30) PARENTS: What duty do we have as parents to teach our children the laws of health?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

The sisters may inquire, ‘What can we do?’ Rule your passions, and exercise faith until you can govern and control your appetites, instead of drinking tea, coffee, and hot drinks. That is one of the smallest duties I can think of. Permit your bodies to have natural forms, also take pains to have the bodies of your daughters grow naturally, and teach them what they are made for, and that they, through faith, must overcome every besetting sin and every unholy passion and appetite. (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 184) 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. [1]

John Taylor

We want . . . to be alive in the cause of education. We are commanded of the Lord to obtain knowledge, both by study and by faith, seeking it out of the best books. And it becomes us to teach our children, and afford them instruction in every branch of education calculated to promote their welfare. We are here, as a people, . . . not to imitate the world, unless it be in that which is good . . . but that we may put ourselves in possession of every truth, of every virtue, of every principle of intelligence known among men, together with those that God has revealed for our special guidance, and apply them to our everyday life, and thus educate ourselves and our children in everything that tends to exalt man . . . We should seek to know more about ourselves and our bodies, about what is most conducive to health and how to preserve health and how to avoid disease; and to know what to eat and what to drink, and what to abstain from taking into our systems. We should become acquainted with the physiology of the human system, and live in accordance with the laws that govern our bodies, that our days may be long in the land which the Lord our God has given us. And in order to fully comprehend ourselves we must study from the best books, and also by faith. And then let education be fostered and encouraged in our midst. Train your children to be intelligent and industrious. First teach them the value of healthful bodies, and how to preserve them in soundness and vigor; teach them to entertain the highest regard for virtue and chastity and likewise encourage them to develop the intellectual faculties with which they are endowed. They should also be taught regarding the earth on which they live, its properties, and the laws that govern it; and they ought to be instructed concerning God who made the earth, and His designs and purposes in its creation and the placing of man upon it . . . And whatever labor they pursue they should be taught to do so intelligently; and every incentive, at the command of parents to induce children to labor intelligently and understandingly, should be held out to them . . . [2]

  1. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young compiled by John A. Widtsoe, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1977), p.186
  2. John Taylor, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church – John Taylor, pp. 89-90
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