Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: Caffeine and controversy

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    I don't think Caffeine is the only bad thing in Coke and other soft drinks, My heart doctor tells me that carbonated water is very damaging to your heart, and it almost took my life. When I was a kid over 80 years ago, we didn't have money to buy carbonted beverages, however, we did make Rootbeer using Bakers yest to cause the fermentation of the syrup and sugar and water. It was yummy and a great treat on the rare occasions that we had it on special occasions. As my mother use to tell me, when in doubt just say no, so that is good advise for all of us wanting to know if we should drink a coke or not.

  • Diet-Mormon Cache county, USA
    Sept. 11, 2012 8:20 p.m.

    Is coffee addictive? Yes
    Is alcohol addictive? Yes
    Are drugs addictive? Yes

    Does the lord want us to be addicted to something? No
    Can everyone one drink in moderate? No

    Conclusion, we command you to stay away, or you can't enter into the house of the lord, or certain places in heaven.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 11, 2012 11:32 a.m.

    To not drink caffeine, is a personal choice, and a great one. However, to preach that from the pulpit is an apostasy, as it is not authorized by the brethren. Elder Cook in the March 2003 Ensign (one of my favorite articles) states

    "Certain members have wanted to add substantially to various doctrines. An example might be when one advocates additions to the Word of Wisdom that are not authorized by the Brethren and proselytes others to adopt these interpretations. If we turn a health law or any other principle into a form of religious fanaticism, we are looking beyond the mark".

    So what's prohibited? Coffee, Tea, Alcohol Tobacco, and illegal drugs. If the Spirit directs you otherwise, great! But that is for you, and you alone.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    Sept. 11, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    There are more harmful ingredients in tea and coffee besides caffeine. Let's start with tannic acid. Tannin disrupts digestion, works as a diuretic, and has a narcotic effect on the mind. And what about strychnine and cyanide? Caffeine makes the drinker urinate more frequently, but leaves behind the uric acid to cause problems in your system. Soda, with or without caffeine, contains phosphorous that leaches calcium from your bones, affecting bone density. I know of a young man whose family consumed soda like most others consume milk or water, and who was a high school wrestler. One day on the mat, he heard a cracking in both his arms. His bones snapped, and the doctor was astounded at the results of the bone density scan in such a young, athletic kid. There are just so many chemicals we need to avoid to stay healthy, so why introduce them into your system?

  • Snark Provo, UT
    Sept. 11, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    After watching the daily stream of Diet Coke drinkers from my office window make their way to the neighborhood convenience store at noon (and sometimes at breaks too) to refill their 50 gallon drums of that "favorite soda," I came to the conclusion that this was more than a mission to satiate thirst! No, there was nothing scientific in my research methodology, but I don't see the same pressure on the Sprite and/or root beer supplies. If you need it to wake up, reduce headaches, stay alert, or feel "normal", maybe, just maybe, it is more than a satisfying soda for you! Agency is a funny thing. One of the freedoms it grants is the freedom to give it away.

  • JD Tractor Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 11, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    If someone really took the time to understand the word of wisdom (great title by the way), they would understand that caffeine is just the beginning of substances forbidden by the revelation.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 11, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    The Church never said it was ok to drink caffeine. It only corrected a false statement made my NBC that caffeine was a substance mentioned in the D&C. But how many conference talks to you need to read to understand that church members are to be alert and attentive to avoid anything that can become addictive and habit forming (in the context of physical health). Caffeine definitely falls into that category of "addictive".

    I think it is funny that people are taking their cue about caffeine consumption from reporters and newspapers, not church leaders.

  • gcrobmd GADSDEN, AL
    Sept. 10, 2012 8:30 p.m.

    When we Latter Day Saints really, honestly, no kiddingly believe that God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, the world, and our lives---when He asks us to avoid hot drinks, then why would we ever whine about it? If He takes the time to ask, I am going to do it if humanly possible.

    I admit I like the caffeine high that banishes fatigue for a few minutes, but I do not like the subsequent low. Overall, I feel better just having water and eating right. Sugar also comes with a high and a low, and lack of exercise has a chronic low. My average level of energy is better than the caffeine highs and lows. So I avoid it.

    I think the caffeine lows may come with an emotional burden that stresses relationships.

    I like what Pres. Uchtdorf said: do not judge me because my sins are different than yours. Let us not gossip even to ourselves about another’s appearance of evil.

  • Stephen Douglas MURRIETA, CA
    Sept. 10, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    Green Tea is the same plant as regular black tea, just not the fermented version. If you say it's okay to drink it because it's decaf, then you are admitting caffeine is the reason we don't drink tea, which the Church is apparently now saying is okay to consume.

    Oh, and PhoenixAZ, we can take care of the hungry and still talk about other things, such as health issues. I believe it's called multi-tasking, although I have to admit I'm not that good at it. :)

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 10, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    The church is guided by the dictates of politics and money that fluctuate with commercial markets and public opinion. If one is not happy with the church today, just hang in there; tomorrow it will change and there will be some happier and some not so happy. If one lives long enough it will all be meaningless.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 10, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    I find it interesting with such conversations how many people gravitate towards an attitude of justification. Since there are fat members of the church I can drink beer. Or since not all members have a garden, then it is okay for me to have a cigarette. And the list goes on and on ---- we didn't know about the health benefits of wine, so that should now be okay. Again, the Word of Wisdom is being boiled down to just words and a fight over how much is spelled out and how much is implied.

    As with any commandment, we are blessed when we sincerely undertake to live it. This doesn't imply that we are perfect in all aspects of life, it means that we are making a conscious effort to become better; not to see what we can get away with and still sneak in under the wire.

