Gospel Principles #29: The Lord’s Law of Health

by Kelly Ann

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (1 Cor. 12:8)

18And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19And shall findwisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. (D&C 89:18-21)

[First, I must apologize for the delayed posting and limited outline of this lesson due to an oversight on my part.  I encourage readers to contribute more specific thoughts and browse the variety of links I have posted below.]

Personally, I find the promises of the Word of Wisdom the most powerful part of D&C 89.  I would begin by reviewing them and asking others to share how they have been evident in their lives.  I would then discuss the significance of dietary restrictions throughout the scriptures, the definition of the Word of Wisdom, and the dos and the donts with an emphasis on the positive aspects.  I would then discuss the importance of health in general and how it cultivates the spirit.  I would ask people to share what the Word of Wisdom has meant to them at different times in their lives.  I would end again focusing on the blessings outlined in D&C 89.


Gospel Principles Lesson 29
D&C Lesson Outline – Word of Wisdom
Gospel Topic – Word of Wisdom
General Conference Talks – Word of Wisdom
“Ye Are the Temple of God” by Elder Bednar


Note: This lesson was originally written for the Relief Society audience in 2010-2011, when the Gospel Principles manual was temporarily used as curriculum for Relief Society, Elders Quorum and High Priest classes. The lesson may require adaptation for Gospel Principles classes, which are mixed gender and primarily serve new members and investigators of the church.

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4 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    In case people are still looking for ideas, here are some things I’m thinking about–hope they’re helpful and if I’m off base, let me know.
    “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” This passage reminds me of the movie, The Insider–the story of the whistleblower who knew Big Tobacco was purposely adding addiction-enhancing chemicals, etc. to tobacco. If that whole situation isn’t men in conspiracy I don’t know what is.

    Second, the idea that the WoW is a spiritual law for us, much like it was for the early Saints–they had no way of knowing the harm that could come to them, and they acted on faith to change their lifestyles (over several generations I suppose). We are told that small amounts of wine are good for us. Frankly, I’m willing to go along with the science that says it is. But the WoW isn’t about eat this, not that as much as it is a law of obedience, I think.

    Third, I want us to talk about body image–I know this sounds weird, but when you think about your resurrected/celestial woman’s body, how do you imagine yourself? I imagine healthy women, not emaciated, not surgically enhanced, just healthy.
    The WoW doesn’t keep us from dying, obviously, or even from getting horrible diseases. But by and large, it helps us to live longer, more productive lives if we do it the right way–get enough sleep, eat little meat, don’t be addicted to anything.

  2. Kelly Ann says:

    Thank you Rachel for sharing this. The class I was in today also ended with a discussion about body image and someone sharing their experiences with eating disorders. We also talked about the connection between the physical and the spiritual which I thought was important. I hope your lesson went well.

  3. Rachel says:

    My lesson is this Sunday. I just found an interesting chapter in Romans–chap 14. The early Saints I guess were fussing about what was the right thing to eat–Paul gives good counsel about not being judgmental.

    • Michelle says:

      I looked up what Bruce R McConkie had to say about Romans 14 in Doctrinal new testament commentary. I think the gist is that what is really important is Christ and our faith in him. The Word of Wisdom is something that we should just do and not focus on (or be fanatical about). Elder McConkie also points out that coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol are not sins for nonmember of the Church because they have no law.

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