… Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life” The view that the living prophet and apostles delivered words which constituted doctrine was believed... Background Few topics in Mormonism have been as controversial as the use of seer stones by its founder Joseph Smith. coffee evidently contains no caffeine, and therefore shouldn’t be habit forming. Because of such statements, some adherents believe that caffeine is officially prohibited under the Word of Wisdom. By Eric Johnson (Revised 8/27/2019) Prior to the April 2019 General Conference, there were some who were predicting a possible change in Mormonism to allow coffee and tea, both of which are banned in the Word of Wisdom.Imagine the rejoicing of retail establishments such as Starbucks and Beans and Brews throughout Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming if the current ban were ever to be lifted. [4] https://www.lds.org/liahona/1990/03/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng   Priesthood Bulletin of February 1972 (volume 8, number 1). ” ” Extremes of cold and heat produce gastric catarrh. As a temple recommend is an indication within the movement of righteous living, having something which was both prohibited but which did not impact their eternal salvation and temple status may have been confusing for members. It's been a long and heated debate among members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. It followed that other drinks which were served warm and had vapors were also unhealthy. It doesn’t work that way. Now we know that both those are loaded with caffeine but also other substances which is harmful to our bodies. Have the Saints always given as much emphasis to the Word of Wisdom as they do today. Rather, we teach the principle together with the promised blessings. “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. “Tea” refers to the standard tea derived from the tea plant, sometimes called black tea or green tea. Is it prudent?…. The first is the formal document as recorded in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. 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). Soft-drinks containing caffeine fall into the ‘exercise wisdom’ category. 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. 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). 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. 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. (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. window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
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. Live the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. Can you explain the apparent hypocrisy? “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. It was given by one of the quorum of the twelve apostles of the time. Children should not have coffee or tea. A community dedicated to evenhanded, thoughtful, empirical-based discussion of Mormonism. Live by the covenants you took in the temple; do not live on the fringes. Are they against the Word of Wisdom? Caffeine and tannic acid are the harmful agents in these beverages. 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. See https://deseretbook.com/p/missionary-reference-library-lds-distribution-center-7631, [12] https://www.lds.org/liahona/1990/03/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng, [13] 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, [14] https://www.lds.org/ensign/1981/01/staying-healthy-welfare-services-suggests-how?lang=eng, [15] https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/06/research-and-perspectives/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng, [16] https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/06/research-and-perspectives/caffeine-the-subtle-addiction?lang=eng, [17] 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, [18] https://www.lds.org/ensign/2008/12/the-energy-drink-epidemic?lang=eng, [19] http://www.lds-mormon.com/lkl_00.shtml. Rooibos and other naturally caffeine free drinks are o.k. Coke is not formally against the Word of Wisdom since it is not mentioned in the scripture, although it is heavily loaded with caffeine. ], 3 “What? We are obligated as members of the Mormon Church to obey the precepts taught therein. By the letter of the law, no. Regular bishop’s interviews with youth were introduced. We complicate the simplicity of the Word of Wisdom. 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”. (Goulart, 1984.) Following the Word of Wisdom shows respect for your body. Copyright 2018 MormonScholar.org. Caffeine has never been a part of the word of wisdom as interpreted by any of the prophets. As noted in the question, the confusion occurs when one misunderstands the Word of Wisdom. 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. We invite you to give back. The Word of Wisdom itself gives no indication of the reasons these substances are to be avoided—it only states that they should be. …Caffeine acts directly upon the brain… Caffeine poisoning is a malady of frequent occurrence. Here's an Ensign article from 2008, The Energy Drink Epidemic. Additional advice was given permitting the use of meat, but suggesting that it be restricted to winter or times of famine (D&C 89:12-13). A physical vice becomes a moral vice… and to cultivate vice is to render… our mind incapable of normal action…. I think […] Certainly, they should not be used in ward, stake,or other Church socials. … Not all caffeinated drinks are created equal; the quantity of caffeine varies greatly from product to product. We have the same proposition in relation to 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. 