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POLL: To Cook with Alcohol, or Not?

Kate Ensign-Lewis - February 11, 2011

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Is alcohol in cooked foods okay, or should it be avoided?

Recently as I looked over the upcoming cookbook from The Roof Restaurant (I’ll plug it now: it looks amazing), I paused as I came across an unfamiliar and potentially intriguing ingredient: Ariel dealcoholized Cabernet Sauvignon. “Dealcoholized wine?” I thought. “I need to look this up and see if it’s for real.” Sure enough, I found that a company called Ariel produces non-alcoholic wine. In the five years since I started cooking as a hobby, I had never seen anything like it.

I looked over the frequently asked questions, wondering how this feat could be done (and why wouldn’t it just be called grape juice?), and a familiar debate came up in my mind: is cooking with alcohol bad?

This topic recently cropped up in comments to our article “Simple Sunday Recipes,” after we made an oversight and posted a link to a recipe with wine in it. (In the past we have avoided this, knowing that it would probably be controversial.) I had already been wanting to write about it, and the comments showed that there’s definitely interest in discussing this.

Now for the admission: I cook with wine. (I have not cooked with other alcohols, simply because I’ve never found a recipe I wanted to try that had another kind of alcohol.) My experience is that wine gives dishes a significant boost in flavor, and since the alcohol cooks off with enough simmering or baking time, I don’t see a problem with it. We regularly eat uncooked foods flavored with vanilla (which typically has 35 percent alcohol), so what’s the deal?

But I know some cooks who enjoy cooking great food that will not use wine. Some even go so far as to use substitutions for vanilla in uncooked dishes. And I know that, as much as you cook a dish, the alcohol never cooks out 100 percent.

So what do you think? Is alcohol in cooked foods okay, or should it be avoided? Leave a comment below.

--

Kate Ensign-Lewis is the Associate Editor at LDS Living. She loves cooking in her tiny kitchen, eating great new foods with her husband, and finding good entertainment and art. She likes (virgin) pina coladas, but does not like getting caught in the rain.

Do you use alcohol in cooking?





How do you feel about using alcohol in cooking?





© LDS Living 2011
Comments 129 comments

seanette said...

02:01 PM
on Feb 11, 2011

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My own personal perspective, which I do NOT consider binding on anyone else, is that I avoid use of alcohol in cooking. Aside from Word of Wisdom issues (and the fact that alcohol doesn't completely cook off does concern me), I dislike the taste of alcohol and my family has a frighteningly high incidence of alcoholism on both sides (I converted in adulthood). I'm high-risk for addiction and I'm aware of it. I do not wish to spend money on an industry that has caused so many people so much pain (drunk driving deaths/injuries, drunks abusing family members, etc.), nor do I want to have such a potentially troublesome (for me) item in my home.

urbanforester said...

02:34 PM
on Feb 11, 2011

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I cook with wine regularly (seriously, how would you make a decent sauce without it), and honestly, it's never occurred to me that doing so might be bad. My husband did mention to a member of the stake presidency, when getting his temple recommend and the Word of Wisdom question came along, that he cooked with wine. The counselor looked at him funny for a moment and said, "Doesn't everyone?" If having wine in the house for cooking is going to be a temptation, then you probably shouldn't use it. For my family, drinking cooking wine makes about as much sense as downing some olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

serge said...

10:19 PM
on Feb 11, 2011

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I have cooked with wine before and don't feel guilty about it. As long as you cook it for about 10-15 minuetes, the alcohol is gone. Cooking wine is packed with salt and will damage your health; therefore don't use it. A great substitute for red/white wine is WELSH'S unsweetened grape juice, since you cannot tell the difference from regular cooked wine. Try it sometime.

rachel235 said...

12:30 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I feel that in order to cook with alcohol, it would have to be in your home. I don't believe that we should have any form of alcohol in the home.

awill said...

12:43 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Alcohol in cooking isn't even so much about the flavor as the chemical properties and blah blah blah. I cringe at grape-juice fondue, all grainy.... Wine is a miracle for reductions and sauces and all sorts of tasty (and ultimately non-alcoholic) lovelies! A miracle, I tell you! (And REAL vanilla is amazing, too. :-))

marka said...

12:46 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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As a convert to the church as well, I had this question many years ago. I never cook with alcohol because i do not want to introduce the flavor to my family... Who know where it will stop.

netta said...

12:50 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Alcohol takes hours of cooking to completely burn off. I don't like the taste of alcohol in my foods especially sweets so I buy imitation vanilla and not the extract. Here is a link for a chart that gives the details of cooking time and percentage of alcohol retained. http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol12.htm

matty said...

02:42 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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In my previous career I trained and worked as a chef which required me to use alcohol in a number of classical and modern dishes. Whilst they do provide a distinctive taste to a sauce/meal, any dab hand in the kitchen at home can still produce very good nutritional food without having to use alcohol. I believe we have such a variety of good foods that we do not have to use alcohol at all.

matilda said...

02:59 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Dear "chefs", I can not believe what I'm reading. 1) Word of wisdom its very clear and doesn't said anywhere "but using alcohol for cooking is OK". Its like commandment "do not steal" BUT if I loose my jobe or because my boss is stealing then I could steal as well, right. NO WRONG. 2)I have a wife who could make a meal almost "without nothing". She is GREAT cook and if some of you can not made good home made lunch or dinner without using alcohol then you have serious problem and would not call my self as good "chef" in home. Yes also "stake" leaders have problems with understanding Word of wisdom. I would recommend them to read more scriptures and NOT reply with "I think..." Wish you all the best in your kitchen w/o alcohol.

emmi_r said...

03:29 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I agree with Matty and the others, who feel that alcohol is unnecessary for use in cooking. I also believe that using alcohol (wine and other spirits) traditionally used for recreational consumption violates the intent of the Word of Wisdom. Yes, vanilla and other cooking condiments contain alcohol as well, and if you or your ancestors have had issues with alcohol in the past, then perhaps it's best to avoid those as well. Why risk reintroducing the grief of alcoholism into your (or somebody else's) life, when the use of it has already been wisely (and perhaps with nearly insurmountable difficulty and heartache) banished by one or more of your forebears? Heavenly Father has provided us with the directive of the Word of Wisdom; therefore, it stands to reason that He also has provided each of us with the potential of re-educating our taste buds to realize that the use of this stuff is completely unnecessary. If we can be faithful enough to follow His lead, then He'll provide us the answers we need for preparing the delicious cuisine we enjoy. I feel certain that He appreciates a good meal more than anybody. I mean, really, He had a hand in creating all the food ingredients to begin with, right? As an aside, if you'll tune into web sites like chowhound.com, for example, you'll find suggestions for flavor substitites that would provide the level of acidity that alcohol provides, such as juice from certain kinds of sour (or semi-sweet) pickles (banana peppers, for example); just experiment a little. Enjoy!!

wolfgang said...

04:12 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Both of my grandfathers were alcoholic; before I joined the church, I did drink some alcohol.With some wine I did like the taste. I didn't have a problem to keep the word of wisdom. But I would never want alcohol in my house, not for me and not for my children.How could I or my wife ever go to our local groceriestore and buy a bottle of wine, telling our neighbors: (whom we told everything about the church, hoping he would come one day with us to the meetings) IT'S JUST FOR COOKING!! So many members here in Switzerland make their fondues with wine without thinking of all the great and even better tasting substitutes as tomatojuice, applecider etc.

letmenap said...

04:20 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Okay...here is the deal. If I decided to purchase ANY kind of alchol it would be my luck that the stake president would be standing behind me at Wal-Mart! My husband is the Bishop and I can just hear it now!!! No Thanks!!

lmy3 said...

05:00 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Alcohol - that is the part that would create an inbalance in our blood -- DOES burn off in flambes and at a rate of cooking that brings water to a boil over a period of time. (see chart: http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol12.htm). The remainder that leaves flavor is non-lethal but does exist by virtue of the fact one can taste it and it enhances a the flavor of a dish. There are options to avoid using alcohol (see chart at http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol6.htm) but the thing to watch for is if we teach that this is to be avoided, then when we make exceptions, than does it make it easier to make more exceptions for other things? If not, then there is certainly no issue. Like another member pointed out, the exception here can be misconstrued by onlookers (public purchases, visitors who see products in your home) who only know you faith and not your intent. Society want's to group people -- so just as you represent the organization you work for while on the job, you also shoulder the responsibility of your faith as you go about your daily routines. That being said, I do put alcohol in stews, sauces, and other cooked items. I use a substitute when it calls for serving the product in it's original form (unheated). I appreciate that heat removes the dangerous part of alcohol and leaves the flavor and microwaving the liquid to a rolling boil causes most to dissipate.

jackmonteiro said...

05:02 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Ei pessoal, Já fiz comidas com vinho sim, mas quando meu professor do Instituto disse que devemos "nos apartar de toda a aprência do mal", resolvi parar de usar, no lugar coloco suco de uva que dá o mesmo efeito. E também o que vão pensar as pessoas que não conhecem o evangelho, ao chegarem em nossa casa e verem vinho na comida ou uma garrafa de vinho na geladeira e dissermos a elas ue não bebemos? Será que vão acreditar? Seremos pedra de tropeço para elas! Deixarão de acreditar no evangelho por nosso mal exemplo! Pensem nisso! Abraços!

lmy3 said...

05:14 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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...emmi_r -- I think your interpretation is EXACTLY where Heavenly Father wants our mindset -- I am apprehensive when we take exceptions to God's word, knowing the bible doesn't admonish alcohol but only overindulgence of any sort, we have the Word of Wisdom to provide guidance in these times that demand our clarity of thought and deed. I do also believe that in the same vein that there can be viable substitutes that bring forth the same or better results in cooking, and this is also true of the chemical medicines that members ingest only because a doctor prescribed them and not because they are holistic or natural or good for our total well-being (i.e. the 2 minute speils that follow a pharmaceudical drug commercial that goes into the dangers and adversities of taking that drug/medication). Certainly God made natural healthy means for us to overcome our illnesses, so resorting to artificial means is also something to consider avoiding. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

tr_penns said...

05:43 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Please review the following information regarding the use of Alcohol in cooking: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

misty said...

05:53 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I go to a lot of dinner appointments with my husband for his work. A good share of the restaurants we go to cook with alcohol in their dishes. I've never had a drink in my life and never have I been tempted to. As this became a habit, I began enjoying the taste and started thinking how it'd be to drink it. We are usually the only ones not drinking alcohol at these dinners. It was enouph to scare me and threw me into the direction of not having any alcohol in dishes ever again. Of course it can be tempting. It might not to you, but to many it can be. No one knows if they are predisposed to enjoying or being tempted to drink alcohol.

monamormon said...

06:27 AM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I base my response that cooking with alcohol, weather it has been dealcoholized or not, as bad for the following reason. We believe that we ought not shop on the sabbath at least part of the reasoning behind that is because if we help create a demand for that store to be open, we help create a need for others to have to work on the sabbath. It's a secondary, more indirect consequence of our actions. Same thing here... If we purchase alcohol, we are putting our money into the pockets of people who make alcohol. They will add it to their funds to make advertisements glorifying alcohol consumption, these ads may have half dressed woman in them to entice men... you esentially have a hand in putting alcohol into someone's hand and possibly destroying a marriage or a family van run off the road by a drunken driver. Scrpture shows everything we do effects something else. It matters a great deal what we do, what we buy, what we consume and what we share in our comments here, in more ways than we can ever imagine! Blessings to all!

aeonsoul said...

05:29 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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If you are having trouble with wether or not Alcohol is allowed to be used in your cooking and still keep you with in the bounds of the Commandment of Wisdom, then either write a letter to our Prophet or get down on oyur knees and petition our Heavnely Father and as him yourself.

patks said...

05:33 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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My mother was a non practicing achoholic the last ten years of her life. She said it was not only the alchohol but the taste of it that would draw an achoholic back into drinking again. I would not risk the flavor of any dish being more important than the potential of keeping someone from falling back into destructive habits. Not only my family but the stranger that I would have no idea had problems. There are too many good things to flavor our food. Why risk it? After all, I am my brothers keeper.

ltd said...

