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Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment . . . All beings who have bodies have power over those who do not. [1]

When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. [2]

We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment . . . All beings who have bodies have power over those who do not. [3]

Brigham Young

If we could so understand true philosophy as to understand our own creation, and what it is for – what design and intent the Supreme Ruler had in organizing matter and bringing it forth in the capacity that I behold you here today, we could comprehend that matter cannot be destroyed – that it is subject to organization and disorganization; and could understand that matter can be organized and brought forth into intelligence, and to possess more intelligence and to continue to increase in that intelligence, and could learn those principles that organized matter into animals, vegetables, and into intelligent beings; and could discern the Divinity acting, operating, and diffusing principles into matter to produce intelligent beings and exalt them – to what? Happiness. Will nothing short of that fully satisfy the spirits implanted within us? No. [4]

The constitution that a person has should be nourished and cherished; and whenever we take anything into the system to force and stimulate it beyond its natural capacity, it shortens life. [5]

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. [6]

Take care of yourselves, and live as long as you can, and do all the good you can. [7]

No human being has had power to organize his own existence. Then there is a greater than we. Are we our own in our bodies? Are we our own in our spirits? We are not our own. We belong to our progenitors – to our Father and our God.

Things were first created spiritually; the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and lived with Him. Then He commenced the work of creating earthly tabernacles, precisely as He was created in the flesh himself, by partaking of the coarse material that was organized and composed this earth, consequently the tabernacles of His children were organized from the coarse materials of this earth. [8]

Put forth your ability to learn as fast as you can, and gather all the strength of mind and principle of faith you possibly can, and then distribute your knowledge to the people. [9]

Prepare to die, is not the exhortation of this Church and Kingdom; but prepare to live is the word with us, and improve all we can in the life hereafter, wherein we may enjoy a more exalted condition of intelligence, wisdom, light, knowledge, power, glory, and exaltation. Then let us seek to extend the present life to the uttermost, by observing every law of health and by properly balancing labor, study, rest, and recreation, and thus prepare for a better life. Let us teach these principles to our children, that, in the morning of their days, they may be taught to lay the foundation of health and strength and constitution and power of life in their bodies. [10]

Be careful of your bodies; be prudent in laying out your energies, for when you are old you will need the strength and power you are now wasting. Preserve your lives. Until you know and practice this, you are not thoroughly good soldiers nor wise stewards. [11]

Wilford Woodruff

We have been taught the Word of Wisdom. It was given to us many years ago, and the Lord said it was applicable to the weakest of Saint. Very few of us have kept the Word of Wisdom; but I have no doubt that if the counsel of president Young were carried out it would save the people of this Territory a million dollars annually. I feel that we ought to put these things into practice. We ought to unite together in all matters required of us in order to carry out the purposes of the Lord our God. The people are able to do it if they feel disposed. Why Bishop Hardy told me here this morning that he had laid aside his tobacco; he has loved it almost ever since he was born, and if he can leave it off every man in Israel ought to be able to do it. [12]

Heber J. Grant

Health is one of the most precious gifts of God to man . . . sickness and disease for the most part come upon us by our disregard for the commandments of God . . . Health of body and of mind, and hidden treasures of knowledge from God are all predicated upon keeping this simple law of the Word of Wisdom. [13]

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. [14]

Spencer W. Kimball

After the Crucifixion, when the Savior was upon this continent with the Nephites and Lamanites, he said to them after days of teaching them the gospel, ‘Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be’ And the answer which he himself gave was, ‘Even as I am.’ [15] ‘I, the Savior, even as I am, ye must be also. Ye must perfect your lives.’ He was not talking of the physical totally, and yet, that is a part of the program – that we will perfect our physical bodies. We will make them just as attractive as possible. We will keep them as healthy as possible. We will keep them in the best condition so far as we can. And so, we will make them like our Lord’s. But the most important thing is to gear our minds and our spirits so they will be like the Savior’s. [16]

Ezra Taft Benson

There is no question that the health of the body affects the spirit, or the Lord would never have revealed the Word of Wisdom. God has never given any temporal commandments; that which affects our stature affects our soul. [17]

Supporting Statements

George Q. Cannon

“Man requires food to build up his body. He requires food that is adapted to the development of bone, muscle and sinew; but this is not all. He requires food that is suitable to feed his brain and to supply the waste sustained in consequence of the use of his mental faculties.” [18]


  1. The Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 83-84
  2. Joseph Smith, The Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 81
  3. Joseph Smith, The Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 83-84
  4. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 49
  5. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 183
  6. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p.186
  7. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 186
  8. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 50
  9. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 224
  10. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young compiled by John A. Widtsoe, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1977), p.186
  11. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 193
  12. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11 p. 370, Wilford Woodruff, April 7, 1867
  13. Gospel Standards, Selections from Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, p. 48
  14. The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 13
  15. 3 Nephi 27:27
  16. The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 378
  17. In His Steps, address given by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. Fourteen- Stake Fireside Address, Brigham Young University, March 4, 1979
  18. Elder George Q. Cannon Journal of Discourses 12: 221-222

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