Healthful Living


Chapter 13—Heredity

Habits Repeated

231. The physical and mental condition of parents is perpetuated in their offspring. This is a matter that is not duly considered. Wherever the habits of the parents are contrary to physical law, the injury done to themselves will be repeated in future generations. Satan knows this very well, and he is perpetuating his work through transmission.... Those who will indulge the animal passions and gratify lust will surely stamp upon their offspring the debasing practices, the grossness, of their own physical and moral defilement. By physical, mental, and moral culture all may become co-workers with Christ. Very much depends upon the parents. It lies with them whether they will bring into the world children who will prove a blessing or a curse.—Unpublished Testimonies, January, 1897. HL 56.1

232. In past generations if mothers had informed themselves in regard to the laws of their being, they would have understood that their constitutional strength, as well as the tone of their morals and their mental faculties, would in a great measure be represented in their offspring.—How to Live 2:37. HL 56.2

233. He should not have committed so great a crime as to bring into being children that reason must teach him would be diseased, because they must receive a miserable legacy from their parents.—Testimonies for the Church 2:379. HL 56.3

Transmission of Disease

234. As a rule every intemperate man who rears children transmits his inclinations and evil tendencies to his offspring; he gives them disease from his own inflamed and corrupted blood. Licentiousness, disease, and imbecility are transmitted as an inheritance of woe from father to son, and from generation to generation, and this brings anguish and suffering into the world.—Testimonies for the Church 4:30. HL 57.1

235. Thousands are devoid of principle. These very ones are transmitting to their offspring their own miserable, corrupt passions. What a legacy! Thousands drag out their unprincipled lives, tainting their associates, and perpetuating their debased passions by transmitting them to their children.—Testimonies for the Church 2:351. HL 57.2

236. You have transmitted to your children a miserable legacy; a depraved nature rendered still more depraved by your gross habits of eating and drinking.—Testimonies for the Church 2:62. HL 57.3

Parents Sin against Children

237. Parents sin not only against themselves in swallowing drug poisons, but they sin against their children. The vitiated state of the blood, the poison distributed throughout the system, the broken constitution, and various diseases, as the result of drug poisons, are transmitted to their offspring, and left to them a wretched inheritance, which is another great cause of the degeneracy of the race.—How to Live 3:50. HL 57.4

Mental and Moral Effects of Heredity

238. Tobacco and liquor stupefy and defile the user. But the evil does not stop here. He transmits irritable tempers, polluted blood, enfeebled intellects, and weak morals to his children.—Testimonies for the Church 4:31. HL 58.1

239. Those who have indulged the appetite for these stimulants have transmitted their depraved appetites and passions to their children and greater moral power is required to resist intemperance in all its forms.—Testimonies for the Church 3:488. HL 58.2

240. As a rule, every intemperate man who rears children transmits his inclinations and evil tendencies to his offspring.—Testimonies for the Church 4:30. HL 58.3

241. Parents who freely use wine and liquor leave to their children the legacy of a feeble constitution, mental and moral debility, unnatural appetites, irritable temper, and an inclination to vice.... The child of the drunkard or the tobacco inebriate usually has the depraved appetites and passions of the father intensified, and at the same time inherits less of his self-control and strength of mind.—The Health Reformer, August 1, 1878. HL 58.4

Physical Effects of Heredity

242. Parents leave maladies as a legacy to their children.—Testimonies for the Church 4:30. HL 58.5

243. Many women never should have become mothers. Their blood was filled with scrofula, transmitted to them from their parents, and increased by their gross manner of living.—How to Live 2:37. HL 58.6

244. Very many children are born with their blood tainted with scrofula through the wrong habits of the mother in her eating and dressing.... These fashionably dressed women cannot transmit good constitutions to their children.... Wasp waists may have been transmitted to them from their mothers, as the result of their sinful practise of tight lacing, and in consequence of imperfect breathing. Poor children born of these miserable slaves of fashion have diminished vitality, and are predisposed to disease.... The impurities retained in the system in consequence of improper breathing are transmitted to their offspring.—The Health Reformer, November 1, 1871, par. 24. HL 58.7

245. If the mother is deprived of an abundance of wholesome, nutritious food, she will lack in the quantity and quality of blood. Her circulation will be poor, and her child will lack in the very same things.—Testimonies for the Church 2:382. HL 59.1

246. Her children were born with feeble digestive powers and impoverished blood. From the food the mother was compelled to receive, she could not furnish a good quality of blood, and therefore gave birth to children filled with humors.—Testimonies for the Church 2:378. HL 59.2

247. Disease has been transmitted to your offspring, and the free use of flesh meats has increased the difficulty. The eating of pork has aroused and strengthened a most deadly humor that was in the system. Your offspring are robbed of vitality before they are born.—Testimonies for the Church 2:94. HL 59.3