05:56 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I think any controversy in this situation revolves around the "letter of the law" vs. "the principle thereof" and I think members of the church have the capacity and access to all that is needed to determine themselves what is "right" and "wrong," thus not to be "commanded in all things." (Remember, many foods contain trace alcohol and other toxins we should not seek) An extreme example I can see of why this would be wrong... If I were an alcoholic, and used alcohol in cooking in an attempt to satiate my addiction... I feel that would be wrong. It would be like a pornography addict watching non-pornographic, but sufficiently sexualized material with the intent to satiate the addiction. Today, I'll be cooking with balsamic vinegar, which has trace amounts of alcohol. Do I think it's fine? Today, for this situation, yes. Will I make it a regular habit to cook with wine and other alcohols? I think not. Remember the science as well... Either way, I don't think we should condemn, or look critically upon, members of the church who do use alcohol in cooking. Judging someone's worthiness on such actions is against our beliefs as Christians. If you're a chemist (or have studied organic chemistry) you'll know it takes a long time to distill (with heat) a liquid with a lower boiling point (alcohol) from water... Some distillations take hours of constant boiling. So if you think there's no alcohol in your sauce after 15 minutes of simmering, please be informed that most of the alcohol is still in there. Love you all! Be good!

tsg said...

06:04 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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Wow, I can't believe many of these comments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking with wine, but I guess for judgemental people, I'm sure you think it's ok to gossip about your neighbor or eat fast food (also part of the Word of Wisdom), but not cook with wine. Stop judging and pray about it. For the ones that have an alcoholic past or tendencies, you're just like diabetic people that can't do certain things, but to put it as doctrine? My mom had a boss that actually drank wine at a party (she knew what she was doing) and told her bishop while renewing her temple recommend. He just told her not to do it again. If you can't cook off the alcohol, don't eat lettuce either because it has alcohol also. See how ridiculous it gets? And stop feeling superior than others by saying oh, no I don't do it. I'm sure you do something wrong because you're not perfect. It reminds me of a friend of my husband that was so against drinking in high school, but didn't have a problem sleeping around. We need to take care of our own lives and be the best Christlike person ever. And yes, Jesus had wine and not grape juice. They couldn't keep things without fermenting back then.

randnf said...

06:19 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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It's great to want to totally keep the WW. But if one is to get down to the micro level. Alcohol molecules are in many foods. Eat fresh apples, grapes, peaches, pears, cherries; eat bread dough, drink most soft drinks, most concentrated flavorings - you'll get some trace volume of alcohol. And your body system will use it as energy fuel and it will have no effect whatever on either your brain function, nor on your spirit, other than providing energy as would a sugar molecule. The WW tells us to avoid consuming alcoholic drinks so that our minds will not be impaired. If a person is consuming any of these with the either the intent, or the result being a dulling of the ability to think clearly, then of course it is wrong. But if one has pure intent of adding flavor, or eating healthy fresh foods, then one need not be troubled if they inadvertently consume a few molecules of alcohol while they aim to eat wholesome foods and to keep a clear mind and spirit.

gram said...

06:23 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I have watched many cooking shows and they all cook with alcohol. I think it should be manditory that they put in a substitute for those who don't use alcohol. I have never used alcohol to cook with and never plan to. I like many others have alcoholics in my family. I don't want it in my house nor my food. The main reason is that we have been comanded not to use it. Obediance! Have we lost the meaning of the word. What a precious gift we have in the scriptures. The scriptures tell us how to live and obediance is how we do it. Best of luck and love to all who have questions about this.

amitchell said...

07:01 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I honestly never thought of it as a problem, until I read this recent study: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm I have now changed my mind and don't cook with it, or order menu items cooked with it. I lose some good taste, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

barbaralaxton said...

07:21 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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I can't believe this discussion. How hungry do you have to be to break the Word of Wisdom under any pretense? Flavor? Can't get good flavor without it? My heritage is Hungrian and southern Appalachian. If you want flavor try some of our dishes. Why would any Latter-day Saint want to walk that close to the line and almost, but not quite, break a divinely inspired law just show off their culinary expertise?

salalliss said...

07:23 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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The Word of Wisdom is there to guide us on what is good for the body and what is not. By justifying the use of alcohol in cooking because it supposedly cooks off is allowing Satan to control our lives. This is exactly the kind of thinking he wants to inspire! We are taught to avoid excuses and justifications. The scriptures and guidance we have been given are very clear and should be followed! To me it is very clear...no alcohol period!

janski said...

08:52 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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There is more alcohol in cough medicine (and other things like that) than there is in cooked-off wine. So does that mean that no one takes medicine?

ldsabc said...

11:36 PM
on Feb 12, 2011

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" If our Word of Wisdom says no alchol.Cooks always say it helps the flavor in dishes. Well if we cook with alchol to enhance the tastes/flavor we would still be tasting and it would still do the addicting effect on our brains, even if it is in food we should still take the Word of Wisdom literally and refrain from alchol altogether!"

skorzeni said...

05:03 AM
on Feb 13, 2011

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So many behaviors are motivated by pleasure. However, just because something feels good doesn't make it okay. So, saying that you like the taste of alcohol cooked in your food doesn't justify using it in your cooking. I side with those who think the Word of Wisdom should be strictly obeyed. There are relatively few commandments with a stark line. When I face judgement day, I will have absolutely no squeamishness about the alcohol issue, because I don't consume it (I have accidentally swallowed Listerine before, though - and if God has an issue with that I'll just remind him how I always pray for a greater measure of competence). Whether or not I served others enough will be a gray area. Jesus will have to decide that and I'll just have to abide by his decision. But alcohol I don't believe will have any dispute during my judgement. People can argue that in Christ's time he consumed alcohol. They can argue that water sources weren't necessarily clean and the alcohol killed out the bacteria. But the law of Moses makes it clear that each people will be judged according to the laws of their time. I have been commanded not to consume strong drink (and to me, that means with or without stew). I feel far more justified in not consuming alcohol at all. I have no issues with using rubbing alcohol for cleaning my skin. I believe that is what alcohol is for.

et54 said...

05:46 AM
on Feb 13, 2011

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Alcohol is more volatile than water, so wouldn't it cook off faster? At any rate, I grew up in the church and no one has ever had a problem with using vanilla or other extracts in whipped cream or other uncooked foods. I have to laugh at the lady above who said she used "artificial" vanilla extract instead of real, so it wouldn't have alcohol. All that means is that the flavor didn't come from real vanilla beans, but artificial chemicals. The liquid part is STILL alcohol, strong enough to get you drunk if you drink it. And, what about that "Molly Mormon" staple of life, homemade bread??? Those little yeast critters eat some of the carbs and give off gas (which causes the bread to rise) and ALCOHOL as waste products. (of course, the yeast used in commercial "store-bought" baking does the same...)

glennsmith said...

09:19 AM
on Feb 13, 2011

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Whether alcohol cooks off or not, it's more about having alcohol in the home. Kind of like the WofW saying tobacco is good for bruises, but I venture that a Mormnon using it to treat bruises is very rare. Even to treat a sick cow. Like I won't have tobacco in my home, I won't have alcohol. It's just something easier to avoid completely than to partially justify. Better to be the wagon driver staying far from the cliff edge than one who creeps close. And the cooking shows hosts don't announce they are using "cooking" wine; rather, they appear to be using the "real" stuff. My wife teaches high school culinary arts and attends Chef schools during the summer. It's the real stuff used in cooking. She and other LDS participants are the odd ones not using wine in the recipes. The wine leftovers get served at lunch! As a side note, during one high school class, students noted the alcohol content of the flavoring extracts. Within two weeks, the extracts had disappeared from the cooking lab. Sidebar 2: In Alberta, and perhaps all of Canada, for many years, Natives were forbidden to buy alcohol, including mouthwashes and extracts. My aunt worked in a grocery store near a large reserve, and she frequently had to take such items away from the Natives. Not the case, now.

ohiostar said...

02:21 PM
on Feb 13, 2011

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I grew up in culture of alcohol. I probably tasted beer and wine before I could speak. I think my mother put rum in every dessert she ever made, so I guess it is no surprise that alcohol was a major part of my life before I was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember how hard it was to eliminate my taste for it. I am greatful that the lord is so patient with us and allows us to develop our spirituality line upon line, here a little and there a little. I am greatful that we each have the freedom to choose our own path. My first year in the Church I drank non-alcoholic beer. I had to ween myself this way. After many months, one day I came home and reached for a beer. I took a swallow and it tasted awful. I spit it out. The next day again I took a beer and drank 2 ounces. It made me dizzy enough to cause me to sit down. I couldn't believe it. I used to drink it by the pitcher. I poured it out and looked at the bottle. It wasn't my near beer it was my husband's real beer. My body and taste buds had been healed to the point I knew I didn't want or need any of it anymore. Maybe that is why there are degrees of glory. If our desire is to be where God is, we work our way to where we want to be day by day...healing all the way...until we know as God knows and we are made perfect.

grayslyn said...

03:29 PM
on Feb 13, 2011

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I really can't believe this is even a consideration. The Word of Wisdom is very clear on this point, not to mention having alcohol in you home can be a temptation for even the best children. Then there is the issue of "avoiding even the appearance of evil". How would you explain to your Bishop, children or friends why they saw you coming out of the local liquor store with bottles of alcoholic beverages. What kind of example does that set for your nonmember friends who know your standards. No matter what you say, people do talk and reputations can be ruined by the most innocent of actions. I happen to be a very good cook and have never used alcohol in anything. And for the record my sauces are extremely flavorful. Remember this, one never misses what one never experiences. Satan is very clever in how he works to get us to do things we would not normally do. Developing a taste for wine through food. Then what. We can't imagine that food with out it. Let's just learn to prepare them without the alcohol to begin with and avoid any controversy.

holycraptaylor82 said...

04:33 PM
on Feb 13, 2011

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Im a teenager and this concern has never come up in my house because my mom doesnt cook with wine or alcohol, but i do have a friend whose parents do. When i was younger i asked "isnt acohol bad" and she said we use it to cook with and the alcohol burns off" i just thought oh it ok then. But then why not use a different drink or flavor. And im rot really saying you should or shouldnt. If your family has a history of alcoholism or you have kids and you dont use alcohol to cook i think thats really good. I do. It all depends on your views and how much you trust the people living in your house to not steal any sips or bottles. Because even though your mormon or just have reqlly good standards doesnt mean you children feel the same way. When temptation is in the home it becomes harder to live rightously...

lah1 said...

06:49 PM
on Feb 13, 2011

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All of the responses have been interesting and I can certainly see both sides. I don't want to be judgemental on either side. It is an issue that if you need a true answer, ask our Heavenly Father for guidance. While we are doing that, we might ask him about the rest of the word of wisdom. Let's not become only "alcohol and tabacco" word of wisdom followers. I think Heavenly Father would recommend that we follow ALL of it. He advices us to eat in moderation. How many LDS do that? We love to eat and we love to cook, and it shows!!

mamadonna5 said...

10:44 PM
on Feb 13, 2011

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The way I look at it is "why rock the boat"? If you never start cooking with wine, you won't know the difference. And I think I'm a pretty good cook.

cesar said...

04:00 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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In recent years many members created a new law called the "Appearance Law". In this non-doctrinal law using an scripture (I Tes 5:22) which says to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." many members say it's a sin to have alcohol in our house and those same members will say it's also a sin cooking with alcohol. In my opinion those who believe in this law are good members who are trying to be obedient to all commandments but they are acting like the jews in the time of Christ who were "looking beyond the mark" (Jacob 4:14) Word of wisdom is about health and having our bodies spiritualy clean. As far I know the Word of Wisdom is about not drinking alcohol not about cooking with it. So if anyones is cooking with wine or any other alcohol drink, he or she, is not breaking any commandment.

lightenupfolks said...

07:37 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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Just as some folks can't believe someone would consider using wine in cooking, I for one, couldn't imagine not using it. I feel I live close to that Spirit which bears all truth and I have never once felt there was any sin in doing so. My father, Stake Patriarch, has cooked with wine his entire life. We are both cooking and food enthusiasts and know that the letter of the law is surely not the same as the spirit of the law. This is not about how much is cooked out at what exact temperature, etc. Are you drinking wine? Is the alcohol evaporated? Yes. Does the taste that remains taste like alcohol, not a bit. Note: for those with alcoholism or teens who may be tempted, I'd keep it away and out of my home. Otherwise, if you don't like the bottle, put it in a old spaghetti glass jar label it cooking wine or something. Thanks for the comment Cesar about the Jews and looking beyond the mark. Seems like us Mormons have a knack at repeating that error. Everyone entitled to their own opinion of course, so for those who don't, I respect it.

actor said...