    Science could prove conclusively that sex outside of marriage has great health benefits and will add fifty years to my life. I still wouldn't cheat on my wife because I have made covenants not to do so regardless of social or health benefits. Much more is at stake.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2012 6:42 a.m.

    Downtime - quit describing my driving habits to the letter. Of course, maybe part of the reason I drive so fast is that there's a Coke waiting for me at the end of it. Either at home or work (I have the early shift - no customers want to deal with me until the caffine has kicked in). I must admit there is a certain sense of relief now that the church has a formal stance on the issue (no need to confess it in temple recommend interviews, although the confession has usually been treated with a grain of salt).

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    Sept. 9, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    The “Word of Wisdom” was given as a Principal with a Promise, a guiding principle whereby all decisions could be made regarding what should and should not be eaten or taken into our bodies in any form. There is an attending promise to obeying that principle.

    The principle is 1: There are evil and designing people on this earth today who desire to enslave individuals through addictions that thereby benefit them financially.
    2: There are substances which are good for our bodies and there are some not good for our bodies. Everything that grows on this Earth must be used for its designed purpose and misuse can result in tragedy or addictions.
    3: The short list of do's and don'ts is only as reference and is not a complete list. The list of things to eat and drink is actually much longer than the list of things not to be partaking of.
    4: Everyone can obey this rule and it is made for the weakest of all Saints.

    With these principles in mind it is easy to see how everything digestible may be judged. Anything that causes addictions in any form is to be avoided.

  • grip Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    This brings to my mind the following. S. Dilworth Young came to a conference. There were about 10 of us in a room waiting for him for some teaching. He was a man of few words and a very able teacher. As he entered the room he asked: "Does anyone hear drink Coke?" Several hands went up. Then he said: "Do you question whether it is right or not?" Several, almost in unison, said: "Yes. Please tell us the answer". Elder Young said: "If you wonder about it, why do you do it?" End of the conversation.

  • Pendergast SLC, UT
    Sept. 9, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    in regards to RanchHand's

    Agreed. How can one argue against Caffeine free green tea?

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 9, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    gigi-gorgeous and others of the same mindset. Taking anti-depressants drugs legally prescribed and administered by a physician is nobody elses business. I am apalled that so many of my fellow LDS feel a need to be so judgemental of others who may struggle with clinical depression or other mental health issues. To change the subject I have always wondered about ice tea. Not a hot drink and certainly not to my knowledge any health concerns. Does it even have caffeine? What about herbal tea and green tea that is being promoted for it's health benefits. occassionaly drink herbal tea and a soft drink such as Dr. Pepper or even gasp a coke. So what.

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 9, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    This is just plain silly with all of this talk about it. Move on to something important, people. Like starving children in this country or something.

  • Superman Calgary, Alberta
    Sept. 9, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    I only drink diet cola. You know, there is an internal confilict going on. Caffiene vs: sugar. How many of us are hypocrites, I read a few posts from some of you, I mean, us.

  • Rock Calgary, Alberta
    Sept. 9, 2012 7:43 a.m.

    We abuse and excuse ourselves about the WoW more than any other commandment. What we need is a good stern talking to about obesity. Its one thing that we can readily see that is being abused. Addictions, whether caffiene, alchohol, food, sugar or anythng that creates addiction are what the wisdom is in this commandment.
    The church did not change its stand on cola drinks. It has never specified cola, still hasn't, and covers it with the word...wisdom. If we use wisdom and avoid use and abuse of any addictive substances, we can be safe. Cola, Dr. Pepper, Crispy creme, sugar, burgers and fries, ice cream, prescription or over-the-counter and off-the-shelf drugs and everything else.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 10:03 p.m.

    Weird...I'm a fully engaged active member of the Church and this kind of opinion you keep to yourself. Caffeine in moderation is in no way a violation of even the "spirit" of the Word of Wisdom.

    I shutter when I read stuff like this because it only adds to the "weirdness" of members of LDS Church. There are so many more important issues.

    I could see an Apostle with a can of Coke in his hand and I wouldn't even think TWICE about it. Please people, we're looking beyond the mark. These are the kind of obedience principles that tripped up the Pharisees.

  • Nachtmerrie_in_Brugge Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    It is my understanding that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not tell its members what they can and cannot do. What a narrow concept of religion! I will continue to use caffeine as I always have: occasionally--and by 'occasionally' I mean maybe 3 or 4 times a year when I'm having trouble staying awake at the wheel. If the Word of Wisdom is a health code (with both physical and spiritual benefits), then for me it's a simple matter of determining which would be more damaging to my health: a little caffeine or a head-on collision.

    I can't stress enough, however, that I'm talking about occasional use! Word of Wisdom or no Word of Wisdom, I can't imagine drinking caffeine on a daily or even weekly basis, and I never use it as a substitute for sleep. I believe that if I drank the stuff every day I would become immune to its effects and it would no longer benefit me on those driving occasions, though admittedly I have no science to back that up.

  • Stephen Douglas MURRIETA, CA
    Sept. 8, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    I just wish there had been an updated revelation to the Word of Wisdom, so we don't have to speculate on extensions of the original command with modern beverages/substances. Personally, I think more lives could have been saved over the last century, avoiding the high occurances of cancers such as colon, prostate, and breast cancers in American society due to the crummy trans fats/hydrogenated oils we consume, since the invention of hydrogenation in 1902. Countries such as Japan, Denmark, and Holland all have significantly lower incidents of these cancers than Britain and the US. And they have all banned hyrogenated oils.

