Dear 100 Hour Board,
If the Prophet inquired of the Lord about updating the Word of Wisdom, what do you think would be in an updated code of health?
-Seeking further light and speculation
The Lord has long counseled us to take care of our bodies. Corinthians 6:19-20 states, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s." As you can see however, the instruction to take care of your bodies here is not very specific.
The Word of Wisdom found in Doctrine and Covenants section 89 includes some more specifics. For example, verses 7-9 include things which are specifically forbidden. "And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies. And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill. And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly." Verses 10-17 apply to our diet and include phrases such as "Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving" and "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly."
Section 89 gives us some specifics, but much is still up to interpretation. More specifics can be found in the pamphlets missionaries use to teach the Word of Wisdom. This states specifically that we are commanded to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and illegal drugs or other harmful and addictive substances. (The church has also released statements about specific substances such as marijuana that, while legal in some places, are still not okay for our bodies. Had I more time I would link these in as well)
As you can see the Word of Wisdom addresses many things. It addresses what we should eat, what we should eat sparingly, and things that we shouldn't partake at all. The church pamphlet even mentions that we should take care of our bodies through exercise, sufficient sleep, and avoiding harmful substances and practice. There are things that are explicitly stated, and others that are left up to our interpretation. Personally, I believe that this is intentional, and God has left a lot up to us as to how we take care of our bodies.
Not trying to speculate what God would say but, I don't believe he would explicitly add anything as off limits by way of commandments. If something were that harmful I think he would have already said it. While I don't think he would explicitly prohibit us from something not included in the current Word of Wisdom, I think he might remind us of the dangers of maintaining, a balanced diet, and avoiding medication abuse, because those are both pretty big challenges we face in the world today.
Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer found a link between drinking very hot beverages (hotter than 149°F, which is much hotter than pretty much any coffee, tea, or hot chocolate Americans drink) and esophageal cancer. When I first read about that last summer, it struck me as interesting, given the wording in D&C 89. I wonder if some day the prophet will be like, "Drink whatever you want as long as it doesn't have alcohol and isn't ridiculously hot."
Then again, I don't really see that happen, because in many ways the Word of Wisdom is less about the healthiest possible way to live and more about testing our obedience and setting us apart as a people. And frankly, I'd rather stay away from coffee and tea than pork and shrimp.
I've wondered why we haven't talked at all about the drinking of blood. It was kind of a big deal in the Old Testament. And the New Testament. And the Book of Mormon.
But, I really don't mind that we don't have to worry about it.
A new revelation? I'm glad we're not completely following the old one! Imagine how Church activities would be different if we were as serious about only eating meat during the winter, cold, or famine as we are about not drinking coffee!
-guppy of doom
Energy drinks, margarine, and buffalo burgers.
The Lone Musketeer