Return to About Mormons home


by Joseph Lynn Lyon

Devout Latter-day Saints do not drink teas containing caffeine. This practice derives from an 1833 revelation known as the Word of Wisdom, which states that "hot drinks are not for the body or the belly" (D&C 89:9). Hyrum Smith, Assistant President of the Church, later defined "hot drinks" as coffee and tea (T&S 3 [June 1, 1842]:800), thereby establishing the official interpretation for later generations (see Doctrine and Covenants: Section 89). Caffeine, a cerebral and cardiovascular stimulant, has caused health concerns in recent years. The revelation has not been interpreted as proscribing herbal teas, for it states that "all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the Constitution, nature, and use of man" (D&C 89:10).

(See Daily Living home page; Attitudes Toward Health, Medicine, and Fitness home page)


Stratton, Clifford J. "The Xanthines: Coffee, Cola, Cocoa, and Tea." BYU Studies 20 (Summer 1980):371-88.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4, Tea

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

All About Mormons