In some ways, the American health reform movement has faded from view. In the midst of this cultural shift, at the very moment when everyday people started to concern themselves with their own cleanliness and bodily health, the Word of Wisdom arrived to light the way. Church Manuals (part of the correlated curriculum produced officially by the LDS Church) “We must obey the Word of Wisdom to be worthy to enter the temple. 24 (Sept. 1996), 383. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 3:1269; LyndonÂ W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 191â92. The Word of Wisdom is sometimes heralded by LDS members as a divine straight-forward principle and even as evidence that the LDS Church is true, since the LDS Church is apparently the only organization that has this knowledge and how could Joseph have known these things before modern science proved them true. But the spread of middle-class refinement in the early decades of the 19th century brought a new round of public critics. 18, 1823, 3; âGaming,â Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, Pennsylvania), Jan. 8, 1825, 3. âRevelation, 27 February 1833 [D&CÂ 89],â in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114; see also âRevelation, 7 May 1831 [D&CÂ 49],â in Revelation Book 1, 81, josephsmithpapers.org. Lyman Beecher, a leader in this reform movement, advocated even more extreme measures, endorsing full abstinence from alcoholic beverages. 14 (Fall 1981),Â 56; âFor the Evening Post,â New York Evening Post, June 27, 1829, . Whoso forbiddeth that man should not eat meats is not ordained of God, D&C 49:18â21. Soon after receiving the Word of Wisdom, Joseph Smith appeared before the elders of the School of the Prophets and read the revelation to them. Latter-day Saints who learn of the American health reform movements of the 1820s and 1830s may wonder how these movements relate to the Word of Wisdom. Generally what is taught is that the WOW commandment was given as a direct revelation from God in response to Emma's complaining about the men using chewing tobacco and messing up the floo… By the early 20th century, when scientific medicines were more widely available and temple attendance had become a more regular feature of Latter-day Saint worship, the Church was ready to accept a more exacting standard of observance that would eliminate problems like alcoholism from among the obedient. Zebedee Coltrin reminiscence, in Salt Lake School of the Prophets, Minutes, Oct. 3 1883, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. After the Revolution, tea drinking came to be seen as unpatriotic and largely fell out of favorï»¿âthe way was open for a rival stimulant to emerge. 74 (Mar. He provides evidence that affirms what we already believe about God's promises to us when we follow His commandments for us. Joseph began inquiring of the Lord about what could be done, and on February 27, scarcely a month after the school started, he received the revelation later canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 89. LDS Quotes on & about Word of Wisdom presented in an easy-to-read format. Joseph Smith announced this revelation Feb. 27, 1833. This was a time of ârefreshingâ (Acts 3:19), a moment in history where light and knowledge were pouring down from heaven. Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. See RobertÂ H. Abzug, Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and Religious Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994),Â 98. The “Word of Wisdom” is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. The Word of Wisdom contains two kinds of instructions: (1) prohibitions, and (2) counsel. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. See Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789â1815 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 339; JosephÂ F. Kett, âTemperance and Intemperance as Historical Problems,â Journal of American History, vol. I am indebted to Andy Hedges for drawing this source to my attention. ed. As early as 1784, both Quakers and Methodists were advising their members to abstain from all hard liquor and to avoid participation in its sale and manufacture.12 A more aggressive temperance movement took hold among the churches in the early decades of the 19th century. See ChristopherÂ G. Crary, Pioneer and Personal Reminiscences (Marshalltown, Iowa: Marshall Printing, 1893),Â 25. See PaulÂ H. Peterson, âAn Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdomâ (masterâs thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972), 32â33; âThe Word of Wisdom,â Times and Seasons, vol. Over time, Church leaders have provided additional instruction on those things that are encouraged or forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming … The Lord often uses poetic words, with layered meanings, to teach us, and I believe that this is true of the words He uses in D&C 89, the Word of Wisdom. Those who adhere to the Word of Wisdom, the revelation says, shall âreceieve health in their navel and marrow to their bones & shall find wisdom & great treasures of wisdom & knowledge even hidden treasures.â26 These lines link body to spirit, elevating care for the body to the level of a religious principle.27. