Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Following the Word of Wisdom

This article was inspired by a talk given by Boyd K. Packer at the 1996 April General Conference.

We know that young people generally don’t like restrictions. Believe it or not, we were young once and we remember.  Everyone, not just youth, should realize the importance and blessing that come with following the Word of Wisdom.  
The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to us. In that revelation, it tells us what we should or should not eat/drink, it tells us that we should avoid tobacco, tea, coffee, and alcohol.   It also tells us to to eat lots of grains, fruits, and vegetables, to eat meats sparingly, and to eat and drink things that will "nourish" our bodies.  There are some people that decide not to eat meat at all.  Sometimes, there is a legitimate reason, and they cannot eat meat, whether it is a phobia, or it is a medical condition.  The Lord did tell us through scripture that he created many animals for us to eat; nothing else, just that specific purpose. 
One major substance is repeatedly challenged whether it is against the Word of Wisdom or not: caffeinated beverages.  The Word of Wisdom actually says in a deep meaning that it is against its teachings.  In a deeper meaning, the Word of Wisdom is literally saying that we should not partake of anything that can be harmful or addictive to our bodies, and the same goes for too much of anything isn't good for you.  Caffeine is both addictive and harmful to our bodies.  You might read about what people say on the news, in public, or in the internet about some of these substances, like tea and coffee being good for you, and I have read them as well.  It can be like tobacco; once you consume it/use it, it can be addicting.  Same thing with chocolate; favorite of millions (myself included) and yes, it has caffeine, around 9 mg for a 1.6 oz Hershey's bar.  It is okay to have chocolate, but in small portions.  People have used drugs like marijuana cocaine, and caffeine.  If used right, they can be help us.  
One story in particular is about a man who had really painful headaches.  He tried everything, and nothing would work.  A friend of his gave him a bottle of pills, telling him that someone he knew had headaches like the man as well.  He took a pill, and an hour later, his headaches for the first time in a long time were gone.  
A month later, the man went to his pharmacist and asked for a refill for the bottle.  The pharmacist did a double-take when he saw the label on the bottle.  What the man was taking, was actually cocaine.  He did not get addicted to it, and the pharmacist was able to get a special request for a refill, and the man has enjoyed a headache-free life ever since.  Like I said before, we can use substances that can help our bodies, or we can abuse them.  
The reason why energy drinks, caffeinated sodas, coffee, and tea isn't good for you, is the high amount of caffeine in it, and the fact that many people are addicted to it and can experience withdrawal symptoms.  The same thing can happen to non-caffeinated sodas as well.  You can be addicted to the sugar.
People might look at the Word of Wisdom, and call it a cult, but they don't realize the blessings, both physical and spiritual, we can receive. Chief of these blessings is a healthy body.  We can also be blessed spiritually, and have spiritual guidance in our lives.
Here are some words to live by: Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

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