09:57 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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I came across a set of questions that the "ward teachers" were to ask of priesthood holders when visited on their monthly rounds. They were described as a precursor to what we now know as the temple reccomend questions. The one regarding alcohol read "Do you abuse strong drink?".

lynnea said...

10:17 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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I always felt that I didn't want to be the one who introduced my children to liking the taste of alcohol.

kenslew said...

10:25 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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@seanette--What an interesting perspective! I had never looked at it from the "industry" perspective before. Definitely a valid consideration.

phoenix said...

11:41 AM
on Feb 14, 2011

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We sometimes will use a cooking wine, sometimes a substitute. We don't purchase or keep bottle of wine or alcohol in our home. In the same respect, we certainly don't judge anyone who does any of the things we don't do. They all know what is best for their own homes and families. We have much more important things to worry about than if our neighbors, ward members, or friends use alcohol in cooking. There is so much more in life than to sit around worrying about this, but we appreciate the question being asked. If/when we go out to dinner, and we see a sauce has a wine in it, we may or may not get it. We've done both. For us, we feel we are making correct choices. How can we judge what is right for someone else? If it's wrong, nobody but them will be asked to account for it. If they in good faith feel what they do is right, who are we to say it isn't. If Alcohol in foods/sauces isn't for you...Great! If you feel it adds to the flavor and enhancement of the food....Great! By the way, we know some awesome people who drink socially, and some awesome people who don't drink at all. We find it more interesting and enlivening to get to know who people are, not what they cook with. In the end, it's probably good for us to worry about what is in our own kitchens, not our neighbors kitchen. Loving people for who they are, not what they eat.

grannyshrink said...

01:03 PM
on Feb 14, 2011

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It sounds like are many different ways of thinking about the issue - all from devoted LDS people. Maybe that is one of the reasons we have the Holy Ghost. We can ask God about such ambiguous issues and trust the Spirit to help us know what is best for our own selves and families.

eisbeckers said...

01:51 PM
on Feb 14, 2011

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Perhaps it would be a good idea for anyone considering the option to think of motives. If we use the reasoning "well, it tastes better that way," then we may find ourselves using similar weak arguments in more compromising situations. We may want to choose based on doing the best thing possible for us physically and spiritually. Whereas situations differ, in these controversial issues, I really think it's important to consider why we do the things we do. (Note: I tried to be careful of what side of the issue I seemed to be on. I do NOT think it's a good idea to feel like something is okay or is not okay, based on what everyone else says. However, I do believe that there is an absolute truth in the matter.)

ldeberry said...

03:52 PM
on Feb 14, 2011

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Well, very interesting. We don't and haven't cooked with alcohol in our home but I considered myself neutral on the subject until I read all the comments. If you are LDS and profess to keep the commandments, why would you want to do this (cook with wine)? You are potentially setting a bad example for your children and you are potentially sending a negative message to a non-member who may be viewing your actions through the lens of what they believe are YOUR standards. Additionally, as pointed out by a few others, when you buy wine for cooking you are supporting an industry that has brought a lot of grief and sorrow to a lot of families and communities. Why would you want to do that, because it tastes good? So here is my newly informed feeling on the subject. I wouldn't query a waiter about the use of alcohol in cooked sauces, etc. at the restaurant and I wouldn't refuse to eat a cooked sauce containing wine as a guest in someone's home. But I now feel quite strongly that it's probably improper and imprudent for a good LDS person to have wine in the home for cooking. It's a questionable practice, so why do it? Cesar commented that avoiding the appearance of evil is "looking beyond the mark" and implied we should just all agree it is OK to have wine in the home and cook with it. It doesn't violate the Word of Wisdom. I don't presume to judge if using wine in cooking violates the Word of Wisdom or not. But, as I said above and as others have commented, having wine in your kitchen and buying wine at the market risks both setting a bad example and/or sending a negative message to children and non-member friends and acquaintances. So why do it? Why not take the high ground and avoid the appearance of violating our inspired health law? It seems the clearly prudent thing to do. Of course this all validates what we have been practicing in our family. But I would not set myself up as a judge on this, regardless of my personal feelings of the propriety of cooking wine, nor would I suggest that a member who cooks with wine should be denied a temple recommend for violating the Word of Wisdom anymore than a member who is obese is denied a temple recommend for violating the Word of Wisdom. We all have our struggles and in the eternal scheme of things I suspect these esoteric Word of Wisdom issues will not hold a very prominent place. But as for me and my house we will obey the Lord and what we believe is the spirit of the Word of Wisdom.

jimw said...

09:45 PM
on Feb 14, 2011

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Alcohol, meaning ethanol, is tasteless. People may be able to detect its presence in food but by sensation other than flavor. Alcohol levels that are too high will suppress flavor detection. Alcohol is an excellent solvent for esters, the chemical family noted for fruity flavors. Properly used alcohol will enhance flavors in some dishes. Most of the time side-by-side taste tests will be required reveal the frequently subtle difference. Frankly my cooking skill doesn't warrant the added expense of cooking with fine wines. You do what you choose, I just don't care that much if someone uses alcohol while preparing food...I mean, of course, uses it in the food;)

nati said...

02:43 AM
on Feb 15, 2011

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Hello, I am a member of the Church too, and I live in France. I looked at your question regarding the use of wine for cooking recipes. I will not give my opinion on that. Why? Because I think we're all at different levels of understanding of the Gospel, it depends on the family that taught us how long we are members of our conversion, our spirituality. The Lord loves us so much that He allows us to use our free will by our degree of understanding and obedience. For that we must pray personally if we have a question, for it is certain that the General Authorities do not spend time explaining to us what we must do or not do. But it is also important to ask questions to lead a righteous life, this requires the study of scriptures, fasting, prayer, and then do our best. I am not the authority nor the courage to say what we have to choose. My husband taught me often, he was stake president: the Gospel allows us to build our behavior match our values. Justified revealed values up to our behavior. That is why we must be very careful not to "judge"others, and weand we must be careful that our words are not misinterpreted or could cause injury. we are all different for example read some scriptures in the morning is important before you start the day, for others it will be in the day, for others the evening. But the key is to read the scriptures, and we are given no "commandments" for when we read them. For the word of wisdom we must remember that it was given in one main goal: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the final days of the conspirators in the heart ....(D&C 89:4) So we must pray to know God's will for us and I think that prayer at the table is also an act of gratitude as protection against the opponent. because today many foods contain substances harmful and often we do not know. Yes I think we can know the personal revelation and know what we should or should not do. And then we will see that our spirituality will grow more the more we change our behavior in our own decisions. May we always listen to the gentle whisper of the Spirit. Sincerely, Nati. I am sorry for my english...

shaz said...

03:02 AM
on Feb 15, 2011

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To each his own. No Temple interview will ask you if you use wine in cooking. No Temple recommend will be denied because you do so.

vatb said...

07:57 AM
on Feb 15, 2011

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Para ser mas claro escribo en mi idioma. Vivo en Ecuador, Quito y he leido el articulo y los comentarios. Estoy de acuerdo realmente con todos, puesto que cada persona tiene sus propias convicciones y costumbres. Veo a muchos miembros como grandes bebedores de Coca Cola, y no deberian hacerlo porque en verdad hace daño...mucho daño a nuestra salud, pero eso no los hace indignos de entrar en el Templo, y tengo la seguridad de que el cocinar con vino o mas aun..con licores fuertes, no causa ningun daño a la salud, por lo tanto tampoco te imposibilitan de entrar en el templo, pero, creo que esta muy mal que en nuestro hogar tengamos botellas de licor...cualquiera que este sea....pues un poco mas y debemos armarnos un bar...cierto? De cualquier forma, creo que lo que importa es mantenernos firmes en nuestras convicciones, cuidando de que no sean equivocadas, y basandonos en la doctrina....de otro modo, tambien tendriamos que censurar a las hermanas que agujerean sus orejas...lo cual es una costumbre pagana desde todo punto de vista....

mrsurftheweb said...

09:38 AM
on Feb 15, 2011

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I believe the temple recommend question is "do you follow or obey the word of wisdom. The way I remember being taught is once it went from just a word of wisdom to become a commandment they said the key things that are the commandment are not DRINKING alcohol, coffee, tea and smoking or chewing tobacco. My personal take on this - those substances are addictive and harmful to your health. The body is amazing in handling harmful substances but should you get addicted you loose control over your body and harm it greatly from those substances. I believe it is up to the individual on expanding what they do as far as things like cooking with alcohol or drinking caffeinated soda. But here is another thing to debate - green tea. We were told black tea. Green tea is supposed to be healthy but is it covered under the word of wisdom Commandment?

jennb said...

12:18 PM
on Feb 15, 2011

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For me, I want my children to know that I am completely faithful to the Lord's commandments. How am I going to explain, "Oh, it will burn off." to my children. When they become teenagers I want them to know exactly how I stand on the Word of Wisdom. They will know their mother is completely faithful and would never cook with wine, let alone drink it. I cook with broth and use more spice to jazz up recipes that call for wine.

treblemaker said...

09:37 PM
on Feb 15, 2011

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I do not cook with alcohol because I never have it in the house. I don't think I could even get myself to purchase it. However, I have eaten food cooked with alcohol and I don't object to other people using it. I figure if I don't get a buzz off of it, the alcohol must be cooked out of it. I think the whole point of the Word of Wisdom, regarding alcohol, is to not get high, get addicted, or ruin your body. I don't think eating food good with a little bit of alcohol can do any of those things. I also use imitation vanilla. You get a lot more for your money. By the way, mrsurftheweb, did you know that green tea comes from the same plant as black tea? It's just processed differently. Since the Word of Wisdom mentions "tea", I'm sure it means tea made from the same plant.

married4eternity said...

11:00 PM
on Feb 15, 2011

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I do not cook with alcohol for the following reasons: 1. We are counseled to avoid the very appearance of evil 2. Purchasing alcohol supports an industry that banks on our weaknesses, indulgences and addictions. It's wares throughout history has devastated lives and destroyed families. So if we think it is harmless to purchase it from such vendors so that we can cook with it then it is time to think again. 2 Peter 2:11 states: "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul". Our indulgences -- whatever they may be, are our flesly lusts that war against our souls. 3. A book well worth reading is George Ritchie's "Return from Tomorrow". Within it's pages is a compelling account of how he witnessed the spirit of a cigarette addict trying desperately to grab a cigarette or at least get a puff of smoke from a smoker who was still living. He also tells of witnessing evil spirits entering into the bodies of drinkers of alcohol. If you don't think this kind of hell applies to the foods we indulge in -- think again. If we don't harness our appetites and passions in this life then we will be chained to them in the hereafter. And we won't be able to find relief or satisfaction, because our earthly vices do not exist beyond the grave. Regarding the belief that cooking burns off the alcohol -- it is a myth. This website http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-cook-without-alcohol-8566/ states the following: Curated 6/18/07 Hosted by webmd.com. Creator's Site www.webmd.com "The common belief is that alcohol burns off during cooking but that is somewhat of a myth. As much as 85% of the alcohol can remain after cooking." This site goes even further into detail: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm See more: How to cook without alcohol http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-cook-without-alcohol-8566/#ixzz1E68rhQKM Regarding the use of vanilla. You can purchase it alcohol free. Here are a couple of sites that sell it that way or you can find it at most health food stores: See http://cooksvanilla.com/index.php?p=view_category&category_id=21

married4eternity said...

11:06 PM
on Feb 15, 2011

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Oops! Forgot to post the other alcohol free vanilla website: http://www.kestrelgrowth.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=KGB&Product_Code=AFVF002&Category_Code=PVE You can find other sites that also sell it by doing an internet search. And most if not all of them sell other alcohol free flavorings as well.

bgtaylor4 said...

