Ethical Guidelines

The human body is seen as the Temple of God. The Word of Wisdom, a health code, was received in 1833, and adherence to key parts of it became required for Temple admission in the 1920s. It mandates moderation in diet and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee; sparing consumption of meat; use of grains as the basis of the diet; eating fruits and herbs that are in season. Further to this, the Church does not allow the use of recreational illegal drugs. Caffeine is a grey area. It is generally agreed by Mormons that the prohibition against tea or coffee through the revelation to Joseph Smith are specific signs of the Mormon covenant. This is extrapolated by some to mean complete abstinence from caffeine, but the official Church position is that other caffeinated drinks are not forbidden, although they are not good for you. Other guidance within the health code is generally to eat everything in moderation, meat only sparingly, and try to keep a healthy diet. The Church also teaches principles of modesty, encouraging members in day-to-day dress to cover their shoulders to their knees with clothing. Swearing would be discouraged and members are taught to avoid vulgar music and films and violent video games. There are variations in orthodoxy in the interpretations of these teachings.

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