16) Temporal and Spiritual: Does our physical health affect our spiritual health? Can we receive answers to our health concerns through prayer?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

So we see that almost the very first teachings the first Elders of this Church received were as to what to eat, what to drink, and how to order their natural lives that they might be united temporally as well as spiritually. [1]

George Albert Smith

. . . this temple of the body is sacred . . . the spirit in the tabernacle came from God . . . If men realized that, how much more careful they would be to protect this tabernacle and keep it wholesome and delightful. [2]

David O. McKay

When . . . you hear harping critics say that the Church Authorities overemphasize the Word of Wisdom, you may know that they have not studied very deeply the significance of the Word of Wisdom. Fundamentally, physical strength and virility are essential in the progress of humanity. [3]

Too many members move along the lines of lease resistance and yield to a craving appetite developed by disobedience to the Word of Wisdom of God, thus depriving themselves of spiritual as well as physical strength . . . Neither the Church nor the world at large can hear too much about the Word of Wisdom. [4]

Ezra Taft Benson

The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early (see D&C 88:124), that we should not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4), and that we should use moderation in all good things. In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us. Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies in certain elements in the body can promote mental depression. A good physical examination periodically is a safeguard and may spot problems that can be remedied. Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion, and a change of pace is necessary, and even its anticipation can lift the spirit. 1


  1. Discourses of Brigham Young, p.186
  2. The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 13
  3. Gospel Ideals, Selections from Discourses of David O. McKay, p. 105
  4. David O. McKay, Improvement Era, 1953. p. 376
  1. “Do Not Despair,” Ensign, vol. 4, no. 11 (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nov. 1974), p. 66. — Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, 5 Oct. 1974

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