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temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16; see also 6:19; and Doctrine & Covenants 93:35.)
In these and kindred Scriptures the sanctity of the human body is affirmed with impressive simplicity. The word of God stands in strong contrast with the erroneous assumption that the body is a hindrance and burden to the spirit and ought to be contemned and kept in subjection by self-imposed afflictions. The lust of the flesh as manifested in perverted appetites and passions is a very real temptation, and servitude thereto is among the commonest of sins; but this is the evil against which the saints of old were so solemnly warned in the foregoing citation.
If the mortal state be an advancement beyond the preexistent or unembodied condition, and a preparation for a yet more exalted existence, and so the Scriptures attest, then the body of flesh and bones is an endowment of supreme worth.
The genius of the current age recognizes the nobility of the mortal tabernacle in fact if not in theory; and as a result of this advanced conception, means for the maintenance of health and preservation of the body and the conservation of its divinely implanted functions are taught in school and college and are enforced by statute for community observance.
After long centuries of painful experience the race is coming to understand that the human body is essentially good; and the word of God so proclaimed even in the beginning. I venture to affirm that every natural appetite, yearning, passion of the human organism is inherently good; and that evil comes not from the normal satisfying of these cravings but from the perversion thereof.
As early as 1833 the Lord spake to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in warning against the use of
stimulants and narcotics, and in counsel as to matters of food and drink. This revelation is currently known as
The Word of Wisdom
"That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
"And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
"And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
"And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
"And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly. "And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.
"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
"Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
"And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
"All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
"And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
"All grain is good for the food of man, as also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground.
"Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
"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;
"And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
"And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
"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 & Covenants 89.)
Hot drinks, against which the people are specifically warned, are understood to include tea and coffee, and the counsel against their use was preached and published long before chemists and physiologists had recognized the deleterious effect of thein and caffein, which are poisonous alkaloids contained in the beverages named. The inhibition, however, applies in another sense to all liquids at high temperatures. To this point special interest attaches in view of recent demonstrations in science. Dr. Wm. J. Mayo, a surgeon of prominence, declared in an address delivered in San Francisco, June, 1915, that hot drinks are among the dominant causes of gastric ulcers and cancer.
The Word of Wisdom is generally but not universally observed in its entirety by the Latter-day Saints; and it is pertinent to inquire as to the results revealed by the vital
statistics of the people. The Presiding Bishopric of the Church report that, for the six year period ending with 1916, deaths among Latter-day Saints in the organized Stakes, due to cancers and malignant ulcers of the stomach, averaged 15.83 per 100,000 of population. For the United States registration area as a whole, during the six year period covered by the latest available report, which, however, is earlier than the sexennium of the latest Church statistics, the average mortality from stomach cancer is 28.3 per 100,000. Deaths from all cancerous afflictions among members of the Church during the last six years averaged 31.15 per 100,000, or only 2.85 more per 100,000 than the national rate of mortality from stomach cancer alone for the six years last reported.
The statistics of the Church show for its members resident in organized communities exceptionally low deathrate, high birth-rate, and high average age at death, as compared with the official reports of corresponding data for the registration area of the country at large.
Of the certified causes of death "Mormons" lead the country in one, and that one is old age.
The Divine promise of health, prosperity, and prolonged life are in course of rich fulfilment among the Latter-day Saints, as in part the natural effect of obedience to the word of the Lord embodied in the Word of Wisdom.
Infamy of a Double Standard of Virtue
HE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims the law of personal purity as a Divine commandment, the violation of which constitutes one of the most grievous of sins. We hold that the requirement is equally binding upon both man and woman, and that a standard by which he is excused and she condemned is infamously unjust. Expressive of the attitude of the Church upon this subject, the following excerpts are taken from a pamphlet issued by the late President Joseph F. Smith, who at the time of writing was the presiding official in the Church.
"What has come to be known in present day literature as the social evil is a subject of perennial discussion, and the means proposed for dealing with it are topics of contention and debate. That the public conscience is aroused to the seriousness of the dire condition due to sexual immorality is a promising indication of prospective betterment. No more loathsome cancer disfigures the body and soul of society today than the frightful affliction of sexual sin. It vitiates the very fountains of life and bequeaths its foul effects to the yet unborn as a legacy of death.
"Infidelity to marriage vows is a fruitful source of divorce, with its long train of attendant evils, not the least of which are the shame and dishonor inflicted on unfortunate though innocent children. The dreadful effects of adultery cannot be confined to the erring participants. Whether openly known or partly concealed under the cloak of guilty