Why Don’t Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Drink Coffee?

Latter-day Saints have been counseled by their leaders and by God not to drink coffee. This inspired counsel is part of a health code members follow in order to live healthier, happier lives.

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A man describes his commitment to follow God's commandment to care for the body He has given us.
A man describes his commitment to follow God's commandment to care for the body He has given us.

The Word of Wisdom

In the early 1800’s, God revealed a law of physical and spiritual health that we refer to as the Word of Wisdom. In this law, God details foods that are good for us to eat as well as substances we should avoid because of the harm they cause our bodies.

An Inspired Guide to Good Health: The Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Eat fruits & vegetables

“Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanskgiving” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:11).

Don’t: Drink alcohol

“And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:7).

Do: Eat meat sparingly

“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:12).

Don’t: Smoke or use tobacco

“And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:8).

Do: Exercise regularly

“To care for your body, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 25).

Don’t: Drink coffee or tea

“And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:9).

Do: Eat grains

“All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:14).

Don’t: Use illegal drugs or abuse medications

“Anything harmful that people purposefully take into their bodies is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. This is especially true of illegal drugs” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 186).

An inspired health code

In the Word of Wisdom, God says fruits, vegetables, and grains are nutritious and helpful to our bodies. He encourages us to eat meat sparingly. God also cautions us to avoid certain substances, including coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco. In our day, living prophets have also warned us to avoid illegal drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs. God promises abundant physical and spiritual blessings to those who follow this inspired health code.

Though the Word of Wisdom doesn’t outline the rationale behind all of its counsel, modern science has supported and reaffirmed many of its physical benefits. A 14-year study conducted by UCLA followed the mortality rates and health practices of 10,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in California. The study’s results were that Church members who followed the Word of Wisdom had an increased life expectancy of 8 to 11 years longer than the general U.S. population. They also had the lowest death rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Our physical bodies are created after the image of God. They are one of the greatest blessings God has given us. By following the Lord’s counsel, getting adequate exercise, and eating well, we can take better care of our bodies and live a happy, healthy life.

Common Questions

Below are questions often asked about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here to see the full list.

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