Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Closer Look at the Word of Wisdom and Weight Loss

By Sidne O'Reilly

We are often counseled in the scriptures not to “trust in the arm of flesh.” (Philip. 3:3) What does this mean to you as far as your health goes? Certainly it doesn’t mean to never go to the Doctor or listen to his advice. No, I don’t think this is what was intended.

As I reflect back on my own life, there have been many instances when we first had a priesthood blessing and were then given reassurance and direction concerning how to proceed. Often there were miraculous healings without the benefit or assistance of the medical profession. Sometimes direction was given to seek medical help. There were times in my life when going to the doctor was not an option. We were dependant upon the Lord and our own resources. How grateful I am for his tender mercies at times such as this. Perhaps this is one reason I might have a different view of what it means to have a spiritually based, sustainable healthy lifestyle. (This is my next book, based on the second priority of the “Twelve Week Challenge,” Orange, Health, Mental and Physical.)

I love the word of wisdom. After all it was given for, “the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days.” (D&C 89:2) In D&C 29:34 it says, “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.” Does this mean that the Word of Wisdom is a spiritual commandment? I think so. It is as much for the benefit of our spirits as it is our bodies. Isn’t it our desire to have a healthy body so that our spirit can shine through unfettered?

When is the last time you took a close look at the Word of Wisdom? Maybe this is a good time. Summer fruits will soon be available. What a great opportunity in this time of plenty to eat “every fruit in the season thereof.” (D&C 89:11)

How about all the wonderful promises that are made in the Word of Wisdom. Did you know that there are eight positive admonitions, three don’ts and five promises made in those twenty-one verses?

Can you find them?

On top of all this, if that weren’t enough, scientific evidence and the latest weight loss systems have a lot in common with the concepts given in the Word of Wisdom. If we adhered to the concepts in this revelation, the LDS Utah population would not have the following claim to fame. According to a BYU/Idaho professor, “The LDS culture in Utah is 14 percent more likely than those of another faith to be obese.” (Roy Merrill -- http://www.byui.edu/Scroll/archive/20060606/news3.html)

Knowing that this is a spiritual as well as a temporal commandment, maybe it would be a good idea to read it again, this time prayerfully seeking for your own personal Word of Wisdom to find the best way to apply it to yourself.

I am cheering for you!

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