02:46 AM
on Feb 16, 2011

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Interesting discussion. Found educational and logical the argument that the taste of alcohol in foods might cause recovering alcoholics to regress. On the other hand, those claiming to never have drank alcohol with concerns about alcoholism running in their genes humored me with their anxiety. "Burning off" is a distraction to reasonable debate, so far as we're discussing alcohol as flavoring ingredient and not what is being flavored. Clearly there is alcohol in greater quantities in other foods LDS people regularly consume -- orange juice being a prime example. My opinion is if you like things like Grey Poupon or Chicken Marsala or Balsamic Vinegar or Vanilla, one wouldn't eat these to get a buzz. Let people follow their conscience. Foods with alcohol, mostly cooked away or as minor ingredients, are not WOW violations any more than herbal tea, coffee flavored or enriched dishes, or cola drinks. Also not seeing any mention of beer batter or rum (balls or cake) or tequila wings... all great stuff as well.

cesar said...

10:50 AM
on Feb 16, 2011

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I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself, but I just don't like the way "avoid the very appearance of evil" has been used. As far I know alcohol is not "evil", if it is then Christ would never drank wine and would never taught us some parables (Luke 5:37) and give the sacrament ordinance with wine. The evil is in the addiction not in the alcohol. I'm not saying that we are allowed to drink wine or any strong drink. The word of wisdom is clear that some substances are forbidden, but also says that these same substances can be used for other purposes. For example strong drinks to "wash the bodies" (D&C 89:7) I wonder how can anyone use strong drinks to wash bodies if they don't have them at home or without buying them to that "evil" industry. I will say again is no sin to buy and have alcoholl at home. Another bad argument is the one "giving a bad example" or the "take the high ground and avoid the appearance of violating our inspired health law". That same spirit inspired "Jewish religious philosophers—reacting to the inroads made upon the law by foreign cultures and especially the Babylonian captivity—put "a HEDGE AROUND THE LAW" (as they called it). In so doing they invented many burdens and excessive legal requirements as safeguards to preserve the law. These inventions were the "traditions of the elders," or the "oral law." (Robert L Millet Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels). Nowadays the members are also creating hedges around the word of wisdom inventing some safe and high ground laws like don't cook or have alcohool at home, don't help the "evil industry and bla bla bla. In my opinion our high ground and standard is Jesus Christ example and what i see in the scriptures is that Jesus obeyed every law but never followed the elder traditions. We LDS must leave our traditions and start really following the Savior example. Sorry for the bad spelling, english isn't my native language.

dunny23 said...

11:35 AM
on Feb 16, 2011

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I only have one thing to say "Do you intend to obey all of fathers commandments" "Yes all of them" Thats all I have to say....

graces_dad said...

12:26 PM
on Feb 16, 2011

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Overheard conversation at FHE: "Listen kids, I know we have that bottle of wine in the pantry, but you should never drink alcohol. Also, those R-rated dvd's we have are only for mommy & daddy to watch." ~~ so what's the problem? ;)

hardy-har-har said...

12:49 PM
on Feb 16, 2011

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@graces... :) would anyone like some fresh-ground hypocricy on their salad?

hardy-har-har said...

12:50 PM
on Feb 16, 2011

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hypocrisy *spelling

johnbob said...

06:54 PM
on Feb 16, 2011

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Hypocrisy Salad! My favorite! Especially if they are serving judgemental cobbler for dessert! I had an old bishop give me great advice..."if you feel you have to ask if it is ok...then that is likely the spirit talking to you" Good guidance....we all have different sensitivities and we all have different thresholds....and to compare each other is generally bad because I could follow anyone around and then start poking at things I think they do wrong...ah but we mormons are a judgemental lot. Really....to look down your nose that someone is a hypocrite for not doing what you do is high on the pharisee induction rules. Of course now I am doing it because I think it is wrong for others to decide what is right or wrong for someone else...especially when talking about items that won't keep you out of the temple. To each of us is given the ability to choose...some think taking money for remodeling is ok...even when they don't have a license, others work for cash under the table, yet others drive over the speed limit...and prophets have warned against all of those things....others watch that trampy housewives show ... Me...I am too busy working out my own salvation to worry too much about nitpicking your choices....oh yeah...the lord said that was a good thing. You folks worrying about the appearance of evil...hope you don't have that "mona vie" bottle in the cupboard... As stated previously nobody on this list stays 100% away from alcohol...and if you spend that much time looking for it then you are probably neglecting something else that could use your time. I don't seek it out but also could care less if spaghetti factory has a dolop of wine...I don't buy it mostly cuz of the children....figure teens have enough temptation....but again for cooking don't think it is wrong.

kyraathena said...

07:19 AM
on Feb 17, 2011

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I cook regularly and I often find recipes which involve alcohol of some sort. There are typically very easy substitutions for wine, such as grape or apple juice. Many recipes even list the alcoholic ingredients as optional or to substitute water. If I was in a household with members who may have problems with alcohol, such as alcoholism or another health condition, I would definitely avoid even having it in the house. I have heard of alcoholics drinking flavor extracts, mouthwash, OTC medications, and aftershave if they couldn't find drinking alcohol. As a rule, I do use real flavor extracts, such as vanilla, as the alcohol is used as a preservative. I don't really consider this much different than consuming a traditional medicine, such as a homeopathic medicine, which has been preserved in alcohol. My grandfather always bragged that he had "never drunk a drop of alcohol in his life", which my grandmother would then correct him by saying, "You take cough syrup (or whatever he took). That has alcohol in it." I am LDS and my husband is Catholic. When his parents visit, they expect to have wine and beer available. (It's easier to just deal with it for 3 days than argue with them. It's not the only thing we argue about either.) We do not drink and I dislike even the smell of alcohol, beer in particular.

marvmax said...

10:58 AM
on Feb 17, 2011

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I think there are some good reasons mentioned here for both using and not using alcohol. Personally I don't use it because I hate the taste. The exception is REAL Vanilla, and some other flavorings that have alcohol in them.

skygirl said...

04:25 PM
on Feb 17, 2011

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I've never drunk alcohol, so I don't know for sure whether or not I would like alcoholic beverages, but I suspect I would like wine a lot. That's a moot point, though, because I don't drink. It doesn't matter whether or not there's alcohol around, I simply don't drink. I made that decision long ago because of the Word of Wisdom. I cook with wine, fortified wine, and beer when they enhance a recipe. Fermentation allows the development of subtle and interesting flavors in a beverage, in addition to that of the ethanol (alcohol) part of the beverage. Proper cooking gets rid of most of the ethanol and leaves behind lots of the good stuff. You'd have to eat gallons of my food to get any kind of a buzz at all. I don't worry about traces of alcohol in foods, medicines, flavorings, etc. I think the issue's like the difference between biblical kosher and rabbinical kosher, as my Jewish friends have explained it to me. And most kids can learn the distinction just fine. In fact, I think cooking with alcohol but not drinking it is a strong example of self-possession. We don't need to be controlled by our environment. On the other hand, if there were recovering alcoholics present, or people who thought they shouldn't drink but might be tempted to in the presence of alcohol (maybe teenagers here for a party, for example), or if people who would be offended by cooking with alcohol were coming for dinner, I would certainly hide the bottles and not cook with alcohol while they were with us. According to the above poll, opinions are about evenly divided on this issue. There are good arguments on both sides. I think it's a matter or world view, individual taste, and culture. And prayer, by the way. I prayed about it because I genuinely didn't know what stance to take. The Spirit made it clear to me that Heavenly Father doesn't care whether or not I cook with alcoholic beverages. I'm just supposed to use good judgment. So on occasion I've taken a bite of something at someone else's house or in a restaurant and tasted the ethanol part of the alcoholic beverage. In such a case I don't take a second bite because when the ethanol is perceivable that's more raw alcohol than I want to consume. (This doesn't happen in my kitchen.) I have no problem with the fact that other people have received an answer different from mine. God knows us individually, and He works with us individually as well as collectively. And there's no question that I would cease and desist cooking with alcohol in a heartbeat if He told me to.

tsg said...

02:36 PM
on Feb 19, 2011

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What counts for the Celestial Kingdom is to love one another and to have charity. The important thing is to take care of your mind, spirit and body and eat healthy foods, not JUNK food. For me the people that are narrow minded they aren't Disciples of Christ they are judging their fellow being.

berea_mama said...

04:23 PM
on Feb 19, 2011

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I don't know exactly how I feel about this. There are cooking wines, not made by the normal alchohol companies, that you can use. They have so much salt in them that no one would be tempted to drink them. But to the people who say, the word of wisdom is the word of wisdom, so NO alcohol at all....do you eat bread with yeast(alchohol is made by the yeast), homemade root beer, take cough syrup when you are sick? What about mouth wash? All of these things contain a lot of alcohol, in comparison to a lot of dishes that have it mostly cooked out.

berea_mama said...

04:32 PM
on Feb 19, 2011

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Looking on lds.org, I found some examples of using alchohol in cooking, such as red wine vinegar. So, I think we may be fine in using it, as long as it tempts us not. Here is the link: http://lds.org/friend/2007/08/kitchen-krafts?lang=eng&query=cooking+wine

berea_mama said...

04:53 PM
on Feb 19, 2011

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I also think we need to look at the entire Word of Wisdom. We tend to skip over parts like "eat meat sparingly and only in season." Do you know that often the only dish my vegetarian husband can eat at ward dinners is the one I make for him? The rest have meat! Each person may interpret things differently. My in laws and myself also abstain from caffienated beverages. We also don't drink green or white tea, as they come from the black tea plant. Some people we know-who have temple recommends, are on bishoprics, etc.- drink white tea and mountain dew! It is so open to interpretation, and people I know who do these things, and eat meat for every meal still have temple recommends. If we are trying to avoid the appearance of evil (that we may be breaking the word of wisdom), let's not just abstain from cooking with alcohol. Let's actually eat meat sparingly, fill up on produce and grains, eat in moderation, etc. That will be the best testament to the truthfulness of the word of wisdom and its blessings-our health.

nicd said...

05:26 PM
on Feb 19, 2011

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I agree with phoenix on this issue. We were each given our own free will. Who am I to assert mine on someone's cooking practices. If you are preparing dishes with the mindset that you are going to cook only dishes that call for alcohol, then maybe there could be an issue. I cook with it if it calls for it , I don't go out of my way... I don't think about how every "evil" thing I could "possibly" be being judged on. I focus on being the best possible person I can be. That includes not worrying about what others are using to make their cheese fondue. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do, along with treating people as I would have them treat me, based on my love for them, not what i served them for dinner.

meakin84 said...

07:29 AM
on Feb 21, 2011

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I know a lot of members that choose to cook with alcohol, but personally my husband and I decided that it wasn't for us. We both have alcoholism in our families so we simply don't want any type of alcoholic beverage in our home. Period. It's pretty black and white for us. But it would be for anyone that had to live with an alcoholic.

wahlymom said...

03:21 PM
on Feb 21, 2011

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Wow, what a hot button! For my family personally, I would never cook with alcohol. Not because I am going to get drunk or become an alcoholic by eating a pasta sauce made with wine. That is silly. I do, however, think it would be problematic to be seen purchasing such items. In my part of Arkansas, alcohol can only be purchased at special stores. I would have to go specifically to such a store, and what would it look like to have the Branch President's wife be seen frequenting such a place? Secondly, what would stop a curious teenager from drinking the cooking sherry when I am not home? Nothing! It;s like having candy in the house when you are on a diet. Is that a good idea...I think not. Many of the parents of my children's friends (non-members) love that they can send their children to my house knowing that I provide good supervision AND they know we have nothing in the house their kids might get into trouble with. They have specifically said as much. I was once "caught" with a shopping cart full of Dr. Pepper I was purchasing for a visiting non-member relative. I was mortified, even though the Bishop never even said anything. I think I would have fainted if it had been a bottle of wine!

captainmoroni said...

02:26 PM
on Feb 23, 2011

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I love the comments here...despite the clear "liahona" v. "iron-rod" differences, most seem pretty respectful of others with a different view...such a relief from the viciousness in political blogs (or anything with political overtones). Maybe it's because most of you are cooks...?

drilgirl said...

10:29 PM
on Feb 23, 2011

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We are suppose to avoid even the appearance of evil. Plus if I buy alcohol I am supporting the industry. Two good enough resons for me not to do it!

jks said...

06:51 AM
on Feb 24, 2011

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it's not a matter of cooking with it, it is a matter of buying it. I am surprised this is a matter of conversation.

neill said...

