“1 A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—” – Doctrine and Covenants 89:1
The Word of Wisdom is for our benefit. It is for my benefit. I know that the blessings of the Lord are good. I know that every sacrifice I’ve ever made for the Lord has ended up blessing me.
I even have a testimony of the Word of Wisdom and the blessing it has been to my health. When I was a teenager, I found out that I had a heart condition ( for the most part – arrhythmia). There are plenty of people who have irregular heart-beats, and within their irregularity there is regularity (make sense?). The situation with my heart-beat was that it was completely irregular. No pattern was ever repeated. I had hundreds of skipped beats and at least 20,000 skipped beats a day. I never felt any kind of symptom. Instead, my doctor discovered a problem with my heart while giving me a physical for basketball.
Well, because of my heart’s irregularity, I began to see a cardiologist who felt it would be best to put me on medication. Once I started the medication, my heart-rate regulated, but I began to feel the symptoms that my irregular heart beat should have been giving me (fainting, etc.). After about a year on medication, my heart went back to its old irregular ways, and my prescription had to be increased or changed. This happened often. I hated the way the medicine made me feel, but continued on the medication, at the advice of doctors, for years.
Finally, I discussed the possibility of stopping my heart medication. My Cardiologist agreed – as he was continually having to up my dosage. Besides that, my heart-rate would regulate in exercise, but I couldn’t exercise thanks to the medicine. I went off of the medicine under his care. My heart, obviously, still beat irregularly, but I started feeling better. I could run. In fact, I lost weight, and ran a marathon. I felt so much better. I was eating better, exercising, and feeling the physical blessings of keeping the word of wisdom.
The idea of my heart is always at the back of my mind, so I’m grateful that the Lord has warned me to keep the word of wisdom. It is probably something I need to take very seriously, and it is unfortunate that I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating well. DUH!
The Lord didn’t give us the word of wisdom randomly or flippantly. He doesn’t want to hinder us from experiencing life. He doesn’t want to control us. Instead, as verse one states, he does it for our benefit.
We can see that the word of wisdom has been beneficial to the saints. Long before we, as a country, learned the hazards of smoking, Mormons didn’t smoke. They also didn’t live with its negative effects. They saved money! Now, we know that smoking is bad – for everyone. Science has finally caught up with revelation, and those who kept the word of wisdom have been blessed by following the advice not to smoke for generations – despite the trends of popular culture.
So…why not keep the word of wisdom? I’m kind of addicted to sugar, I know. But I need to ask myself this question before I choose to eat something that will hurt me – why not keep the word of wisdom and receive a benefit from God?