What you might
Banning it all—tobacco, booze, wine, coffee, and tea—was a stroke of genius or serendipity. Both sides could claim they got what they wanted, while Smith’s introduction let them ignore the parts they didn’t want. Mormon life in Kirtland returned to normal.
Even so, there are practicing, temple-attending Mormons who allow themselves the occasional or even the frequent indulgence. Many cite in their defense the non-existent scriptural reference “all things in moderation.” Others refer to Smith’s original assurance that the Word of Wisdom is just that, a word of wisdom, not a commandment.
This New Year’s Eve you may see a few Mormons tip a glass of real champaign, provided no one from their ward*** happens to be watching. The vast majority, however, will tip Sprite with cranberry juice, sparkling apple or grape juice, “mocktails,” or nothing at all. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby describes 13 Mormon mocktails in this delightful column.
* Knowing that “hot drinks” officially means coffee and tea does not stop some from arguing that the likes of herb teas and hot chocolate are forbidden, and others from arguing that coffee and tea are permissible when served cold.
** The introduction now appears as the first three verses of Section 89 of Doctrine and Covenants, aka the Word of Wisdom.
*** Local congregation