    Anyone who justifies using caffeine, or worse, those "energy" drinks with their quadruple stimulant formula, should keep in mind it is just a milder version of methamphetamine and does cause all those ills already mentioned and will pay the price with bad health. At 53, I have the bone density of a 20-year-old, and I attribute it to avoidance of stimulants. Drink what you want, but don't try to sell me on any benefits to stimulants.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    caroleh "What I find rather interesting about the recent statement by the church regarding the stance on caffeine sodas is if it is ok to drink the caffeine drinks, why are the caffeine soda's not found on any of the BYU campuses, or in the vending machines in the Church office building or any of the other Church facilities?"

    I can get Dr. Pepper at the LDS Business College bookstore and you can order Coca-cola products at "The Roof" restaurant in the Joseph Smith building. I think it's a Utah Valley thing.

  • Richard Allan Jenni Ocean City, NJ
    Sept. 8, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    If things not mentioned in the WOW are OK, I guess crack cocaine in just fine? On the other hand, I do believe that coffee is a valuable drug/medicine (as is caffeine) if used properly. And no, I don't believe coffee was ever intended by the Creator to be used as a beverage- but it does have at least one legitimate medical use- just as tobacco is for bruises and the treatment of sick cattle. Finally, the WOW is used in the Church on two levels- first (and somewhat superficially) to help determine temple worthiness- and second (much more in depth) to help us live healthier and happier lives.The latter level requires lifelong study. RAJ

  • caroleh SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    What I find rather interesting about the recent statement by the church regarding the stance on caffeine sodas is if it is ok to drink the caffeine drinks, why are the caffeine soda's not found on any of the BYU campuses, or in the vending machines in the Church office building or any of the other Church facilities? I will say, I was quite surprised to find that caffeine sodas are available at the Nauvoo Cafe. I even found it odd that the Carriage House Cafe at the Triad Center does not sell Caffeine Sodas. This has been in place for many many years. I remember as a youth many years ago attending youth conference at BYU and begging my leaders to take us off campus for a coke with caffeine.

    If indeed caffeine sodas are no big deal and not against the word wisdom, why have they been banned from all of the LDS Church facilities and BYU? Just a question.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    This whole scenario is a little scarry. Actually when I suffered a heart attack in 1997, I was advised by the Dr that the carbonation in any soda is very harmful to the body.It takes the oxygen out of the system. I was a caffine free Soda drinker until that point. At 86 years of age, and with relatively good health for my age, I still run two business, have two major callings in my Ward, and am grateful for the blessings of Church membership.

    I firmly believe that we individually need to make the joice to either follow what we are taught by the Prophet in order to enjoy the many blessings that come with old age.

    Would you eat raw liver to improve the iron level in your blood. My mother did rather than drink Port Wine. She was a great example to all of us to live the Word of Wisdom.

  • donn layton, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    RE: SFC Dennis: Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink(Wine), or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Col 2: 16:-17).
    Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.(Mt 15:11).

    RE: Ghost Writer, Grape juice will do exactly the same thing. The alcohol has nothing to do with the health benefits? Paul disagrees,
    Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.(1Tim 5:23 NIV) and the Apostles drank wine, Acts 2:13, Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

  • Netun Yahoo Burley, ID
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    I love it. If caffeinated Pepsi and Coke are sold in the Wilkinson Center at BYU, then we can assume we have a free pass. Years ago I heard it said by a Coke-sipping BYU professor that it is not sold there for one reason......."TO APPEASE THE ZEALOTS!!!!"

  • Musica1 San Diego, CA
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    People get so hung up on the caffeine part of soft drinks that they ignore the real killers: The high fructose corn syrup and the preservatives. The high fructose corn syrup has been shown to not only cause more weight gain than cane sugar but causes the body to build more fat, including fat in the abdomen, in the blood and around the heart. The preservatives have been shown to be carcinogenic.

    As far as coffee consumption, I didn't grow up LDS but I never got the coffee habit. Having been in the workplace and seen the people who are constantly "needing" coffee morning, noon, and afternoon, I'm so glad I never started. I'm so grateful to a mom who said, even though she had never heard of the LDS church or the Word of Wisdom, "You don't want to start drinking that stuff."

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    Lets all remember that the W OF W is just that and not a commandment. I prefer to follow the W of W as best I can. God took the time to advise us so lets follow his advice.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    RanchHand Huntsville, UT, I talked with my Doctor about the benefits you are talking about and the health benefits you are talking about comes from the grapes and you can get the same benefits from grape juice and avoid the alcohol consumption in the wine and we all know alcohol is not good for you and very addictive.

  • Ross Madison, AL
    Sept. 8, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    Clarification is good but does not change anything. When Joseph Fielding Smith explained caffeine as an addicting substance, he said it was not part of the word of wisdom but that he would personally stay away from addicting substances. It has grown in Mormon folklore to be much bigger than that. The word of wisdom has not changed at all with this new explanation on caffeine.

  • grip Meridian, ID
    Sept. 8, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    I recently read and pondered verse 2 of the 89th section. It surprised me to realize the reason given for the Word of Wisdom. It seems to me the reason is " the temporal salvation of all saints in the latter days". To me it means good health
    as well as staying alive as defining salvation. The warnings also refer to the latter days. In the days the 89th section was revealed, hard, illegal drugs were not known. To me the revelation is more relevant today than ever. I do not want to have my freedoms taken through addiction of either mind or body. The section would probably be much longer today if it was to be specific rather than a word of wisdom and encouragement to follow our promptings.

