Where can I find a list of everything that would be against the Word of Wisdom?
Several questions have been asked as to what is forbidden by the Word of Wisdom and whether a specific drink or substance is contrary to the Word of Wisdom. This revelation “The Word of Wisdom” was given in 1833 as a word of wisdom for the benefit of the Church. It was sent by “greeting” not by commandment. It forbids the use of strong drinks, defined as drinks containing alcohol; hot drinks, which later were defined as tea and coffee; and the use of tobacco. It also stated that herbs, grains, fruits which would include vegetables; and the flesh of beasts and fowls, to be used sparingly, were ordained for the use of man. In 1851 President Brigham Young gave to the Church the World of Wisdom as a “final and definitive commandment.” (President Kimball, BYU Stake Conference, 1/13/1957)
There are many drinks, drugs and other dangerous substances that we have in the world today that did not exist when this revelation was given nor when President Young gave it to us as a commandment. Concerning the use of items that are not good for the body and not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, President Kimball stated:
“Wisdom goes beyond the letter of the law. Generally when we speak of the Word of Wisdom, we are talking about tea, coffee, tobacco and liquor. All of the fringe things, even though they might be detrimental are not included in the technical interpretation of the Word of Wisdom. I never drink any of the cola drinks and my personal hope would be that no one would. However, they are not included in the Word of Wisdom in its technical application. I quote from a letter from the secretary to the First Presidency, “But the spirit of the Word of Wisdom would be violated by the drinking or eating of anything that contains a habit forming drug.” With reference to the cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken any attitude on this matter…but I personally do not put them in the class as with tea and coffee because the Lord specifically mentioned them(hot drinks)…I might say also that strychnine, sleeping pills, opium and heroin are not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom and yet I would discourage them with all my power.”(President Kimball 10/19/1962)
There continues to be new drugs introduced, both illegal and legal that are harmful to the body, including some drinks both hot or cold and other substances, even some made from herbs and natural occurring ingredients. We need to avoid any that have ingredients that are addictive, that are stimulants or harmful in any way to the body. Some prescription drugs, administered by a qualified physician, may be helpful and needful to people, but can become addictive and destructive to the body even if they are taken properly. Fen-Phen is an excellent example. Though it did help people to lose weight, the side effects were very damaging to the body specifically to the heart and was even lethal in some cases.
President Hinckley speaking in October 1989 Conference stated:
“Some have even used as an alibi the fact that drugs are not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom. What a miserable excuse. There is likewise no mention of the hazards of diving into an empty swimming pool or of jumping from an overpass onto the freeway. But who doubts the deadly consequences of such? Common sense would dictate against such behavior. Regardless of the Word of Wisdom, there is a divinely given reason for avoiding these illegal substances. I am convinced that their use is an affront to God. He is our Creator. We are made in His image. These remarkable and wonderful bodies are His handiwork. Does anyone think that he can deliberately injure and impair his body without affronting its Creator? We are told again and again that the body is the tabernacle of the spirit. We are told that it is a temple, holy to the Lord. In a time of terrible conflict between the Nephites and the Lamanites, we are told that the Nephites, who had been strong, became “weak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples.” (Hel. 4:24.)
Though President Hinckley was speaking of illegal substances, the misuse of legal substances would also apply.
We need to use wisdom concerning any thing we take into our bodies or our minds. With a little research we can find what ingredients various drinks, and other substances contain and the possible effect it will have on our bodies. If we become addicted to a drug or drink, it does not matter whether it is mentioned in the Word of Wisdom or not, it is contrary to the will of the Lord. We have been placed here on earth to become masters of our own bodies and minds. Nephi tells us that we are to “act for ourselves and not be acted upon”(2 Nephi 2:26)
The leaders of the Church will not tell us every drink or substance that is bad for us or whether we should partake of it or not. The Lord expects us to use our own abilities and judgment in determining what we will and will not do. In D&C 58:26-29, the Lord states:
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.”
But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.”
We are given great promises In Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants that when we keep the Word of Wisdom, when we keep all the commandments and when we use wisdom in what we take into their bodies.
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.”