The Word of Wisdom is one of the first things you learn about in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether you’re a sunbeam or an investigator. It is a key part of our religion, and it brings incredible blessings and promises when taken seriously and practiced correctly.
A few common things come to mind when pondering the Word of Wisdom. Some of these include avoiding addictive drugs and alcohol, refraining from smoking, and staying away from coffee. But there is so much more to it than that. Here are five ways we can all better live the Word of Wisdom:
1. Get Enough Exercise
Exercise is a great way to show your body respect and take advantage of the incredible gift it truly is. There are numerous studies that show a positive correlation between exercise and overall physical and mental health, and it should be a priority in our everyday lives. When you exercise, you are better able to “run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20).
It’s impossible to properly function without adequate sleep and rest. When you try to live on less sleep than you need, you can’t perform to your greatest capabilities and your body suffers because of it. On the other hand, you shouldn’t get so much sleep that it interferes with the things you need to do on a daily basis. It’s important to find a good balance in order to feel energized and ready to fulfill your responsibilities every day.
3. Listen to Your Body
It is incredibly important to listen to what your body needs. If your body is hungry, feed it. If you have broken bones or other health problems, take the steps necessary to care for them. If you’re feeling restless, exercise or go for a walk. Get to know your body and treat it as the beautiful creation it is. When you learn to listen to your body, you can treat it with the respect and love they deserve.
4. Pay Attention to Mental Health
In 2 Nephi 2:25 we learn, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” It is such a wonderful promise that God created us to be joyful, and in order to fulfill this blessing, it’s important to make sure your body and mind are healthy. While the Word of Wisdom mentions exercising and avoiding unhealthy substances, it’s also important to take care of any mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
5. Keep an Eternal Perspective
It’s easy to wonder why taking care of your body even matters when you know you’ll be resurrected and made perfect someday. But Heavenly Father has commanded us to care for our bodies and treat them as the temples they are. In Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, President Smith said, “I sometimes wonder if Latter-day Saints realize that [the Word of Wisdom] has been given to us for our exaltation; not only for our temporal blessing, but to prepare us for spiritual life.”
When you take care of and love the incredible body Heavenly Father has blessed you with, it shows Him love, respect, and gratitude. And by living the Word of Wisdom, you can live a happier, healthier life.
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