Revealed in 1833, the Word of Wisdom has been validated in modern times by the findings of medical science, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve noted in his October 1991 general conference address.
"This revelation has been scrutinized and ignored, attacked and defended, ridiculed and praised," he observed. "Meanwhile, faithful saints have observed it as a token of their obedience to God. For many years, they could obey it only on faith, in the same spirit that Adam offered sacrifice. An angel asked him, 'Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I now know not, save the Lord commanded me' (Moses 5:6).
"Early members of the Church obeyed the Lord's counsel without the benefit of present medical knowledge, which has validated the physical benefits of their obedience. We now know by scientific evidence what the saints have known by revelation for 158 years.
"Imagine the results we would see if the total populace were to live this law of health and never abuse their bodies with alcoholic beverages, tobacco and other harmful substances. What magnitude of decline would we see in automobile accidents, illness and premature death, fetal defects, crime, squandered dollars, broken homes, and wasted lives resulting from alcohol and other addictive drugs? How much would lung cancer, heart disease, and other ailments caused by cigarette smoking decrease? The fruits of this commandment bring innumerable blessings."