  • mrmugooo Snohomish, WA
    Sept. 8, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    I find it revealing that there's a blog commenting on a comment on the Church's blog. This appears to be a veiled attempt of saying, "regardless of what was said by the Church, we all still know that dirinking cola drinks is 'naughty'" GIVE ME A BREAK! There are more important things to worry about than whether or not he or she is drinking a cola! Oh... and let's try and get past the R rated movie thing too.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 8, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    When someone disagrees with things they feel they can cite the Bible and say we are becoming like the Pharisees. What they fail to understand is the significance of the color white or why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has requested that dark colas be removed from activities. Yes, some can say it is the caffiene and what not. To me it is the failure of the parents to teach correct principles in the home relying on the Priesthood leaders to do this for them. They are the ones who are negligent in their responsibilities. I quit drinking Pepsi many years ago because of certain aspects that my body suffered. Again a person who must be directed in all things is a slothful servant and may be damned for their slothfulness. Parents who fail to teach their children correct principles are slothful servants of the Lord.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:08 p.m.


    I agree with your son. I hate the white shirt uniform, the emphasis on caffeine. We are becoming like the Pharisees who focused on the trivia instead of the Spirit. There is evidence caffeine can be helpful for headaches and asthma, lower incidence of Parkinsons disease etc.

    That said, i generally avoid caffeine because sometimes it makes me jittery.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    Americans have always had access to plentiful supplies of relatively cheap sugar. In the 19th-century, coffee and tea were not sophisticated beverages, rather, they were vehicles for sugar. Some frontier soldiers were issued 5-pound bags of sugar and 2-pound bags of coffee. Perhaps the more important part of the Word of Wisdom was the advice against eating fruit out of season. It is unreasonable to expect that Joseph would have given us a perfectly detailed map of the future. We must think and pray about prophecy.

    Sept. 7, 2012 7:35 p.m.

    There is some new research indicating caffeine as interfering with anti-depression medications. When a medication stops working, it usually corresponds to a larger than normal caffeine ingestion. Caffeine also seems to interfere with spiritual communication for many people, as all addictive substances do. Caffeine is also part of the sleep deprivation problem in America, which endangers us on the highways. Why would you want to give children and teenagers something that will make it hard for them to go to sleep? The latest research on red wine shows that it is the grape polyphenols in the wine that are beneficial to the body, not the alcohol. Non-alcoholic wine works much better to lower blood pressure. Eat red grapes or drink grape juice to get the benefit.
    There is much more in the Word of Wisdom than the prohibitions. Spend more energy getting to sleep early and rising early, eating only a little meat, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables in season, eating plenty of whole grains and herbs. Walk and run, exercise your body. Then you can enjoy the great blessings promised in the Word of Wisdom.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    My big question: Will BYU now serve beverages containing caffeine in the Wilkinson Center? That is the defining consideration :-)
    Other than that, common sense should prevail and the wine companies LOVE it when people quote the studies they sponsor which state that drinking "a little wine with dinner" is healthy. Grape juice will do exactly the same thing. The alcohol has nothing to do with the health benefits.

  • Nel Pastel Battle Ground, WA
    Sept. 7, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    A Hershey's kiss has 1 mg of caffeine, so those heathens eating chocolate candy bars, chocolate chip cookies, drinking hot cocoa, or indulging in chocolate pie, shakes, etc., who believe that the WOW means not drinking a Coke or Pepsi need to repent. If the WOW bans caffeine then there are a whole lot of sinners in Zion.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 5:13 p.m.

    RE: Julie gluten free mother,It's up for personal interpretation. No one should judge another person for drinking caffeine. True,
    Wine was used by Noah, Gen 9:20,21 . Melchizedek, Gen 14:18. Isaac Gen 27:25. Jesus 2:1-11, He turns water into wine not wine into water And Mt 11:19.. Timothy 1Tim 5:23. Mogen David is popular for the Jewish Passover in modern times.

  • JF Provo, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 5:12 p.m.

    I'm a convert of 50 years and have drunk some caffeinated drinks for all of them. I've drunk them with GAs and others. The Church has NEVER said that we ought not to drink them. Some LDS understand the WoW in a way that makes them uncomfortable drinking them. Good for them. Others, like me, understand the WoW differently and feel fine with caffeinated drinks (but don't drink tea and coffee because those have been specifically forbidden, without an explanation why). Good for us. If this is something that bothers you, grow up and focus on something important.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 5:06 p.m.

    @ Mayfair ,Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided." LDS Church, Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1972, p.4.?
    Wine was used by Noah, Gen 9:20,21 . Melchizedek, Gen 14:18. Isaac Gen 27:25. Jesus 2:1-11, He turns water into wine not wine into water And Mt 11:19.. Timothy 1Tim 5:23. Mogen David is popular for the Jewish Passover in modern times.

  • Vince Clortho S_SPRINGS, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    Some have already eloquently stated feelings similar to my own about the over emphasis on WOW proscriptions and the appearance of evil etc so thank you for your comments.

    I'd like to add my two cents

    Perhaps the main point of the WOW is about the temporal salvation of adherents. Physical health is one portion, but financial well being is another. Brigham Young emphasized this point earlier in Utah's history as so much money was flowing out of a fledgling economy for tea and coffee. In an individual situation soda and fast food habits can suck one's cash up as quickly as a smoking habit. So a good question might be to ask is how much money is going out of your pockets for these kinds of things.

    I'm glad someone mentioned the polyphynol article as well. Polyphynols are also in beer. If the removal of alcohol from wine does not diminish the polyphynol benefit then I'd expect the same would hold for non-alcoholic beer. We then have another reason to tip the O'douls or whatever mild barley drink you prefer.

  • theOtter Lafayette, IN
    Sept. 7, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    The Church’s statement simply reiterates what has always been the official position: null.

    If you teach that caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom, you are teaching false doctrine and may be subject to Church discipline.

    If you teach that caffeine is not against the Word of Wisdom, you are teaching false doctrine and may be subject to Church discipline.

