is caffeine against the word of wisdom

What is the position of the Church regarding their use? In 1975, one article explained in response to the question, “Is it against Church standards to drink cola beverages or any other beverage containing caffeine?”: Two of the tests we can employ as we question the use of any food or beverage are: Is it wholesome? In 1981, the 1972 instruction was reiterated, but with clarification that consuming caffeinated colas would not result in loss of a temple recommend: What are the health consequences of drinking caffeine drinks other than coffee? 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). “We are told, and very plainly too, that hot drinks—tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa and all drinks of this kind are not good for man. Too hot food may be the cause of stomach disease. The Word of Wisdom limited alcohol use to wine for the Sacrament and hard liquor for washing the body. This statement is true, as vaping could be just as dangerous and addictive as tobacco. The new set was available between about 2010 and 2018. Church leaders have provided additional instruction since then “and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming or addictive should be avoided,” the statement read. The Word of Wisdo… … A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. However, we should keep in mind this counsel given by President Boyd K. Packer: “The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ (D&C 89:3). It reads in part: Special concern is often expressed about the soft drink industry. Buyers should know well the products they are purchasing. BYU not having soda sold on campus because of caffeine content is absolutely absurd. 8 Certain members have wanted to add substantially to various doctrines. For that reason, every argument used against coffee and tea, and some other arguments, may be used against cola drinks, and all other beverages containing caffeine, even in small amounts. Seer Stones, the Temple, and the Urim and Thummim, http://emp.byui.edu/ANDERSONR/itc/Doctrine_and_Covenants/sections076-100/section089/89_10sankacoffee_tfp.htm, https://www.lds.org/liahona/1990/03/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/9469/9469-h/9469-h.htm, http://econ2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ362/hallam/Readings/StrengthCleanJordan.pdf, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1975/04/a-self-inflicted-purging?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/04/welcome-home?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/04/the-church-goes-forward?lang=eng, https://archive.org/details/improvementera2105unse/page/432, https://deseretbook.com/p/missionary-reference-library-lds-distribution-center-7631, https://www.lds.org/new-era/1975/10/q-and-a-questions-and-answers/is-it-against-church-standards-to-drink-cola-beverages-or-any-other-beverage-containing-caffeine?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1981/01/staying-healthy-welfare-services-suggests-how?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/06/research-and-perspectives/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2008/04/to-the-point/is-there-anything-wrong-with-drinking-sodas-with-caffeine-in-them-is-caffeine-bad-the-word-of-wisdom-doesnt-mention-it?lang=eng, https://www.lds.org/ensign/2008/12/the-energy-drink-epidemic?lang=eng, http://fox13now.com/2012/08/30/lds-blog-post-says-caffeine-ok-for-mormons/, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/21/byu-is-finally-selling-caffeinated-soda-to-its-students-are-we-supposed-to-rejoice/?utm_term=.f9b70d8d98ba, The Original Intention Behind the Term “Mormon”, Usage of the Bible as a holy text within Mormonism, B.H. As Paul said, 'The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost' (Romans 14:17). Mocha, Latte, Macchiato, Etc. After briefly explaining that Coca Cola has caffeine – and that this is the same active ingredient as coffee and tea, the article continues: For the Latter-day Saints who believe that tea and coffee are detrimental, there can be but one attitude toward to use of Coca-Cola, for, according to the testimony of the company itself, its action is precisely similar of that of tea and coffee. Church members should not consume alcohol, tobacco, tea, or coffee and should use moderation in eating other foods. 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. By 2003, and again in 2012 the church softened its stance stating that the use of colas with caffeine was a matter that members could decide for themselves (in line with the pre-1972 guidance). “…If you extract the caffeine and mix it with syrup, and flavor it, you can drink six or eight glasses of it, and there is no warning from your stomach, and you become a nervous wreck.”. First presidency statement:  Dec. 3, 1971: “In reference to the Church’s attitude regarding Sanka coffee. Donate to us by shopping at Amazon at no extra cost to you. We strive to be accurate and informative. In 1969, Richard L. Evans quoted Dr. David Starr Jordan of Stanford University in his talk and stated the following: “The pleasures of vice are mere illusions, tricks of the nervous system, and each time these tricks are played it is more and more difficult for the mind to tell the truth. Some Mormons argue that caffeine is not specifically mentioned in the Word of Wisdom and while some General Authorities have recommended not consuming caffeine, in the end it is a personal choice. In 2012, BYU dining services indicated that the reason that they did not sell caffeinated drinks was simply because there was “no demand”, but that they might begin selling them at some point in the future. Because of such statements, some adherents believe that caffeine is officially prohibited under the Word of Wisdom. Are they against the Word of Wisdom? 