Today I’ve been thinking about little Annabell Jane who will likely arrive sometime this week. This talk by Megan McCoy was given in Sacrament Meeting in P.E. Ward on September 28th. It reminded me of our new little granddaughter. When I complimented Megan and told her I would like a copy of her talk, she handed me these notes.
Sacrament Meeting Talk in Port Elizabeth Ward, on October 28
Gordon B. Hinckley told this story: “One evening, I put on a record, turned down the lights, and listened to Beethoven’s Concerto for the Violin. As I sat there in the semidarkness, I marveled that such a thing could come of the mind of a man, a man who, in most respects, was as I am. I do not know how tall he was or how broad he was or how much hair he had, but I guess he looked very much like the rest of us. He became hungry, he felt pain, he had most of the problems we have and maybe some we do not have. But out of the genius of that inspired mind came the creation of a masterpiece which has entertained the world through all of these many years.
I marvel at the miracle of the human mind and body. Have you ever contemplated the wonders of yourself, the eyes with which you see, the ears with which you hear, the voice with which you speak? No camera ever built can compare with the human eye. No method of communication ever devised can compare with the voice and the ear. No pump ever built will run as long or as efficiently as the human heart. No computer or other creation of science can equal the human brain. What a remarkable thing you are. You can think by day and dream by night. You can speak and hear and smell. Look at your finger. The most skillful attempt to reproduce it mechanically has resulted in only a crude approximation. The next time you use your finger, watch it, look at it, and sense the wonder of it.
You are a child of God. His crowning creation. After He had formed the earth, separated the darkness from the light, divided the waters, created the plant and animal kingdoms–after all this He created man and then woman.”
Sister Susan W. Tanner also spoke of the marvels of our human bodies. She said: “I have just returned from a visit where I welcomed into the world our newest little granddaughter, Elizabeth Claire Sandbergy. She is perfect!
I was awestruck, as I am each time a baby is born, with her fingers, toes, hair, beating heart, and her distinctive family characteristics–nose, chin, dimples. Her older brothers and sister were equally excited and fascinated by their tiny, perfect little sister. They seemed to sense a holiness in their home from the presence of a celestial spirit newly united with a pure physical body.
In the pre-mortal realm we learned that the body was part of God’s great plan of happiness for us. As it states in the family proclamation: “Spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life”. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World.) In fact, we “shouted for joy” (Job 36:7) to be part of this plan.
We were so excited. We understood eternal truths about our bodies We knew that our bodies would be in the image of God. We knew that our bodies would house our spirits.
We also understood that our bodies would be subject to pain, illness, disabilities, and temptation. But we were willing, even eager, to accept these challenges because we knew that only with spirit and element inseparable connected could we progress to become like our Heavenly Father (see D&C 130:22) and “receive a fullness of joy. (D&C 93:33).
With the fullness of the gospel on the earth, we are again privileged to know these truths about the body. Joseph Smith taught: “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the Celestial Kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The Devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook  60.
Satan learned these same eternal truths about the body, and yet his punishment is that he does not have one. Therefore he tries to do everything he can to get us to abuse or misuse this precious gift. He has filled the world with lies and deceptions about the body. He tempts many to defile this great gift of the body through unchastity, immodesty, self-indulgence, and addictions. He seduces some to despise their bodies others he tempts to worship their bodies. In either case, he entices the world to regard the body merely as an object. In the face of so many satanic falsehoods about the body.
The body is a gift to be treated with gratitude and respect and one of the ways that we can show this gratitude and respect for our bodies is by obeying and living the word of wisdom. This includes not partaking of the things that we should’, but also partaking of the things that are recommended as good for us.
The booklet, "True to the Faith," describes the word of wisdom as follows; "The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. In this revelation which is recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord tells us which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for our bodies. He promises spiritual and physical blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom.
In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord command us not to take the following substances into our bodies:’
Alcoholic drinks (see D&C 89:5-7)
Tobacco (see D&C 89:6)
Tea and coffee (see D&C 89:P9; Latter-day prophets have taught that the term “hot drinks” refers to tea and coffee.
Anything harmful that people purposefully take into their bodies is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. This is especially true of illegal drugs, which can destroy those who become addicted to them. Stay entirely away from them. Do not experiment with them. The abuse of prescription drugs also leads to destructive addiction.
The Lord declares that the following foods are good for our bodies:
Vegetables and fruits, which should be used “with prudence and thanksgiving. (D&C 89:10-11)
The flesh of beasts and of the fowls of the air,: which is to “be used sparingly (see D&C 89:12-16)
Grains such as wheat, rice, and oats, which are “the staff of life: (see D&C 89: 14-17).
I believe that there are not many of us who do no know what the word of wisdom is, but maybe we don't always remember certain elements of it, for instance, what things we should partake of and at times ewe may also forget that the blessings we receive from obeying the word of wisdom are not only physical, but also spiritual.
To those who keep the Word of Wisdom, the Lord promises:
“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 (D&C 89:18-21)
Russell M. Nelson said:
“One keeps the Word of Wisdom knowing that obedience will not only bring freedom from addictions but it will also add blessings of wisdom and treasures of knowledge.”
Sometimes obeying the Word of Wisdom is not easy, because habits are hard to break and we may fell pressure from those around us to disobey. As we obey the Lord’s law of health, however, we learn self-control and feel self-respect. We also increase our ability to obey other commandments.
A young Mormon boy enlisted in the army. He was akwakard. . . After one parade, when he had gone through everything backwards, he was called by the captain to come into his office. The captain said, "l have noticed you, young fellow. . . you are a Mormon, I suppose.”
"Well, I just wanted to make friends with you. Will you have a glass of beer?”
“Sir, I do not drink liquor.”
The captain swore and said, "Maybe you will have a cigar then.”
The young man replied, “Thank you sir, but I do not smoke.”
The captain seemed much annoyed by this and he dismissed the boy from the room.
When the young man went back to his quarters, some of the lesser officers accosted him angrily and said, “You fool, don’t you realize the captain was trying to make a friend of you, and you insulted him to his face?”
The young Mormon boy answered, "Gentlemen, if I must be untrue to my ideals and my people and do things that I have been instructed all my life I should not do, I will quit the army.”
While overseas later on in the war. . his captain, who had then become a lieutenant colonel, needed a soldier for a very important assignment. He needed someone who was absolutely trustworthy. He needed a man of character. The lieutenant colonel, his former captain, selected and assigned this young man who had the courage to stand before him and say, ‘I do not smoke. I do not drink.” (Hugh B. Brown, “A time of Testing," Improvement Era, June 1969, p. 98).
There are a number of stories and experiences that can be found on the Internet. I am sure many people here can share physical and spiritual experienced that they have enjoyed by living the word of wisdom, but these will not help us to experience such blessings for ourselves. If we want to know the blessings that will come to us, we need to put the word of wisdom to the test and experience these things for ourselves. . .