Monday, August 24, 2009

The Word of Wisdom and Minimalism

We studied the Word of Wisdom in Gospel Principals yesterday. As always, it was a very interesting discussion with all sorts of opinions offered. But it remained civil. I've been thinking a lot about it and I've read a lot about the Word of Wisdom in the scriptures, General Authority talks and other blogs and websites. I decided to start tracking all the articles I've read or found on the subject in an effort to capture the full spectrum of WoW discussions.

One of the lessons I came across today was from the Brigham Young manual. His quotes are always so much fun to read ... he was so un-PC! A few of the quotes from chapter 29 stood out to me because they were difinately minimalistic in nature.

Here is the direct link to the lesson: “Chapter 29: Living the Word of Wisdom,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 211. I added emphasis to point out minimalistic comments.

Instead of doing two days’ work in one day, wisdom would dictate to [the Saints], that if they desire long life and good health, they must, after sufficient exertion, allow the body to rest before it is entirely exhausted. When exhausted, some argue that they need stimulants in the shape of tea, coffee, spirituous liquors, tobacco, or some of those narcotic substances which are often taken to goad on the lagging powers to greater exertions. But instead of these kind of stimulants they should recruit by rest. Work less, wear less, eat less, and we shall be a great deal wiser, healthier, and wealthier people than by taking the course we now do. It is difficult to find anything more healthy to drink than good cold water, such as flows down to us from springs and snows of our mountains. This is the beverage we should drink. It should be our drink at all times. … It may be remarked that some men who use spirituous liquors and tobacco are healthy, but I argue that they would be much more healthy if they did not use it, and then they are entitled to the blessings promised to those who observe the advice given in the “Word of Wisdom” (DBY, 187).

The Americans, as a nation, are killing themselves with their vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an hour they swallow in three minutes, gulping down their food like the [dog] under the table, which, when a chunk of meat is thrown down to it, swallows it before you can say “twice.” If you want a reform, carry out the advice I have just given you. Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and, depend upon it, you will do much towards preserving your families from sickness, disease and death (DBY, 189).

Do you know that it is your privilege so to live that your minds may all the time be perfectly within your control? Study to preserve your bodies in life and health, and you will be able to control your minds (DBY, 190).

Prepare to die is not the exhortation in this Church and Kingdom; but prepare to live is the word with us, and improve all we can in the life hereafter, wherein we may enjoy a more exalted condition of intelligence, wisdom, light, knowledge, power, glory, and exaltation. Then let us seek to extend the present life to the uttermost, by observing every law of health, and by properly balancing labor, study, rest, and recreation, and thus prepare for a better life. Let us teach these principles to our children, that, in the morning of their days, they may be taught to lay the foundation of health and strength and constitution and power of life in their bodies (DBY, 186).