1988), 1213–38; Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Knopf, 1992); Dana C. Elder, “A Rhetoric of Etiquette for the ‘True Man’ of the Gilded Age,” Rhetoric Review, vol. 21, no. 2 (2002), 155, 159. Remember that many early Latter-day Saints who took part in temperance societies viewed the Word of Wisdom as inspired counsel, “adapted to the Capacity of the weak & the weakest of Saints who are or can be called Saints.”23 Moreover, the revelation has no exact analog in the literature of its day. LDS Quotations is a resource for quotes on Word of Wisdom and 100s of other … The brethren did not have to be told what the words meant. Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom brings temporal and spiritual blessings, D&C 89:18–21. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1 Cor. By 1833, coffee had entered “largely into the daily consumption of almost every family, rich and poor.” The Baltimore American called it “among the necessaries of life.”18 Although coffee enjoyed wide approval by the mid-1830s, including within the medical community, a few radical reformers such as Sylvester Graham and William A. Alcott preached against the use of any stimulants whatsoever, including coffee and tea.19, The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. Insofar as temperance reform made people less dependent on addictive substances, prompting humility and righteous action, the movement surely was inspired by God. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. The American Temperance Society adopted a formal pledge of abstinence from all alcoholic beverages in 1831. After the Revolution, tea drinking came to be seen as unpatriotic and largely fell out of favor—the way was open for a rival stimulant to emerge. In short terms, it is a health code for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which we must abide by in order to go to the sacred temple and to have a healthy living. Brigham Young, Discourse, December 2, 1867; February 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, shorthand transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. 14 (Fall 1981), 56; “For the Evening Post,” New York Evening Post, June 27, 1829, [2]. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The, Signs of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ. Did Joseph Smith simply draw upon ideas already existing in his environment and put them forward as revelation? (London, 1832), 2:101. Home-brewed beer was a favorite, and after 1700, British-American colonists drank fermented peach juice, hard apple cider, and rum either imported from the West Indies or distilled from molasses made there. It says plainly that “the only official interpretation of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early church leaders that the term ‘hot drinks’ means tea and coffee.” As valuable as the Word of Wisdom is as a law of health, it may be much more valuable to you spiritually than it is physically.” Boyd K. Packer, November 1979 Ensign . Whoso forbiddeth that man should not eat meats is not ordained of God, D&C 49:18–21. The Word of Wisdom way to weight loss is to embrace the foods the Lord has ordained for our maximum health: the whole foods at the top of the calorie density chart. The idea soon became a central plank of the American Temperance Society (ATS), organized in Boston in 1826. The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee. 18, 1823, 3; “Gaming,” Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, Pennsylvania), Jan. 8, 1825, 3. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114; see also “Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49],” in Revelation Book 1, 81, josephsmithpapers.org. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113; “City Marshall’s Department,” City Gazette and Commercial [Charleston, South Carolina], Apr. Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. 1981), 881; Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America,” 17. The scene in the School of the Prophets would have been enough to give any non-tobacco user like Joseph Smith cause for concern.6 Joseph’s wife, Emma, told him that the environment concerned her. Latest. American consumption of distilled spirits climbed precipitously, from two and a half gallons a person in 1790 to seven gallons in 1830, the highest amount of any time in American history and a figure three times today’s consumption rate.11, This elevated alcohol consumption offended religious sensibilities. On Joseph Smith’s non-use of tobacco, see Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868, Papers of George D. Watt, transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. 24 (Sept. 1996), 383. The Word of Wisdom is a health code included in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used by Latter-day Saints. All things which come of the earth are to be used with judgment, not to excess, D&C 59:20. In 1921, the Lord inspired President Heber J. For other such arguments, see “Twenty Dollars Reward,” Daily National Intelligencer, Sept. 23, 1823, 4; “Rev. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. See Milton V. Backman Jr., “School of the Prophets and School of the Elders,” in Joseph: Exploring the Life and Ministry of the Prophet, ed. “That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually,” the Book of Mormon stated (Moroni 7:13).28 Rather than concerning themselves with cultural overlap, Latter-day Saints can joyously contemplate how God’s Spirit touched so many, so widely, and with such force. