I have found that the antiquated language used in scripture makes it difficult to understand what its actually saying. I have tried my hand at “translating” some D&C sections with a more contemporary English, and decided to illustrate this with the Word of Wisdom. In this version, the original transcription is on the left and my modern version is on the right. While I still have complicated feelings towards CoC, I still prefer their chapter and verse system, so it is used here.
A word of wisdom for the benefit of the Saints in these last day and also the Saints in Zion to be sent greeting, not by commandment or Constraint, but by Revelation & the word of wisdom shewing forth the order & will of God in the temporal salvation of all Saints, given for a principle with promise, adapted to the Capacity of the weak & the weakest of all Saints who are or can be called Saints—
I have some wise advice for the saints in these modern times, as well as all those in Zion who will accept this message. This is not a command or an obligation, but rather a revelation which shows the Divine’s plan for the physical well-being of all. When followed, you will receive benefits that have been promised. This plan is designed to be accessible to all, and can be adapted as need be.
Behold verily thus Saith the Lord unto you in consequence of evils & designs which will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in these last days, I have warned you & forewarned you by giving unto you this word of wisdom by Revelation
There will be evil people with malicious intentions who will try to harm you in these modern times. That is why I am giving you this word of wisdom through Divine revelation as a warning.
that inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or Strong drink among you behold it is not good, neither mete in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves in your Sacraments before him
Drinking wine or strong alcoholic drinks is not advisable and does not please me. Drinking wine only pleases me when you have gathered together for communion.
And behold this should be wine of your own make. And again Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
The wine you should drink sure be pure grape wine which you made yourself. Strong drinks are not meant to be consumed, but rather used for cleaning wounds.
And Tobacco is not for man but is for bruises and all sick cattle to be used with judgement & skill
Tobacco is not meant for human consumption. However, it can be used as an herbal remedy for treating bruises and illnesses in livestock, but it should be used with caution and skill.
And again hot drinks are not for the body or belly,
Hot drinks are not good for the human body or digestive system.
all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution and 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 & thanksgiving
I want to emphasize that I created every wholesome herb for the health, well-being, and benefit of humanity. Every herb and fruit should be consumed with wisdom and gratitude in their appropriate seasons
yea flesh also of beasts and of fowls, I the Lord hath 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 famine—
I have also made meat from livestock and fowl for food for eating, however, it should be consumed in moderation. Meat may be eaten at any time during the year, not just during the winter.
All grain is for the use of man and of beasts to be the staff of life not only for man, but for the beasts and for the fowls, 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 or excess of hunger
Grain was created as a fundamental source of nourishment for not only humanity, but also the beats of the field, the birds of the heavens, and all kinds of wild creatures that roam the earth. I intend for grain to serve as the primary source of food, except in times of scarcity.
all grain is good for the use of man as also the fruit of the vine that which beareth fruit whether in the ground or above ground.
Grains and fruits, whether grown above or below ground, are beneficial for human consumption.
Nevertheless wheat for man and corn for the Ox and Oats for the horse. Rye for the fowls and the swine and for all beasts of the field and Barley for all useful animals and for mild drinks as also other grains—
Although grains can be used for different purposes, wheat is chiefly for humanity, corn is more appropriate for cattle, oats are best for nourishing horses, rye is suitable for feeding swine, fowl, and other livestock. Barley, on the other hand, is a versatile crop that is suitable for feeding many types of useful animals and can also be used to brew mildly alcoholic drinks. There are also many other useful types of grains.
and all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings walking in obedience to the commands shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones and shall find wisdom and great treasures of wisdom and knowledge even hidden treasures
Those who follow these teachings, as well as obey my commands, will be rewarded with good health and vitality. They will gain wisdom and knowledge that was previously unknown.
and shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint. And I the Lord give unto them a promise that the destroying Angel shall pass them by as they did by the Children of Israel and not slay them
They will have the endurance to run without exhaustion, and the strength to walk without becoming weak. Additionally, I promise that they will be protected from harm, just as the children of Israel were spared from the destroying angel. Amen.