The Word of Wisdom is a health code included in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used by Latter-day Saints.
The Word of Wisdom is most recognized for prohibiting the use of alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco, but it also promises physical and spiritual blessings.
The Prophet Joseph Smith received the Word of Wisdom by revelation in 1833. He included it in a collection of revelations called the Doctrine and Covenants, which Latter-day Saints view as scripture.
The revelation came to Joseph Smith during a time of intense public debate about alcohol consumption and after his wife, Emma, became frustrated by the mess caused by frequent tobacco use in her home.
The Word of Wisdom is recognized by most as the reason why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not drink alcohol, coffee, or tea or use tobacco.
The Word of Wisdom encourages using common sense and avoiding addictive substances, in addition to focusing on healthful eating and moderation.
The Word of Wisdom is primarily a health code, but the benefits are not only physical. Spiritual blessings, wisdom, and greater happiness are all promised to those who obey it. Most importantly, obedience to the Word of Wisdom helps promote greater spiritual revelation.
The Word of Wisdom is recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The Lord also declared in the Word of Wisdom that the following foods are good:
Vegetables and fruits, which should be used “with prudence and thanksgiving” (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:10–11).
The flesh “of beasts and of the fowls of the air,” which is “to be used sparingly” (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:12–13).
Grains such as wheat, rice, and oats, which are “the staff of life” (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:14–17).
To those who keep the Word of Wisdom, the Lord promised:
“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;
“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
“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” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21).