Wholeness of Body, Mind, and Spirit
David Redding, DO, of Upland, CA, USA
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. -Psalm 4:6-8
As a physician and an elder, I’m often concerned about a lack of careful attention, by my patients and my church brothers and sisters, to their health. I’m aware that God wants wholeness of body, mind, spirit, and relationships for all. I want that for them, too…yet, I know that what many are eating and drinking, how they’re exercising and resting their bodies and minds, and how they’re caring for their spirituality are often not good for their health and well-being.
As a church, we have long talked about the types of food we should eat (for example, Doctrine and Covenants 86). We have learned more about what foods are best for health. However, when we compare a healthy diet to that of most people, there is often tremendous difference. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are common diseases among Americans-often related to food and exercise issues.
Research indicates that what and how much we eat and exercise impact our physical wellness and may also influence mental functioning and memory. In those who are overweight, memory decline is faster than in those at or near their normal weight. Note: the two primary factors related to losing weight are how much and what types of food one eats. “Good” foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and fowl.
The second secret to health is exercise. In one large study, participants were in a six-month exercise program: walking for a 10-minute warm-up, then walking or cycling for 35 minutes, three times a week. Results showed significant improvements in cognitive functioning, including in those with mental impairment! Many took fewer medications, had more energy, weighed less, and had less risk of heart attacks or stroke.
When we pause to remember that our body is the temple of God, perhaps we can realize that our actions need to be holy/healthy also. My prayer is for each of us to seek greater wholeness and well-being.
“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).
Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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