Why can't Mormons drink coffee?

It's a line that peeks around the corner in many Hollywood movie breakfast scenes, usually in the form of a questioning look from the Mormon henchman as the main character chugs his morning shot of the black gold. It's a curious and at first glance perhaps even laughable tradition, seen in supermarkets and coffee shops around the world. So, why can't Mormons drink coffee? Let's explore the complex interplays of religion, history, and culture in this fascinating issue.

The Doctrine and Revelation

"Word of Wisdom" in Mormon Doctrine

Within Mormon circles, there is a document known as The Word of Wisdom that provides advice on health and wellness. The provenance of this document, which some consider a revelation, dates back to the early days of the Mormon Church. One of the recommendations therein, without further explanation or justification, is to abstain from 'hot drinks', which are later interpreted by leaders as coffee and tea.

Modern understanding of Revelations

The understanding and interpretation of revelation in the Mormon Church is a dynamic and ongoing process. On the one hand there is the deep reverence for the Word of Wisdom as divine wisdom; on the other hand, developments in medical insight and new revelations are weighed with respect for the past, but with an eye on the future.

Restraint in Religious Practice

The avoidance of coffee reflects a broader reluctance in Mormon religious practice toward food and drink. This is not so much a matter of legalism, but of devotion and participation in sacred rituals that, according to Mormon teachings, strengthen and heal the path to godliness.

Health as a Motive

The impact of Coffee on Health

Studies have shown moderate coffee consumption and some health benefits, such as improved mental alertness and reduced risks of diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes. However, Mormon teachings emphasize the potential long-term negative effects, encouraging followers not to expose themselves to those risks.

The Way of the Middle

The Worth of Wisdom is not a complete deprivation, but offers a middle ground; drinking coffee and alcohol is discouraged, while eating herbs and vegetables is welcomed. This reflects a vision of enjoyment of life that is in balance with physical and mental health.

Religious Forces and Healthcare

Religion and health are intertwined for some good reasons and some that remain controversial. In the case of Mormon coffee abstinence, it can serve as a catalyst for conscious dietary choices, adopting practices that promote well-being, and caregiving for the divine gift of the human body.

Cultural Identity

Mormonism in American Culture

Mormonism has a unique place in American cultural history; from the pioneers to the current members of Congress,” moving from an outsider to part of the American mosaic shaped by religion as a building block of society.

Coffee in the American Cultural Landscape

On the other hand, coffee has been an important part of the American cultural landscape for decades; a symbol of relaxation, morning energy and social interaction across the entire population.

Cultural Relativism vs. Absolutism

The question of why Mormons don't drink coffee brings us to the debate of cultural relativism versus absoluteism. What is obvious to one person may seem absurd to another. Respect and understanding of diversity brings about peaceful coexistence in our increasingly diverse world.

Personal Revelation and Representation

Individual Responsibility for Revelations

A crucial aspect of Mormon coffee abstinence is the idea of ​​personal revelation. Every individual is encouraged to pray and seek revelation on this subject, not merely out of habit, but out of a desire for personal and spiritual advancement.

'Do Coffee' in Mores and Associations

The divide between “doing coffee” in everyday life and “not doing coffee” in Mormon belief is stark. This difference raises questions about social norms, associations and individual beliefs in a multicultural society.

Revelation and Social Representations

The permeation of religious belief into our social fabric goes deep and far; it transcends religious boundaries and empowers believers of all backgrounds to deal with misunderstandings, stereotypes, and cultural representations.


In the search for an answer to the question of why Mormons don't drink coffee, we conclude that the decision to avoid a seemingly simple act like drinking coffee is deeply rooted in complex reasoning surrounding religion, health, culture, and individual revelation.

Regardless of our own beliefs, this provides insights into the complex motives that drive our daily habits and the reasons why believers of all denominations follow certain paths. And most importantly, it reminds us that the world and the people around us always reveal more value than meets the eye.