Why Can’t Latter-day Saints Drink Coffee? The Religious Beliefs and Teachings Explained

I must say, the topic of why Latter-day Saints cannot drink coffee has always intrigued me. As a curious individual, I sought to understand the religious beliefs and teachings behind this prohibition. After conducting extensive research and conversations with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, I have discovered some interesting insights into this matter. In this article, I will delve into the reasons why Latter-day Saints choose to abstain from consuming coffee, exploring the religious background and teachings that inform this practice.

The Word of Wisdom: A Guiding Principle

To comprehend the Latter-day Saints’ perspective on coffee, we must first look at the foundational doctrine known as the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom is a code of health outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations received by early Church leaders. It was given as guidance for the physical and spiritual well-being of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Understanding the Prohibition

Contained within the Word of Wisdom is the counsel to abstain from certain substances. These substances include alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and, interestingly, hot drinks. While the exact definition of “hot drinks” has been a topic of discussion, the interpretation within the Latter-day Saint community has generally referred to beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee or tea.

A Doctrine of Moderation

It is crucial to note that the prohibition on coffee and other substances in the Word of Wisdom is not seen as a commandment but rather as a recommendation. Latter-day Saints believe in agency and personal accountability, allowing individuals to make their own choices regarding their consumption habits. Members of the Church are encouraged to exercise wisdom and self-control when deciding what to consume.

The Blessings of Abstinence

Now that we understand the context behind the prohibition, let us explore some of the reasons why Latter-day Saints adhere to this teaching.

Physical and Emotional Well-being

One of the primary reasons why Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee is to maintain good physical and emotional health. Coffee, as a caffeinated beverage, stimulates the central nervous system and can create dependency. Proponents of abstaining from coffee argue that avoiding this stimulant helps individuals maintain a healthier lifestyle.

The Church emphasizes the importance of treating our bodies as sacred gifts from God. Latter-day Saints believe that by abstaining from coffee, they not only improve their physical health but also demonstrate respect for their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Clarity and Revelation

Furthermore, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that abstaining from coffee can enhance their ability to receive personal revelation from God. They strive to live in harmony with the teachings and principles outlined in the Word of Wisdom, which includes avoiding coffee and other substances.

Latter-day Saints have a deep commitment to spiritual growth and seek to maintain a clear mind and heart to better understand and receive divine guidance. By adhering to the teachings in the Word of Wisdom, they believe they can have a closer connection with God and receive personal inspiration to navigate life’s challenges.

Unity and Identity

Abstaining from coffee is also seen as a way to strengthen unity among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shared practices, like following the Word of Wisdom principles, create common ground and reinforce a sense of identity within the community. This unity is considered essential in fostering strong familial and social relationships.

Additionally, by living the teachings of the Church, Latter-day Saints often find themselves set apart from mainstream society. This distinction can be seen as a symbolic reminder of their commitment to their faith and principles.

Broader Implications on Daily Life

The practice of abstaining from coffee reaches beyond the mere act of drinking a beverage. For Latter-day Saints, it extends to various aspects of their daily lives.

Alternative Beverage Choices

Given the restrictions on coffee, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have explored alternative options for warm beverages. Herbal teas, hot chocolate, and various caffeine-free drinks have become popular alternatives. These alternatives satisfy the desire for a warm drink while aligning with the principles outlined in the Word of Wisdom.

Social Interactions

The decision not to consume coffee can also impact social interactions. When Latter-day Saints decline a cup of coffee offered by a friend or coworker, it often leads to conversations regarding their religious beliefs. This opens the opportunity for the sharing of core doctrines and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, promoting understanding and dialogue among individuals of different faiths.


In conclusion, the Latter-day Saints’ practice of abstaining from coffee is grounded in their religious beliefs and teachings. Although the specific wording of the Word of Wisdom does not exclusively mention coffee, the interpretation within the Latter-day Saint community includes this beverage due to its caffeine content. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see the prohibition as an opportunity to prioritize their physical and emotional well-being, enhance their spiritual connection with God, reinforce unity within their community, and display their commitment to their faith.

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