No Coffee Mormon Church Warns


Photo Credits: Pixabay

Some food prohibitions can be defined as rules (codified by religion or otherwise) about which foods or combination of foods may not be eaten and how animals are to be slaughtered or prepared. For instance, Judaism strictly forbids the consumption of amphibians such as frogs. Consumption of pigs is forbidden in Islam, Judaism and certain Christian denominations.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has issued a warning to members — no matter how it’s called, coffee is always prohibited. “The word coffee isn’t always in the name of coffee drinks,” warns an official guidance in the August issue of a youth magazine for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Vaping is banned despite the alluring flavors. Also, marijuana is outlawed unless prescribed by "competent" doctors.

"...So, before you try what you think is just some new milkshake flavor, here are a couple of rules of thumb: One, if you're in a coffee shop (or any other shop that's well-known for its coffee), the drink you're ordering probably has coffee in it, so either never buy drinks at coffee shops or always ask if there's coffee in it," the article said. "Two, drinks with names that include cafe or caffe, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino usually have coffee in them and are against the Word of Wisdom."

The warnings come as Starbucks announced plans to open its first stand-alone shop near the church-owned Brigham Young University in the heavily Mormon city of Provo, Utah. As coffee shops have become common in the United States, more young church members feel comfortable going to places like Starbucks and drinking iced coffee, said Patrick Mason, a church member and religious scholar who is the Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. For past generations, just entering coffee shops was considered taboo, he said.

Latter-day Saints consider it a privilege as well as a responsibility to follow the Word of Wisdom and are grateful for the blessings of health and strength that come as they live by its counsel. The Word of Wisdom is based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1833. According to a 2016 survey, four in 10 active church members under age 51 drank coffee during the previous six months. This means that 40% of church members have not been following the Word of Wisdom literally.

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