By Eric Johnson (Revised 7/2/2019) Prior to the April 2019 General Conference, there were many who were speculating about a possible change in Mormonism to allow coffee and tea, both of which are banned in the Word of Wisdom. Imagine the rejoicing of retail establishments such as Starbucks and Beans and Brews throughout Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming if … Read more
Mormons are not allowed to drink coffee because of the Word of Wisdom, which is a health law found in the unique LDS scripture Doctrine & Covenants 89 whereby God supposedly commanded His people to abstain from hot drinks (interpreted as coffee and tea) as well as tobacco, excessive amounts of meat, and alcoholic beverages. … Read more
Response to Lance Starr Rejoinder by Eric Johnson If the reader so far has come to expect that Mormonism 201 is marked with numerous logical fallacies, including unwarranted ad hominem attacks and circular reasoning, then he or she will not be disappointed in chapter 14 that was written by Lance Starr. Would you like some cheese with your … Read more
So now it isn’t the caffeine?
By Bill McKeever
The following was originally printed in the Nov-Dec 2012 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.
Word of Wisdom: A Mormon health law found in Doctrine & Covenants 89 commanding Mormons to abstain from hot drinks (interpreted as coffee and tea), tobacco, excessive amounts of meat, and alcoholic beverages. Obedience to this health law is one of the requirements to receive a temple recommend. Those who keep these sayings are promised … Read more
Many Mormons—especially those who hold temple recommends—uphold the Word of Wisdom (including not drinking hot drinks such as coffee and tea and no alcohol or tobacco) with religious sincertiy and strictness. The question is, should this really be considered “counsel from the Lord”?
According to D&C 89:3, the Word of Wisdom is a “principle with [a] promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak.” However, this did not become a command for 18 years, until it was proposed in 1851 by President Brigham Young. It later became a requirement for temple recommend holders until later in the 20th century. If this was such an important teaching, it seems strange that it was not a command from God when this revelation was first given.