Brigham Young’s Wine Mission

Brigham Young’s Wine Mission

A recent work is unveiling the untold story of Brigham Young’s southern Utah wine mission. This adventure boosted LDS profits, fulfilled prophecy, and paradoxically, fueled alcoholism. This recent work unearths the surprising history of wine consumption and production in the early days of the Word of Wisdom.

  • The early pioneers of southwestern Utah, who were predominantly members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), grew grapes and made wine.  These settlers had thriving vineyards.
  • Brigham Young, the pioneer-prophet and leader of the LDS Church, sent members on “self-sufficiency missions” to experiment with growing grapes and making wine.
  • Many LDS members paid their tithing in wine, held in 50 gallon barrels, which was used in Communion and sold to non-members.
  • The Saint George Temple cornerstone held coins, records, and a bottle of fine wine.
  • Wine production in southern Utah was initially successful, with over 100 varieties of grapes being cultivated and significant quantities of wine being produced.
  • Wine was used everywhere from holiday events, worship services and church dances.
  • The wine industry eventually declined due to pressure from church leaders, competition from California wine, and the closure of silver mines.
  • Church leaders cracked down and changed the sacrament, from wine to water. 
  • Did Jesus pass water at the last supper when he said that the cup represented His blood that would be shed for the sins of many? (Matthew 26:28 & Luke 22:20)
  • Most Christian churches use grape juice to symbolize the blood Jesus shed on the cross, which is a far cry from the Word of Wisdom’s switch from wine to water (which represents what – a baptismal covenant?)


  • [1] Brigham Young’s southern Utah wine mission fueled LDS profits, prophecy and alcoholismLink


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