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. “The Strength of Being Clean” can be found at http://econ2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ362/hallam/Readings/StrengthCleanJordan.pdf, [7] https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1975/04/a-self-inflicted-purging?lang=eng, [8] https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/04/welcome-home?lang=eng, [9] https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/04/the-church-goes-forward?lang=eng, [10] https://archive.org/details/improvementera2105unse/page/432, [11] The reference Missionary Gospel Library included A Marvelous Work and a Wonder from about 1980 to about 2000. During the 1920s, mentions of certain items (such as smoking increased) whereas other items (including caffeine and beer) decreased markedly. 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). Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks. Both the sexual codes and the WoW were expanded and reinforced. The first is the formal document as recorded in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. We are a group of individuals interested in the study of Mormonism with an emphasis on the Brighamite branch (commonly known as the Mormon or LDS church). Other Mormons have argued that there has been a consistent and increasing denunciation of caffeine by LDS Church leadership since 1972. https://becominglds.blogspot.com/2009/01/caffeine-and-word-of-wisdom.html Food repeatedly taken too hot or too cold may give rise to disturbances. Tag: Word of Wisdom Is Caffeine against the Word of Wisdom? [21]  In September 2017 when BYU started selling caffeinated drinks it made national headlines.[22]. In 2003 after Mitt Romney won the governorship in Massachusetts, some reporters noticed that he drank cheery coke. In Dec 2008, an article was published called “The Energy Drink Epidemic” talks about the problem of overuse of caffeine. One study of 13,000 patients in Boston, Massachusetts, area hospitals also showed that the risk of developing myocardial infarction was the same for decaffeinated coffee drinkers as it was for regular coffee drinkers. The revelation prohibits the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages (‘strong drink’) and ‘hot drinks’ … The only official interpretation of the term ‘hot drinks’ as used in the revelation is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term means tea and coffee. Tea is tea...as in the tea leaf. Even as a TBM I knew that caffeine wasn't against the word of wisdom and was a personal choice that some people made for themselves. Jim Whitefield has written several interesting and informative books on Mormonism that can be found on his website: The Mormon Delusion 10. Many Mormons who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s believed that these drinks were forbidden, but recent statements by the church appear to indicate that they are allowed. This is true regarding any drug, substance, or even food that may be damaging to one's health. “The use of a beverage from which the deleterious ingredients have been removed would not be considered as breaking the Word of Wisdom. This new policy was also published in the New Era in May of 1972. 4. When that prophecy was given, caffeine was an unknown substance. December 9, 2018 May 12, 2020 Certina. Let me ask you a question, is strychnine against the Word of Wisdom? Thanks also to Roger Nicholson at FAIRMORMON for providing a source for the 2003 statement made by Dale Bills, spokesperson for the LDS church. We invite you to give back. There are many who wonder what this can mean, whether it refers to tea or coffee, or not. Indulgence… destroys wisdom and virtue; it destroys faith and and hope and love…. 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. In 2001, Our Search for Happiness was added. Among these substances that are prohibited by the Word of Wisdom are vaping or … Caffeine is addictive, and while avoiding it has never been a commandment in Mormonism similar to the prohibition against alcohol, nevertheless, Mormons have been counseled to avoid it. The Word of Wisdom prohibits tea and coffee, but we are left to make our own decisions on other foods and beverages which contain caffeine. We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. The most current Church literature relating to the question is found in a Priesthood Bulletin statement dated February 1972: “With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. 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. 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”. By Ilyan Kei Lavanway, Moroni Channel Rockledge Florida, USA My personal opinion (not doctrine) is that the prophetic interpretation of the Word of Wisdom that declares we should avoid ingesting coffee and tea has nothing whatsoever to do with caffeine. I think […] Can one really live it fully?”. The MormonThink writers have found this essay to be a very informative and interesting view on some of the details regarding the Word of Wisdom that most Latter-day Saints may not be aware of. It is unclear if he was referring to soft drinks or (more likely) coffee. We are obligated as members of the Mormon Church to obey the precepts taught therein. It concludes by saying: “Should the Latter-day Saints or, for that matter, anyone else, drink coca-cola?”. It just indicates that we have not proven the thing so thoroughly that we have been able to hold fast to that which is good and make it a part of our lives. A 2004 manual for seminary teachers relates the following: You have been counseled repeatedly to “live in the world, but not be one of the world.” Sometimes some of our members want to live as close as they can to worldly standards and yet qualify for a temple recommend. It was the resulting side effects from overuse of the drug that gave me such concern in Mrs. Jones’s case. It says in part, “All (researchers) agree that the use of caffeine-containing beverages is harmful to the body and reduces normal health.”  