Mormons in ConTEXT: Why don’t Mormons Drink Coffee?

As a Mormon, I believe God still reveals His will for His children through modern-day prophets. One of these revelations is what we call the Word of Wisdom. It lays out guidelines for what we should and shouldn’t take into our bodies, basically, it’s the Mormon health code.

For example, it warns against using tobacco or drinking alcohol, coffee, or tea. We are warned about people in our day who would hide the dangers of such substances in order to continue making a profit off of them. It also tells us that we should eat grain, fruits and meat (in moderation).

Other modern-day prophets have clarified that all addictive and harmful substances should be avoided. We should also strive to have healthy habits such as eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

Whenever I think about the Word of Wisdom, I think about how much the Lord cares for us. He not only cares about our spiritual well-being, but He wants us to be physically healthy as well. When you feel unhealthy, it’s easier to get caught up in things like depression or self-loathing. But when you’re physically healthy, you can devote more of your energy to spiritual things.

I think one of the most important things to remember is that we should have moderation in all things. Both overeating and undereating aren’t good, and it’s the same with oversleeping and undersleeping. It is very possible to get too much of a good thing. And if we focus on our physical health to such an extreme that we don’t make time for our family or for Christ, that too is unhealthy.

It’s important to take care of our mental and emotional health. Eating disorders, depression, and other illnesses can affect our physical and spiritual health, so it’s important to seek help and treatment for such illnesses.

Sometimes the Word of Wisdom can be confusing. I’m not sure why exactly the Lord doesn’t want me to drink tea or coffee. I’ve thought about why, and I keep waiting for science to discover that they’re bad for us, like it did with tobacco. However, that day might never come (although California recently ruled that Coffee needs a cancer warning). But even then, I’d still follow God’s commandments.

The Lord has promised great blessings to those who have faith and follow the Word of Wisdom. They will, “receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:18-20).

When we follow the teachings of the Word of Wisdom, we will be strengthened both physically and spiritually. That’s a blessing I know I’ll always need, so I want to always keep the Word of Wisdom.

Kelly Burdick is an English undergraduate student at Brigham Young University and an intern at Mormon Hub. She loves stories of all kinds and can frequently be found admiring trees.