Short as it is, the dietary counsel in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants is far from straightforward, as evidenced by the wide variety of interpretations it has inspired since God revealed it to Joseph Smith in 1833. In contrast, what it means to “keep the Word of Wisdom,” to meet the worthiness standard set by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is relatively clear: abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and harmful drugs. Although there is much more to the revelation in D&C 89, the Church has provided no other binding interpretations, leaving members to decide whether and how to respond to the remaining counsel. Continue reading
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