This book is one of only 4 books outside of the scriptures which LDS missionaries were allowed to read in the 1990s and the contents and teachings are considered to be in alignment with mainstream doctrines of the movement. Whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom is a personal definition. A. Although the official magazine published opinion pieces in 1971 indicating that caffeinated sodas was a matter of personal interpretation, in 1972 the First Presidency had made a clear statement that consuming certain beverages (such as colas with caffeine) was a violation of the WoW. 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. “Thus spoke the eminent educator, Dr. Jordan. …Caffeine acts directly upon the brain… Caffeine poisoning is a malady of frequent occurrence. Many Mormons who grew up in Read More … Can Mormons drink Caffeine, 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. 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). Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks. For this reason, it is wise to avoid eating too many foods or drinks that have caffeine in them. 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. In greater or less degree all nerve-affecting drugs produce it: nicotine, caffeine, opium, cocaine, and all the rest, strong or weak. 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). … Not all caffeinated drinks are created equal; the quantity of caffeine varies greatly from product to product. In other words, we should also avoid decaffeinated coffee and tea. Doctrine and Covenants 89:9 says we shouldn’t drink “hot drinks.” The only official interpretation of this term is the statement made by early Church leaders that it means tea and coffee. It was logical to conclude that the reason for the prohibition of hot drinks – now defined to be coffee and tea – was due to the caffeine, and that any substance containing caffeine should be banned. Cola beverages do contain caffeine and thus may be avoided in accordance with the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. I was over in England a while back and a bishop asked me, “What is the Church’s stand on cola drinks?” I said, “Well, I can’t remember the exact wording of the bulletin, but I remember seeing the bulletin when I was a stake president. ” ” Extremes of cold and heat produce gastric catarrh. The question that seems to trouble many members of the church is whether or not caffeine is part of the Word of Wisdom. Rooibos and other naturally caffeine free drinks are o.k. Old theories regarding hot drinks and vapors had been discarded, but science had discovered that coffee and tea contained caffeine and that caffeine was an addictive stimulant. The 1930s showed a marked increase in many aspects related to the WoW, and there were more references to the WoW, beer, liquor, and tobacco in General Conference than any other decade on record. Now we know that both those … Caffeine has never been a part of the word of wisdom as interpreted by any of the prophets. We will find the proper interpretation—for us. This appears to be the last time that the 1972 bulletin is mentioned in the official church literature. If we are still uncertain about certain products and feel keenly about it, let us make it a matter of prayer and fasting. Drink away, mate. I don't believe that green tea is against the word of wisdom. Let us use good judgment. Copyright 2018 MormonScholar.org. 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. ” (Selected from The Strength of Being Clean and The Call of the Twentieth Century.)[6]. The things that are good for us are not habit-forming. Tea retards digestion. 1.0k members in the mormonscholar community. “Pop Quiz: Coke is OK” (Boston Globe): A brief article about Governor Mitt Romney drinking Vanilla Coke, this article highlights the confusion that often occurs vis-à-vis Mormonism and cola beverages. 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. They are determined habit formers, and may lead to the coffee and tea habit. Coffee and tea are not against the word of wisdom because of caffeine content. It's been a long and heated debate among members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. In reference to the question, it is true that caffeine is a stimulant, and an unnecessary stimulant for constant consumption. ), He said, “Well, you see, that doesn’t mean cola.”, I said, “Well, I guess you will have to come to your own grips with that, but to me, there is no question.” You see, there can’t be the slightest particle of rebellion, and in him there is. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.”[4], It is interesting to note that scientists and medical men have given more thought to and have conducted a more extensive research into the field of foods and food values during the last fifty years than during all the history of the world before, and that the results of their research harmonize with the Word of Wisdom. [20] Coca-Cola is Okay, Pop quiz: Coke is OK, by Alex Beam, Boston Globe, 1/16/2003. This was an indication of poor judgment on his part, and it illustrates what I mean by living “on the fringes.” Live the spirit of the commandments. Candy and sweets are not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom either, but it is wise and prudent to eat these sparingly. It was Widtsoe who, while serving as an Apostle, forcefully made the connection between caffeine and the Word of Wisdom that has subsequently become part of our culture. I digress. In 1937, Elder John A. Widtsoe and his wife, Leah, wrote the first major book on the Word of Wisdom, speaking strongly against caffeine, saying, “Whenever a drink is advertised to 'give you a lift,' the 'lift' is likely to be caused by the drug which it contains. We can take them up or put them down, but these bad habits very often and in most cases become masters of men; the habit is greater and