Monday, December 5, 2011

Mormon Coffee—Chocolate

Humans can be so gullible.

I read a Parade interview with Mitt Romney in which he confirms that Mormons are not permitted to smoke, drink alcohol or coffee, or have premarital sex. Of these four directives, the least understandable is coffee abstention. Placing coffee in the same group as premarital sex is odd. I can’t imagine sending an 18-year-old off to college with the admonition, “You be careful now, honey. And be sure to avoid sex and coffee.” Then once the Mormon marries, he or she still can’t drink coffee. Why is this?

In response to the question, “Has it been hard to [not drink alcohol or coffee],” Mitt tells Parade, “My view is that the commandments of God…are not so much restricting as liberating.”

Now this little auntie has read the Bible several times, and there are a lot of drunk, adulterous, incestuous folks discussed. They lie, behead, pillage, and rape. But presently I do not recall a coffee restriction listed in the commandments.

Let’s check my Book of Mormon. Across from the inside cover reads “A Few Interesting Book of Mormon References.” Nothing about coffee, nor in the table of contents. In the index, coffee would be between Cockatrice and Cohor: the first stimulates my interest. Could it be that abstaining from coffee became law after 1948, the copyright date of this book? Checking Wikipedia’s entry for Book of Mormon indicates no word coffee in its contents.

What is so bad about drinking coffee aside from consequential bad breath? One answer is, given the number of kids Mormons usually have and how close two people need to maneuver to conceive all those offspring, a person’s breath is vital and should be fresh at all times, just in case.

Another thought is, coffee can be used as a stimulant, giving the drinker a kick-start in the morning after rolling over. I don’t see anything wrong with waking up before driving to work, but if you’re like me, you blend regular coffee with decaf in the coffeemaker and don’t experience any stimulating effects, just warmth and, of course, bad breath, but I don’t practice procreation. There’s usually not even enough caffeine to get my bowels moving. But with all those kids—they have five sons who’ve given rise to 16 more children—wouldn’t you think a stimulant would be a Mormon mandate?

From reading the entire article, I don’t believe stimulation or caffeine is the Mormon’s culprit, since Mitt’s wife, Ann, says he really likes chocolate—hot chocolate, chocolate milk, and specifically, Over the Moon Chocolate Milk, the low-fat kind. Chocolate has been known to have caffeine, so coffee’s naughtiness cannot be caffeine’s inherent crystalline compound.

Let’s ask my iBook Oxford what coffee really is: “a drink made from the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tropical shrub…of the bedstraw family that yields these seeds, two of which are contained in each red berry.” Hmm, it’s not made from beans, so Mitt can probably warm his insides with a piping hot bowl of chili during those cold Massachusetts winters without sin. Coffee is made from seeds. Further in the interview, Parade notes, “The Governor’s current favorite cereals are Brown Sugar Chex Bites and Quaker Oatmeal Squares.” Mormons, therefore, condone seed and bark eating, since seeds and spices are often cereal ingredients.

Not being permitted to drink coffee really has me baffled. What is this bedstraw shrub that bears coffee’s seeds? Oxford states it’s “a herbaceous plant with small, lightly perfumed white or yellow flowers and whorls of slender leaves. It was formerly used for stuffing mattresses.”

That’s it! Just when you thought I didn’t have a story. It’s the mattress component. If you drink coffee, particularly in the presence of an unmarried member of the opposite sex to whom you are attracted, the next step is obviously onto a mattress, with bad breath, no less.

Like to share a Hershey’s bar? Mine has nuts.

Excerpts from


  1. I think it is caffeine, or any “stimulant,” or mind-altering substance that fails the Mormon test.

    Likewise, Coca Cola or any such caffeinated beverage is prohibited – that is until the LDS church bought a controlling stake in the Coca Cola company, in which case exceptions are granted.

    Just sayin’…

  2. Mormons are not allowed to drink anything that contains a stimulant. Caffeine which is a stimulant is proscribed in any food where it is found. Hence, no coffee, no tea, no soft drinks for a start. Who knows how many other foods and drinks are not allowed? Makes you wonder why anyone wants to be a Mormon.

  3. So if Mormons think stimulants aren't good, then why is Mitt consuming chocolate?

    And if it is true that the LDS bought into Coke, isn't that hypocritical? More research needed…

  4. Check out “Word of Wisdom” on Wikipedia. It references “hot drinks,” such as tea and coffee, as it relates to the LDS Church.

  5. I have been wondering how a Mormon can like Quaker products for breakfast?


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