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1988); Richard L. Bushman and Claudia L. Bushman, “The Early History of Cleanliness in America,” Journal of American History, vol. “The Lord also counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9). See Robert H. Abzug, Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and Religious Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 98. See Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants, 328. The former sermon is unpublished. “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114–15. The Word of Wisdom contains two kinds of instructions: (1) prohibitions, and (2) counsel. They were to cry repentance unto the people and gather in the Lord’s elect. In some ways, the American health reform movement has faded from view. Church members believe the "Word of Wisdom" was a revelation from God to church-founder Joseph Smith in 1833. 74 (Mar. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. See Lester E. Bush Jr., “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” Dialogue, vol. By 1800, tobacco was known to cure a long list of ailments: abdominal pain, snake bites, scurvy, piles, “madness,” and dozens of more ills. “The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God’s children. The “Word of Wisdom” is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. Orson Hyde was the main instructor that first term, but Joseph Smith seems to have had a regular presence. and exp. The strategy worked. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. I will be discussing this principle in greater detail in the next article. Do not drink wine nor strong drink, Lev. The Word of Wisdom is sometimes heralded by LDS members as a divine straight-forward principle and even as evidence that the LDS Church is true, since the LDS Church is apparently the only organization that has this knowledge and how could Joseph have known these things before modern science proved them true. In the midst of this cultural shift, at the very moment when everyday people started to concern themselves with their own cleanliness and bodily health, the Word of Wisdom arrived to light the way. See Norbert Elias, The History of Manners, trans. This incubation period gave the Saints time to develop their own tradition of abstinence from habit-forming substances. Leonard Arrington, official LDS historian, wrote An Economic Interpretation of Word of Wisdom, thoroughly documenting how and why Brigham Young took Smith’s good advice and turned it into a commandment. The prohibition in question is against ‘hot drinks.’ For centuries nearly all Americans had consumed large quantities of alcoholic beverages, much like their European counterparts. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. He provides evidence that affirms what we already believe about God's promises to us when we follow His commandments for us. Flesh Is to Be Used Sparingly “The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Coffee fell to 10 cents a pound, making a cup of coffee the same price as a cup of whiskey, marking whiskey’s decline. The Church’s “Doubling Down” on the Word of Wisdom Could it be that the speculation of the possibility that coffee and tea was soon to be made kosher (so to speak) in Mormonism cause the leadership some angst. Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, 2 vols. By 1900, regular bathing had become routine for a large portion of the population, especially the middle classes, who had adopted gentility as an ideal.5 Tobacco spitting shifted from being a publicly acceptable practice among most segments of the population to becoming seen as a filthy habit beneath the dignity of polite society. 6 (Fall 1991), 17–19; Peter C. Mancall, “‘The Art of Getting Drunk’ in Colonial Massachusetts,” Reviews in American History, vol. But the spread of middle-class refinement in the early decades of the 19th century brought a new round of public critics. The whole situation seemed less than ideal for those who were called of God as these elders were, especially when we remember that the room with the filthy floor was Joseph’s “translation room,” the same place where he received revelations in the name of God. A capital “T” was written next to the names of those who did so, and from this the word “teetotaler” was derived. 3–4 (2003), 29–64. The term “strong drink” is a biblical phrase applying to wine, but temperance reformers often gave the term a more expansive definition that included distilled spirits. Eat the foods at the bottom part of the chart sparingly, if at all. ed. By 1840, per capita consumption in America had fallen to about three gallons, the steepest 10-year drop in American history. Joseph Smith announced this revelation Feb. 27, 1833. See, for example, Samuel Underhill’s propositions in Mark Lyman Staker, Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting for Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009), 110. They “immediately threw their tobacco pipes into the fire,” one of the participants in the school recalled.29 Since that time, the inspiration in the Word of Wisdom has been proven many times over in the lives of the Saints, its power and divinity cascading down through the years. Daniel would not defile himself with the king’s meat and wine, Dan. 1 A a Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion— 2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the