“In 2008, I was assigned to Baghdad, Iraq as an embedded U.S. Army combat advisor to Iraqi security forces in 2008. Our responsibility was to train and mentor senior Iraqi leaders in order to build and enhance their capacity to secure the population and bring peace to their nation. This was a sensitive mission that required building trust with our Iraqi counterparts and mediating disputes between various factions that were extremely divided and sectarian in nature. The small team of advisors that we were replacing had a difficult year that culminated with the death of two their members in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack a few months before we arrived. To make matters worse, they suspected our Iraqi counterparts of complicity in the attack. Needless to say, we wanted to make sure that our first meeting with our Iraqi counterparts went as smoothly as possible so as to step off together on the right foot. We rehearsed every detail prior of the meeting to ensure we did nothing to offend our hosts.
Indeed, I have no doubt in my mind that our Iraqi brethren saved our lives on more than one occasion.
As he concluded, the chapel was filled with a powerful spirit and witness of the “Wow!” in the Word of Wisdom. With emotion, I turned to D&C 89 and read these words that Major Thompson had fully experienced: “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)
With my scriptures open, my mind went back to my conversation with Melody and the expanded Word of Wisdom lifestyle she has established for her family. I can’t help but think much easier our health management would be if there were more clear cut expectations and understandings for the rest of the Word of Wisdom and to treat it more as a whole, not just hot drinks, alcohol and tobacco! Would our weight and health be in a different place if more of us adopted more of it, as the Barber family has?
As a point of reference, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, says:
Called “a Word of Wisdom” in the introduction, the revelation was given to Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, on February 27, 1833, when the School of the Prophets was meeting at his home in the Whitney Store.