Why Mormons Don’t Drink Coffee…and Other Things

Have you ever wondered why Mormons can’t drink alcohol, tea or tobacco? There are two main reasons: (1) Our bodies are sacred and (2) The Word of Wisdom.

Mormon couple

Our Bodies Are Sacred

In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul asked the Corinthians “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Regardless of what your religious background is, the word “temple” conjures up some form of holiness, cleanliness or sacredness. Thus, when Paul compares our bodies to a temple, he means that they are sacred gifts from God that should be kept clean.

Mormons believe in honoring our bodies, in keeping ourselves healthy and free from addiction. So in one sense, why can’t Mormons drink alcohol and other things?—because we believe it damages the body.

The Word of Wisdom

The other reason is because of The Word of Wisdom, a law of health revealed by God to Joseph Smith in 1833.

The Word of Wisdom instructs us to:

  • eat healthy foods
  • avoid harmful substances
  • avoid alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee
  • avoid harmful drugs in any form

So why don’t Mormons drink coffee and other things?—because we are commanded by God not to. The Lord has promised great physical and spiritual blessings to those who follow this law of health. I know I have been blessed in many ways by doing my best to live this law.

Do Mormons Fast?

do mormons fast?

Fasting

Do Mormons fast? That’s a great question. The answer is yes, Mormons do fast at least once every month.

From a literal sense, fasting is going without food or drink. When Mormons fast, it’s typically for a period of 24 hours.

But fasting is more than going without sustenance. Religiously speaking, fasting is a great spiritual opportunity.

Fasting is an opportunity to commune with the Lord and should be coupled with prayer. For example, one could fast and pray for a special blessing, or to give thanks.

Fast and Testimony Meeting

Mormons can fast at anytime but are asked to fast at least once per month. Typically, on the first Sunday of each month, a Mormon congregation will come together in fasting and prayer and hold a service called a fast and testimony meeting.

Rather than a typical Sunday service where there is formal teaching and preaching, members of the congregation stand up at the pulpit (of their own free will) to share their testimonies of Jesus and the gospel.

I think it’s a very special time for the whole congregation. It’s a time to share thoughts and feelings with each other, to draw closer together, and to strengthen one another in Christ.

Coupled with fasting and prayer is the fast offering. A fast offering consists of at least the cost of the meals you went without during your fast, but it can be more. This money is then given to the church to help the poor and needy.

Fasting in the Scriptures

Fasting is a principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People in Biblical times fasted.

When Moses was went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, he fasted.

And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

(Exodus 34:28)

Jesus also fasted for 40 days before he began his ministry (see Matthew 4:2).

In The Book of Mormon, a prophet named Alma came to a knowledge of Jesus through fasting and prayer.

Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things [of God] of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit…

(Alma 5:46)

Have you fasted before? I’d love to hear of your experiences.