    It’s that simple.

  • drbarbiedpm GRAHAM, WA
    Sept. 7, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    I personally don't see how ingesting any drug for no good reason would be in compliance with the word of wisdom. Especially drug such as caffeine which is in the same family as cocaine. Central nervous system stimulant. Drugs have their purpose. Ingesting drugs for no good reason is ridiculous. That's my two cents.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Sept. 7, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    "....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. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided." LDS Church, Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1972, p.4

    Since this was good enough for my Coke-addicted mother and Pepsi-addicted father, who quit cold turkey to in their words "follow the counsel of the brethren" in the early 70's, its good enough for me (and has been my since my last soda fountain made cherry Coke in 1972).

  • Julie gluten free mother SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 1:11 p.m.

    It's up for personal interpretation. No one should judge another person for drinking caffeine until they are living every commandment perfectly their self. Many commandments have some gray area. Do you pay tithing on your gross income or net income? Is saying heck as bad as saying hell? Is it O.K. to be late for church every as long as at least you are going?

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    I have a rebel son that...

    -Drinks coke from the can

    -Wears a blue shirt on Sunday

    -Attends U of U football games

    It causes such chaos in our house, but secretly I'm laughing inside. Gotta love living in Utah.

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    GiGi "gorgeous,"

    No, being obese is not ok. Utah is ranked approximately 6th in the nation for being healthy. Anti-depressants are over-prescribed here, I know two people who were given a script for them after a DIVORCE! They are also given for anxiety. IT's hard not to have anxiety when you're Mormon and people are quetstioning everything you do or say.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    The appearance of evil regarding soda pop? Really?

    Personally, we don't have soda in the house. We just don't buy it. However, we love to choose the pop of our choice at the ball game and the movies.

    Despite being in the Bishopric, I arrive to work on occasion with my 7-11 (or Starbucks) cup of almond cinnamon hot chocolate without thinking about what is the appearance of the cup.

    So, what do people think of us with our cups? I really don't think anyone has noticed. Nor do I care.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    Looks like what we need to be doing is talking to historians, not religious experts. I notice a couple of contributors seem to not understand the place that medication may play in mental health treatment, as well. Please, do not confuse taking those meds with self-medication--there is a huge difference. Also, adherence to WoW doesn't preclude health problems, any more than disobedience or utter disregarding of it causes them. Some people with the worst habits in the world never have a sick day, others who never allow a bad food to enter their systems are extremely ill and take boatloads of meications. As is says, it rains on the just and the unjust. Most of us not only fall in the middle, but don't stand in the middle of downpours, just spring showers. Such is life.

  • Fern RL LAYTON, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    I believe in God. I believe He knows all things. I believe He loves us all. I believe He is entirely capable and willing to let us know what is good. I believe that a committee of the most intelligent and well-studied scientists in all the world would fall way short of "knowing all things."

    I served an LDS Mission to Germany in 1970-71. When this new controversy over the Word of Wisdom came out, my first thought was how this church was describing "hot drinks" as "coffee and tea" when on my mission it was "Bean Coffee and Black Tea" and "Black Tea" was understood to be the tea made from the specific plant, whether green or ripe, hot or iced.

    For myself, some things are obviously upsetting to my body, and carbonated drinks are among them. Chocolate was less obvious at first, and it took having my doctor tell me, "No caffeine;" and my asking, "including chocolate?" "yes." Then 3 months withdrawal, before I could, " and not be weary; walk and not faint." Actually, what chocolate has, is a drug similar to caffeine, Theobromine, or "food of the gods," harmful to cats and me.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    How many steps can you take on Sunday? Silly question, yes. Didn't Christ teach that his mission is more important than silly rules that don't really matter in the grand scheme.

    What soda can I drink? No response from the Church. Please, I beg you to tell my neighbor how much soda is evil.

    The LDS Church didn't want to come out with the coffee and tea rule either but the members begged for it. Please, stop begging and serve the real missions of your church.

  • TexasMom Flower Mound, TX
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    Ranch Hand,

    You're right, there are many wonderful substances found on planet earth. However, the science behind it doesn't always get it right, and if you wait long enough, it often changes. This is from TODAY's news:

    Wait for it...

    "Red wine may reduce men's blood pressure - but only if it's non-alcoholic" I read it on CBS news but you can Google it to read all about it. :)

  • Tanner Manor DE BEQUE, CO
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    I have known people who wouldn't let their children drink IBC Root Beer because it has the appearance of a beer bottle. People who don't allow their children to drink any de-caf cola because it is the same appearance of drinking cola drinks with caffeine. I believe that if the church leaders felt that way you would not be able to get caffeine free cola in the temple cafeteria, which you can! Be very careful as to not judge others because of the soda they choose to drink. Let it be your own choice as to what you want or don't want to put it your own body. Do not condemn others because they choose to drink a Diet Coke with caffeine. I get really tired of being judged by members and non-members alike for drinking Diet Coke because they think that I am doing something that is against my church's guidelines. I'M NOT!

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    The smug and disparaging comments found on these forums are far more irritating than any carbonated drink. The words to an old song come to mind:

    "Come on people now,
    Smile on your brother.
    Everybody get together,
    Try to love one an other
    Right now."

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Oh FredR says;

    "It all boils down to what you believe, the Word of the Lord, or what?".

    Clearly Mormon's and Christians as a whole don't follow the "Word of the Lord" as reported directly in the Gospels: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (think Prop-8 & Amendment-3 for instance). If you won't even follow the words that were recorded as coming directly from Jesus, then why bother to follow words written by someone whose only word you have is his that it actually came from "the lord"?

