History of the Word of Wisdom, 1855

-- During 1855
[Prohibition] By 1855, thirteen states had adopted "dry" statutes restricting the manufacturing and consumption of alcohol. This early temperance movement was stalled by the Civil War, during which time most of these early laws were repealed; however, the issue was not forgotten. (1)

-- Apr 29, 1856
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 29th + Tuesday [The asterisk is Woodruff's.] This was a trying day to my life. The poison had so circulated through my system that it was affecting my whole body seriously. I became so weak I could not stand upon my feet. It took two persons to lead me from the fire to my bed. I could not talk no more than if I had been drunk. My stomach & bowels sceased to Act And to Judge from outward appearances it seemed as though I should not live 24 hours. My wife & friends labored with me through the day faithfully & with Emetics & injections & with raw Onion poltices upon my arm I got my whole system in operation before night.

President Brigham Young called upon me in company with Dr Sprague at about evening I was some better than I had been through the day. Brothers Young & Sprague laid hand upon me & blessed me. The following is a synopsis of the blessing which He pronounced upon my head which I wrote from Memory After my recovery:

"Brother Wilford in the name of Jesus Christ & by virtue of the Holy priesthood I lay my hands upon your head to Bless you And I ask my Father in heaven to stay the disease which is resting upon you & to cleanse your Blood & to heal you up & I say in the name of Jesus Christ that you shall not die but shall live to finish your work which is appointed you to do upon the Earth. The Adversary has sought many times to destroy your life from the Earth but the Lord has preserved you & will preserve you untill your work is done. I feel to say that all is right here. I fell to ask the Lord to bless all the means you make use of for your recovary. You shall be healed up from this disease & live to enjoy the society of your family & your Children shall grow up around you & you shall be a blessing to them. Let your heart be comforted. All shall be well with you. And I seal these Blessings upon you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. (2)

-- May 29, 1856
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 29th I spent the day at the Historians office writing to correspondance. I wrote a Letter to Sir Wm Jackson Hooker Director Royal Gardens kew London In answer to a letter from him wishing to open correspondence with us in order to get an exchange of seed, flours, herbs, or any thing that grows in our Territory. I also wrote Letters to Honrs. J. M. Bernhisel, John Taylor, G A Smith, Erastus Snow, The Western Standard, C. C. Rich & O. Pratt & A. Bablam. (2)

-- Aug 26, 1856
Brigham Young's office journal records: ". . . Bro[ther] Brown lately arrived from Kanesville left a Bottle of Wine of his own make made from the juice of the grape as a present for President Young . . ." (3)

-- During August 1856
[Francis M. Lyman] In August 1856 he began courting Rhoda Taylor, an LDS immigrant from Australia; but he met resistance from her mother because he had become addicted to smoking. They married on 18 November 1857. (4)

1 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Prohibition, http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/p/PROHIBITION.html
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
4 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Francis M. Lyman, http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/l/LYMAN%2CFRANCIS.html

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom