"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
August 21, 2013
Finding Hidden Treasures
by Kathryn Grant

Our bodies are an amazing gift from God ó so holy and integral to our walk with Him that the Apostle Paul called them a temple (1 Corinthians 3:17Ė17). Our mortal bodies enable us to experience and learn things it would be hard to learn any other way.

So it's no surprise that one of the adversary's strategies is to weaken and hurt our bodies. Clearly that strategy includes assaults on purity and chastity. But it includes something else: an assault on our health.

We face nutrient-depleted food; propaganda that tells us good foods are bad and vice versa; pervasive pollutants and toxins in our environment; an over-reliance on medications to treat symptoms instead of lifestyle changes to treat causes.

Thankfully, the Lord has always given His people guidance to help them care for their bodies, to keep them healthy and lessen the chance of disease. In ancient times, through the Law of Moses, the Lord instructed His people about foods to eat and avoid. In modern times, the Lord has given us the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89).

Some years ago, I had an experience that opened my eyes to the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom. Struggling with a virus that I couldn't seem to get rid of, I decided to follow more closely the counsel to focus on wholesome herbs, grains, and fruits, and to eat meat sparingly. Because of that focus, I avoided refined and processed foods.

To my surprise, the positive impact on my health was immediate and profound. I had more energy, a number of different health issues were resolved, and I picked up colds and other bugs far less often.

Just as interesting was the reaction of friends, typically something like this: "I really admire what you're doing, but I could never give up [insert favorite unhealthy food or drink]. I know it's not good for me, but I enjoy it too much."

Upon hearing this, I was eager to share another blessing of obeying the Word of Wisdom that I discovered through the following experience. After several months of my new healthy lifestyle, I decided to "treat" myself (oh, the irony!) to one of my favorite foods: pizza. (Donít get me wrong: it's possible to make a healthy pizza ó but this one wasnít.) I picked one up from a local pizza place, and did it ever smell delicious as I drove home! I could hardly wait to sink my teeth into it.

And when I did... something immediately didnít seem right. I didn't get anything near the same enjoyment I used to get. Why had I never noticed before how greasy it was? As I ate the thick crust, I literally felt like I was clogging my body. (Incidentally, I later learned how to make healthy pizza and I enjoy it to this day.)

And that was how I discovered another blessing of keeping the Word of Wisdom: as we do, we lose our taste for unhealthy foods! So despite what we fear, we don't really miss out. Our body learns to enjoy what is good for it, and we feel little or no desire for things that hurt it.

Elder and Sister Widtsoe taught, "Only when all the laws indicated in the Word of Wisdom are kept may one claim in full the promised reward that 'they shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones ... and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.' (D&C 89:18, 20.)

"How many today may really claim these precious blessings? Conscientious study and application of this law of health, including its positive directions, will permit all to do so." (The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, by John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, chapter 8.)

So if we live the Word of Wisdom fully, will we automatically be cured immediately of every health problem? No, that isn't realistic. But I believe that whatever the state our health, it is sure to improve as we follow the Word of Wisdom more closely.

Will you take the following challenge? Read the Word of Wisdom prayerfully, seeking inspiration for something you can do specifically to live it more fully and improve your health. Then put it into action and see what blessings follow.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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