stronger it appears than the individual. Soft-drinks containing caffeine fall into the ‘exercise wisdom’ category. It followed that other drinks which were served warm and had vapors were also unhealthy. A place to share odd Mormon things, doctrines, experiences. The approach of the article is to cite specific scientific studies which support the general view that coffee is very unhealthy. Q. If that were the … Such has not been the case with other caffeine containing substances which leads one to deduce that the reasons for forbidding coffee and tea are for are something other than their caffeine content. The Word of Wisdom lists numerous items which should be avoided or used. A. (Leonard J. Arrington), Silly Premises Lead to Silly Conclusions (Cooper Johnson), 1 Source: Joseph Smith “defined ‘hot drinks’ as tea and coffee, the two common household beverages of the day. Thanks to u/i_love_the_funk on reddit for alerted me to the 1918 article in the improvement era addressing coca-cola. Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life. However, we should keep in mind this counsel given by President Boyd K. Packer: “The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ . coffee and Coke- Decaf. 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. 5 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1585. In addition, used in moderation, caffeine may not pose significant health risks. [11], In 1971, The question was answered in a church article entitled, “With all the knowledge we have of perhaps harmful additives in much of the food we buy today, and our knowledge of caffeine in soft drinks and chocolate, and lots of other unhealthful substances in food products, how does one live the Word of Wisdom in 1971? A 1988 article entitled “Caffeine – the Subtle Addiction“[15], takes a very negative view towards both Coffee and caffeine consumption more generally. Green tea has been proven to be very healthy to drink and the word of wisdom is about good health practices. The full answer to this question lies in the area of medical opinion and reliance on personal discernment. It should be understood that the Word of Wisdom is not the gospel, and the gospel is not the Word of Wisdom. 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. Evidence of the … In 1950, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder was published with a section entitled “Hot Drinks (Tea and Coffee) Are Not for the Body”. Caffeine is most harmful because it is addictive. On Tuesday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made clarifications to its Word of Wisdom, a health code for members. The prohibition in question is against ‘hot drinks.’ The Church has, as a body, accepted that the hot drinks in question are coffee and tea. However, after 1940 the topic became dormant in General Conference without any references until the mid 1960s. So, what’s the problem? The Word of Wisdom doesn’t mention it. Decaffeinated coffee stimulates the production of stomach acid because the roasting of coffee beans releases harsh acids and oils that irritate stomach linings. Whatever you do, count all the cost. If the President of the Church ever wants to formally include caffeine in the Word of Wisdom, he will do so through established Church channels, not by a media interview. It came in response to the Prophet’s inquiry about tobacco, which was being used by some of the men attending the school. He is the wise man who, for all his life, can keep mind and soul and body clean. This is entirely voluntary. I told him provision had already been made for that. ” “Piping hot broth or coffee is grateful on a cold day, so is ice-cream on a hot day, but extreme hot temperatures in the stomach are detrimental. Live the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. (Health Letter, 1982.)[16]. 59:17-18) in season. A community dedicated to evenhanded, thoughtful, empirical-based discussion of Mormonism. "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." Caffeine and tannic acid are the harmful agents in these beverages. Caffeine and tannic acid are the harmful agents in these beverages. We have the same proposition in relation to the Word of Wisdom. I say it does refer to tea and coffee.”[1], Early members understood the reason that hot drinks were forbidden. To say no at the right time, and then stand by it, is the first element of success…. In 1972, an official church statement was made in the Priesthood Bulletin of February 1972 (volume 8, number 1): “With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Wine isn't against the word of wisdom. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that certainly tends to become addictive in its use, with the attendant side effects of nervous-system stimulants. In 1999, Keith B. McMullin referenced in his talk the story of a person being reactivated into the church. Tea and coffee are what the Lord meant when he said ‘hot drinks.’ ” [John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1937), 85-87. 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 89.” [D&C 89]. In 1946, the Improvement Era reprinted an article from the Nov. 1939 Era. Of 1974 caffeine as the drug that gave me such concern in Jones! People avoid caffeine pose significant health risks was again discussed starting around.. Impression of a temple recommend 1 ], Early members understood the reason that hot drinks claimed. Too many foods or drinks that have caffeine in General Conference without any references until the mid.... December 9, 2018 may 12, 2020 Certina Wisdom have been.. Extra cost to you have argued that there has been proven to be.! 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Cola drinks contain the drug within coffee and tea true that caffeine part... ” talks about the problem of overuse of caffeine in them reliance on personal discernment a aficionado...

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