Bodies as gifts: Thoughts on YW Lesson 38 Manual 3: Good Health Habits


These notes were also posted at Beginnings New on October 10, 2011

We had this lesson yesterday and it was one of the two-lessons-a-year I get to teach since I’m just the secretary. 🙂 We looked at page 14 of the For Strength of Youth booklet (which is actually about modesty, but I liked the wording about bodies: they are God’s creation, they are a gift, and how we treat them reflects what is on the inside.) Then we looked at King Benjamin’s speech (Mosiah 2:21-24). He says that our bodies were a gift, and he even keeps lending us our breath so we can even use this gift! But, interestingly, he gives us this gift so that we can “live and move and do according to your own will.” We talked about the things we can do with a body. We looked at how when we do good, he blesses us again with more gifts, and so on.

Then we looked at 1 Cor 6:19-20, where Paul reminds us that our bodies have been bought by Christ, that they are really his. He also calls our bodies temples (a familiar phrase) – but we looked more closely at what makes them a temple. It is because the Holy Ghost dwells there. We talked about temples, and what makes them different than a post office or a kindergarten room. They both have carpet, walls, etc., but one is used for sacred purposes. We talked about how they could also use their bodies for sacred purposes, and how the Holy Ghost could prompt them to do good things.

Finally, we ended up at the Word of Wisdom. I wanted to emphasize that our bodies are gifts, and that the Word of Wisdom was another gift that helps us take care of them. And then, when we do those things, he blesses us again! Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to think about the last 4 verses much (gifts of wisdom, health, etc).

As a side note… Unfortunately comparing our bodies to temples usually just leads to “don’t get tattoos.” I hear the same idea in the homemaking lessons – if the physical condition is right, then things are clean and the Spirit can be there. I tried to emphasize that though keeping temples or our bodies clean is a way to show respect, it is not actually the way to makethem temples. Or, in other words, if a person got a tattoo before they joined or became active, there is no reason why they can’t have a calling. I was up all night with my baby, but even though I didn’t get the amount of sleep the Word of Wisdom recommended, that didn’t mean I shouldn’t teach the lesson. A really great FHE lesson can still happen in a messy house. And if a temple wasn’t vacuumed last night the ordinances could still happen. 🙂 We talked about how it is theSpirit that makes a building a temple, or a body a temple. Once it is set apart, then how we take care of our bodies, in health and in dress, is an expression of gratitude and an acknowledgment of how sacred the Spirit is. And, as the For Strength of Youth booklet said, it communicates something to others about what is on the inside. (Anyway, just a few thoughts.)

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