Why Can’t Mormson Drink Coffee? | The Secret History

Since the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, coffee has been a forbidden fruit for Mormons. Reasons range from health concerns to spiritual beliefs; however, the core reason why can’t Mormons drink coffee diet seems to go beyond personal choices or lifestyle preferences. For many Mormons, following Word of Wisdom, which is detailed in Doctrine and Covenants 89:9-21 and prohibits members from consuming “hot drinks,” is an integral part of their practice and faith. Despite being cut off from one popular beverage choice—coffee—there are plenty more variations that enable members to enjoy unique flavors without compromising their values. Let’s delve into why this restriction exists while exploring some tasty alternatives.

What Does Being A Mormon Mean?

Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and follow the teachings of their prophet, Joseph Smith. They share similar beliefs with other Christians including faith in the Trinity, belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, as well as various scripture study practices. As part of their lifestyle choices, Mormons focus on temperance—avoiding immoderate behavior in all forms including substance abuse.

Central to Mormon beliefs and practices is Word of Wisdom, a dietary law outlining why coffee should not be consumed. While some may interpret this as an extreme limitation, the reasons why can’t mormons drink coffee are far more nuanced and integral to their faith.

The History Behind The Mormon Church’s Stance On Coffee 

The History Behind The Mormon Church’s Stance On Coffee 
The History Behind The Mormon Church’s Stance On Coffee

The Mormon Church’s stance on coffee is rooted in a revelation from God received by Joseph Smith in 1833. The revelation outlines why caffeine, in any form, should not be part of the Mormon diet. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, is a set of dietary guidelines and health practices that were given to Joseph Smith during a period of religious revival in the United States. At the time, coffee was widely consumed by Americans, both for its perceived health benefits and as a social drink. However, Joseph Smith’s revelation stated that hot drinks (which at the time included tea and coffee) were not suitable for consumption by members of the Mormon Church.

Can Mormons Have Coffee?

The answer to Why can’t mormons drink coffee is rooted in their faith and values. Mormons are commanded by the Lord in the Word of Wisdom to abstain from harmful substances. It is forbidden for Mormons to drink alcohol (D&C 89:5–7). Mormons should not consume “hot drinks” such as coffee or any tea other than herbal tea (D&C 89:9). The use of tobacco is also not permitted (D&C 89:8). The Word of Wisdom is a health code followed by Mormons which was revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833. It includes guidelines for healthy living and avoiding addictive substances. The reason behind these restrictions is not solely based on the physical effects of these substances, but also on the spiritual implications.

Where the Teaching About Coffee Came From?

Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet, believed that he was directed by God and Jesus Christ to restore God’s church on Earth. As a prophet, similar to biblical figures like Moses, Abraham, and Noah, Joseph Smith received divine teachings and shared them with the people.

Where the Teaching About Coffee Came From?
Where the Teaching About Coffee Came From?

In 1833, Joseph Smith introduced God’s law of health, which includes various principles that are now considered common sense in terms of science and health. For instance, it advises against tobacco use. The law also promotes the consumption of wholesome foods, such as grains (the primary component of today’s food pyramid), fruits, herbs, and meats.

Furthermore, it prohibits the consumption of alcohol and other “strong drinks.” Despite the fact that many people can consume alcohol without causing harm, Mormons avoid it to maintain full control over their choices. The negative consequences of alcohol abuse, including loss of life and the commission of wrongs, have been extensive.

Interestingly, the Lord’s law of health does not explicitly mention coffee by name. Instead, it advises against consuming “hot drinks.” In response to inquiries from church members, Joseph Smith clarified that “hot drinks” refers to coffee and tea.

It is noteworthy that modern science is only now discovering the harmful effects of “hot drinks” in 2016.

Nevertheless, for Mormons, adhering to this commandment is not solely based on scientific evidence. It is about obeying God’s instruction, and they believe that doing so brings blessings from God.

What Does Being A Mormon Mean?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, believe in the restoration of Christ’s church through Joseph Smith and the ongoing guidance of living prophets and apostles. Mormons hold the Bible, along with other books of scripture such as the Book of Mormon, as sacred texts. Their cosmology offers a distinctive perspective, viewing all individuals as literal spirit children of God.