11:30 AM
on Feb 24, 2011

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just in case you are still wondering about Ariel non-alcohol wine drinks they have less alcohol than fresh orange juice, which is less than 1/2 of 1%

ddhvn28 said...

05:18 PM
on Feb 26, 2011

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I do NOT cook with alcohol. I even go as far as not using real extracts for flavoring or buying pam cooking spray or some teriyaki sauces. Reason: As a girl I was not a member of the church. I vividly remember my mother baking sweet potato pie and the affect it had on my family. She would put Jim Beam and Southern Comfort in the batter. One slice and everyone was staggering and slurring words. Baking the pie with alcohol only concentrated its affect. The water cooks out but the alcohol stays behind. Even though countless people say it cooks out, I can't bring myself to believe them.

bahneebee said...

02:56 PM
on Mar 10, 2011

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I just found this article online: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm It has a lot of information on the percentages of alcohol left behind in cooking.

slottedspoon said...

05:35 PM
on Mar 16, 2011

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I feel the need to put my two cents in. Do I cook with wine? I tend not to, not because I am for or against it, I’m just not interested. But I listen to people debating this and three things come to my mind. First, I hope the people who are razzing those who do cook with wine are living the word of wisdom as well, no caffeine drinks, not allot of meat, and so forth. About the alcohol, what are their stances on medications that contain alcohol such as Nyquil? Second, if people are going to be so passionate about this, they also need to remember that Heavenly Father gave each one of his children free agency. Third, we are all brothers and sisters, so let’s calm down. Remember none of us are perfect, not you, not me, we are here to grow and learn.

buzeebee said...

07:16 PM
on Apr 03, 2011

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If you read the Word of Wisdom, D&C 89, verse 5 specifically speaks about the "drinking" of wine and strong drink. It states nothing about cooking with it. There is also nothing there about perfumes, mouth wash, vanilla extract, rubbing alchohol, cough syrup or a dozen other things that contain alcohol. In fact, verse 7 states "strong drinks are not for the belly, but for washing of your bodies." To forbid those items is to go beyond the Spirit of the law and nitpick the letter of the law. The house of Israel did this with the Law of Moses to the point that it was unrecognizable. I have eaten wine sauces and they're delicious. But I've never been tempted to drink wine because of a wine sauce, nor have I ever felt any kind of buzz. Each person must decide what is wise for their bodies and their families. But expecting other members to abide by a fanatical observance of any particular verse in the Word of Wisdom is not appropriate. I know a German sister who used to love to drink beer until she became a member. After that she began to drink non-alcoholic beer. I thought that was not allowed, but she's very open about it and continues to be a worthy temple recommend holder and a faithful servant of the Lord. I don't cook with wine but I'd like to. I don't consider cooking with wine or beer to be disobeying the Lord. However, I don't eat anything basted with liqueur once the food is finished, such as a Black Forest Cake (though there are nonalcoholic kinds), nor would I eat a chocolate liquor candy. It would be nice if the Prophet or one of the General Authorities would come out and state specifically whether or not cooking with wine or beer is allowed or not. Until then, I won't drink it. But I won't treat it like the plague, either.

ohappyday said...

03:24 PM
on Apr 09, 2011

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WOW!! These comments have been extremely insightful!! This is wonderful beacuse a whole new world of culinary options has just been opened up to me. After reading all of the rationalizations shared here I guess that I can also now start using a Tablespoon of coffee in my chocolate gnache…after all, I’m not “drinking” it. I’m just using a little bit to enhance the flavor of my cooking. So, according to what I’ve read here, that makes it totally OK…am I right?? I mean, let’s not pick at gnats, right? I am also excited to learn that throwing around Church callings held by friends, family and associates are all all the "credentials" I need in making a case for my opinion and will allow me from now on make a guilt-free excuse for any choice I decide to make. I feel SO MUCH better now that I can take that accountability off my own shoulders!! THANKS, fellow readers!!

bruce said...

02:43 PM
on Apr 12, 2011

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A few thoughts: (1) I'm not inclined to feel negatively toward those who cook with wine partly because I remember Church leaders cautioning those who put extreme emphasis on one aspect of the gospel--with the Word of Wisdom sometimes given as an example--over other (often more important) ones. (2) I once heard a stake presidency member--now a major US public figure--say, "If you can eat it with a fork, it's OK." Maybe he was joking, but that's what he said. (3) The questions BYU students are asked by their bishops to get continuing endorsement include one about not consuming, purchasing, or serving alcohol. I've wondered whether that includes alcohol used in cooking but have never tried to find out. (I'm pretty sure it doesn't include vanilla extract or Nyquil.) (4) I will probably continue to avoid cooking with alcohol to avoid purchasing it and having it in my home (with all the misunderstandings that might create)--and also to avoid having it around my kids, who struggle enough as it is. So I guess that puts me somewhere around the middle in the current discussion.

ssummers said...

12:21 PM
on Apr 28, 2011

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I have found that vinegars and fruit juices are just as good if not better than wine and you don't get the alcohol and avoid the whole issue. There are so many GREAT vinegars out there to use as substitutes. I have also heard chefs on major cooking TV stations say that juices and vinegars are great substitutes for wine in cooking. i.e. Alton Brown of Food Network.

momslds said...

11:51 AM
on May 06, 2011

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I would like to see LDS Living write an article about this based on an interview with LDS professors from the food science and nutrition department at BYU, or other universities, and/or other LDS people in the food industry.

ldsgirl923 said...

11:52 AM
on May 19, 2011

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Oh my goodness!! So many strong opinions so ...here's mine :0) I never knew that Mormons would/could cook with wine until about 10 years ago when I found out so many of my friends did (especially fish). My husband is a very "the rules are BLACK and WHITE" kind of guy, I believe in the spirit of the law. One of my friends who is an amazing cook uses alcohol and even makes her own vanilla with vodka. She points out that you are drinking the vodka...you are using a teaspoon of it and we have all used vanilla. Furthermore, the ALCOHOL is cooked off so you are not getting wine, you are getting the varied, subtle flavors that add the intensity to the dish. Having said that, I recent;y made an Irish dish for my family (it was an old family recipe I came across) that needed the meat to stew in stout beer and I found that I was so nervous BUYING the beer! I thought for sure my bishop would see me :0) I had to buy a pack of 4 and only needed one and though my kids are older I have left it in a hard to get to cupboard in the garage, not in the house. I come from a family of alcoholics and I sure don't need the temptation, hahaha. Though beer...yuck! I think the heart of the Word of Wisdom is to avoid addiction and you won't get addicted to alcohol based on tasting the essence of wine in food. Let's talk about the diet coke, sugar and anti-depression addiction that is rampant in Utah county!!

ldsgirl923 said...

12:00 PM
on May 19, 2011

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slottedspoon said... 05:35 PM on Mar 16, 2011 Report Abuse I feel the need to put my two cents in. Do I cook with wine? I tend not to, not because I am for or against it, I’m just not interested. But I listen to people debating this and three things come to my mind. First, I hope the people who are razzing those who do cook with wine are living the word of wisdom as well, no caffeine drinks, not allot of meat, and so forth. About the alcohol, what are their stances on medications that contain alcohol such as Nyquil? Second, if people are going to be so passionate about this, they also need to remember that Heavenly Father gave each one of his children free agency. Third, we are all brothers and sisters, so let’s calm down. Remember none of us are perfect, not you, not me, we are here to grow and learn. I love what you have said...if we were all actually LIVING THE WORD OF WISDOM, no one in the church would be overweight!! Why do we get so caught up in the "alcohol" part of the W of W and not the rest or even other church guidelines that may be even more important?

suzie99 said...

02:10 PM
on May 22, 2011

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its sad to see people justifying drinking alcohol... and just so you all know. non-alcoholic drinks actually DO have alcohol in it..

german_lds_member said...

12:16 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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I think the Word of Wisdom (and the church) is very clear about alcohol. So I do not use wine or any other alcohol when cooking. But it's something else with non-alcoholic wine. It contains the flavors but not the alcohol itself. I see no reason why I shouldn't use it - although I have not used it so far. It's the same with non-alcoholic beer. It contains no alcohol (only traces of it - like many fruit juices do too). There is no scriptural reason to not drink non-alcoholic beer. Of course, the other question is, whether I really should give the impression I'm consuming a beer. That's something everybody should answer for himself.

altorock13 said...

12:36 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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While I am not a member of your church, I do enjoy reading the articles and occasionally the comments on this website, to learn more about your church. That being said, something I have seen in a lot of the comments on this page concern me. My husband and I have had missionary discussions, had our neighbors invite our children to your youth nights, and had them in our home on Mondays for family night. The thing I enjoyed so much is that they have never once been judgemental about us and our lifestyle. We don't drink, or smoke, and we teach our children to be respectful of others cultures. I am very concerned however with how much judging has been going on in these comments of one another. If I were to join your church, would people in it suddenly be judging me in the harsh manner I have seen on this comment page? I don't want to be a part of that. I took some of the comments to be very rude towards each other, and very preachy. This page took one of the things that I loved most about your religion and has put very big holes in it. I would ask that you please think about that in the future as you are posting. I am very interested in your opinions, but not when they are degrading those same people you call brother and sister on Sundays.

motherof3 said...

02:11 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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there is NO reason to step out of the 'word of wisdom' just for a recipe. i have found on a few websites substitutions for alcohol. using vinegar and juices...yes they work just fine. i will NEVER use alcohol in my home with recipes. it is against the word of wisdom. i have a few friends that use cooking alcohol and their children sneak off the bottles for some beverage tasting. use what you want in your recipes but for me and my kitchen/family NO ALCOHOL used in recipes. the non alcoholic beverages still have a small amount of alcohol such as caffeine free coffee still have caffeine.

german_lds_member said...

02:22 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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@altorock13: I do understand you're having with some things said on this page. I can only speak for myself. BUT: Scripture and our church leaders are very clear about the Word of Wisdom. Alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco is bad for you and you should avoid it. That said everything else is up to you. As LDS we call it free agency - your ability to choose for yourself. You choose for yourself whether or not and to what level you obey God's commands. We're all sinners. I am and you are. We need the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father. If we love our Father in Heaven and know what he wants and what not, do we choose to do what He is asking us to do? I think that's the important question. Again, it's up to you. Some things might be obvious (think about the Ten Commandments). There is no question whether to murder someone or not. If you murder someone you definitely disobeyed God. And telling so is not being judgmental but is merely stating a fact. Keep the Sabbath holy is another commandment. But the details are up to you. Can you go to the gym on Sundays? Can you eat out? You won't answers to these question in the Scripture. So you search your heart and ask God. You ask the Father to guide you with the Holy Spirit and then you do what you think is right. I won't judge you about your decision. And I hope nobody else will. The same with this issue here. The Word of Wisdom and our church leaders say no alcohol. So is it wrong to use it as a kind of spice in foods? That's something between you and your Heavenly Father. Read the scriptures, listen to what today's prophets have said and are saying and decide. If you feel in your heart that God is telling you through the Holy Spirit that you can use wine as an ingredient in your meals - do it. If you feel that would violate His will - don't do it. As LDS we believe that God tells us what His will is - through scripture and the prophets. How you live His will in your everyday life, that's something you have to decide for yourself. Because you and only you are accountable for your actions before God. I hope that helped to clear things up a little bit. Please comment if you feel that did not answer your concerns. You know, as LDS members we often have similar issues about caffeine. We should not drink coffee. That's what the Word of Wisdom and the prophets are saying. But what about caffeine in soda/pop? The church sais that's a personal issue between you and the Holy Spirit. The church leaders neither approve nor disapprove the consumption of beverages containing caffeine. The scriptures only speak about coffee and their is no revelation of any kind about other beverages. So it's up to you. I personally would never judge anybody because he or she thinks differently about beverages with caffeine than I do. Neither wouzld I like to be judged about that issue because I do drink beverages with caffeine from time to time.

altorock13 said...

