Word of Wisdom
Latter-day Counsel


The Word of Wisdom contains some very positive aspects. It encourages us to use grains, particularly wheat, and to use fruits and vegetables and the sparing use of meat. It is also noted for its prohibition—absolute prohibition against—the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee. Added to this has been the counsel of the Church leaders to abstain from the use of such drugs as marijuana, cocaine, etc., and the abusive use of prescription drugs. Elder L. Tom Perry, Oct Conf 1996

For example, the Word of Wisdom counsels us to eat meat sparingly (see D&C 89:12). Lest someone become extreme, we are told in another revelation that "whoso forbiddeth to [eat meat] is not ordained of God" (D&C 49:18). Elder Boyd K. Packer, Apr Conf 1996

The Apostle Paul said, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). He added elsewhere that true Saints are the " temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 6:19). Elder James E. Faust, Apr Conf 1989

In this revelation the Lord counsels us to use meat sparingly. I have often felt that the Lord is further counseling us in this revelation against indiscriminately killing animals, for He has said elsewhere in scripture, "Wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need." (D&C 49:21.) President Ezra Taft Benson, Apr Conf 1983

Those foods which are good for man are described in these words: "All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man-- "Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; "Flesh... of beasts and of the fowls of the air... are to be used sparingly; "All grain is ordained for the use of man... to be the staff of life. "All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine." (D&C 89:10-12, 14, 16.) Wheat is particularly singled out as being good for man, as is the fruit of the vine--vegetables and all fruits. This is the wisdom of the Lord on the matter of sound nutrition and diet.President Ezra Taft Benson, Apr Conf 1983

We recommend to all people that there be no undue pollution, that the land be taken care of and kept clean, productive, and beautiful, He gave to us the herbs and the good things which come of the earth for food and raiment and houses and barns and orchards and gardens and vineyards, each in the season thereof, and all of this is given for the benefit and use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleased God that he had given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment. (See D&C 59:16-20.) President Spencer W. Kimball, Apr Conf 1975

Spiritual nourishment is just as important as a balanced diet to keep us strong and healthy. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Oct Conf 1994

The teacher will teach in simplicity, according to the true needs of the people, basic gospel doctrines like faith, repentance, and prayer, which all men--all men--can apply. (See D&C 19:31; Al. 26:22.) He will not look beyond the mark by exaggerating, by teaching in the fringe areas, by expanding on the scriptures, or by teaching exotic extremes in any principle, like excessively lengthy prayers, false doctrines about the Savior or about Adam, or extremes in diet, or politics, or investments. He will remember that Satan works in the extremes. He knows of the exactness of the Lord's doctrine, but also of "temperance in all things." (D&C 12:8.) Elder Gene R. Cook, Apr Conf 1982

The principle of self-reliance stands behind the Church's emphasis on personal and family preparedness. There are still far too many families who have yet to heed the counsel to live providently. With the arrival of spring we hope all of you will put in your gardens and prepare to enjoy their produce this summer. We hope you are making this a family affair, with everyone, even the little ones, assigned to something. There is so much to learn and harvest from your garden, far more than just a crop itself. Moreover, we hope that you are conscious of proper diet and health habits, that you may be fit physically and able to respond to the many challenges of life. President Spencer W. Kimball, Apr Conf 1978