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. This episode in the Whitney store occurred in the middle of a massive transformation within western culture. On the night Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni for the first time, in the fall of 1823, the angel quoted a line from the book of Joel and said it was about to be fulfilled: âI will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,â the passage read (Joel 2:28; emphasis added). Insofar as temperance reform made people less dependent on addictive substances, prompting humility and righteous action, the movement surely was inspired by God. 1 A a Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion— 2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the a word of wisdom, showing forth the order and b will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days— See âRevelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],â in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113; âCity Marshallâs Department,â City Gazette and Commercial [Charleston, South Carolina], Apr. See âRevelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],â in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113; see also Doctrine and Covenants 89:5. When the Word of Wisdom was first revealed members struggled with the don'ts. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. In 1921, the Lord inspired President HeberÂ J. See Addison Parker, Address Delivered before the Southbridge Temperance Society, on the Evening of Dec. 1, 1830 (Southbridge: Josiah Snow, 1830),Â 7â8; Fifth Report of the American Temperance Society, Presented at the Meeting in Boston, May 1832 (Boston: Aaron Russell, 1832), 47, 95, 112. Word of Wisdom. In 1830, reformers persuaded the U.S. Congress to remove the import duty on coffee. Besides rejecting the use of tobacco, the Word of Wisdom also came down against alcoholic beverages: âInasmuch as any man drinketh wine or Strong drink among you behold it is not good, neither mete in the sight of your Father.â15, Nevertheless, it required time to wind down practices that were so deeply ingrained in family tradition and culture, especially when fermented beverages of all kinds were frequently used for medicinal purposes. A candidate for baptism or admittance to an LDS temple must agree to abide by the faith's Word of Wisdom, a health code that bars the use of these substances. See, for example, Samuel Underhillâs propositions in Mark Lyman Staker, Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting for Joseph Smithâs Ohio Revelations (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009), 110. LDS Quotations is a resource for quotes on Word of Wisdom and 100s of other … Clearly, meat is permitted" D&C 89:12. American consumption of distilled spirits climbed precipitously, from two and a half gallons a person in 1790 to seven gallons in 1830, the highest amount of any time in American history and a figure three times todayâs consumption rate.11, This elevated alcohol consumption offended religious sensibilities. It says plainly that “the only official interpretation of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early church leaders that the term ‘hot drinks’ means tea and coffee.” Church members believe the "Word of Wisdom" was a revelation from God to church-founder Joseph Smith in 1833. The American Temperance Society adopted a formal pledge of abstinence from all alcoholic beverages in 1831. The Word of Wisdom remains to light our way. 6:10 (Gal. Members of the organization were encouraged to sign a temperance pledge not just to moderate their alcohol intake but to abstain altogether. In the words of one authority, alcohol âstupefies their feelings, benumbs their moral sensibilities, weakens the powers of digestion, and in course brings on dispepsia, than which a more formidable disease hardly afflicts the human raceâ (âOn Drunkenness,â Connecticut Herald, Feb. 21, 1826, 1). Orson Hyde was the main instructor that first term, but Joseph Smith seems to have had a regular presence. They âimmediately threw their tobacco pipes into the fire,â one of the participants in the school recalled.29 Since that time, the inspiration in the Word of Wisdom has been proven many times over in the lives of the Saints, its power and divinity cascading down through the years. See âRevelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89],â in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 113, josephsmithpapers.org; punctuation standardized; see also Doctrine and Covenants 89:8. The answer was unequivocal: âTobacco is not for man but is for bruises & all sick cattle; to be used with judgement & skill.â8, Tobacco was just one of a host of substances pertaining to bodily health and cleanliness whose merits were hotly debated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean at the time the Word of Wisdom was received. Coffee fell to 10 cents a pound, making a cup of coffee the same price as a cup of whiskey, marking whiskeyâs decline. âThat which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually,â the Book of Mormon stated (Moroni 7:13).28 Rather than concerning themselves with cultural overlap, Latter-day Saints can joyously contemplate how Godâs Spirit touched so many, so widely, and with such force. In the 20th century, some Latter-day Saints sought to isolate the offending chemicals in the substances prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, but such analysis was never accepted as Church doctrine and went beyond the reasoning of the revelation itself. They took a more moderate approach to milder alcoholic beverages like beer and âpure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.â16 For the next two generations, Latter-day Saint leaders taught the Word of Wisdom as a command from God, but they tolerated a variety of viewpoints on how strictly the commandment should be observed. On February 27, 1833, the Lord revealed which foods should we eat and which substances must be avoided. Well, I’m here to tell you that the Word of Wisdom proved to be the b. In Kirtland, many men in the Church were called to preach in various parts of the United States. Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants is called the ‘ Word of Wisdom ’. A capital âTâ was written next to the names of those who did so, and from this the word âteetotalerâ was derived. Once the pipes were smoked out, they would then âput in a chew on one side and perhaps on both sides and then it was all over the floor.â3 In this dingy setting, Joseph Smith attempted to teach the men how they and their converts could become holy, âwithout spot,â and worthy of the presence of God.4. 6 (May 3, 1824),Â 70; âFrom the Times and Advertiser,â Times and Hartford Advertiser, Jan. 3, 1826, 4. Strong drink, the revelation says simply, is ânot good.â Similarly spare explanations are given for the injunctions against tobacco and hot drinks.25 The revelation can be understood more as an arbiter and less as a participant in the cultural debate. âRevelation, 27 February 1833 [D&CÂ 89],â in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, 114â15. Alcohol became viewed more as a dangerous tempter and less as a gift from God. (For more on this and to see the teachings of LDS leaders on the Word of Wisdom, click here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently released a statement regarding its stance on the use of vaping or e-cigarettes, coffee-based products, marijuana, and opioids. See Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Drinking in America: A History, rev. To prepare these recent converts for their important labors, Joseph Smith started a training school called the School of the Prophets, which opened in Kirtland on the second floor of the NewelÂ K. Whitney mercantile store in January 1833.1, Every morning after breakfast, the men met in the school to hear instruction from Joseph Smith. The Word of Wisdom way to weight loss is to embrace the foods the Lord has ordained for our maximum health: the whole foods at the top of the calorie density chart. Alcohol was consumed at virtually every meal, in part because the unpurified water of the time was so unhealthy. By 1840, per capita consumption in America had fallen to about three gallons, the steepest 10-year drop in American history. Flesh Is to Be Used Sparingly “The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. The term âstrong drinkâ is a biblical phrase applying to wine, but temperance reformers often gave the term a more expansive definition that included distilled spirits. 3:16â17. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. 3â4 (2003), 29â64. The Word of Wisdom is part of the church’s gospel that pertains to physical health, including topics such as the use of prescription and illegal … Eat the foods at the bottom part of the chart sparingly, if at all. The Word of Wisdom is a health code included in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used by Latter-day Saints. 1988), 1213â38; RichardÂ L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Knopf, 1992); DanaÂ C. Elder, âA Rhetoric of Etiquette for the âTrue Manâ of the Gilded Age,â Rhetoric Review, vol.Â 21, no.Â 2 (2002), 155, 159. (London, 1832), 2:101. The "Word of Wisdom" is the common name of an 1833 section of the Doctrine and Covenants, a book considered by many churches within the Latter Day Saint movement to consist of revelations from God. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. Such concerns are unwarranted. The strategy worked. Those who wish to be baptised members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be willing to listen to and obey the prophets- which includes such things as the Law of Chastity, paying our tithing, and the Word of Wisdom, even though these things are not commandments. The idea soon became a central plank of the American Temperance Society (ATS), organized in Boston in 1826. In the end, some overlap between the Word of Wisdom and the health reform movement of the 19th century is to be expected. The prohibition in question is against ‘hot drinks.’ Grain farmers in western Pennsylvania and Tennessee found it cheaper to manufacture whiskey than to ship and sell perishable grains. The Word of Wisdom: Hope, Healing, and the Destroying Angel Is an important book for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to read because it breaks down the Word of Wisdom into three sections, the Don'ts, the Sometimes and the Dos. See IanÂ R. Tyrrell, Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America, 1800â1860 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1979); JamesÂ R. Rohrer, âThe Origins of the Temperance Movement: A Reinterpretation,â Journal of American Studies, vol. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. Moderation rather than abstinence was applied to virtually all of the âdo notsâ of the Word of Wisdom until the early 20th century. By 1833, coffee had entered âlargely into the daily consumption of almost every family, rich and poor.â The Baltimore American called it âamong the necessaries of life.â18 Although coffee enjoyed wide approval by the mid-1830s, including within the medical community, a few radical reformers such as Sylvester Graham and WilliamÂ A. Alcott preached against the use of any stimulants whatsoever, including coffee and tea.19, The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom brings temporal and spiritual blessings, D&C 89:18â21. Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1Â Cor. In short terms, it is a health code for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which we must abide by in order to go to the sacred temple and to have a healthy living. For other such arguments, see âTwenty Dollars Reward,â Daily National Intelligencer, Sept. 23, 1823, 4; âRev. In Kirtland, many men in the Church were called to preach in various parts of the United States. 20:1. The revelation praised âall wholesome herbsâ and explained that âall grain is for the use of man & of beasts to be the staff of life â¦ as also the fruit of the vine that which beareth fruit whether in the ground or above ground.â In keeping with an earlier revelation endorsing the eating of meat, the Word of Wisdom reminded the Saints that the flesh of beasts and fowls was given âfor the use of man with thanksgiving,â but added the caution that meat was âto be used sparinglyâ and not to excess.22. âHot drinksâï»¿âwhich Latter-day Saints understood to mean coffee and tea20ï»¿ââare not for the body or belly,â the revelation explained.21 Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. and exp. Like many other revelations in the early Church, Doctrine and Covenants 89, also known today as the Word of Wisdom, came in response to a problem. Many faiths have dietary laws, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of them. 24:9. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The, Signs of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ. During the early 1800’s, drinking alcoholic beverages was a common and accepted practice among Americans, including the members of the church. See Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants, 328. 67 (Mar. In a recent article in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, John Ferguson, Jana Riess, and I share results from the 2016 Next Mormons Survey regarding observance of the Word of Wisdom among self-identified American Mormons. See Norbert Elias, The History of Manners, trans. The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God's children. To the astonishment of observers like Trollope, Americans everywhereï»¿âmen, women, and childrenï»¿âdrank whiskey all day long. Temperance reformers often tried to frighten their hearers by linking alcohol consumption with a host of horrific diseases or social ills.24 The Word of Wisdom offered no such rationale. After molasses imports were cut off, Americans sought a substitute for rum by turning to whiskey. Frances Trollope, a British novelist, reported disdainfully in 1832 that in all her recent travels in the United States, she hardly ever met a man who was not either a âtobacco chewer or a whisky drinker.â9, Drinking, like tobacco chewing, had clearly gotten out of hand. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1Â Cor. Grant to call on all Saints to live the Word of Wisdom to the letter by completely abstaining from all alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. The name came from the 1 st verse. The whole situation seemed less than ideal for those who were called of God as these elders were, especially when we remember that the room with the filthy floor was Josephâs âtranslation room,â the same place where he received revelations in the name of God. 5:21). Wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging, Prov. By 1900, regular bathing had become routine for a large portion of the population, especially the middle classes, who had adopted gentility as an ideal.5 Tobacco spitting shifted from being a publicly acceptable practice among most segments of the population to becoming seen as a filthy habit beneath the dignity of polite society. It is also the name of a health code based on this scripture, practiced most strictly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Mormon fundamentalists, and to a lesser extent, some other Latter Day Saint denominations. Daniel would not defile himself with the kingâs meat and wine, Dan. 24 (Aug. 1990), 230â31; Lyman Beecher, Six Sermons on the Nature, Occasions, Signs, Evils, and Remedy of Intemperance (New York: American Tract Society, 1827), 194; Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815â1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 166â68. They were to … The brethren did not have to be told what the words meant. According to Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants, 1 God revealed these guidelines to Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833. The room was very small, and about 25 elders packed the space.2 The first thing they did, after sitting down, was âlight a pipe and begin to talk about the great things of the kingdom and puff away,â Brigham Young recounted. In the LDS Church, compliance with the Word of Wisdom is currently a … For a published version of the latter sermon, see Brigham Young, âRemarks,â Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, Feb. 25, 1868,Â 2. On the tightening up of Word of Wisdom observance, see ThomasÂ G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890â1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 258â71; PaulÂ H. Peterson and RonaldÂ W. Walker, âBrigham Youngâs Word of Wisdom Legacy,â BYU Studies, vol.