Word of Wisdom

Word of Wisdom: A Mormon health law found in Doctrine & Covenants, Section 89, which tells Mormons to abstain from hot drinks (interpreted as coffee and tea), tobacco, excessive amounts of meat, and alcoholic beverages. Obedience to this health law is one of the requirements to receive a temple recommend. Those who keep these sayings are promised that “the destroying angel shall pass by them” (89:18, 21). According to tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith, “SALVATION AND A CUP OF TEA. You cannot neglect little things. ‘Oh, a cup of tea is such a little thing. It is so little; surely it doesn’t amount to much; surely the Lord will forgive me if I drink a cup of tea. Yes, he will forgive you, because he is going to forgive every man who repents; but, my brethren, if you drink coffee or tea, or take tobacco, are you letting a cup of tea or a little tobacco stand in the road and bar you from the celestial kingdom of God, where you might otherwise have received a fulness of glory?” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:16). Apostle Boyd K. Packer explained, “The Word of Wisdom put restrictions on members of the Church. To this day those regulations apply to every member and to everyone who seeks to join the Church. They are so compelling that no one is to be baptized into the Church without first agreeing to live by them. No one will be called to teach or to lead unless they accept them. When you want to go to the temple, you will be asked if you keep the Word of Wisdom. If you do not, you cannot go to the house of the Lord until you are fully worthy” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principles and the Promise,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1996, p. 17).

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