I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I do not drink alcohol.

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Pexels.com

Like I mentioned two weeks ago when discussing coffee, the direction to not drink alcohol comes from something we LDS refer to as The Word of Wisdom. Joseph Smith records these “words of wisdom” in a book of scripture we use called the Doctrine and Covenants.

5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

Doctrine and Covenants 89:5,7

Maybe you’re wondering what constitutes a ‘strong drink.’ What about cooking with wine? Don’t we need Bananas Foster? Seriously, though; what does the scripture mean by talking about “sacraments?” And, why no booze?

The Word of Wisdom is a commandment of God. He revealed it for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. Prophets have clarified that the teachings in Doctrine and Covenants 89 include abstinence from tobacco, strong drinks (alcohol), and hot drinks (tea and coffee).

Church Policies and Guidelines, Word of Wisdom and Healthy Practices, 38.7.14

Committing to the LDS faith means no consuming alcohol -not even for taking “sacraments.” In lessons at church, I learned that Joseph Smith was instructed not to use wine for the Sacrament like the New Testament describes. We use water.

Since I’ve been a member of the LDS church for my entire life, raised by LDS parents who had several LDS progenitors themselves, I’ve never drunk a drop of liquor. To be completely honest (also a commandment), I have eaten meals and desserts made with alcohol. I didn’t notice a significant difference and am fine going without.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

©2022 Chel Owens

Technically, we Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

43 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. Having been raised in a family where having a drink or smoking cigarettes were just what adults did, led directly to each of us 3 children becoming adults who did the same. None of us touch alcohol anymore and I quit smoking 35 years ago.

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  2. Medical scientists say that alcohol is poison, so it appears you’ve spared your body by following this Mormon rule. I had a stepfather who was what some call a Jack Mormon. He was LDS, but also a terrible, passing-out-and-lying-in-the-gutter alcoholic. It was pretty tragic the way he lived and died, and too bad he couldn’t follow this rule of your religion.

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    1. I’ve had relatives like that, too. Just because a standard is in place, doesn’t mean the temptation’s not there… :/ Knowing how the children from that struggle, I’m very sorry for you and your childhood.

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      1. He was just one of several stepfathers, and only my stepdad for about a year. He was actually a great guy when he was sober. But sadly, the temptation of the bottle was too much for him.

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  3. With booze, moderation is key. With smokes you’re all too soon hooked, and with the best will in the world and all manner of nicotine patches it’s all just the flick of a Zip away. Never ever be tempted.

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  4. Haven’t had a taste of any alcohol going on 9 years. At 43 the buzz I felt at 23 had skipped right to the hangover. Not a pleasant experience. Honestly I was an every once in a blue moon fruit flavored cocktail drinker, my favorite being a fuzzy navel (peach schnapps and oj). Never drank during my high school or college years.

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  5. Thanks for the education, as I enjoy learning the belief systems of others. Besides the religious aspect, they aren’t cheap or healthy—pretty good incentives not to go there. Thankfully, I’ve never smoked, and I only like the occasional beer.

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  6. Drinking alcohol is one of those things I don’t see the point of. Alters your perspective too much. Thanks so much for sharing Chelsea, I’m finding it all very insightful.

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    1. My boys ask me why people drink alcohol or coffee or why they smoke cigarettes or do drugs. I feel it’s important to answer them literally and then follow up with negative consequences. I’ve also told them everything has side effects, even water. 😀 Hopefully, I’m being a good parent.

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    1. Two weeks ago, I clarified that “hot drinks” are tea and coffee. For some reason, we’re cool with hot cocoa. 🍫

      No-caffeine soft drinks is true, though it’s a loosely-official rule. They’re definitely mentioned as not okay for youth.

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  7. It’s always good (for) me…I’m curious to have an insight without preaching into religions…I don’t smoke but I do like a sundowner…though if it’s about caffeine even hot chocolate has that albeit not as much…just saying …-smile-

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    1. I’m also curious.

      You’re right about the caffeine. Some LDS don’t eat chocolate. Honestly, the main point of the words of wisdom are to live healthily: moderation, fruit in season, get to bed early and rise early, exercise… alcohol and tobacco are specifically mentioned and tea and coffee are supposed to be the ‘hot drinks.’ I’ve heard stories that early adherents were so concerned about the rules that they didn’t even heat water to kill contaminants when they moved to a swampy area, so one can get into trouble being literal without asking about further revelation.

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  8. I used to drink alcohol, but as I got older, the morning-after effects got worse. It’s just not worth it! I totally respect anyone who doesn’t want to, either for health reasons or for matters of faith.

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