27) CONSEQUENCES: What are some of the “fruits” of an unhealthy diet, that may not show up for years? Can our diet affect our countenances, appearance, hair, etc?

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]

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.’ [2]

The Spirit whispers to me to call the Latter-day Saints to observe the Word of Wisdom, to let tea, coffee, and tobacco alone, and to abstain from drinking spirituous drinks. This is what the Spirit signifies through me. If the Spirit of God whispers this to His people through their leader, and they will not listen nor obey, what will be the consequences of their disobedience? Darkness and blindness of mind with regard to the things of God will be their lot; they will cease to have the spirit of prayer, and the spirit of the world will increase in them in proportion to their disobedience until they apostatize entirely from God and His ways. [3]

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 . . . [4]

“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.” [5]

Joseph F. Smith

We pray God to heal us when we are sick, and then we turn round from our prayers and partake of the very things that He has told us are not good for us! How inconsistent it is for men to ask God to bless them, when they themselves are taking a course to injure and to bring evil upon themselves. No wonder we don’t get our prayers answered more than we do, and no wonder our health is no better than it is, when we are addicted to practices that God has said are not good for us, and thereby entail evils upon our life and physical being; and then to turn to the Lord and ask Him to heal us from the consequences of our own folly, and pernicious practices; from the effects of the evil that we have brought upon ourselves and that we knew better than to do. How foolish it is! [6]

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. [7]


Exodus 15:26 If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Supporting Statements

George Q. Cannon

There is…an indifference even among us that are not found among many well-informed people in the world. Their old traditions cling to them…Pestilence(s) of various kinds which we are led to expect through the word of the Lord are yet to break through, and will have their effect in calling the Saints’ attention to those laws of life and health.” [8]

  1. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 185
  2. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 185
  3. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 183
  4. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 183
  5. President Brigham Young, 1855
  6. Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Joseph F. Smith, pp. 325-326
  7. Gospel Standards, Selections from Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, p. 48
  8. Apostle George Q. Cannon, 1867
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