The Word of Wisdom: What It Is, What It Isn’t
August 2019

“The Word of Wisdom: What It Is, What It Isn’t,” New Era, August 2019

The Word of Wisdom: What It Is, What It Isn’t

fruit platter

What the Word of Wisdom is

A health law from the Lord for our physical and spiritual protection.



Alcoholic drinks




Tea and coffee

Meat (just not too much)

Anything harmful or addictive


See Doctrine and Covenants 89. See also the Word of Wisdom gospel topic at topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

What the Word of Wisdom is not

President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught us what the Word of Wisdom is not:

  1. A guarantee that you will always be healthy.

    “The Word of Wisdom does not promise you perfect health, but it teaches how to keep the body you were born with in the best condition and your mind alert to delicate spiritual promptings.”

  2. A comprehensive list.

    “There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation.”

  3. An excuse to be obsessive.

    “Learn to use moderation and common sense in matters of health and nutrition, and particularly in medication. Avoid being extreme or fanatical or becoming a faddist”1 (a faddist is someone who follows every trend).

Promised blessings

Living the Word of Wisdom is a huge blessing! Here are some ways For the Strength of Youth mentions that you could be blessed:

  • Freedom from harmful addictions

  • More control over your life

  • A healthier body

  • A more alert mind

  • Guidance from the Holy Ghost

  • Greater ability to serve the Lord

“Never let Satan or others deceive you into thinking that breaking the Word of Wisdom will make you happier, more popular, or more attractive.”2