I Corinithians 8:8; I Timothy 4:3, DC 49:3d-e

The Word of Wisdom

“I have given thee the Word of Wisdom, yet few follow it.” Arthur Oakman given at Wichita, KS 1974

“I’ll mention a couple other things. I want to mention the Word of Wisdom, no I’m not going to say anything about tea and coffee, because so many of us so much of the time have looked upon the Word of Wisdom as a negative commandment and it isn’t. It is a positive commandment. When my boy was very little, he use to recite, wheat for man corn for the ox, rye for the fouls, and prunes for the bowels. But that’s the heart of the message. Brethren, read the Word of Wisdom (DC 86), God is concerned that we function at our maximum capacity. And so many times, years and years of service are lost to our Heavenly Father because we’re careless, your speaker included, careless about keeping the Word of Wisdom. If you apply the stewardship principle to your body you must take notice of the Word of Wisdom. And read it, it is said that we need to have it interpreted. Alright, let’s go to Him who gave it and ask for His interpretation of it, and abide by it. Each man can do this for himself. And let no man judge another on this, because this is sin. The worse sin Latter Day Saints commit, do you know what it is? They achieve a standard of righteousness and they draw a line and if you don’t come up to their standard of righteousness God pity you. Their righteousness becomes God’s righteousness, and they condemn everyone else who doesn’t conform to their way of thinking. This is a sin to which Latter Saints are peculiarly subject. Let no man then judge another but let him examine his own life and his own heart and seek to function at the maximum capacity physically and spiritually.” Arthur Oakman Endowment Series Lecture 6

What has been referred to as the Word of Wisdom is found in Section 86 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

“A conference met at Kirtland on February 19, and on the next day-the 20th-the High Council was called to decide a question concerning the worthiness of a man to officiate who disregarded the “Word of Wisdom.” But we will quote the words of Joseph Smith on this meeting and decision:- “KIRTLAND, February 20, 1834. “The high council met this evening to determine concerning the elders going out to preach, etc. The president opened the council by prayer. “At a church meeting held in Pennsylvania, Erie County, and Springfield Township, by Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson, high priests, some of the members of that church refused to partake of the sacrament, because the elder administering it did not observe the Words of Wisdom to obey them. Elder Johnson argued that they were justified in so doing, because the elder was in transgression. Elder Pratt argued that the church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an elder, so long as he retained his office or license. Voted that six councilors should speak upon the subject. “The council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the Word of Wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding an office in the church, after having it sufficiently taught him. “Councilors Samuel H. Smith, Luke Johnson, John S. Carter, Sylvester Smith, John Johnson, and Orson Hyde, were called to speak upon the case then before the council. After the councilors had spoken, the president proceeded to give a decision:- “That no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office, after having the Words of Wisdom properly taught to him, and he the official member neglecting to comply with or obey them; which decision the council confirmed by vote.” Church History Volume 1 Chapter 16:434 (Times and Seasons Volume 6 Chapter 16:1022)

“On Wednesday, February 27, 1883, the revelation familiarly known as the “Word of Wisdom” was given. 3 This is a peculiar and unique document, but we think it will bear the closest investigation; and though it is now over sixty-three years old, and the subjects treated of have been investigated and discussed by men of learning, it will be found to be in harmony with or in advance of the best minds of the age.” Church History Volume 1 Chapter 11:279

“June 15, 1834 … It was then motioned and seconded that the elders, priests, teachers, and deacons in this conference abide by the Word of Wisdom, and passed by a unanimous vote.” Church History Volume 1 Chapter 19:521-522

“Listen not to the teaching of any man, or any elder who says the word of wisdom is of no moment; for such a man will eventually be overthrown. These are principles that I have always acted upon; that I have always practiced; and they are what my family practices; they are what Brother Hyrum has always contended for, and what I now contend for; and I know that nothing but an unwavering, undeviating course can save a man in the kingdom of God.  The Lord has told us that ‘Strong drinks are not good,’ who is it that will say they are? when the Lord says they are not.“  Excerpt from Hyrum Smith discourse on Word of Wisdom (Times and Seasons Volume 3 Chapter 15:799-801)

Things to ponder for next week:

What are practical things that I can do to implement some of the spiritual principles discussed over the last several weeks into my life?

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One Response to Word of Wisdom – Spiritual Preparedness

  1. Wordsmith1 says:

    Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. He or she who ignore the Word of Wisdom, fear not the Lord. Can two walk together lest they be agreed? Nay! Oil and water do not mix.

