I really liked reading the most recent post over at the Mormantiy blog. The author, Jeff Lindsay, gives a very good analogy of why the Word of Wisdom is important, which is essentially to show commitment to Jesus by giving up things that could be harmful for our spiritual development.
While giving up alcohol, coffee, and tea is something that most people have come to understand about Mormons and the Word of Wisdom, there are many more aspects within the Word of Wisdom that shouldn’t be ignored, and that I feel distance ourselves from our commitment to the Lord.
The Word of Wisdom revelation discusses part of the reason behind it is due to the “evil designs of conspiring men…” who produce the substances. It goes on to discuss the “do nots” such as alcohol, tobacco, etc. but then goes into the parts of the revelation that could be called the “do’s”. This includes: using wholesome herbs, fruits, meat sparingly, grains (and even goes into naming types of grains such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, etc.).
I believe that if we are committed to Jesus and truly believe our bodies are a temple to house his Holy Spirit, we will naturally want to eliminate all substances that could be addictive substances. However, that is only the first step, we should replace them with good substances. I think too many times, we as LDS people get all proud of ourselves for adhering to the “do nots” but then blow it on the “do’s”. Examples I can think of that I have seen include: over-eating, not exercising, drinking tons of soda, energy drinks, and the list goes on and on.
At the end of the Word of Wisdom, there is a promise that we’ll received renewed spiritual strength as well as physical health. Then a huge promise is that the destroying angel will pass over us. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it definitely implies that one who obeys the word of wisdom will have good things both spiritually and physically happen.
I hope we can all look at ourselves and see what we can do to improve our relationship with the Lord by following the Word of Wisdom more diligently. If you have personal experiences of “stepping up” your adherence with the Word of Wisdom, please share so we can all be uplifted!