The Word of Wisdom – With Prudence and Thanksgiving (D&C 89:9-11)

“And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.” – Doctrine and Covenants 89:9-11

Here is the part of the Word of Wisdom where the tone begins to change. We go from what we shouldn’t be consuming to things that we should eat.

I have a few thoughts concerning this set of verses.

Wholesome Herbs
If you look down in the footnotes, we learn that “wholesome herbs” are any kind of plant that is for food. Plants are the first thing mentioned – that we should be eating! I’ve never realized this before. Often, when I think of the Word of Wisdom, and what I should eat, my mind goes instantly to wheat – being the staff of life. Yet wheat is mentioned later in the chapter. The first mention of what we should be eating is “wholesome herbs.” In current language, we could say, veggies and fruits. I find this interesting.

In the past, haven’t kept this part of the word of wisdom…Not consistently. I don’t have anything against fruits or veggies, but I really like other things – like carb-y things: bread, pasta, cookies, Pizza. Who has time for veggies when there are so many other things to eat!!!

Thankfully, I had the impression that I needed to change some of my habits. (This impression came in the form of my thighs). So, earlier in the year, I started drinking water. Then, I started eating at least five servings of veggies/fruits a day. (3 Veggies and 2 Fruits). I have to say, the change has been really amazing. Everything in my life is getting better. I feel better about what I eat (less remorse). I love fruits and vegetables, and I’m loving them even more. And other things like digestion are going well, too (won’t get into that here, but I can say that I don’t need to eat Fiber One anymore…) It’s amazing how keeping the Word of Wisdom is good for us.

With Prudence
So, as much as we can get excited about vegetables and fruits, the Lord includes a caveat: with prudence. This is great as it helps me to remember that there needs to be wisdom applied even to good things. We need to eat in moderation. Veggies and fruits are an important part of our dietary needs, but they aren’t everything. We need to eat wisely.

As I think about this, I also think about how we may modify some things that begin healthy. For example, eating a potato chip may not be the most prudent way to eat potatoes, or is a Chee-to the most prudent way to eat corn(?).

Finally, I think that prudence can also be applied to preparation. There are times when we can destroy the health benefits of plants in the way we prepare and consume them.

With Thanksgiving
Finally, in anything we eat, we need to do it in joy and thanksgiving. We need to be cheerful and grateful. This is a key. Eating well shouldn’t be a drudgery. It should be a way that we celebrate and show our gratitude for the creations of the Lord.

How has keeping this part of the word of wisdom been beneficial in your life? How do you remember to eat enough fruits and veggies?


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