The Word of Wisdom

In D&C 89 God forewarned saints in our day of evil designs by men, who for money, will lead saints to use harmful substances and to eat in a way that is harmful to them. The Word of Wisdom was given for the temporal salvation of saints in our day. It teaches that the Lord’s saints are to abstain from alcoholic drinks, hot drinks (i.e. coffee and black tea) and tobacco. Latter-day prophets have instructed us to abstain from all things that are known to be harmful to our health. In verses 10 to 17 the Lord gives his dietary instruction to his saints, followed by his promises. The bolded words that follow are the Lord’s words. His words are then followed by unbolded commentary. 

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man— 11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. These include all edible plants and edible fruits of plants—in the seasons when they are whole, fresh, and natural. They include that which grows above and below the ground, or that grow on vines, bushes, and trees. Examples include greens; starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, and squashes; non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini; plus, all varieties of sweet fruits and berries, as well as non-sweet fruits of plants, such as avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and even grains that are fruits of cereal, leguminous, and other types of wholesome herbs. Cumulatively, wholesome herbs and their fruits possess a full array of the vital nutrients needed to sustain our constitution and spiritually begotten nature. They do not lead to food addictions (bondage) and disease (destruction of the body), but readily support our best health. In contrast, there are foods that are highly addictive, that feed the lusts of the natural man within us, and that can easily destroy our health.

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; While the flesh of certain animals are ordained for the use of man for both food and raiment, flesh is not ordained for our constitution or nature. When eaten more than sparingly, flesh becomes extremely addictive. An overt consumption of flesh is linked to several known diseases. While wandering in the wilderness after Israel escaped Egypt, the Israelites murmured against Moses, the Lord’s chosen servant, blamed him for their trials, and longed for the flesh pots of Egypt where they could eat until they were full. They cried out for flesh, and God sent quail. The children of Israel consumed the flesh of quail upon their lust, and thousands of Israelites died while the flesh was still in their mouths. The place where this occurred is called, “The graves of lust.”

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they (animals) should not be used (for food), only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. Animals interact in family communities to love, protect, nurture, and instruct their young how to survive and thrive. Herein they fulfill the measure of their creation and find joy. Saints, who strive to please the Lord do not look upon animals with calloused indifference that leads many men to count cheaply the lives of God’s creatures. We please God if we spare the lives of animals when flesh is not needed to save our lives. When flesh is needed to save our lives, such as in times of famine and excess of hunger we are to receive it with gratitude and thanksgiving.  

14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;  Here, the Lord instructs how a saint is to satisfy his appetite after forsaking the “flesh pots of Babylon.” God ordained grains to be the staff of life for man and animals. They are comfort foods, and when complimented by vegetables and fruit, they are entirely sufficient. In fact, in the verifiable history of the world, the largest populations of trim and healthy people have eaten whole grains or starchy vegetables with virtually every meal. For example, barley is the primary staple in the Middle East; the Aztecs and Mayas were known as "The People of the Corn;" millet is a staple of Africa; wheat is the primary staple of the Near East; potatoes are a primary staple in South America; sweet potatoes are a primary staple in South America and in the Caribbean; and rice and legumes (i.e. pulses) are the primary staples of Asia, including where the prophet Daniel lived. 

As saints learn to eat like Daniel, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and starches, they discover how the appetite is satisfied in the most healthful manner. Their souls then become more pure, less burdened, and fitter for learning, and their bodies become better attuned for work; for they are neither oppressed and heavy with a variety of meats, nor do they become effeminate. Unfortunately, many saints today have been led to believe that starches (i.e. grains and starchy vegetables) are bad for us. 

In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul warns of lying spirits that will seduce saints in latter times, and will lead them to believe dietary doctrines of devils. What are doctrines of devils? They are doctrines that stand in direct opposition to God’s word on a subject. After studying over thirty translations of this verse, including direct translations from Greek, it is clear that here Paul is warning of those who will convince saints to abstain from eating certain foods that have been ordained by God for our use.

For example, today saints are too often persuaded to abstain from eating grains and other foods that God has ordained for man’s use. Many saints become prey to seductive lies and doctrines that stand in opposition to God’s dietary law. Should we embrace diets that promote overt flesh consumption and a fear toward “the staff of life.” Or, is there a prudent approach to eating a diet of fruits, grains, and vegetables, like Daniel? Did God teach ancient Israel how to prepare grains, and if so, are their populations today that thrive using grains as their primary staples? Of course! We need only reconcile ourselves to God, his word, and his instructions, and cease to follow doctrines of devils.

To demonstrate that starches do not make us fat and are not bad for us, the U.S. National spokesman for potatoes ate 20 potatoes a day for six weeks, with no other food included in his diet. His cholesterol and weight dropped significantly, and his health vastly improved. Duke University’s Rice Diet produces similar results with rice, veggies, and fruit. Likewise, during World War II, German soldiers confiscated all animals from local populations of Denmark and Norway to feed their troops. This left local citizens with plant foods alone to eat throughout the entire war. Lancet, England's premier medical journal, reported that deaths from heart attacks and strokes plummeted after citizens were reduced to a fare of fruits, grains, and vegetables. A 2014 study revealed that populations which naturally leaven their grains, do not suffer common grain intolerances. It is not surprising that the method of leavening bread by today’s healthiest populations, is exactly how Israel leavened their bread anciently. These same positive results can be expected by saints who leaven bread properly.

