I recently read somewhere that in the LDS observance of communion, water and leavened bread is used. The practice of communion comes from the Jewish Passover ceremony where wine and unleavened bread was used. Wine is the fruit of the vine and leaven, or yeast, represents sin, so the bread, which represents Christ's body today, was without leaven, or sinless.

Most Christian denominations still follow this pattern today, even though many use grape juice as a non-alcoholic substitute for "the fruit of the vine". So, I was quite surprised to learn that Mormons do not follow this pattern.

Is it true that LDS Churches use water instead of wine or grape juice and leavened bread instead of unleavened bread? If so, where does this practice come from and what is the theological basis for it?

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    Just wanted to say that Jews do not have communion, and being Christian and being a Jew are two different things, although they are related and Christianity is derived from Judaism (through the old Testament). Some Christian Denominations do indeed use wine, but not all... some just use grape juice as it is believed by some that when the Bible says wine, they are really referring to juice..
    – TheXed
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 21:34
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    @TheX Communion actually comes from the Jewish Passover ceremony. So I was referring to the Jewish celebration of Passover where they do use bread and wine. Also, there are many people who are both Jewish and Christian. In fact, all of the first Christians or Jews. They accepted Jesus as their Jewish Messiah, so they didn't stop being Jewish. In fact accepting the Jewish Messiah is the most Jewish thing that a person could do.
    – Narnian
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


The LDS church proscribes wine (or any alcoholic beverage, really), so water is used instead, although it doesn't matter what is used for the symbols of the sacrament, according to Doctrine and Covenants in the LDS canon:

D&C 27:2

2 For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.

It just so happens that regular bread and water are more available and make for a simpler ceremony, especially considering that it's usually the young men in the church who prepare and administer that ordinance.

There are accounts of Latter-day Saints using alternative emblems for the sacrament. The citation I linked to, about halfway down, mentions French saints making use of potato peelings when that was all they had available.

Note: The Word of Wisdom, which is the revelation forbidding the consumption of alcoholic beverages, was not received until later. It could be that this revelation about the emblems was a precursor, in part, to that more general revelation. (Read D&C 27 in context for more information.)


During the persecution period of the early Church, the Lord directed Joseph Smith that evil men were seeking to poison the Sacramental wine. Therefore the Saints were to make their own grape juice. Since that became hard to do at they were being expelled from areas, the Church was directed to use water. And since the substance was symbolic anyway, crackers, any style of leavened bread, or in the case of war-torn areas where bread was unavailable, any substitute that would still symbolize the partaker's "doing this in rememberance of Him".

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    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 23:23

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