a word of wisdom, showing forth the order and b will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days— The "Word of Wisdom" is the common name of an 1833 section of the Doctrine and Covenants, a book considered by many churches within the Latter Day Saint movement to consist of revelations from God. Moderation rather than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the “do nots” of the Word of Wisdom until the early 20th century. The Lord often uses poetic words, with layered meanings, to teach us, and I believe that this is true of the words He uses in D&C 89, the Word of Wisdom. See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113. The Word of Wisdom is part of the church’s gospel that pertains to physical health, including topics such as the use of prescription and illegal … To prepare these recent converts for their important labors, Joseph Smith started a training school called the School of the Prophets, which opened in Kirtland on the second floor of the Newel K. Whitney mercantile store in January 1833.1, Every morning after breakfast, the men met in the school to hear instruction from Joseph Smith. 24:9. “Hot drinks”—which Latter-day Saints understood to mean coffee and tea20—“are not for the body or belly,” the revelation explained.21 Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. See Addison Parker, Address Delivered before the Southbridge Temperance Society, on the Evening of Dec. 1, 1830 (Southbridge: Josiah Snow, 1830), 7–8; Fifth Report of the American Temperance Society, Presented at the Meeting in Boston, May 1832 (Boston: Aaron Russell, 1832), 47, 95, 112. After molasses imports were cut off, Americans sought a substitute for rum by turning to whiskey. Susan Easton Black and Andrew C. Skinner (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 165–75. The Word of Wisdom in Mormon Scriptures. They took a more moderate approach to milder alcoholic beverages like beer and “pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.”16 For the next two generations, Latter-day Saint leaders taught the Word of Wisdom as a command from God, but they tolerated a variety of viewpoints on how strictly the commandment should be observed. “Members of The Church of … Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. Soon after receiving the Word of Wisdom, Joseph Smith appeared before the elders of the School of the Prophets and read the revelation to them. Over time, Church leaders have provided additional instruction on those things that are encouraged or forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming … See “Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],” in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113; see also Doctrine and Covenants 89:5. 6:10 (Gal. For a published version of the latter sermon, see Brigham Young, “Remarks,” Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, Feb. 25, 1868, 2. [20] Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. Alcohol became viewed more as a dangerous tempter and less as a gift from God. Discussion was so frequent because abuse was so widespread. Grain farmers in western Pennsylvania and Tennessee found it cheaper to manufacture whiskey than to ship and sell perishable grains. In Kirtland, many men in the Church were called to preach in various parts of the United States. Well, I’m here to tell you that the Word of Wisdom proved to be the b. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints (D&C 89). See Christopher G. Crary, Pioneer and Personal Reminiscences (Marshalltown, Iowa: Marshall Printing, 1893), 25. See Bush, “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” 52. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. 5:21). On February 27, 1833, the Lord revealed which foods should we eat and which substances must be avoided. The Lord counseled the Saints to not use wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks, D&C 89:1–9. The Puritans called alcohol the “Good Creature of God,” a blessing from heaven to be imbibed in moderation. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. On the night Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni for the first time, in the fall of 1823, the angel quoted a line from the book of Joel and said it was about to be fulfilled: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,” the passage read (Joel 2:28; emphasis added). Clearly, meat is permitted" D&C 89:12. If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p.167). See Lender and Martin, Drinking in America, 71–72; Tyrrell, Sobering Up, 225–51. As early as 1784, both Quakers and Methodists were advising their members to abstain from all hard liquor and to avoid participation in its sale and manufacture.12 A more aggressive temperance movement took hold among the churches in the early decades of the 19th century. In 1812, the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in Connecticut recommended strict licensing laws limiting the distribution of alcohol. (For more on this and to see the teachings of LDS leaders on the Word of Wisdom, click here. In the LDS Church, compliance with the Word of Wisdom is currently a … See Ian R. Tyrrell, Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America, 1800–1860 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1979); James R. Rohrer, “The Origins of the Temperance Movement: A Reinterpretation,” Journal of American Studies, vol. 67 (Mar. 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