Word of Wisdom

Word of Wisdom

A revelation dated 27 February 1833 containing a code of health [Doctrine and Covenants 89]. The revelation warned the Saints against consuming tobacco, wine, “strong drinks” (apparently distilled liquors), and “hot drinks” (generally understood as tea and coffee). The revelation recommended a diet of herbs, wheat and other grains, and fruits (apparently including vegetables). It also recommended consuming meat sparingly. Church members who followed these guidelines were promised that they would receive health, “wisdom and great treasures of knowledge” and that the “destroying angel shall pass by them.” Because this counsel was given “not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom,” church members—including leaders—differently understood, inconsistently applied, and even neglected its directives. In accordance with a provision in the revelation, church members continued to use wine for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Although observance of the Word of Wisdom was not generally viewed as a standard of worthiness, nonobservance sometimes resulted in church discipline.

Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.