Can Mormons Eat Food With Alcohol In It?

Imagine you’re at a dinner party, scanning the menu for suitable options. Suddenly, your eyes lock onto a tempting dish brimming with delicious flavors, only to be disappointed by the presence of alcohol. As a curious observer, you might find yourself wondering, “Can Mormons eat food with alcohol in it?” This query not only sparks intrigue but also highlights an intriguing aspect of Mormon dietary guidelines that often raises eyebrows. So, let’s explore the fascinating world of Mormonism and discover the answer to this intriguing question.

What is Mormonism?

Mormonism, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a religious movement that was founded in the early 19th century by Joseph Smith. Its origins can be traced back to upstate New York, where Smith claimed to have had a series of visions and was subsequently directed by God to restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Since its inception, Mormonism has gained a significant following and has become one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.

Origins of Mormonism

The origins of Mormonism can be traced back to a small town called Palmyra, New York, where Joseph Smith claimed that he had been visited by God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. According to his accounts, he was told that all existing Christian denominations were in error and that he was chosen to restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Smith then went on to translate the Book of Mormon, which he claimed was an ancient record of Native Americans that had been buried in a hill near his home.

Beliefs and teachings

Mormonism is centered around a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ’s atonement allows for the forgiveness of sins and the opportunity for eternal life. They also believe in additional scriptures, such as the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, which they consider to be divinely inspired.

One of the core tenets of Mormonism is the belief in continuing revelation. Mormons believe that God speaks to living prophets and apostles, who receive guidance and direction for the church and its members. This belief in ongoing revelation allows for flexibility and adaptation within the religion to meet the changing needs of its followers.

Lifestyle and practices

Mormons strive to live according to high moral standards and principles. They believe in living a clean and virtuous life, which includes abstaining from harmful substances and engaging in wholesome activities. Mormons also place a strong emphasis on family and community, and they strive to create a supportive and loving environment for their loved ones and fellow believers.

In addition to attending regular Sunday worship services, Mormons are encouraged to participate in various other religious activities, such as family home evenings, temple worship, and service projects. These practices are seen as a way to strengthen their faith and build a sense of unity among believers.

Understanding the Mormon Dietary Code

The Word of Wisdom

The Mormon dietary code, known as the Word of Wisdom, is a set of guidelines and recommendations that Mormons strive to follow in order to maintain good health and spiritual well-being. The Word of Wisdom was received by Joseph Smith in 1833 and is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations given through Smith.

The Word of Wisdom advises against the use of harmful substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea. It also encourages the consumption of nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and herbs.

Prohibited substances

Mormons are strongly encouraged to abstain from the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea. These substances are believed to be harmful to both the physical and spiritual well-being of individuals. The Word of Wisdom specifically states that these substances are not for the “body” or “belly” and should be avoided.

Food and drinks with alcohol content

Mormons are generally advised to avoid consuming food and drinks that contain alcohol. While the Word of Wisdom does not explicitly prohibit the consumption of food with alcohol content, Mormons are encouraged to exercise caution and wisdom in their dietary choices.

Exceptions to the General Rule

Medicinal and cleaning products

Mormons are allowed to use medicinal products that may contain alcohol, as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Likewise, cleaning products that may contain alcohol can also be used for household purposes. The principle of moderation is emphasized when it comes to these exceptions, and individuals are encouraged to use their own discretion and seek counsel from church leaders or professionals if needed.

Alcohol used in cooking

Mormons may use alcohol in cooking, as the cooking process generally burns off the alcohol and leaves behind only the flavor. However, it is important to note that the intention should always be to cook with alcohol as a flavoring agent and not for the purpose of getting intoxicated. Mormons are advised to be mindful of the quantity of alcohol used and ensure that it does not compromise their personal values or temptations.

Non-alcoholic beer and wine

Non-alcoholic beer and wine are generally deemed acceptable for Mormons to consume. These beverages contain extremely low or no alcohol content, and therefore, do not fall under the prohibited substances listed in the Word of Wisdom. However, Mormons are encouraged to exercise discernment and self-control and avoid using non-alcoholic beer or wine as a substitute for alcoholic beverages.

Respecting Individual Choices

Personal beliefs and interpretations

While the Mormon faith provides general guidelines and teachings, individuals may have their own personal beliefs and interpretations. It is important to recognize that not all Mormons may follow the guidelines of the Word of Wisdom in the same way. Some individuals may choose to strictly adhere to the dietary code, while others may interpret it differently and make exceptions based on their own understanding and personal circumstances.

