One thing that many people know about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or “Mormons”) is that they don’t smoke. According to the Word of Wisdom, received by the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833, “tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.” (D&C 89:8)
Two missionaries, David Bresnahan and Rudiger “Rudy” Van Hove, created a program to help people do just that in 1983. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the 15-step program includes prayer and visits and calls from “friendshippers” who are there to help and support the individual throughout the seven-day process. Bresnahan began printing and distributing the manual for the program at his own cost after he returned home from his mission.
The program is not formally used or endorsed by the Church. But, according to a press release of the LDS Stop Smoking Program, it has been successfully used by thousands of missionaries and church leaders to help people stop smoking. Since 1983, lesson manuals that guide these people in implementing the program have been distributed to LDS missionaries and leaders free of charge. However, because the program has been run as a volunteer effort, it has sometimes been difficult for these people to get the materials.
This has all changed recently. The LDS Stop Smoking Program has now made its manual available electronically. Missionaries and Church leaders may request copies at www.LDSStopSmokingProgram.org. Additionally, anyone who is interested in the program may request a free lesson. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, this will include a visit from the missionaries who can help the individual with their efforts.
Regardless of the exact methods used, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will tell you that the Lord has told us through His prophets that smoking is dangerous and members of the Church commit not to smoke upon baptism. And taking our problems to the Lord is one of the best ways to solve them. “When we have the Lord as our partner, we can succeed at many things,” Bresnahan said to the Tribune. (“Maverick expands longtime effort to help smokers kick habit,” Salt Lake Tribune, December 28, 2007)