A very common question that I get from my friends is “What are the rules of Mormonism?” This question usually comes in a situation after ordering a soda or water when my friends are drinking a beer or wine.
As a Mormon, I don’t drink alcohol. I actually don’t smoke or drink coffee/tea as part of my religion as well. These specific commandments (“rules”) came through a revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833. One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is our physical bodies and He expects us to take care of it. The Apostle Paul recognized this when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
One of the most interesting things is that this commandment was given long before the scientific or medical community had documented the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, etc. In fact, many of these harmful effects are still being discovered today. Just last month, I read about a study published in the Archives of Neurology, an American Medical Association publication. The group performing the study had hypothesized that moderate alcohol consumption would actually slow brain shrinkage–the opposite turned out to be true. While the average brain shrinks at a rate of 2% per decade, the brain of those consuming alcohol shrinks at a much faster pace.
In any event, I’m grateful for this “rule of Mormonism”. It’s helped me lead a very healthy life and respect this “temple” of a physical body that the Lord has given me.