The Word of Wisdom: “A Principle with Promise”
We are what we eat (Or even better in German, Man ist, was man isst). This proverb is quite literally true biologically, but also bears social truth–we are who we eat with. Food shapes us physically, spiritually, and socially. The Word of Wisdom is known as the “Lord’s law of health,” as well as creating social distinctions and emphasizing obedience. At the same time, too rarely do members consider the principles behind this requirement past the short list of “don’ts”. In this episode, we will discuss:
- The role of the Word of Wisdom in contemporary Mormonism
- The history of the Word of Wisdom
- The underlying principles of wise stewardship of our bodies, spiritual and physical health, and agency
- Conspiracies. Not really kidding.
- personal perspectives on living the Word of Wisdom–in other words, living well both physically and spiritually
One Time Donation:
Student Reading: D& C 89; D&C 88:124; Daniel 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; D&C 59:17–20
Additional Teacher Reading: D&C 49:19–21; 59:15–21; Hebrews 12:1–3; Exodus 12; D&C 10:4; Mosiah 4:27
Look forward to an amazing and potentially life changing conversation with Matt, Liz, Paul and Libby.
Continue the conversation by posting your questions and comments here, in the facebook group, or email me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.
You can access my Lesson Notes here.
You can access my Reading Notes here.
Resources (lots for you this time!):
- Mormon Matters episode on the Word of Wisdom (which recommends the following additional resources)
- Ensign article on the “Dos” in the Word of Wisdom
- Lester E. Bush, “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth Century Perspective,” Dialogue, Autumn 1981
- Thomas G. Alexander, “The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement,” Dialogue, Autumn 1981
- Leonard J. Arrington, “An Economic Interpretation of the ‘Word of Wisdom,’” BYU Studies, Winter 1959
- John A. Widtsoe and Leah Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom, A Modern Interpretation
- Alan Hurst, “Of Caffeine and Covenants,” Peculiar People (blog), 19 September 2012
- Heather May, “What Science Says about Mormonism’s Health Code,” Salt Lake Tribune, 1 October 2012
- RationalFaiths series on the Word of Wisdom, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- Blog post on the development of the Word of Wisdom.
- If you still haven’t gotten enough, here is a 123 page Master’s Thesis on the Word of Wisdom in historical perspective
- Liz’s Green Smoothie website and another excellent site with recipes, and her personal site (all with the good stuff she shared this episode)
- RadioLab episode on sleep
- Radiowest episode on sleep
- Radiowest episode with Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Moss on how the food industry giants have trapped us with addition to salt, sugar, and fat
- Michael Pollan The Omnivore’s Dilemma
- Joel Fuhrman Eat to Live
- T. Colin Campberll The China Study
- Barbara Kingsolver Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
- Robyn O’Brien The Unhealthy Truth
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!
Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his timely and high quality post-production, and to Trent Oliphant for updating the episode.
Love the German proverb, it made me laugh!! That is one I’ve not heard before.
Jared, in case you haven’t been told already, the podcast cuts off right as the discussion portion is beginning. The podcast is only 21 minutes long… Love the podcast and look forward to it each week! Thx!
Jared Anderson says:
Thanks for letting me know! Must have not downloaded properly. Should be fixed now.