Episode 38: The Word of Wisdom

Latter-day Contemplation
Latter-day Contemplation
Episode 38: The Word of Wisdom
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In this episode, Riley welcomes guest co-host Shiloh Logan to talk about the modality and usefulness of the Word of Wisdom as a contemplative tool. They go into the history of the revelation and its subsequent modified orthodox adoption as a commandment under Heber J. Grant in order to deconstruct the popular understanding that what we read in Section 89 is God’s law of health. While the Word of Wisdom may be the result of a culturally infused, early 19th-century zeitgeist, it nevertheless represents an example of Joseph Smith’s ability to bring awareness to every aspect of our temporal lives in a way that makes all things new and spiritual. Understanding how the Word of Wisdom is used in the Church today, where it has become essentially an “effective boundary maintenance device,” can help us separate the policy from how a revelatory event became a model for incorporating an awareness of what we consume as part of our spiritual growth. Is there a difference between the spirit and the letter of the Word of Wisdom? Will becoming intentional about our consumption help us better connect to God? Is the Word of Wisdom Still relevant as a model of the spiritual/temporal connection?

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Shiloh lives in Bakersfield, CA, with his wife and four children. He spent his formative years growing up in Memphis, TN, and graduated from Brigham Young University with dual degrees in philosophy and geography. Shiloh is currently a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University pursuing a PhD in religion (focusing on Mormon Studies). He is the founder of Latter-day Peace Studies and co-produces LDPS Come, Follow Me's weekly podcast.