Mormons are the adherents of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. They have a reputation for strict rules about modesty and good behavior.
But do Mormons ever let their hair down for the occasional tiple? Do Mormons drink alcohol?
No, Mormons do not drink alcohol. Mormons believe that they are divinely counseled to avoid alcohol because it’s harmful to the body and mind. They regard the ban on alcohol as one of God’s commandments and have even replaced sacramental wine with water.
A few members may choose to drink alcohol, but they do not qualify for baptism and may not worship in the temple.
So, if Mormons don’t drink alcohol, What are the rules about eating and drinking for members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints? Here’s a quick summary of Mormon’s dietary do’s and don’ts.
What does the Mormon religion say about alcohol?
The Mormon lifestyle guidance principles, according to their prophet Joseph Smith’s book the Word of Wisdom, are simple:
- Practice a healthy lifestyle by eating and doing good things.
- Avoid harm to the body or soul by avoiding bad food, drink, and actions.
What drinks are allowed for Mormons?
The Word of Wisdom prohibits the use of alcohol. That includes all types of alcoholic drinks like liqueurs, cocktails, fortified liquor, and wine.
The ban on alcohol even includes communion wine, which the church substitutes with water during formal occasions.
Additionally, the book prohibits drinking “hot drinks”.
As defined in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, any drink that is served hot, such as coffee, hot chocolate, soup, or tea, is forbidden.
The only exception for hot drinks, according to more recent church leaders, is hot herbal tea.
What are the consequences of Mormons drinking alcohol?
Mormons are not supposed to drink alcohol, but a few do. Still, it is not something that the church condones or accepts.
The consequences for Mormons who drink alcohol range between criticism, exclusion, and counseling. It depends on individual circumstances within different communities.
Some communities may be a little more lenient than others, and judgment may be harsher for habitual offenders or single females.
But whether a specific community tolerates the occasional drink or not, Mormons who drink alcohol do not qualify for baptism, may be disciplined, and are not allowed to attend worship in the temple.
The Mormon caffeine debate
Mormons regard caffeine as being akin to alcohol because of its stimulant effect on the body and mind.
While the LDS church hasn’t banned caffeine, Mormons have a long-running debate about drinking coffee.
Some think that it is a waste of time to drink a cup of coffee and that their time would be better spent doing something more constructive.
Some believe that caffeine is just as bad as alcohol, intoxicants, or drugs like marijuana which have some effect on the body or psyche.
Additionally, coffee is (usually!) a hot drink, and hot drinks are forbidden! That’s why some Mormons drink decaffeinated, cold, coffee-flavored drinks, but never touch the real stuff.
What do Mormons drink instead of alcohol?
The focus is on healthy, wholesome drinks. They generally avoid artificial drinks because they recognize there is no health or well-being benefit to drinking soda.
Most older Mormons favor plain water, homemade or natural fruit juices, herbal teas, and coffee-flavored drinks without caffeine.
Generally, things that you can make at home without a lot (or any really) processed ingredients that aren’t found in your backyard.
However, the younger generations have adopted a more relaxed stance towards beverages (although not alcohol).
A good portion of the younger Mormon population regularly drink soda, pop, and other commercial beverages, which are all catching on within their communities.
Mormons are not permitted to drink alcohol because of their commitment to health and wellness, and because of their adherence to God’s commandments.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Mormon who drinks alcohol. The LDS church limits offenders’ participation in church activities, and other Mormons regard their actions as controversial.
Overall, the good, clean Mormon way of living does seem to make a difference to overall health.
The Church claims that Mormons have a significantly longer lifespan than people who do not follow the Mormon faith.
Now, that’s food for thought!