Mormon Health Beliefs

Mormon Health BeliefsThe Word of Wisdom

As Paul mentions in the New Testament, our bodies are sacred (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Because our bodies are sacred, Mormons believe we should treat them with respect and care. The Word of Wisdom is part of Mormon health beliefs.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) refer to a code of health called The Word of Wisdom. This code of health was revealed from God through the first prophet of the Church, Joseph Smith, and instructs people to essentially live healthy lives by eating well, abstaining from harmful substances, taking care of our bodies, etc.

What Does the Word of Wisdom Entail?

The Word of Wisdom teaches that we are to:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Avoid harmful substances
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee
  • Avoid harmful drugs in any form

What Does God Promise?

God has reserved many wonderful blessings for those who follow the guidance in The Word of Wisdom. The Lord stated:

18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

~ Doctrine and Covenants Section 88:18-21

Historical Context of Mormon Health Beliefs

Mormons haven’t always had these “strict” beliefs on health — on what and what not to eat and drink. Early on in the church’s history, many practiced the ways of the world at the time, which included heavy smoking of pipes and chewing of tobacco, among other things. In short, these habits concerned Joseph Smith, and after prayer, the revelation called The Word of Wisdom was revealed. For more historical information, visit the Church’s page on

More on Word of Wisdom FAQ

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