    IMO, Joseph Smith made it all up; ergo, it isn't from "the lord".

    Coffee, tea, wine, etc. all have polyphenols and such that are beneficial. Nature is wonderful. I love how she made all these things that are GOOD for us. Your masculine deity is just jealous and therefore prohibits Mama's good stuff.

    BTW; I don't drink sodas much (anymore) because of all the sugar. Not good for me. Polyphenols = good for me.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Sept. 7, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    What your mother was teaching you, her good intentions notwithstanding, was Pharisaism.

    The more attention we pay to the proverbial tithes of mint and anise and cumin, and the more we judge each other "in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days" (Colossians 2:16), the more our attention is turned away from the "weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith," and the more we turn our back on the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

    There is a *reason* the Lord spent so much time clobbering the Pharisees. The tendency of religious people to try and be more Catholic than the Pope may not be the biggest problem faced by our increasingly Godless country overall, but it is one of the problem our people has always faced.

    That said, I will take Brick Oven's house-brewed root beer over Coke any day.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 7, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    I don't believe that sugar or corn syrup (which is sugar) are addictive. Yes, you might crave them, but unlike truly addictive substances, there are no physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop eating them. Also, carbonation per se is not bad - it is just CO2, the gas we breathe out, making the liquid fizzy. And "artificial ingredients" aren't necessarily bad for you; natural/organic isn't necessarily good. Snake venom and mushrooms are certainly natural, but you wouldn't eat them.It is my understanding that Hyrum Smith clarified that "hot drinks" are coffee and tea; the temperature doesn't matter so much. They were called hot drinks because everyone drank them hot. Also, note that last I knew you could get a temple recommend if you drank decaf coffee. BTW coffee has much more caffeine than chocolate.

  • Glenn L Nauvoo, IL
    Sept. 7, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    I decided several decades ago that the bigger problem with soft drinks containing caffeine is not the non-issue with worthiness known to be a church policy for decades (i.e., that it's not a worthiness criterion), but criticism felt toward those who choose to drink them by those who have decided it constitutes is prohibited or constitutes unworthiness. Outside the proscriptions which are both simple and non-ambiguous, the Word of Wisdom is a wonderful, remarkable, even miraculous guide to personal physical and spiritual health that is much more individual than societal. Thanks to a loving Heavenly Father for giving us such a helpful guide so many years before its time, and for providing clear guides for us through His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, about our dialogue and discourse one with another as His children. We shared the joy of a new convert in her 50s last week in Long Island, New York, who finally, after decades of trying, won her battle over nicotiene when she learned it was an issue with God and how he blesses those with sufficient faith to overcome it and become a new person. Would that we would all do the same.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    It's a tempest in a teapot. I used to drink Coke but found that anytime I took caffeine in any form I had a hard time sleeping that night. So I don't use it. It has nothing to do with my religion. The basic spirit of the law is to take good care of yourself. That I try to do. Splitting hairs and straining at gnats is the sort of thing immature people delight in doing.

  • fromSTL Saint Louis, MO
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    Just to bring the facts back into the discussion, the Church did _not_ say "it is OK to drink cola." First, it wasn't the Church, it was some Church employee writing on a Church-sponsored media blog. Second, the post reads, "Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine. 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.*"
    The asterisk leads to a footnote acknowledging that the original, more enthusiastic, post was edited, presumably for orthodoxy.

    The Church stated in 1972 that “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. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.” (Priesthood Bulletin, vol.8, no.1)

    The recent (edited) blog post does not contradict that earlier statement.

  • CJK Beaverton, OR
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    "Most LDS do not abide by the Word of Wisdom. Meat is not eaten sparingly.
    It was presumptuous to assume that caffeine was the reason that coffee and tea shouldn't be drunk.
    Given the current research touting the health benefits of coffee and tea, I suspect now that the word of wisdom means what it says.
    HOT drinks are not to be drunk. This would include hot water and hot chocolate and hot coffee and hot tea."

    How true...meat is not eaten sparingly. But yet the LDS make such a huge issue of how THEY
    don't drink Coke,etc. The whole world knows that. It is but yet another opportunity
    to appear to the world as somehow "better" than everyone else.

    Chocolate and sugar are also quite addictive but yet not included by JS in the WOW.
    The WOW was written by a man for the times in which he was living.

    Having many, many pregnancies is frequently not in the best health interests of LDS women,
    yet that continues. ????

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Re ulvegaard

    If the purpose of the Word of Wisdom is to. 'Make a person
    stand out' not drinking coffee and tea is a rather strange way
    to do this don't you think? Refraining from these two drinks
    doesn't garner anybody's respect or admiration.

    Think too of the opportunity costs if this were true. The time
    spent teaching and the effort spent adhering
    to this could have been better spent teaching a person to be
    Kind to all people, especially the unpopular. If I am not mistaken
    treating other people as we would be treated is the second
    greatest commandment isn't it?

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    To RanchHand (and others who left similar comments):

    The mentioned "benefits" of coffee and tea can be obtained from other , non-addictive sources instead. The benefits of wine can be obtained from grape juice without the alcohol.
    Anything that artifically alters your state of mind or creates a chemical dependency should be avoided.

    On the subject of caffeine: The LDS Church Handbook says : "Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician." Caffeine is very habit-forming. How many perople say they cannot function without their caffeine? Clearly it is highly addictive. As suggested in the article, we should use our moral agency to avoid things that are hrmful to the body. While sugar and some other food items are likely harmful if overused, they do not typically contain addictive drugs. (By the way if you want to mention chocolate, the amount of caffeine in chocolate is miniscule compared to caffeinated sodas or energy drinks).

