“It Mattereth Not What Ye Shall Eat or What Ye Shall Drink When Ye Partake of the Sacrament”

Doctrine and Covenants 27:1–4

1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.
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.
3 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;
4 Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Early in the month of August, 1830, Newel Knight and his wife, who had recently been baptized, called at the home of Joseph Smith in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Neither the wife of Newel Knight nor Emma Smith had been confirmed, and it was proposed that this should be done, after which the little group would partake of the sacrament. In order to do so, the Prophet set out to procure some wine, and on his way was met by an angel who gave to him the revelation known as [D&C 27], the first four paragraphs of which were written at the time and the remainder in September following. This heavenly messenger told Joseph Smith that it mattered not what should be used for the sacrament, and he was not to purchase wine or strong drink from his enemies. The reason for this is obvious, for the Prophet had many enemies. However, this reason went further than merely protection against his enemies, for it was a caution against evil and designing persons who would adulterate these things [see Word of Wisdom in D&C 89]. Joseph Smith was also told that wine should not be used for the sacrament unless it was made by the Saints, and should be had new among them. While the Church did not adopt the custom of using water exclusively in the sacrament at that early time, yet it was from this time that water was used as a substitute for wine, which had been used principally because of its resemblance to blood. Today throughout the Church water is used in the sacrament in remembrance of the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of sins in behalf of all who repent and accept the gospel.

“The Savior informed His Apostles on the night He ate the Passover that He would not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ with them again, until He should ‘drink it new with them in the kingdom of God.’ This was reiterated in the revelation to Joseph Smith, wherein the Lord promised to drink and eat with His prophets and Saints, in His Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:132–33.)