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Divine health code received through revelation

Handwritten copy of Doctrine and Covenants Section 89, the Word of Wisdom, is oldest known.
Handwritten copy of Doctrine and Covenants Section 89, the Word of Wisdom, is oldest known.

President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of the benefits of Word of Wisdom observance in his October 1990 general conference address as first counselor in the First Presidency.

"This is a divine code of health received through revelation in 1833," he said. "It proscribes alcohol and tobacco, tea and coffee, and emphasizes the use of fruit and grains. This Word of Wisdom came to us from the Father of us all, the God of heaven, for our blessing and the blessing of all who would observe it.

"I regret that we as a people do not observe it more faithfully. But remarkable have been the blessings that have come of its observance to the degree that we have observed it. Newspapers across the nation have recently run reports on a significant California study. It was conducted by Dr. James Enstrom of the UCLA School of Public Medicine. It included a substantial number of active members of the Church — 5,231 high priests and 4,613 of their wives. I quote now from a newspaper story:

" 'Compared to other groups, the study found the Mormons had an average of 53 percent fewer fatal cancers, . . . 48 percent fewer deaths from heart disease and 53 percent fewer fatal illnesses of all kinds' (Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 12, 1990, p. B1).

"Dr. Enstrom, speaking of the eight-year study, said that he 'can predict that a very active, health-conscious 25-year-old Mormon male will live 11 years longer than the average American male of the same age.' "

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