Many people know Latter-Day Saints best by the health code to which most adhere: The Word of Wisdom. It has been interpreted to proscribe the use of coffee, tea, tobacco, and harmful drugs, along with encouraging the eating of vegetables and fruits, grains, and a little meat. Though triggered by Emma, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in relation to having to clean up tobacco use after church leadership meetings, the Lord gave this as his justification for revealing the Word of Wisdom:
Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation-
In the tradition of recent study guides produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I will ask a few "open-ended" questions and let you readers answer for yourselves.
- Given the realities of the modern world and consumption habits, what proscriptions and encouragements do you think the Lord would give today as a "word of wisdom"?
- Relative to the phrasing "evils and designs", beyond what goes into our bodies, what "conspiring" do you think the Lord would "forewarn" us about?
You may take some time to consider what an updated Word of Wisdom from God would "forewarn" us about today. Nutrition and health were the subject in the early 19th century, but perhaps there are other matters more potentially damaging about which the Lord would be concerned for us. It is important to study the words of our modern church leaders to know the warnings that have been revealed in our time, just as the Lord revealed knowledge to Joseph Smith in the past.