Why Do I Keep the Word of Wisdom?

by Karli

Keeping the Word of Wisdom can be a tricky thing for a teenager. There are a lot of temptations that come your way when you least expect it. I was once at a New Year’s party and a kid from my school showed up completely drunk. At the time I was a sophomore and it scared me out of my mind! It was the first time I had ever been around someone my age who had been drinking. I have never had a hard time saying no to drinking when alcohol has been offered to me because I made a promise to myself that I would never ever drink, so when I find myself in that kind of a situation it was easier to say no without hesitation.

In addition to emphasizing the benefits of proper eating and physical and spiritual health, in the Word of Wisdom God has asked us not to use tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea, and illegal drugs. God promises great physical and spiritual blessings to those who follow the Word of Wisdom.

One of the leaders of my church, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave a talk on the word of wisdom in the April 1996 General Conference. He said, “Several years ago in Africa I learned how dangerous invisible crocodiles can be.” He then goes on to talk about how we think we may know what kind of situations we’re getting into, but there is always a chance that there are unseen spiritual crocodiles.

Until reading this talk, I had never thought of it that way, sometimes you can be just hanging out with your friends like I was and then someone can just show up with alcohol or drugs. At that point you have to make the choice whether you want to stick around or leave. We want to treat our bodies as if they are temples and with using substances that are not supposed to be in our bodies we aren’t treating them how our Heavenly Father wants us to, we are actually destroying them.

I have had to help quite a few of my friends get over the use of drugs. It was really hard for me seeing friends that I am so close to go through that. My friends who chose to use alcohol or drugs had a really hard time with family life so they would often use drugs to get away from reality. I tried to show them that their family, friends and everyone else in their life cared about them and didn’t want to see them ruin their life with substance abuse. I also had them read from a book of scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants. In Section 89, revelation is given to Jospeh Smith about the Word of Wisdom and all the blessings that will come if you keep it. In the same talk Boyd K. Packer says, “The Word of Wisdom does not promise you perfect health, but it teaches how to keep the body you were born with in the best condition and your mind alert to delicate spiritual promptings.”

For me, that is the most important part of the Word of Wisdom–it keeps your mind alert so you don’t do things you will regret in the future. Make the decision now to keep your body free from things that can harm it so when temptations come you won’t have to think twice about what you are going to do.

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