03:44 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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@german_lds_member: Thank you for your well thought out comments. While I understand the word of wisdom, the parts that I was having issues with are the fact that people are almost yelling at each other over the use of alcohol in cooking. However, I was at a Mormon picnic for a July celebration at a Steak center and there were all sorts of caffeine related beverages such as Pepsi. It was my understanding that this was to be frowned upon in lds communities in regards to the word of wisdom. I understand that meat is to be used sparingly, however, I see barbeques going constantly in my neighborhood of mostly mormon families. There are many products that have alcohol in them, such as Nyquil, Codine, etc. Is it because the Alcohol in it is used as a medicinal purpose? Is alcohol only bad when it is consumed as a beverage or a food? Do you have rubbing alcohol in your home to use on cuts, etc? All I was trying to get at through my comment was the hope that people posting would try a little more tact and understanding, and a lot less criticism. Your church is known for your love, your understanding, and your ability to welcome people of all religions and view points. I just am not seeing that within your own church in regards to each other and these posts. It just struck me as very sad.

sunfur said...

06:10 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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I agree 100% with the first comment posted by seanette when she said "I do not wish to spend money on an industry that has caused so many people so much pain (drunk driving deaths/injuries, drunks abusing family members, etc.), nor do I want to have such a potentially troublesome (for me) item in my home" Personally, I've always noticed the persecution I've received by other members when I say I don't eat foods cooked with wine. It's a personal choice, but they can get very upset, and tell me over and over "It cooks out" and to me, a little bit of flavour isn't worth it. Other members can if they want, but I would appreciate if they stopped giving me grief for choosing not to. :'(

german_lds_member said...

09:57 PM
on Aug 23, 2011

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@altorock13. You are absolutely right reminding everyone (and that includes me of course) to show an attitude of love and respect when discussing whatever issues. Thank you (I really mean it) for reminding everyone here. I beg everyone's pardon if my own comments may have seemed too rude or lacking love. That was not my intention. Your question about alcohol as medicine: Yes, you're right. D&C 89:7 says: "And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies." That - and what our church leader say about this issue - indicate that alcohol can be used for medical purposes without problems. But you're also right about meat that should be used sparingly. Word of Wisdom says our diet should mostly consists of grain and vegetables - something modern science is telling us too. But that's taken often too lightly by me as well as my brothers and sisters in the church. You're absolutely right about that and it is wrong to eat meat in abundance. D&C 89:13: "And it is pleasing unto me that they (i.e. meat products) should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine." It's kind of clear, isn't it. Well, you might or might not know that the Word of Wisdom was not given by God as a command but as an advice. Prophets and apostles however felt compelled to make it an requirement for your Temple recommend. Without it you are not allowed to go to a Temple. They focused on the tobacco, coffee, tea and alcohol part of the Word of Wisdom. You won't find much about the meat part. So again it's up to you own interpretation. How much advice do you take from the Lord? Is it As important as the other parts of the Word of Wisdom since church leaders don't say much about it? Maybe not?! I'm not sure. I personally do not eat much meat anyway because I have to closely watch my weight. However I do NOT eat meat only in winter times. So am I in violation of the Word of Wisdom? I'm really not sure about this issue. I never really asked that question myself. Thank you for making me aware of it. I definitely will think about. And of course I will never judge anybody about his eating behavior. We are all sinners and often - too often - lack the love and wisdom of God.

altorock13 said...

07:11 PM
on Aug 24, 2011

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@german_lds_member: Thank you for responding. I found something interesting in your post. You said that the word of wisdom was not given by God as a command, but as advice. And then it became a requirement for the members to follow who wish to go to the temple. I looked up the questions that are asked for you to get a recommend, and the questions asks "Do you follow the Word of Wisdom." Why do you think that only the drinking stuff is questioned? Do your church leaders only ask about the drinking things? Or is it focused on more because it sets you apart from other religions and people? I looked up your reading references and found that it gives what looks to be an extremely healthy diet. The eating of meat sparingly, the ready eating of fruits, vegetables and grains. It seems to me that if America were following this "healthy living" they would have much better diets, including those of your church.

german_lds_member said...

10:08 PM
on Aug 24, 2011

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@altorock13: In order for you to get a Temple recommened and thus being allowed to go to the Temple your bishop will ask you only whether or not you follow the Word of Wisdom. He will not ask specifically. Then it's up to you to consider this question and of course your life and answer as honestly as you can. If you say yes that's it. Your bishop will not ask you more details about it. -------------------------- And the Word of Wisdom means more than only not to consume any alcohol. But you're right, besides the Temple recommend question, discussion and lectures about the Word of Wisdom often only focus around drinking habits (coffee, tea, alcohol). And yes, I think one reason could be because that sets Mormons apart from other religion and often their fellow neighbors. ---------------------------- I personally believe that God gave us the Word of Wisdom not because it contains the guidelines for a healthy diet, which it does of course as you rightly pointed out. I think the Word of Wisdom is given to set LDS members apart fro the world, not because they're are anything better but maybe in order to invoke questions and interest by others when they see that we seem to behave a little bit differently when it comes to those things. And think about it: You neither drink tea nor coffee nor alcohol and you do not smoke. Believe me, you will have a lot of opportunities throughout the day to explain to other people why you don't do all those things. ---------------------------- Lastly, why many of us only focus on the drinking guidelines: It's just human. If you never smoked you don't have the desire to smoke. If you don't drink coffee and tea - well, you can drink so many other things like soda, herbal teas and hot chocolate or cocoa. Alcohol is more difficult to avoid but even that is entirely possible. ----------------------- But everybody knows how difficult it is to follow a lifelong healthy diet. We all know this and many of us - if not the majority of us - won't succeed in doing this. So for me the diet part is definitely the hardest part of the Word of Wisdom. And of course dieting or trying to eat a healthy diet is something almost everybody at least try to do today. So it doesn't set you apart in any way. These maybe the reasons (I can only speculate) why church leaders mainly focus on the drinking part of the Word of Wisdom. ------------------------- And when answering the question of my bishop in order to get a Temple recommend, I consider everything I just wrote and often conclude for myself that the Word of Wisdom is more or less only about not drinking certain drinks and not smoking. That is again something you have to consider and decide for yourself. It's something between you and Heavenly Father. The bishop is not interested in your diet or in what you're drinking in any way. He only asks you those question so that you can examine yourself. ----------------------------------- altorock13, you're very thoughtful and honestly you have helped me to think about certain issues and behaviors I haven't thought about before. Thank you so much!!! May I ask you something? Have you ever visited a Sunday service of an LDS ward? I wanna share something with you: I'm a convert to the church. I grew up in the Lutheran Church of Germany (I'm a German living in Germany). I got baptized there when I was 15. When I came in contact with the Mormon church, I needed 14 months before I joined the church. What really impressed me and contributed a lot to my decision to eventually join the church was the attitude of the people I met in my ward. I always had the feeling that I would meet there very honest people who live what they preach. I got never judged or looked upon. That really impressed me. Every ward is different but I don't think LDS members in Germany are much different from members in the U.S. (I assume you're from the U.S.). So what not give it try? I don't wanna act as a missionary here in any way. It's only something I'd like to share with you because your comments really make me think about a lot of things - for which I'm grateful.

silverwing said...

07:31 AM
on Sep 13, 2011

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I have read everyone's comments and I am very suprised by all of them. I do not have an opinion on cooking with alcohol. But I am shocked at the number of people who say they use it but would hide it or be embarrassed if caught buying it. To my way of thinking if buying something mkaes you feel guilty then you know in your heart you shouldn't be buying it or shouldn't have it in your home. On the day you stand agian before the lord it is not your neighbors opinions that you will be judged on but what is in your soul. Each person must make a decision based on there own beliefs and values, not on an interpitation of a law. So this is the way I look at having something in my home. If the lord visited my home today could i push up the door and invite him in with a clear conscience or would 100 things fill my mind of oh I hope he doesn't see that or did I hide that under the bed or in the cupboard. So personally i think each person need to search in their own soul and make the decision not just on cooking wine but on everything you allow in your home. Wether it be food or clothing or movies and music. When you pick it up can you in clear mind and true heart say if the lord came to my house today I wouldn't worry if he founf this in my home. If you can put it in your cart after answer then question then you meet the lord on the otherside with a light heart. But on the otherside if you look around your home in your book case and cd player in your movie cabnet and in your pantry and you see things you would be embarresed if the lord found in your home perhaps you need clean house :) I hope when the lord comes to visit that all of my brothers and sisters can welcome him with open arms and a light heart and not panic in there souls. So when you go shopping if you can say the lord could find this in my home by all means take it home with you and be happy no matter what another person says its what you know that you will be judged on. My prayers with all of you that you can meet the lord and be happy with the choices you have made in your life and not your neighbors.

silverwing said...

07:33 AM
on Sep 13, 2011

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Sorry for spelling errors I have a keyboard that sticks some times.

twright said...

08:51 AM
on Sep 30, 2011

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What really concerns me is the judgemental tone in a lot of the comments on this subject. altorock13, is right, we are not living our religion if we can't learn to not judge others and "stay in our own lanes". If your comment doesn't fit the "pure love of Christ" definition of Charity, what does it matter what else you are saying? I think the interesting thing about the Word of Wisdom is that it has not received any doctrinal clarifications since it was given. Even the temple recommend question asks do we live it, not details of how we live it. It's self report, just like all of the other answers. So, given that, can't we be nicer to each other?

altorock13 said...

05:22 PM
on Sep 30, 2011

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@german_lds_member: Wow! You gave me a lot to read and research. I found your comments to be very enlightening, as I felt they were more about the subject and less about trying to prove right or wrong, which I very much appreciate. To answer your question, yes, I have attended some LDS services on Sundays, I have attended a session of the Women Conference in your Utah Center, and I have attended a session of the Sunday morning conference with the prophet. While I enjoyed and continue to enjoy many of the things that your church offers, perhaps it is simply a few bad experiences that have heavily stayed with me as I grew up. I had a friend who joined the LDS church our senior year of High School. She began to be mocked by the teenagers of the church until they ran her out. I remember them calling her names, ones that I would not even post here, as well as telling her she was not welcome at their young women activities. It has taken years for me to consider the LDS church again, as that pretty much had made up my mind for me. I know that joining a church is not just about the people, but I don't want my children to have an experience like that. As a teacher I have also seen the way LDS youth treat each other, and many times, its just as bad or worse than how others treat them. It gives me many reservations. However, that being said, the mormons will always have a friend in my family and I. If there is a temple to be put in, we will support it. If there are missionaries on the street, we will invite them in. As to the rest, who knows.

wgc said...

05:42 PM
on Sep 30, 2011

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Holy Moley! I love the flood of opinion whenever the Word of Wisdom topic comes up! May I point out a few things? 1) The WOW is still just a suggestion, except for the 4 don'ts that were voted on to be a commandment in General Conference (my memory says 1858 but I'm too lazy to look it up right now): no coffee, tea, alcohol or tobacco. Period. We have added drug abuse to it since then. Alcohol was Joseph Smith's interpretation of "strong drink", coffee and tea was his interpretation of "hot drinks". Note they were drinks, not the substance. Chocolate, caffeine, colas, and all the other things we add into our interpretation of the WOW are not in those don'ts. These four (5) don’ts are the only things we are held accountable to as a commandment. 2) We don’t use alcohol to flavor food, we use the flavor that fermentation has added. The flavor of wine is different from the flavor of grape juice. 3) Even if the alcohol all stayed in the food, a cup of 11% (by volume) wine added to 10 cups of stock is only 1%. And a significant portion of it evaporates out. (UNLESS you use a slowcooker! They are designed to minimize water loss, so most of the liquid added stays in the pot.) Flambe will burn off alcohol until it reaches about 12% when there is not enough to sustain a flame. It also burns off fat. You still have to cook it more. Alcohol in extracts is negligible, as it usually is added in teaspoonfuls to cups of batter or liquid.4) Wine vinegar is wine that has been allowed to further change by letting it sour. There is no appreciable alcohol (if any) left in it. 5) Once you start talking about adding coffee to food you’re in a completely different conversation. Alcohol evaporates out, coffee does not, as coffee is not a liquid until you add the water to it! De-caffeinated coffee is still coffee (there are over 25 harmful substances in coffee). 6) Green tea is a gray area. The only tea in America at the time of Joseph Smith was black tea, which is green tea that has been fermented. The fermentation adds most or all of the harmful parts of teas, as well as increases the caffeine content. So the argument could be made that the WOW was talking about black tea and not the more healthy green tea. This sort of leaves it a gray area in my mind (personally, I choose to treat all tea leaves as WOW tea).

wgc said...

06:11 PM
on Sep 30, 2011

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I just looked up some of the websites sited in the above posts. The specific figure of 85% of alcohol remaining is for adding it to boiling liquids and then removing from the heat. It falls down to 10% after 2 hours of simmering. In my example above, I added a cup of 11% wine to 1 cups pf water for stock, which gives the whole mixture 1% alcohol. I will simmer for 3 to 4 hours and , by this website, will have 10% of the original amount of alcohol. That is 0.1%. The legal definition of an alcoholic drink is 0.5% or greater. (That is why de-alcoholized or non-alcoholic drinks say there is less than 0.5% alcohol--it is a legal definition, not a statement of content).

dhathaway said...

01:22 PM
on Oct 08, 2011

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After reading the many comments on the subject I'd like to pose a few questions myself to those who do cook with alcohol. First, how many of you have tasted alcohol, even a finger taste while cooking? I've never known a cook that doesn't taste test. I'd love to see how many have honestly cooked with alcohol, but never tasted it. How many of you that cook with alcohol have children or grandchildren in the home? Do you have to lock it up? How do you teach curious children and teenagers by example that we use wine for cooking, but not for drinking? How do we teach and practice the Word of Wisdom in it's entirety, line by line, precept by precept if we buy and use alcohol in our homes? How do you go to the store or liquor store and stand in line with everyone else buying it? I live in an area with few Mormons, yet was raised among many Mormons. I have a son who has friends over. Their parents pay me the highest compliment when they say, "We know our children are safe in your home because you don't have alcohol." Now -- consider the power of that? The long-lasting benefit to me is that I am teaching my child by example to follow and all those who know us, too. I believe in using questions in answering or making decisions about my life. I ponder whether I should or shouldn't do something and take my direction from the scriptures and prayer in my life. We teach children to ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" "What would the prophet do?" This same line of reasoning works for making decisions on what movies to watch, etc. If in doubt, don't do it. Honesty with self and others is where we begin. "Does cooking with alcohol really matter in this life?" When I've finished the course and stand before Christ to answer for myself, will it matter?" No one can answer for us, only ourselves. We know whether or not we are fully committed to living the gospel in it's entirety, sacrificing whatever it takes to be an example, a believer and disciple of Christ? I plan to meet my maker and report after my life is over, that I obeyed the Word of Wisdom fully. I cannot be perfect in all thngs, but perfectly can make the best decision for myself with the direction of the Holy Ghost aiding me.

browneyes46 said...

02:22 PM
on Oct 17, 2011

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I joined the church 8 yrs ago. I have not had a drink in > 14 yrs. I didn't do it well, I was in school, and going through a divorce. So I decided not to drink at all. My currant husband, not a member, does have wine occasionally. We have it in our home. I am strong in my faith, always was even before I joined. I have used wine in my cooking before as well. I have not been altered by it. If I was I would not have it. I do believe if someone is tempted by it and has a problem then having it in the home would not be appropriate. My kids were raised in a home with alcohol in it. I do not leave it out and it is put in a place that would be difficult to reach. People being uncomfortable buying it in front of other members is understandable but what you see with me is what you get. I am honest. I don't pretend to be something I am not. I do lead by example. Protecting kids from everything is not possible. They will often seek out what they do not know. I have taught my kids how to deal with situations when drinking and/or drugs were available and told them of the consequences. I have also taught them to walk away. An opinion is just that someone's opinion. We all have one. Be careful how some of you judge others. How you live your life....God only knows, truly, good or bad. Telling someone how to live theirs is not our place. When I joined the Bishop told me that it is only for God and his son Jesus to judge others. We may not like or approve of someone's habits, or practices but we should not throw those stones while living in a glass house. I have seen many people leave the church and others who recently left because of the judgements cast their way. I don't believe that is the majority, for I have not found that to be true in my ward. I lived a very experienced, and complicated life. I am in my 40's. Do I live to the best of my ability, yes. Can I improve, yes. Am I the best member, I don't know. I try. I learn from those living the Word of Wisdom. There is a difference between opinions and judgements. Unfortunately not everyone realizes that. Just saying.....

pen1954 said...

01:33 PM
on Nov 19, 2011

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I am not strongly for or against pushing the usage of this topic. I think that there could be some benefit in using wine for cooking, if some desired to, becase most of the alcohol does cook out but not all of the alcohol goes - unless you are buying the non-alcohol type. I have heard from many chiefs that non-alcohol cooking wine is just plain nasty! They always say, "If you are going to cook with a wine, you should cook with a wine that you would drink". I am one of the opinion who feels that it's not a bad thing in using alcohol liquers for flavor enhancing or in the use of cooking. For myself, I do not use wine to cook with in foods due to the added cost and this has prevented me from becoming accustomed to it's tase. Though, I do like to use vanilla extract, which is mainly vanilla bean in brandy (80 proof) and I also use Godiva Chocolate liqueur, Orange Liquer, along with a bottle of Rum and bourbon whiskey from time to time that I purchased over 4 years ago. I buy the real McCoy instead of buying extracts in small bottes where you buy spices in the store becase you get more for what you pay and it last longer. I still have a bottle of Logan Berry Liquer that I purchased some 18 years ago when I was still serving in the U. S. NAVY in Whidbey, Island Washington. I use the godiva liqueur, rum and whiskey for flavor enhancing and the whiskey is also used for making hot toddies when I get sick insead of using niquel cold medicine which could kill you if you are on certain types of medications. I love to use vanilla and my godiva liqueur in cakes and brownies - and as I noted, that is 80 proof alcohol? How many of you out there are using vanilla or any other extracts for flavor enhancing, such as in cookies and chocolate recipes? If you were a true alcoholic then having such things in your home might be troublesome? Wine is a food and can be used as such, But unfortunately, most people lack certain control and can not use it for the right purpose, instead - they consume down the whole bottel in one setting. If wine tasted as good as my home concord grape juice did, then I would be in trouble myself but I am thankful that is doesn't affect me in that way and I do not have the urge or the desire to sneek and partake. When I was in the military I did not have the temptation to comsume it for any other purpose - and not just because of the "Word of Wisdom". Wine has some good uses in cooking such as flavor enhancing and deglazing for making sauces but if you don't feel right about having it in your home because of the temptation of other family members or just trying to set an example by not having such things in your home then don't do it. It should't be mainly based upon the Word of Wisdom since many of us are already breaking it in many other ways as in over eating, consuming weight loss diet enhancing drugs or other harmful items. That alone is a health hazzard. I don't think that having alcohol for cooking in your home is necessarly bad unless it makes you feel guilty and you can't live with yourself. Alcohol does have it's purpose such as tobacco does but do people use it for the right reasons - the choices we make with it have turned out bad but it still does not make it evil, it is through the choices we make in over indulging in anything that can have an affect upon us and others. If you feel that having alcohol and liqueurs in your house could have a lasting affect upon you and you family and would allow it to take charge of your life - then don't bring it in your home. This still does not prevent some family member from getting it if he or she wants it. This was one of the main reasons why the Word of Wisdom came about in the first place because people become addicted to certain items and it prevents us from making wise choices.

bethjane said...

04:24 PM
on Jan 09, 2012

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I live in Germany and there is not one bit of a problem using alcohol in your food or buying it from the store. You don't even have to explain your self, just put it in your food if you like to cook with it, and if you don't like it than leave it out. It is not a WOW issue, it is a personal issue. Let's not be like the pharisees and start putting commandments where they don't belong. We have to learn to love and not judge. It is sad to me when people want to explore their creativity with culinary arts and feel ashamed to walk into the liqueur store to buy raspberry liquor, and think that a member might see them. We have such judging eyes. In the words of a famous BYU professor, "leave it alone. Just leave it alone."

manchesterunited said...

08:25 PM
on Apr 02, 2012

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For those that don't cook with wine, do you ever eat out at a nice restaurant? Chicken Marsala, Madeira Pasta, Limoncello Chicken, Steak au Poive, a decent Spaghetti for that matter? I have cooked with wine for years. I have children in the house who we have taught correct principles and who have never had a taste of any alcohol yet I have at least three bottles in the fridge all the time. We have taught them the correct use of alcohol in cooking as we taught them the correct way to cook. If you eat any great French or any Italian food you have already eaten food cooked in alcohol. If you have eaten whipped cream with vanilla you are getting more alcohol than when cooking with wine. Get off your Rameumpton of Judgement. I agree with Bethjane…don't judge my sins because they are different than yours. For those of us who happen to see another member purchasing alcohol, maybe we could assume they are cooking with that alcohol and not judge them harshly even if we personally have chosen not to use it in our own cooking.

mnfarrs said...

08:51 AM
on Apr 09, 2012

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Wow, I am amazed at all the minute introspection that goes into the cooking with alcohol debate both here and in "real" life, but how little we look at ALL aspects of the word of wisdom. For instance, can we really feel we are living the word of wisdom or look disdainfully at a wine drinker while we are wolfing down brownies and soda (all the while asking that they nourish our bodies???)which while not specifically forbidden definately violates the intentions of the word of wisdom (as many call it, the Lord's law of health). Also, has anyone followed through all the revelation the qualifications for eating meat? " And these (He was just speaking of beasts and fowls) hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger." Section 89:15 I doubt any of us or almost any of us on here have ever qualified as being in a famine or having nothing else to eat. I am sure there are exceptions out there but for the majority of us, do we put as much introspection into all parts of the word of wisdom equally or do we just look at those parts that are not part of our mormon culture, aka alcohol, tobbaco, etc? For the record I do not cook with wine, mostly to avoid the appearance of evil, nor do I drink alcohol. I just would challenge us to look past what is well trodden and consider stretching ourselves to obey the whole word of wisdom. By the way, just an interesting tidbit, Joseph Smith drank wine and other things (and not just for the sacrament). This does not make him a fallen prophet, a sinner doomed to hell, etc. It does make him a man, and one liable to sin and temptation as are we all.

piret said...

06:15 AM
on May 11, 2012

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Do some Latter-day Saints rub their food on their bodies to wash? D&C 69:7 "And,again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies".

aceofspace said...

01:34 PM
on May 24, 2012

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My question to all of you with alcoholics in the family, what is your definition of alcoholic? It is pretty far fetched to be getting your alcohol high from a vodka sauce. Everything is open to interpretation.

keshengjie said...

05:51 PM
on May 28, 2012

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"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22 It's interesting the alternative translations I've read, such as "Avoid every kind of evil." (http://bible.cc/1_thessalonians/5-22.htm) To me, worrying about how others might be judging me seems an incorrect way to decide if I should do something. They are responsible for their own actions and judgements, as I am. I've been LDS my whole life, my wife converted to it from Catholicism. We cook with and drink Arial non-alcoholic (dealcholized) wines. You might be interested to know that most fruits juices contain alcohol, from 0.1% to 0.3%, particularly orange juice. (0.5% is the legal limit to be labeled non-alcoholic). My interpretation is that we should avoid "strong drink". I consider fruit juices and non-alcoholic drinks to be mild drinks. "Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain." --DC 89:17 I have seen some interpret this to be beer, which is a "mild drink" made from different grains. Beer typically has 4%-6% alcohol. When compared to wine (9%-16%), Vodka (35%–50%), Whisky (40%–55%) and Absinthe (45%–89.9%), beer would be a milder drink. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_by_volume#Typical_levels I don't drink beer, just want to demonstrate that it can be interpreted to be allowed per section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I have a feeling many commandments or directions are given in order to see how we will treat those we don't feel measure up.

ignoramus said...

11:12 PM
on Jun 09, 2012

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Mormons are not immune from the disease of our time which is political correctness. I have recently gained an appreciation for the rabbinical thought of the Torah concerning holy men who deny themselves the pleasure of the world and are judged by God for having missed those opportunities. It is possible to avoid alcohol and still experience the taste of juniper berries from Gin, Cointreau from exotic citrus fruits, tequila flavors from cactus plants which are very unique and hops from many varieties of beer. Our generation could benefit from repentance from political correctness. Alcohol is the preservative that allows the survival of fragile flavors over time. Alcohol evaporates before water. Some orthodox Mormon arguments are a paradox. In the original language of the testaments there is a clear distinction between wine, juice, and vinegar. A Nazarite even avoids the use of grape seed oil, but only until his time is accomplished. I would cook with Gin, Bourbon, Ouzo or Tequila and would feel perfectly justified in asking for a recommend to the Temple.

dj60 said...

