It seems confusing that Mormons won’t drink caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, but many have no problem with eating chocolate, drinking hot chocolate, colas, and other sources of caffeine. This legend starts out with a General Authority giving a talk (usually at BYU) on the Word of Wisdom. While I recognize the debate on whether caffeine from green/black tea is against the Word of Wisdom or not, I would just avoid it anyway for the non-Word of Wisdom related reason that it has added caffeine at all. They injure human health. Indulgence… destroys wisdom and virtue; it destroys faith and and hope and love…. In this work we attempt to gather official statements made on the subject of caffeine in order to trace its development within the context of the health code known as “The Word of Wisdom”. Is caffeine bad? I think […] In response to press inquiry, the Church responded as follows: “The Church’s health code,” spokesman Dale Bills e-mailed from Salt Lake City, “called the Word of Wisdom, is contained in a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. In spite of that, many members continue to avoid caffeinated drinks. Now we know that both those are loaded with caffeine but also other substances which is harmful to our bodies. In this sermon the Patriarch of the Church, who was sustained with Joseph Smith as a prophet, seer, and revelator, warned the Church against the use of tea and coffee, which he said were injurious to the mind and body. However, I believe that if we follow the spirit of the Word of Wisdom we will be very careful about what we consume, particularly any substance that can have a negative impact on our bodies. While some substances such as caffeine and guarana are not specifically included in the commandment, they can nevertheless inflict much harm to a person, often in subtle ways. In the Church, we refer to this as living according to what the Holy Spirit has revealed to each of us, or in this instance, living according to the spirit of the Word of Wisdom.6, The Word of Wisdom contains two kinds of instructions: (1) prohibitions, and (2) counsel. And we know that such must be the case, because these forbidden things are really and substantially narcotics, and a narcotic is something that is habit-forming. In 1996, Boyd K. Packer stated in General Conference: Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. Let’s read it together.” And so we found under the heading “Cola Drinks”: “… the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs. Motivation There seems to be a high level of confusion among Mormons regarding the drinking of caffeinated beverages. Cola drinks contain the drug, caffeine. However, after 1940 the topic became dormant in General Conference without any references until the mid 1960s. 1.0k members in the mormonscholar community. But we confuse it by asking if cola drinks are against the Word of Wisdom. One and all the result of their habitual use is to render the nervous system incapable of ever telling the truth…. “[9]. Following the turn of the century and the practical end of polygamy within the Mormon movement, the Word of Wisdom began to be enforced around 1918 when it became a part of the temple recommend interview (at about the same time that prohibition became law in the US). Is caffeine bad? Caffeine has never been a part of the word of wisdom as interpreted by any of the prophets. All rights reserved. President Gordon B. Hinckley told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine, apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote that it violated the spirit of the Word of Wisdom, and even BYU campuses don't sell it. Have the Saints always given as much emphasis to the Word of Wisdom as they do today? Some years ago one of our teachers told his students that he used cola drinks and that it did not prevent him from holding a temple recommend. Children should not have coffee or tea. Cola beverages do contain caffeine and thus may be avoided in accordance with the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. (LaCroix et al., 1986. Early church leaders believe that the words they delivered from the pulpit constituted the revealed word of the Lord and the doctrine of the church. Add to this the “body is a temple” scripture3 found in the Bible and we begin to have a clearer understanding of the Church’s emphasis on being vigilant of what we ingest and on the wellbeing of our bodies. Dr. Clifford J. Stratton, a Doctor of Human Anatomy at the University of Nevada in Reno, says, “I counsel inquiring members that eating or drinking anything that may result in bodily harm is probably a violation of the spirit of wisdom enjoined in Doctrine and Covenants … We complicate the simplicity of the Word of Wisdom. This included hot soups and hot chocolate which were on at least some occasions forbidden by high ranking leaders.[2]. (Goulart, 1984 [See “Sources” footnotes at the end of the article]. The Word of Wisdom also states that some “herbs” are present on the earth for the healing of human ailments (D&C 89:8-11). I don't believe that green tea is against the word of wisdom. Also in 1918, the first article appears in the Improvement Era outlining both the evils of coca-cola as well as suggesting that it is not proper for Saints to partake of this drink. Drink away, mate. Are they against the Word of Wisdom? The original 4 volumes were:  Jesus the Christ (Talmage), The Articles of Faith (Talmage), A Marvelous Work and a Wonder (Richards), and Truth Restored (Hinckley). But this doesn't stop Mormons from drinking it. It’s well known that tea, coffee, liquor, and tobacco are against it. Perhaps he had the right target but the wrong argument. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation. Food repeatedly taken too hot or too cold may give rise to disturbances. … A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Chocolate contains theobromine, which in great amounts could cause untoward results; yet theobromine is a valuable medicine in its proper place…. … Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life” A. Scientific men have told us that in tobacco there is a deadly poison, and in tea there is a poison called tannin, in coffee a poison called caffeine. Finally, remember that the Lord has counseled: “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.” (D&C 58:26. Have the Saints always given as much emphasis to the Word of Wisdom as they do today. "The use of addictive or harmful substanes (even those as seemingly insignificant like caffeine) have never been permitted under the Word of Wisdom." 2. Vapors from these drinks were thought to be unhealthy. In the February 26, 1965 issue of Life magazine, there is an appalling article about the toll being taken by the dope traffic in the United States. Constructive feedback and research submissions are encouraged. It's served in the Church's … gtag('js', new Date());
“But,” some may ask, “what about what President Hinckley said on the ‘Larry King Show’ and ’60 Minutes’?” President Hinckley’s acknowledgement of his interviewer’s leading questions is not indicative of a shift in formal Church policy. Wine isn't against the word of wisdom. In 1998 in an interview with Larry King Live, Hinckley seems to indicate that caffeine is against the WoW[19]: Gordon B. Hinckley: No to caffeine, coffee and tea. 4. (2) Drinks with names that include café or caffé, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino are coffee and are against the Word of Wisdom.” You missed “misu,” guys. Both the sexual codes and the WoW were expanded and reinforced. https://becominglds.blogspot.com/2009/01/caffeine-and-word-of-wisdom.html There were no methamphetamines when the Word of Wisdom was given, but our leaders have counseled us on the dangers of such drugs which fall under the proscription of the Word of Wisdom. It doesn’t work that way. coffee and Coke- Decaf. The odder the better. Habitual use of any of these is a physical vice. “Tea” refers to the standard tea derived from the tea plant, sometimes called black tea or green tea. However, the choice is individual. Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics and Johns Hopkins Medical School, for example, recently published their findings from a thirty-year study that confirmed a close relationship between coffee intake and coronary heart disease. One and all, these various drugs… tend to give the impression of a power or a pleasure… which we do not possess…. Using Caffeine is a Sin Against God One of the most widely misunderstood commandments in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Word of Wisdom. When that prophecy was given, caffeine was an unknown substance. It was the resulting side effects from overuse of the drug that gave me such concern in Mrs. Jones’s case. …Caffeine acts directly upon the brain… Caffeine poisoning is a malady of frequent occurrence. "Two, drinks with names that include cafe or caffe, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino usually have coffee in them and are against the Word of Wisdom." In February 1972 the first presidency stated: “There has been no official interpretation of [the] Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that ‘hot drinks’ meant tea and coffee. A community dedicated to evenhanded, thoughtful, empirical-based discussion of Mormonism. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This new policy was also published in the New Era in May of 1972. It states in part: …This habit involves the abuse of a drug to which most people give little thought, even though it is now the most commonly abused drug on the planet. Although President Hinckley publicly taught abstinence from caffeine as part of the Word of Wisdom, other General Authorities during that same time period were more hesitant in their interpretation. The approach of the article is to cite specific scientific studies which support the general view that coffee is very unhealthy. One may infer that sometime after 1988 drinking colas with caffeine became more allowable due to lack of reinforcement of the previously standards. We have the Word of Wisdom and the word of wisdom. President Boyd K. Packer, senior Apostle of the Church said the following in the May 1996 General Conference: “Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. Tag: Word of Wisdom Is Caffeine against the Word of Wisdom? ], 2 Called “a Word of Wisdom” in the introduction, the revelation was given to Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, on February 27, 1833, when the School of the Prophets was meeting at his home in the Whitney Store. 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