25) POSTERITY: Does what we eat affect our future posterity?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

If you observe faithfully the Word of Wisdom, you will have your dollar, your five dollars, your hundred dollars, yea you will have your hundreds of dollars to spend for that which will be useful and profitable to you. Why should we continue to practice in our lives those pernicious habits that have already sapped the foundation of the human constitution . . . The strength, power, and beauty that once adorned the noble form of man must again be restored to our race; and God designs that we shall engage in this great work of restoration. Then let us not trifle with our mission, by indulging in the use of injurious substances. These lay the foundation of disease and death in the systems of men, and the same are committed to their children, and another generation of feeble human beings is introduced into the world. Such children have insufficient bone, sinew, muscle, and constitution, and are of little use to themselves, or to their fellow creatures; they are not prepared for life. [1]

The fathers and mothers have laid the foundation for many of these diseases…until the people are reduced to their present condition. The people have laid the foundation of short life through their diet…with improper motives, and at improper times. I would be glad to tell mothers how to lay the foundation of health in their children….Latter-Day Saints who live merely to get ready to die are not worth much; rather get ready to live to the Glory of your Father in Heaven and to do the work He has given you to do.” [2]

Many sisters think they cannot live without tea; I will tell you what we can do – I have frequently said it to my brethren and sisters – if they cannot live without tea, coffee, brandy, tobacco, etc., they can die without them. This is beyond controversy. If we had the determination that we should have, we should live without them or die without them. Let the mother impregnate her system with these narcotic influences when she is bringing forth a family on the earth, and what does she do? She lays the foundation of weakness, palpitations of the heart, nervous affections, and many other ills and diseases in the system of her offspring that will afflict them from the cradle to the grave. Is this righteous or unrighteous, good or evil? Let my sisters answer the question for themselves, and the conclusion which each and every one of them may come to is this, ‘If I do any injury to my child, I sin.’ [3]

If the days of man are to begin to return, we must cease all extravagant living. When men live to the age of a tree, their food will be fruit. Mothers, to produce offspring full of life and days, must cease drinking liquor, tea, and coffee, that their systems may be free from bad effects. If every woman in this Church will now cease drinking tea, coffee, liquor, and all other powerful stimulants, and live upon vegetables, etc., not many generations will pass away before the days of man will again return. But it will take generations to entirely eradicate the influences of deleterious substances. This must be done before we can attain our paradisiacal state, for the Lord will bring again Zion to its paradisiacal state. [4]

The Americans, as a nation, are killing themselves with their vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an hour they swallow in three minutes, gulping down their food like the canine quadruped under the table, which, when a chunk of meat is thrown down to it, swallows it before you can say “twice.” …Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and depend upon it, you will do much towards preserving your families from sickness, disease and death….it would add ten years to the lives of our children. That is worth a great deal. [5]

  1. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 185
  2. President Brigham Young, 1855
  3. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 185
  4. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8 p. 63- 64, Brigham Young, May 20, 1860
  5. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 13: 154
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