Mormons Don’t Drink Alcohol.

9:58:00 PM

Or smoke. Or drink coffee, or tea.
Ask any member of the church why, and they’ll likely respond with something similar to the following:
“We believe in the Word of Wisdom…a revelation regarding keeping out bodies healthy. In it, specific items are mentioned as being not healthy for the body and also a guideline for a healthy lifestyle is outlined.”
Some will even say that they don’t drink coffee, tea, alcohol or smoke or chew tobacco because the leaders of the church have asked them not to.
As I don't believe that a person should blindly follow instruction, I did my research into this aspect of my faith, and came to the following conclusion. Personally, I see the Word of Wisdom in this light – it is a care and instruction guide for my body. Much like a vehicle comes with a set of instructions, that is what the Word of Wisdom is to me. Just as a vehicle manual advises you not to use diesel fuel in a standard engine as it may cause destruction or damage to the internal workings of your car, the Word of Wisdom advises that you not partake in substances that will cause damage to the internal workings of your body.
I know it sounds like I’m oversimplifying this – but it’s honestly what the Word of Wisdom is. It’s advice from a loving Father in Heaven to his children on how to keep their most precious resource in top working order. In fact the Word of Wisdom isn’t just about the things we shouldn’t partake of (Coffee, Harmful substances, Alcohol, Tea and Tobacco) but also full of the things we should partake of – grains, vegetables, meats in moderation. In fact, moderation is the key to all things. It’s starting to sound a lot like a diet created by nutritionists and health experts, isn’t it?
This Word of Wisdom is not only found in the Doctrine and Covenants (a book contained in the Standard works of the LDS Scriptures along with the Book of Mormon, and Old and New Testaments of the Bible). In fact, there are numerous places in the scriptures where we are counseled about the effects of certain substances. Alcohol for example is specifically mentioned in Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” and Daniel Chapter 1 talks about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. They choose to not partake of the king’s rich foods that they had been taught were not good for them and also choose not to partake in his wine for ten full days. At the end of those ten days, they were stronger and healthier than those who had mocked their choice. (I bet in biblical terms Daniel and his friends were even called “weird” – just my guess anyway.) Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
Strong drink is deceiving. Wine clouds your judgement. Overindulging causes sluggishness. All biblical references.
A word quickly about caffeine. It is not specifically mentioned in the Word of Wisdom and is considered a grey area for many. For me, I’ve made the choice not to consume caffeine in accordance to the Word of Wisdom because for me, caffeine is an addictive substance that has harmful effects on my body. It causes my heart to race, my hands to shake, headaches, and increases the effects of anxiety. As stated by President Boyd K Packer:

”The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ (Doctrine and Covenants 89:3) … A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Generally principles are not spelled out in detail. Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom…We teach the principle together with the promised blessings. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation…Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life.” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, 17-18)
Am I absolutely forbidden from partaking in these things? No. I have my agency. And if I did nobody would know, right? Of course not – I would know and I’ve made the decision to live by this standard as a promise to myself, my family and my Father in Heaven. I find it incredibly interesting that a document written so many years before the discovery of the dangers of alcohol and the creation of the food pyramid could be filled with so much truth about the proper way to eat and be healthy.
Is the Word of Wisdom weird? Maybe. Peculiar? Most definitely.

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