Optimally (un)reasonable commandments

A few weeks ago in my elders’ quorum, we had the lesson from the George Albert Smith manual on the Word of Wisdom. As often happens with lessons on this topic, a couple of people raised their hands and talked about how the Word of Wisdom is the perfect health code, that it tells us exactly what we must do to be the healthiest we possibly can. Along similar lines, in response to some provocateur asking why we don’t drink a little wine since some research suggests it might be good for us (no, the provocateur was not me :D), people also commented that if any “science” (their tone suggested the quotation marks) suggested something different than the Word of Wisdom, then the science was sure to be proven wrong sooner or later.

The manual is more conservative. While it says that we’ll be physically blessed for following the Word of Wisdom, it doesn’t say that the Word of Wisdom is necessarily the perfect health code. I think this is actually a strength of the commandment: it’s reasonable, but it’s not too reasonable.

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