  • nanniehu Wendover, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Thank you Carmen, for pointing out some obvious, but often ignored ideas behind following the WoW. Having said that, about twice a year I have a drink with caffeine if I'm having an asthma attack. Otherwise soda consumption in general is very limited for me. My husband has issues with scar tissue in his esophagus due to excessive caffeine consumption when he was younger. Sometimes this means he has to have a balloon inserted down his throat and blown up to open up the passageway. Otherwise food gets stuck and he chokes. Eating too much chocolate can be a problem for me due to the caffeine, as I have fibrous cysts and caffeine in any form causes them to ache and enlarge. The so called benefits of consuming anything with caffeine or alcohol such as wine is cancelled out by the physical damage. Case in point, my husband uses Coke to remove rust from rusty metal such as cast iron. If it can do that, why would anyone want drink the stuff on a regular basis?

  • aand Provo, ut
    Sept. 7, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    I kind of like to have control of what I drink. I find that when I'm 'on' a caffeine stretch, that green bottle controls ME. I drive out of my way to get it. I buy extra for Sunday, I get headaches if I don't drink it on schedule. If I want control...I avoid caffeine.

  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    @SlackTime - Coffee and tea were NOT always part of the WoW. The original targets were Chamomile and Lobelia medicinal teas, which caused vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea in an attempt to rebalance the four vital liquids (black bile, yellow bile, water, and blood.) In spite of the protestations of our current herbal health mentality, Joseph Smith opposed a lot of the 19th century medical nonsense we try to endorse today under the guise of the WoW. Coffee and tea were added as an afterthought by Hyrum Smith quite some time later as an aside after a talk - and the idea didn't take hold for decades. Coffee and Tea were pioneer staples, but coffee didn't replace beer as a breakfast beverage until the turn of the century.

  • the_narrator claremont, ca
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    Since we are going to now appeal to what the revealed scriptures say, is beer okay to drink since "All grain is good for the food of man . . . and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain." (D&C 89:15-16)

  • the_narrator claremont, ca
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    Since we are going to appeal to what the revealed scriptures say, is beer okay to drink since "All grain is good for the food of man . . . and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain."

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Most LDS do not abide by the Word of Wisdom. Meat is not eaten sparingly.

    It was presumptuous to assume that caffeine was the reason that coffee and tea shouldn't be drunk.

    Given the current research touting the health benefits of coffee and tea, I suspect now that the word of wisdom means what it says.

    HOT drinks are not to be drunk. This would include hot water and hot chocolate and hot coffee and hot tea.

  • SlackTime SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    The Word of Wisdom doesn't cover a lot of things specifically. It is more an attitude regarding the care of ourselves. This "change" isn't really a change at all. The WoW has always been specifically about Coffee, Tea (beverages made from the Tea plant), Tobacco, and Alcohol. But, we have been counseled to be wise in our use of drugs, for instance. And so, while I may take a prescribed medication, I try to make sure that I don't become addicted to that medication. Caffeine is a drug, a stimulant. And as a drug, I would use it for what it does, knowing it for what it is. It is not something to use daily lest I develop a reliance/addiction to it. God has made us to be masters over ourselves, and has granted us our agency. I, for one, will fight to maintain that agency, by avoiding addictive behaviors and substances. Including caffiene taken casually.

  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    The WoW SPECIFICALLY endorses the drinking of beer (the mild barley beverages verse.) Strong drink at the time referred to distilled alcohol (whiskey, vodka, rum) and mild drinks referred to brewed beverages (beer, ale). There was even a third category for fermented drinks (wine.) Joseph Smith had a glass of wine the day of his martyrdom. Copious amounts of wine was drunk at the dedication of the Nauvoo temple (IN the temple, no less, with drunken dancing every night.) Brigham Young and many of the apostles regularly drank beer - there is an interesting talk given by a couple of the apostles on the health benefits of Danish beer. Our current non-scriptural interpretation of the WoW is from Heber J Grant, who supported the prohibition movement - quite likely for political purposes. Our current gymnastics over the WoW (no Coke, what qualifies as an herbal tea?, is there a rule for green tea?) is based on a complete failure to understand this principle. BTW, hot drinks originally referred to medicinal tea - coffee and strong British black tea were an afterthought. It's all tied up in 19th century ideas about balancing "vital humours" and the affects of food temperature on health.

  • Netun Yahoo Burley, ID
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    I walked this morning and was not weary and I even ran and did not faint. I had a Coke in both hands and I even though I didn't see a destroying angel, I made it back home.

  • Downtime Saint George, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    What is interesting about all the people who say things like "the WOW doesn't say anything about not drinking crankcase oil..." is that this pet "commandment" is created out of thin air. I am willing to bet those same people that have taken caffeine as their gospel hobby break the speed limit everyday; roll through stop signs, gun through a yellow light (or red light); take enough prescription pills to kill a small animal. What kind of television do you watch? Do you have a garden; a year supply; read and pray everyday, and on and on and on? There are so many things we should be doing, that we are not, that we have specific counsel on. Why do we feel the need to add things that just aren't there. So please, feel free to drink or not drink caffeine. But, please, realize that it makes not one bit of difference, other than to you.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    Many have labeled the Word of Wisdom as a 'health code'. But it is much more than that. My sister lived the W W to the letter and died of cancer at age 46. Much more importantly, the Word of Wisdom helps us to remain separated from the world. Go into a crowd of people who offer you a cup of coffee and you turn them down -- most will assume you are LDS. By the same token, refusing a pork sandwich is a tip off you might be Jewish -- a peculiarity which has kept them united as a group through their long history of being scattered and mingled with other groups.