Why Can’t Mormons Drink Coffee?

Why can’t mormons drink coffee? Mormons follow the “Word of Wisdom,” a religious code revealed to Joseph Smith, which prohibits consuming hot drinks. The core of this “Word of Wisdom” is stated in Doctrine and Covenants section 89; verse 9: “Hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” Consequently, faithful Mormons avoid coffee. However, this is not the only reason why Mormons do not drink coffee. The “Word of Wisdom” also encourages members to take care of their physical and mental health by avoiding substances that are harmful or addictive. This includes alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other addictive substances.

What Happens If You Drink Coffee As A Mormon?

Most Mormons do not regard caffeine as a violation of their faith. Church members may remain in good standing despite consuming any amount of caffeine. However, some choose to avoid coffee and caffeine-containing beverages as a sign of dedication to their faith. In this case, what happens if a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decides to drink coffee?

As with any personal choice regarding dietary restrictions or habits, it ultimately depends on the individual and their own interpretation of their faith. Some may feel that drinking coffee goes against the Word of Wisdom, a health code followed by members of the LDS church which encourages abstaining from substances that may be harmful to the body. Others may believe that consuming coffee is not a violation of their faith and does not impact their relationship with God.

For those who do choose to abstain from coffee as a Mormon, they may face social pressure or judgment from fellow members of the church. This can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who have family members or close friends who do consume coffee. However, it is important to remember that everyone has their own agency and the right to make their own choices.

Do All Mormons Avoid Coffee?

Mormons are commanded to follow the Word of Wisdom, which forbids drinking alcohol (D&C 89:5-7). Mormons are not permitted to consume any “hot drinks” other than herbal tea (D&C 89:9). Tobacco use is also prohibited according to the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89:8). However, the Word of Wisdom does not specifically mention coffee. So, do all Mormons avoid drinking coffee?

Do All Mormons Avoid Coffee?
Do All Mormons Avoid Coffee?

The short answer is no, not all Mormons avoid coffee. While many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) choose to abstain from coffee as part of their personal interpretation and application of the Word of Wisdom, there is no official doctrine or commandment that prohibits the consumption of coffee. Therefore, it is ultimately up to each individual Mormon to decide for themselves whether or not they want to include coffee in their diet.

It should also be noted that while some may choose to avoid coffee due to the Word of Wisdom, others may have health reasons or personal preferences that lead them to abstain from caffeine altogether. Additionally, there are some Mormons who do drink coffee and consider it a personal choice that does not go against their beliefs or commitment to the Word of Wisdom.

Also, try: how to get coffee stain out

Can Mormons Drink Iced Coffee?

Can members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) consume iced coffee or even decaf coffee? The short answer is no. The guidance given by the Word of Wisdom, a health code embraced by Mormons, is not limited to hot drinks. It includes coffee in any form due to the comparable caffeine content and potential health risks associated with it. Mormons are encouraged to avoid coffee altogether, as it aligns with their commitment to maintaining good health. Additionally, brewing decaf coffee or indulging in iced coffee is seen as potentially leading to the consumption of habit-forming substances. It’s important for Mormons to respect and adhere to the boundaries set by their faith.

What Do Mormons Drink Instead?

On the Stay LDS online forum, Mormons recommend Pero, Postum, and Inka as alternative instant beverages. Members provide supportive yet restrained suggestions for avoiding coffee. For instance, one user mentions their craving for coffee ice cream before it transforms into a prohibited iced coffee drink. Several Latter-day Saints also share stories of family members’ struggles with coffee addiction.

Interestingly, faithful Mormons are permitted to consume hot chocolate, which contains caffeine. Contrary to assumptions, caffeinated drinks aren’t the main concern for Mormon Church members, nor is sugar a point of contention.

Pleasantly, I’ve discovered that a typical Mormon movie night includes buttered popcorn, a variety of soda pop, and yes, hot chocolate packets!

