"The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in the section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom."
I have major addictive tendencies. If any of you know me personally, you will know my vice with Diet Coke. Honestly, if the world didn't invent Diet Coke, I would be addicted to something else. It's just my personality. And it is a part of me that I battle with daily. I do not want to be an addictive person. I don't like that label as much as I choose to not make it my excuse. Being rid of Diet Coke is an on the wagon, off the wagon battle. And it is something I ultimately desire to overcome.
I say all of this because of a topic of conversation during a meeting conducted by my stake president during ward conference. The question was asked about a specific definition in the Word of Wisdom - mainly the term, "hot drink". It has been defined through our prophets as coffee and tea, as apposed to hot chocolate or an herbal tea which are not included. But ultimately the definition is between you and the Lord when it comes to any grey or questionable areas because the church is not going to come out with a check list of the do's and don'ts to the Word of Wisdom, any further than it already has.
Back to the meeting. When I thought the conversation was going to move on to other topics, someone pointed out that in recent years (though I do not fully know how recent) it has come to the knowledge of researchers that coffee and tea specifically contain carcinogens, or cancer causing agents, and that this new research supports the belief we have had that the Word of Wisdom helps keep us from ingesting anything that is harmful to our bodies. WELL, this just about blew my mind! Being the addictive person I am, I have battled with desires to break the Word of Wisdom in my lifetime. And a simple fact like this really put me in my place and testified to me that the Lord knows more than I.
So I decided to invite my three kids in on the conversation. I pointed out to them when in time the Word of Wisdom was given to the members of the church, which is almost 200 years ago. And that back then, because of water issues, and social expectations, many of the substances depicted in the Word of Wisdom were common place in the world (focusing mainly on coffee and tea). I then told them that in modern times it has been discovered that these two specific items contain carcinogenics that can and may cause cancer if ingested. I asked them if they thought any of this information was available to the saints almost 200 years ago, in which they all said, "no". I then asked if they thought the Lord knew this information almost 200 years ago, in which they all said, "yes". So I then pointed out that the Lord sometimes asks us to do or obey things that we do not yet understand. And that He has promised us He will reveal all to us, but in His own time. And that all that God asks of us, is for our own good, even if at the time we do not see it that way or understand why.
It wasn't just an eye opening moment for me, but a testimony building experience for my family. Especially during a time when the world poses a really good argument on many things and it may seem difficult to stand for what you believe in. I only write this blog in hopes that it will add some revelation to your life, and possibly explain more to you than just the Word of Wisdom as it has done for me and my family. (As well as a reminder to me of what I have learned.)
I do know that putting your faith in something that is difficult to understand or see is a plaguing experience. I have struggled with many aspects of my faith for years upon years, testing the Lord, praying and putting trust in the Lord, little by little, as I try to understand things that are beyond my understanding. I do not expect others to see or believe what has taken me years to achieve. It would be as if I were to speak to them in a language they do not understand in hopes that they would. However, because of the time and energy I have put in following the Lord, I have been blessed and am thankful for the understandings the Lord has given to me. I find no greater peace or joy than that which is on the right hand of God. My only hope is that others one day feel that too.