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). He is the wise man who, for all his life, can keep mind and soul and body clean. 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. The story ends: Then, in frustration, she called across the hall in a loud voice to the nurse in charge, “This man won’t drink coffee or cola. [21]  In September 2017 when BYU started selling caffeinated drinks it made national headlines.[22]. The harmful effects of the cola drinks have been mentioned many times. 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 also states that some “herbs” are present on the earth for the healing of human ailments (D&C 89:8-11). On Tuesday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made clarifications to its Word of Wisdom, a health code for members. 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). Would the world come gladly to a state whose dominant religion asks members to abstain from alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine, three staples of international conferences? That makes no sense. There is some indication that at least some members took the cola ban in the 1940s seriously and abstained from these drinks during the war. Q. Most members are aware that American members largely do not follow this interpretation, and they do not ask about cola drinks in temple recommend interviews. If that were the … I say it does refer to tea and coffee.”[1], Early members understood the reason that hot drinks were forbidden. 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. First regarding decaf. We know the fundamental truth of the Word of Wisdom is based on a truth that can not be eliminated or removed by any type of argument or reason. There are many who wonder what this can mean, whether it refers to tea or coffee, or not. 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. It should be understood that the Word of Wisdom is not the gospel, and the gospel is not the Word of Wisdom. ), … Some people avoid caffeine by switching to decaffeinated coffee. At this juncture, members of the Church decide for themselves if they will follow the basic parameters of the Word of Wisdom (that is, to simply abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco), or if they will go the extra mile, for example by not drinking any caffeinated drinks or eating any caffeinated products whatsoever. Salt Lake City — In an article published by Mormon Newsroom, the church indicated that caffeine is not explicitly against the church’s Word of Wisdom — a set of guidelines for members that forbids the use of tobacco, alcohol and “hot drinks.” (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. 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. And one of the most damaging sins and one that gives greatest strength to our death instinct is the violation of that great revelation given 132 years ago called the Word of Wisdom. This is true regarding any drug, substance, or even food that may be damaging to one's health. We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. There seems to be a high level of confusion among Mormons regarding the drinking of caffeinated beverages. In a blog post on the LDS Church's mormonnewsroom.org site, the church indicated that caffeine is not explicitly against the church's Word of Wisdom -- a set of guidelines for members that forbids the use of tobacco, alcohol and "hot drinks." In this reference (again) it is unclear if Hinckley is referring to soft drinks, coffee, or both. (by Suzanne Armitage) Section 89 of the Doctrine & Covenants (D&C), also known as the Word of Wisdom, is a revelation appertaining to the health and strength of our physical bodies. Frequent use of cola beverages can lead to an addictive pattern similar to that observed in coffee drinkers.[14]. When the word of wisdom was given to Joseph Smith by the Lord the hot drinks then were English (black) tea and coffee. Children should not have coffee or tea. Caffeine is most harmful because it is addictive. Most vaping pods do contain nicotine, whether or not the users even know that. We strive to be accurate and informative. Learn how →. Let me ask you a question, is strychnine against the Word of Wisdom? Several earlier LDS leaders, including apostle Bruce R. McConkie, considered imbibing Coke as a violation of the "spirit" of 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. Salt Lake City — In an article published by Mormon Newsroom, the church indicated that caffeine is not explicitly against the church’s Word of Wisdom — a set of guidelines for members that forbids the use of tobacco, alcohol and “hot drinks.” Church Response to the said manner: “Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health […] Promises made in the revelation will be denied to the careless or the reckless. Members write in asking if this thing or that is 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…. This presents a logical error, known as a fallacy of definition, because the definition is too broad. The article concludes by quoting the previously mentioned Priesthood Bulletin of Feb. 1972 which specifically advises against the use of any beverage which may be habit forming. The full answer to this question lies in the area of medical opinion and reliance on personal discernment. “Thus spoke the eminent educator, Dr. Jordan. 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. The Church’s health guidelines prohibit alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee. 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