There are numerous items absent from a Mormon movie night, such as illegal drugs, recreational marijuana, alcoholic beverages, iced tea, decaffeinated coffee, and Red Bull. Essentially, faithful Mormons abstain from these substances as they believe they dull the senses. Church members view these unhealthy products as contradictory to physical and spiritual well-being. Ultimately, the primary goal is to commune with Jesus Christ by maintaining spiritual health.

FAQs: mormons and coffee

Can Mormons drink cold coffee?

According to the guidelines outlined in the Word of Wisdom, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are advised to abstain from consuming coffee. This instruction is believed to be divinely inspired and followed by Mormons.

Can Mormons drink caffeine now?

There is no overarching church prohibition on faithful members drinking caffeinated sodas. However, it is worth noting that the Word of Wisdom advises against consuming “hot drinks,” which has been interpreted by church leaders as abstaining from coffee or tea.

Is there a connection between Mormonism and caffeine?

Mormonism emphasizes abstaining from certain substances, including caffeine. Mormons are instructed to avoid consuming coffee or any tea, with the exception of herbal tea, as specified in Doctrine and Covenants 89:9. Additionally, Mormons are advised against using tobacco (D&C 89:8) and are taught to abstain from illegal drugs and misuse of legal drugs, as outlined in the “For the Strength of Youth” booklet (2011), page 26.

Are there any exceptions to the Mormon coffee rule?

There are exceptions to the Mormon coffee rule. According to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), members are advised against consuming alcohol (refer to Doctrine and Covenants 89:5–7). Additionally, adherents are instructed to abstain from consuming “hot drinks,” which includes coffee and any form of tea except herbal tea (refer to Doctrine and Covenants 89:9). The use of tobacco is also discouraged (refer to Doctrine and Covenants 89:8).

Why is coffee forbidden in the Mormon Church?

The Mormon Church prohibits the consumption of coffee due to its stimulating effects. Church members adhere to a strict lifestyle that abstains from alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, addictive substances, and mind-altering drugs. This commitment is centered around their spiritual journey to know Jesus Christ.

Why can’t Mormons drink coffee but can drink soda?

Why do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) avoid coffee but can consume soda? The Word of Wisdom, found in Doctrine and Covenants 89:9, advises against consuming “hot drinks.” Early Church leaders interpreted this to include tea and coffee. The Word of Wisdom does not explicitly mention caffeine as the reason for avoiding these beverages.

3 thoughts on “Why Can’t Mormson Drink Coffee? | The Secret History”

  1. I look at the Word of Wisdom as having two levels. The first level is the bare minimum of what not to do – no coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. The second level is the bonus level, which isn’t totally required but is best. The second level is eating good foods and exercising and otherwise doing what you need to in order to be healthy and avoiding anything addictive. We’re generally pretty good at the first level. The second level takes more work.

  2. It’s interesting that the original Section 89 Word of Wisdom closely matches the general guidance of health professionals of the early 19th century. “Hot drinks” specifically comes straight out of health textbooks at the time and included soup and hot chocolate as well as all teas and coffee because “hot drinks” were thought to cause ulcers. Interestingly, Section 89 also allows for beer but prohibits distilled liquors and yet modern Mormons don’t drink alcohol at all. The commandment we have today only loosely matches Section 89, which is fine because Section 89 also says it’s not given by way of commandment.

    In regards to why? The only real answer is that it’s now a commandment. All the health benefits are more tertiary and some are fairly weak. Is coffee and tea bad for you? Yes and no, depends on who you talk to and who is using it. Is alcohol bad for you? Yes and no, depends on who you talk to and who is using it. And yet Mormons refrain from both because it’s what God has commanded.

  3. In addition to what most of these other comments have said regarding how the church defined “hot drinks” as coffee and black/green tea (herbal is fine), the reasoning behind the Word of Wisdom is unknown really. The way I look at it is like for the Jewish people. In the Bible it talks about not eating pork and being kosher or whatever with the reasoning being it set His church at the time apart from others. That’s how it is for us today. Is there some health benefit? Maybe. But the only real reason I can think of is that the word of wisdom is a current day “restriction” that sets us apart from the world as members of the Church of Christ

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