15 And these (i.e. animals) hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger. As God concludes his thought regarding his ordained use of flesh for man, he repeats what he said to Noah and his sons when he gave them permission to eat flesh. He gave a condition and a warning,”And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives, and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” (See JST Genesis 9:10-11.) Flesh and foods which cometh of the earth (fruits, vegetables, and grains), were made by God for our use. However, God has revealed today, as in the time of Noah, that flesh is to be eaten, only to save our lives (e.g. in times of famine and excess of hunger). Moreover, in our day we are instructed that woes will come upon all who shed blood or waste flesh when their is no need for us to eat it (see D&C 49:18-21). 

To waste is to expend something extravagantly, to no useful purpose. It shouldn’t surprise us that there are several known diseases (i.e. woes) that are directly linked to an overt consumption of flesh. In contrast, in times of famine, or excess of hunger, the body converts animal protein to sugar (i.e. fuel for the body), and no penalty or woe occurs. Isn’t it interesting that flesh enables the body to thrive when it needs it, but the body does not like flesh when it isn’t needed. Whenever we eat adequate fruits, grains, and vegetables in a meal, adding flesh to that same meal stresses the body and leads to known damage. 

16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground— 17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. God summarizes his dietary law by saying  that all grain is good for our food, especially wheat, as well as fruits and vegetables (i.e. fruit of the vine, whether in the ground or above the ground). Promises connected to the Word of Wisdom are contingent upon exact obedience to its sayings and to obeying God in all things. Do saints today understand, believe, and prudently apply the dietary portion of the Word of Wisdom? Evidence suggests that we do not. Consider now the promises described in verses 18 through 21, which are bound to every saint who truly lives the Word of Wisdom

In part 3 we will discuss the promises in a way that will open your mind to possibilities few saints have ever come to know in this dispensation. This will be exciting, but first, ponder upon the above verses and obtain a conviction and testimony from God that this is his doctrine.

Special Note: Before engaging in Daniel's Challenge, please study carefully each of its seven parts:

  1. Daniel's Challenge - Part 1
  2. Daniel's Challenge - Part 2
  3. Daniel's Challenge - Part 3
  4. Daniel's Challenge - Part 4
  5. Daniel's Challenge - Part 5
  6. Daniel's Challenge - Part 6
  7. Daniel's Challenge - Part 7

Also, it is good to do Daniel's Challenge with a friend or friends who also have great interest in doing so after they read and study these seven different parts. You can use any of the sharing features below to share Daniel's Challenge with them. Also, we are offering Video Conferencing to all who desire further assistance. It important that you make this a permanent lifestyle change, and it is good to have expert assistance from time to time, when it is needed. Best!

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Well written. Thanks.

Thanks Dirk. Best!

Dirk Lorenzo said:

Well written. Thanks.

I feel the truth of this as I read it.  Thank you for sharing all of your research and knowledge.

Thanks! I like how you mentioned properly leavening grains - I think that is a big key. I am curious - what are your thoughts on dairy?
Also, what are your thoughts on fish? They aren't mentioned either...

It is a part of a massive problem that has led to 42 percent consumption of animal products by the average American and 100 percent cardiovascular disease rate among youth by the time they graduate from high school. In 1999 34,000 autopsies of young people who died from accident, homicide, or suicide revealed that 100 percent of them had cardiovascular disease that was visible to the naked eye. The problem with dairy is addressed more fully in the book, Original Fast Foods.It's protein is as problematic as protein from beef, chicken, fish, and so forth. I used to limit my consumption of animal products to 10 percent of my diet. Even that was too much. There is no need for it in our diet and we are far better off without it, unless we are starving for the want of food. The same applies to all form of animal products. 

Laura Bickmore said:

Thanks! I like how you mentioned properly leavening grains - I think that is a big key. I am curious - what are your thoughts on dairy?
Thank you for sharing your inspired thoughts. I enjoyed reading this!

Eagerly awaiting part 3!

Even my own Bishop cant walk or run without getting weary or faint.

How many of us can honestly say that we are receiving and living even the least of the blessings promised to those who are obedient?

Brother Simmons, I believe you and really enjoy your writings and your thoughts on the Word of Wisdom. However, I have an honest and sincere question for you. You reference here and also in Original Fast foods that there are over 4,000 diseases are caused by the over consumption of meat. I was just wondering Where you got that statistic from? Thank you! --Bethany

Hi Bethany, I originally got the reference off of the website run by the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, also known as PCRM. I read on their website that the PCRM  has catalogued over 4000 diseases that are directly linked to the consumption of animal-based foods. (See www.pcrm.org). Thank you for your question. This morning I sent an email to the PCRM requesting an authoritative reference from them.

"I'm grateful for the work you do. It has influenced me for much good. I've loved your books, articles, recipes, and a strong and reasonable voice for the cessation of abuse to animals and to the feeding our appetites at their expense, when there is no need for it today. In 2005 I published a book that referenced a statement on your website which said that the PCRM has catalogued over 4000 diseases that are directly linked to the consumption of animal products (there may have been other foods mentioned as well--I don't remember now). Can you refer me to this statement, article, or to an extensive list of diseases that are directly linked to the consumption of animal products? I am seeking an authoritative reference from you to what I previously read and referenced on your website. I cannot find it anymore."

Thank you Bethany; I'll let you know what I learn from them.



Bethany Swalberg said:

Brother Simmons, I believe you and really enjoy your writings and your thoughts on the Word of Wisdom. However, I have an honest and sincere question for you. You reference here and also in Original Fast foods that there are over 4,000 diseases are caused by the over consumption of meat. I was just wondering Where you got that statistic from? Thank you! --Bethany

Thank you Brother Simmons!  That was really kind of you! Wow!

Can the unleavened bread starter be shipped to Canada? Not sure where to ask this question.

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