08:14 AM
on Jun 19, 2012

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I would love to know what you can substitute, for the different alcohols that are called for in a recipe. If anyone knows or has a substitution list, I would love to have a copy. PLEASE

bridget said...

09:56 AM
on Jun 26, 2012

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I have become very ill from eating foods that were cooked with wine; I did not know the food had wine in it until after I got sick. Cooking with wine is one of the easiest ways to ruin it. The human body is not designed to process alcohol. (Just ask the Designer.) So, should you cook with wine, beer, or any other alcoholic beverage? No, no, and again NO. How many times does the Lord have to say NO before people get it. If you listen to him 100% you're going to avoid a lot of unnecessary woe. If you want to push the envelope to see just how far you can get away with treading the line, be aware that when you stand on fences instead of standing firmly with the Lord you're going to fall off. Just read Revelation if you feel like disputing this: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:16) In case you missed it, the Lord is not going to support people who are lukewarm about keeping his commandments. P.S. Even a mere suggestion from the Lord amounts to a commandment, and since he gives us commandments for our own safety and welfare, break his commandments at your own peril. Not concerned about the effects of alcohol on your body? Well, you ought at least to be concerned about displeasing the Lord. If you seem to be skating by while disobeying him, be aware that he has noted every willful act and it's not going to be dismissed until you actually fully and completely repent. And I do mean REPENT.

johnwest said...

02:27 AM
on Aug 04, 2012

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I'm not sure where I stand on this matter. do I stop going to restaurants because most us alcohol in making there sauces and soups. do I stop baking or buying product that contain extracts including ice cream and cookies etc. where does the line start and end. whats the difference between consuming alcohol in a restaurant or at home.I here a lot of people replying how bad it is but I highly doubt that they ask their waiters or look at the ingredient of the food products they bring home. If you ask me it about obeying the spirit of the law. if our bodies our temple should we not restrain from all forms of unhealthiness such as obesity witch in the number one cause of heart decease.

dena said...

11:39 PM
on Sep 19, 2012

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I'd like to suggest superior ingredients to both the wine and the vanilla extract. Use demi-glaze in place of wine. Make your own without wine or buy a jar from a gourmet food store. (certainly no one can object to the trace amount of wine in this gelatenous mix. Why, consuming the entire jar wouldn't raise a blood/alcohol level before making you sick) The depth of only a tablespoon of a rich demi-glaze is beyond compare. Instead of vanilla extract, use vanilla bean paste. Infinitely more flavor without the "spike" in extract. More intense, more flavor and even prettier. More expensive, but you'll use it only in small doses, so it will last.

petrichor said...

05:53 PM
on Oct 05, 2012

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I don't really worry about anyone judging me when I;m buying wine at the grocery store. That's their problem, and I can explain my actions if they are really curious. Also, D&C 89 states that homemade wine could be used for sacrament, and only strictly prohibits the ingestion of liquor and beer. I've spent some years studying both the scientific and spiritual sides of this debate, and have come to teh conclusion that cooking with wine is okay. I don't believe cooking with it will cause alcoholism, or that it is a stepping stone to drinking alcohol. I know where I draw the line. (Also, I know that wine makes a HUGE difference in the flavor of a dish, since I've made tuna noodle casserole both with and without it.) There is a small amount of alcohol in almost every meal (especially if you eat bread), so I don't worry about the small amount of alcohol left in a dish cooked with wine. I wouldn't cook with liquor (except with extracts) because that is expressly prohibited by the WoW.

leecrites said...

12:46 PM
on Feb 22, 2013

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Wow. Lots on interesting comments. As an alcoholic, let me say this: 1) The alcohol NEVER fully cooks out of the mix. IT if did, it would require more cooking time than anyone cares to take. 2) The TASTE triggers those with alcoholic issues, irrespective of how much actual alcohol is in the product. There is a reason the Word of Wisdom forbids it. To put it into a different light: what if this was talking about tossing a tobacco leaf into the creamed spinach -- just to give the dish an extra flavor? Would we be arguing about what carcinogens were boiled out? Probably not.

leecrites said...

12:57 PM
on Feb 22, 2013

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Sorry -- I forgot to answer the question I started off intending to discuss. @aceofspace said... "My question to all of you with alcoholics in the family, what is your definition of alcoholic? It is pretty far fetched to be getting your alcohol high from a vodka sauce. Everything is open to interpretation." First off, alcoholism is painfully well defined. There is no need to ask this. Second, all of us have experienced a time when a brief whiff of a smell or a the taste of a small sample has triggered a flood of memories. If you have not, I suggest you get out more. For an alcoholic (like me and all of the others I have worked with), the body recognizes the taste and smell, and fills our entire consciousness with it. I have seen panic attacks caused by walking simply into a restaurant or house where wine was being used in a sauce. I have experienced that phenomenon, personally. If you have not, then get on your knees and thank Father for that blessing in your life. I have been sober nearly three dozen years, and to this day I am still susceptible to it. Period. Cooking with alcohol is a worldly pleasure we simply cannot afford to risk.

kelcey1 said...

02:51 PM
on Mar 12, 2013

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I have been using Ariel non-alcoholic wine for cooking for years. I also substitute juice at times in certain recipes, for instance I use 100% unsweetened cranberry juice in my pot roast and it's delicious.

marquis0 said...

09:10 AM
on May 22, 2013

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Okay, this is not something I would normally do, but I have been reading all the comments about how it should be obvious how bad it is to cook with alcohol and how people can't believe this is even being discussed. There is nothing in the WoW that would indicated it is bad at all to use alcohol for any use other than drinking. "That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good." I has been mentioned that most food contains some level of alcohol and how we overlook much of that. I really just wanted to make a couple of additional comments. First of all, making a stand and saying that for your own choice, you would not cook or have any alcoholic drinks in your house is admirable. The comment I read where someone avoids it in part to not support the industry I think is great, and is a choice this person has made because of the pain that can be caused. Judging others because of your own interpretation of scripture is what Christ spent much of his life preaching against, and is something that has kept a lot of people that I know away from the church, and has set them to leading others away. For me, I like to cook and like good food. I generally don't cook with alcohol because I don't usually have it in my house, however, those who are ignorant enough to think they can go to a restaurant and not get food that has been cooked with alcohol without asking for the ingredient list for each dish is naive at best. Wine and other spirits are used to deglaze and flavor dishes so often, and may never show up on the menu. My wife and I have decided that for us, we don't worry about it unless we are asked for ID to consume the dish (wish some exceptions). When I cook for guests, I let them know what I put alcohol into, and have yet to have anyone avoid anything that I have made. Also, about the dangers of addiction based on the alcohol in most foods, I don't see that as reasonable. It's not the alcohol or the taste of the alcohol that is going to cause you to become interested. It's the thinking about it, and letting those thoughts have any measure of control. As to who might see you in line while buying wine, beer, or any other "spirit" to cook with and what they might think, if they are good people, who are actually interested in your good, they may ask what you are doing. Share the recipe if they are interested, invite them over, you might make a new friend, or strengthen an existing friendship.

fishinwife said...

03:57 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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For me, this is a choice about intent. I cook with wine, although not often. I adds a lot of complexity to dishes that call for it. With the small amounts used, and the burnoff rate, I have never gotten drunk or buzzed, or lost control of my ability to make clear decisions. I generally am not the one purchasing alcohol. My husband gets a bottle or two each year from his patients or clients, generally in a gift basket. But I will be buying some alcohol soon to make homemade vanilla for Christmas gifts.

dennyofoz said...

04:15 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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The wording of the Word of Wisdom is 'drinketh wine or strong drink' - not cooketh with. The doctrine/principle is clear, abstain from harmful/addictive drinking substances. Personal application is up to the individual. Saw another article this morning talking about caffeinated drinks such as coke, mountain dew etc. Same principle applies.

jmfitamant said...

04:16 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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Here is my perspective of toxicologist : all depends on the homogeneity of environments. If you're flaming a banana, alccol in contact with the fruit does not burn, despite appearances. There is always a part of unburned alcohol when food is flaming. By cons, when an alcohol is added to a preparation which has subsequently simmer for a while, so if all the ingredients of the preparation are heated and cooked at the same temperature, alccol evaporates relatively quickly. In the case of a Swiss cheese fondue, a little strong alcohol is often added to the cheese before serving. It would be better to wait a little by heating the cheese a few minutes before serving. The coq au vin, the Flemish stew, Alsace baekehoff and other preparations containing wine or alcohol can be eaten without a problem. They cooked so that the alcohol is gone. The real question is whether it is wise to keep alcohol at home ...

icaughtyouabass said...

04:43 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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you know, you're not going to get drunk (even somewhat) by putting a dash of wine in with your spaghetti sauce from scratch. There's probably more wrong by eating too much than by putting a little alcohol in with some food. The former also violates the "Word of Wisdom". Did you know there's an epidemic of obesity in North America? Did you know that there's a epidemic of diabetes as well? I think the thing is, eat better, get off your couch and out of your cars, and quit complaining so much and you might live longer. Oh, and you might not be so depressed and take anti-depression medication... which is a huge concern in Utah and elsewhere. Pretty sure it's not the food that's making you depressed.

pkw said...

04:59 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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I had a YW leader who was a convert. She shared that she and her husband LOVED non-alcholoic beer. However, she said that they had decided not to drink it because it appeared to others that they were drinking alcohol. She taught us, through her example, to even "avoid the appearance of evil." One of our favorite dishes uses white wine. We loved it at the restaurant, and have had it several times before attempting to prepare it at home and learning it is an ingredient. I don't feel we were wrong in eating it at the restaurant, however, at home, especially as our children watch us cook, we use white grape juice so we can even avoid the appearance of breaking the Word of Wisdom. I try to follow the same principle when out. If alcohol is used in preparing a dish, and I know it, I avoid it. However, I don't think it's right to condemn anyone for choosing otherwise.

wilkdawg2 said...

05:24 PM
on Nov 12, 2014

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It is true that most of the alcohol is burnt off but you can still taste it and it tastes, well like alcohol, which I don't like. More importantly I don't want to have alcohol in my home. Although my kids are exposed to alcohol when we go to family members homes and when we go to restaurants or the store, I don't want it to be something that is normal for them to see in our home. It was easier for me as a teenager to pass on alcohol when it was offered to me because it was just something that my family didn't use. I think Satan has many ways of making the things of the world seem "normal" and "OK, under certain circumstances" and I don't want to help him in his cause. There are so many other substitutes that having alcohol in my home just wouldn't seem right.

fanofsonofseptember said...

04:06 AM
on Nov 13, 2014

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Avoid the appearance of evil. You claim alcohol is evil, yet none of you would be here today without it. What do you think they drank on ships to get to America? Alcohol. The only thing that wouldn't spoil. And what do you think Joseph Smith was drinking on the day he died? Wine, to keep him in good spirits. And what do you think Joseph Smith sold at his own liquor store? Yep. Are any of you aware of the actual reasoning for the wow? The leaders were meeting in the temple, and the women were sick of cleaning up tobacco spit on the ground, and the smoke was so thick from the men smoking that the women couldn't see where to clean up the tobacco. And to those that attempt to rationalize not using alcohol because they are from a family of alcoholics. .. Please stop saying that. It's bogus. Alcoholism is hardly generic. And to those of you that are condemning the use of alcohol, but are also taking medications for depression and anxiety, please reconsider your stance. There is a correlation between utah having the highest rate of psych med use, religious fanaticism, and alcohol stigma

hollyjo said...

05:18 PM
on Nov 13, 2014

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AVOID ALL APPEARANCES OF EVIL...IF WE ARE TRYING TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO AVOID THINGS THAT ARE AGAINST THE WORD OF WISDOM WE NEED TO BE THE EXAMPLE... IT BEGINS WITH US AND IF IT LOOKS LIKE WE ARE MAKING A RATIONALIZATION THAT THE ALCOHOL COOKS OUT WHEN WE USE WINE WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN...HOW DO OTHERS VIEW OUR ACTIONS??? IT MIGHT BE A WISER DECISION TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THE RECIPE OR THROW THE RECIPE OUT ALL TOGETHER ...
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