Â 42, nos. Less than half (45%) of American Mormons, for example, said that they had fully … If you've followed the Word of Wisdom your whole life, you won't be surprised at any of what the good doctor has to say in this book. This incubation period gave the Saints time to develop their own tradition of abstinence from habit-forming substances. The Word of Wisdom, a revelation given through Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, in February 1833, is a “law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God’s children,” according to the August 15 statement. The published version changes the wording to reflect complaint more than consternation: âthe complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floorâ (âRemarks,â 2). Tobacco came to be known as the âfilthy weed,â and words like âdisgustingâ and âannoyingâ increasingly became associated with it. See W.Â J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 25â57; W.Â J. Rorabaugh, âAlcohol in America,â OAH Magazine of History, vol. James Covel and the âCares of the Worldâ, âI Quit Other Businessâ: Early Missionaries, Religious Enthusiasm among Early Ohio Converts, âMan Was Also in the Beginning with Godâ, âOur Hearts Rejoiced to Hear Him Speakâ, Mercy Thompson and the Revelation on Marriage, Susa Young Gates and the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead, âThe Word of Wisdom,â Revelations in Context (2016), âThe Word of Wisdom,â Revelations in Context, Like many other revelations in the early Church, Doctrine and Covenants 89, also known today as the Word of Wisdom, came in response to a problem. 10:9. The Word of Wisdom in Mormon Scriptures. He explained, “Brigham Young’s enforcement of the Word of Wisdom as a binding commandment, rather than as the “good advice” that it had been for decades, was driven by the need to keep scarce cash in Utah Territory; and a proscription on the purchase and use of luxury goods such as … If we do not obey the Word of Wisdom, the Lord’s Spirit withdraws from us” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p.167). See Lender and Martin, Drinking in America, 71â72; Tyrrell, Sobering Up, 225â51. “Hot drinks”—which Latter-day Saints understood to mean coffee and tea19—“are not for the body, or belly,” the revelation explained (see D&C 89:9). See Bush, âThe Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,âÂ 52.  Instead, the revelation encouraged the consumption of basic staples of the kind that had sustained life for millennia. Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. A law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of the Saints ( D&C 89 ). The scene in the School of the Prophets would have been enough to give any non-tobacco user like Joseph Smith cause for concern.6 Josephâs wife, Emma, told him that the environment concerned her. As valuable as the Word of Wisdom is as a law of health, it may be much more valuable to you spiritually than it is physically.” Boyd K. Packer, November 1979 Ensign . Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de lâHomme, 1988); RichardÂ L. Bushman and ClaudiaÂ L. Bushman, âThe Early History of Cleanliness in America,â Journal of American History, vol. He and Emma lived in the Whitney store, and the task of scrubbing the spittle from the hardwood fell upon her. The Word of Wisdom rejected the idea of a substitute for alcohol. Home-brewed beer was a favorite, and after 1700, British-American colonists drank fermented peach juice, hard apple cider, and rum either imported from the West Indies or distilled from molasses made there. Kirtland had its own temperance society, as did many small towns.14 Precisely because alcohol reform was so often discussed and debated, the Saints needed a way of adjudicating which opinions were right. The Lord has always taught His followers principles of health. As a consequence, the number of distilleries grew rapidly after 1780, boosted by settlement of the corn belt in Kentucky and Ohio and the vast distances to eastern markets. "The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. The clouds of smoke were so thick the men could hardly even see Joseph through the haze. The guidelines were given "not by commandment or … The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee. On Joseph Smithâs non-use of tobacco, see Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb.Â 8, 1868, Papers of GeorgeÂ D. Watt, transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. The prohibitions are binding upon the Saints; the counsel, precisely because it is counsel, is up to each of us as individuals. Discussion was so frequent because abuse was so widespread. The revelation invites hearers to trust in a God who has the power to deliver great rewards, spiritual and physical, in return for obedience to divine command. “The Lord also counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9). For other ways the Word of Wisdom may have departed from accepted wisdom, see StevenÂ C. Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour through Modern Revelations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2008), 332â33. Brigham Young, Discourse, DecemberÂ 2, 1867; February 8, 1868, Papers of GeorgeÂ D. Watt, shorthand transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Brigham Young, Discourse, Feb. 8, 1868. The Puritans called alcohol the âGood Creature of God,â a blessing from heaven to be imbibed in moderation. In 1812, the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in Connecticut recommended strict licensing laws limiting the distribution of alcohol. It has become commonly referred to as the Word of Wisdom. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith which types of foods to eat and which to avoid, along with a promise of temporal and spiritual blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom. See JohnÂ A. Widtsoe and LeahÂ D. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1950). See LesterÂ E. BushÂ Jr., âThe Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,â Dialogue, vol.