Variances among Mormons

It is essential to acknowledge that there can be variances among Mormons in their adherence to the Word of Wisdom. Not all individuals may have the same level of commitment or understanding of the dietary code, and it is important to respect these differences. Mormons are encouraged to be understanding and accepting of others’ choices and to focus on building unity and love within their community.

Guidelines for Mormons and Alcohol Ingestion

Church teachings and recommendations

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches its members to abstain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Word of Wisdom serves as a guide for Mormons in making healthy and spiritually sound choices. By avoiding alcohol, Mormons are encouraged to live a life free from the negative physical and spiritual effects associated with its consumption.

Principles of moderation

While the Word of Wisdom advises against the use of harmful substances, including alcohol, the principle of moderation is emphasized in Mormonism. Mormons are taught to exercise self-control and be mindful of their choices. This includes consuming food and drinks in moderation, as well as avoiding excessive indulgence in any potentially harmful substances or activities.

Challenges and Controversies

Imposing beliefs on others

The Mormon dietary code, particularly the restriction on alcohol consumption, can sometimes be a source of controversy or difficulty in social situations. It is important for Mormons to approach these situations with understanding and respect for the beliefs and choices of others. It is not the intention of the Mormon faith to impose its beliefs on others, but rather to provide guidance for its own members.

Critics and opinions within the Mormon community

Within the Mormon community, there may be differing opinions and perspectives regarding the adherence to the Word of Wisdom. Some individuals may have more lenient views, while others may be more strict in their interpretation. It is important to foster an environment of open dialogue and understanding, where differing opinions can be respectfully discussed and considered.

Navigating Social Situations

Attending events with alcohol

Mormons may find themselves in social situations where alcohol is present, such as parties or gatherings. In such instances, it is essential to prioritize personal values and beliefs while maintaining respect for others. Mormons can choose to politely decline alcohol and instead opt for non-alcoholic beverages. It is crucial to remember that personal choices should be made with love, kindness, and understanding towards others.

Handling questions and concerns

When faced with questions or concerns about the Mormon dietary code, it is important to approach these conversations with respect and understanding. Mormons can kindly explain their beliefs and the principles they strive to live by, without judging or criticizing others’ choices. It is essential to foster open and honest communication, allowing for a better understanding of one another’s perspectives.

The Importance of Personal Revelation

Relying on spiritual discernment

Personal revelation plays a vital role in the lives of Mormons. They believe in seeking guidance and direction from God through prayer and personal reflection. When it comes to making decisions regarding their dietary choices, Mormons are encouraged to rely on their spiritual discernment and seek guidance from God to ensure they are aligning their actions with their personal beliefs and values.

Seeking guidance from church leaders

In addition to personal revelation, Mormons place great value on seeking guidance from their church leaders. Bishops and other leaders within the Church are there to provide counsel and support to individuals seeking guidance on matters of faith. Mormons are encouraged to reach out to their church leaders for wisdom and advice on how to navigate challenging or uncertain situations.

Understanding the Potential Consequences

Spiritual implications

For Mormons, the decision to consume alcohol or engage in behavior contrary to the Word of Wisdom can have spiritual implications. It may create feelings of guilt or spiritual unrest, as it is in contrast to the teachings and principles of their faith. Mormons believe in the importance of aligning their actions with their beliefs in order to maintain a close relationship with God and receive spiritual blessings.

Social implications

Engaging in behavior that goes against the principles outlined in the Word of Wisdom may also have social implications for Mormons. It may lead to a sense of disconnect or isolation from their fellow believers or the wider Mormon community. Mormons strive to create a unified and supportive environment, and actions that diverge from the established guidelines can potentially impact social relationships and interactions.

Individual consequences

On an individual level, the decision to consume alcohol or disregard the guidelines of the Word of Wisdom can have various consequences. These consequences can range from physical health issues associated with alcohol consumption to challenges in personal relationships and mental well-being. Mormons are encouraged to consider the potential consequences of their actions and make choices that align with their personal values and overall well-being.


The Mormon dietary code, as outlined in the Word of Wisdom, serves as a guiding principle for Mormons in making healthy and spiritually sound choices. While the avoidance of alcohol is strongly encouraged, there are exceptions and nuances to consider. Mormons are encouraged to exercise moderation, seek personal revelation, and respect others’ choices. Navigating social situations and understanding the potential consequences of their actions are also crucial aspects of living according to the principles of Mormonism. Ultimately, Mormons strive to live a virtuous and fulfilling life that aligns with their beliefs and values.