    The Word of Wisdom was given for the health of the temporal body. He or she, who ignore the health of their body, ( also God’s Temple ) will also ignore the needs of their own spiritual well fair, even that of their family. For that matter they also will ignore the spiritual and temporal needs of the church body. ( Hence so much division and strife ) Yes our bondage to past precedent will destroy us. Until even that which we have is taken away. And much has been taken away. ( more on that later )

    Priesthood, who do not strictly adhere to the Word of Wisdom, care little for Christ’s advice to His body, ( even for ourselves ) of which we priesthood are a part. What we do as priesthood, tells the church membership what we truly believe. Do we like the pharisee honor Christ in word only?

    Does our personal example show more than our words?

    We Priesthood who make God’s Word void, undercut our own authority with Church membership who do care about Jesus, and give those who don’t care’ permission to sin, even in the least degree. Not to mention God will not honor our priesthood office to which we are called. God cannot validate and magnify a disobedient priest.

    But Satan can.

    Section ( 42-43? ) the Lord declares He would separate a holy people unto himself. A holy people who fear the Lord in all His ways, they care so much about God, they will take His mere advice and stick to it. Question? Are we that Church who cares so much?

    Many have said the Word of Wisdom is not given by commandment… This being their excuse to not follow Christ’s Words. As a priest this has caused me great discomfort. I once was a person who wrested the scriptures to justify my sin. I did not mean to, but I did, I made lot’s of excuses to justify my sin. ( Sin an archery term in the Greek which means to miss the mark )

    How can we miss a target we have access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? A target we hold in our hand. We call this target our scriptures, we have read and know these scriptures, the Bible, Book of Mormon and D&C. We cannot sin, ( miss the target ) excepting by choice.

    They whom wrest the scriptures to justify not keeping the Word of Wisdom, forget man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVER WORD which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. Jesus Christ is God’s ( oracle ) mouth piece, as also are the priesthood of this church. We wonder often and seek for signs God still loves this church and this people. But we as a whole, ( seem from my perspective ) to care little about following the Word of Wisdom. Because we dismiss the Word of Wisdom of no account, What other words of Christ, and commandments do we dismiss as well.

    Now about the sign seeking
    We have the signs, our church is in ruin, our prophets were destroyed, even by our own people who killed them ( Joseph and Hyrum ), our priesthood is in shambles, the membership are straying, yet we to this day insist we’re of Christ’s body? What people did God honor anywhere in scripture, to whom there was not a prophet? What body of people does God honor who does not DO His Word?

    We have no prophet, this is the indicator of our spiritual condition as a church body. It is an indicator that we have not and are still not obeying what we’ve ALREADY BEEN GIVEN. Instead of peace, the people contend, the Priesthood ( as did Aaron ) ( in many cases ) have gone right along with each other and the membership and created our own golden calf. A God after the image of our own persuasion and spiritual condition.

    How do we get this to stop? How do we right ourselves from this condition?

    This is a call to repentance, to obey the Word of Wisdom. We must begin honoring Christ in the seeming small insignificant things first. We must get good at square 1, before we can proceed to square 2-3-4 ect. Brick by brick, precept by precept. Here a little, there a little…

    The original sin was over nourishment, because Adam and Eve voided “God’s Words of Wisdom and advice to them” they fell, even so we as individuals and corporately as a church have fallen. But the scripture reads ” even as it was at the first, so shall it be at the last “. The redemption of Christs Church will come by a small insignificant thing. So small, Adam and Eve didn’t think it was a big deal.

    But it was a big deal! A very big deal! Because it was the first, the only and the greatest temptation the devil had. Lucifer told us it was OK to eat/partake according to our wants, rather than according to God’s Word. ( whom is Christ )
    Many of us as men, as a church and priesthood just don’t seem to get this yet.

    In a nutshell, Christ is the Word, if we make His Words ( any of His words ) void, we crucify our Savior afresh, and we are not His sheep. Even should we and the name of our fellowship be named after Him.

    I have more to contribute, more nuts and bolt solutions how to make things work, but because of length I must stop. I’m no expert, but for a year and a half, have practiced the Word of Wisdom in my own life even to an extreme. The doing of the Word of Wisdom has changed my life, the life of my family, while we are not where we need to be yet, we are as a family body moving forward, and with a UNITY which was not there before.

    By the fruits I’ve seen in my life and the life of my family, I’m convinced that if we as a church will obey God in the small things and do well, we will one day, ( once again ) be given stewardship over the Spiritual realm. By adherence to the small things, one day the Restoration, will once again be restored, once again we will have a true prophet.

    Brian Marshall

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