    To testify that simple obedience to the Word of Wisdom will remove all health problems is near sighted. We all will face challenges in this life. But obedience to the Word of Wisdom will bring me closer to the spirit and keep me identified as being LDS; which in turn will help me not to get lost in worldliness. Some may think us odd, but being peculiar can have its advantages.

  • gigi_gorgeous New York, NY
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    So, no coffee or tea, but eating a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts is acceptable, being morbidly obese is acceptable, taking anti-depressants is acceptable....what absolute nonsense.

  • jww Centerville, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    At the time the Word of Wisdom was revealed, there were no sodas, caffeine or otherwise. What was commonly consumed, and therefore addressed, was coffee, tea, and alcohol. Yes, there are other substances in those beverages that make them unhealthy, and there are substances that some claim are beneficial (although the benefits derived from coffee, tea, or wine are not only derived in that form, and can be obtained through other foods), caffeine causes: A fast heart rate,anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping,nausea, restlessness, tremors, urinating more often, reduced bone density,fibrosystic breasts,and more. Stopping caffeine abruptly may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as:nausea, vomiting, tremors and headaches, all of which are symtoms of withdrawal.

    We are to avoid any substance that leads to addiction. "It is a slothful servant that must be commanded in all things". I do not have to have every line item spelled out for me. The Word of Wisdom is an amazing guide to healthy living. My family and I have chosen to take advantage of it's teachings by learning more and following it to the fullest. I believe our health will be blessed by doing so.

  • Netun Yahoo Burley, ID
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Amazing to me that after what the WofW is clarified as by the Church, people come out of the woodwork defending why they drink a Coke, Mountain Dew, or Pepsi. Others come out humming "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go Dear Lord" extolling their err on the side of caution. Heaven forbid while some are humming, they are on their way to another doctor to fill their psychotropic prescriptions to put them to sleep at night and to wake them up in the morning. And, oh my, we need to help our poor ecclesiastical leader who in the moment of passion, had a little minor mishap with a neighbor counterpart. But, by dang, they only drank spring water! The High Councilors wife wouldn't be caught dead with a Dew in her mitts.....but she wouldn't be caught dead associating with one who did. I'm all worked up now this early in the morning, but I'm signing off to get me one of those new Pepsi NXT Mango drinks. It's waiting for me in my fridge. You ne'er do wrongs can pop you an Excedrin when nonone is looking!!

  • BobKjar Humble, TX
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    Back in the late 70's a letter came out from the President of the Church stating that it was okay to dring decaf coffee. That was soon recinded. The Word of Wisdom was meant as a guide for all members, not a law upon which adherance to was required for a temple recommend or a position in the church. My mother a Relief Society President drank coffee all her life and so did her LDS neighbors. It did not make her any less of a great provider to the needy in the ward nor did it affect her solid convictions that the Church was true. Tne spirit and intent of the Word of Wisdom is for our own personal health and should not be used as law that proves the faithfullness of its members. It should be revised and stated as a health guide only.

  • Loyal Reader ,
    Sept. 7, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    I've started paying closer attention to the signals my body gives me, and caffeine has become a non-issue. I don't drink anything carbonated because my body doesn't like suffering the side-effects of artificial ingredients. Case closed for me.

  • FredR EDMOND, OK
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    Bottom line is that people need to think about what they put in their bodies/temples and consider the effect that is has on the body and spirit, i.e. their soul. There's genetic predispositions, allergies, etc. that would make some food or drink OK for one and not for another.

    For those who operate like RanchHand, beware of 'pop' science that 'proves' things to be abstained from as being beneficial. A scientist in our ward told us the health benefit of wine comes from the enzymes in the drink, not the alcohol. There's just as many studies that show the adverse effects of coffee and tea, then what do you do? It all boils down to what you believe, the Word of the Lord, or what?

  • iNKSpot Wilsonville, OR
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    The Word of Wisdom says absolutely nothing about drinking crankcase oil, but I would not do it!

  • ccline Gales Creek, OR
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    I am a 66 year old woman, LDS, no caffiene since my conversion. My sister is not LDS and is nearly my age, but younger. She has had a myriad of health problems that I have been blessed to not have. No one can tell me that drinking caffiene is good for you. And as far as touting coffee, red wine and anything else that is against the WofW, spare me. I choose to follow the spirit of the law, use common sense AND avoid the appearance of evil. Your mother was right - I believe we should never walk so close to the line between good and evil that it would be easy to fall onto the wrong side - President Kimbal said something like this. What good could possibly come from drinking soda? The closer we can adhere to the gospel standards, the better life we will have. No question. If anything, I wish I would have been more strict with myself and my children. Disclaimer: I have used cola when sick and think that is acceptable. Thank you for this article.

    Sept. 7, 2012 7:46 a.m.

    I have always been amazed at certain ideas and comments by Latter-Day Saints that misrepresent what we factually believe and what members make up. First off, the Word of Wisdom is narrow in its scope of what we cannot drink or take. Drugs and alcohol are not only addicting but can also destroy and damage us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Many people use these substances to medicate and monitor their emotional swings. Whether to calm their nerves, manage their depression, or celebrate life, their reliance and use of these substances are a plague on individuals, families and society. On the other hand, coffee and tea are not EVIL nor does drinking items that look like them have the appearance of EVIL! They are items the that have been identified as the Hot Drinks we are to avoid. I have witnessed an LDS person quickly hiding a Starbuck cup of hot chocolate for fear of a "General Authority" seeing her. Ridiculous behavior! Caffeine? Chocolate cake is loaded with it! The part we avoid living is the second part of the Word of Wisdom. Avoiding soda's does not make us "Righteous" loving our God and our fellow man does!

    Sept. 7, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Thanks, Carmen. I feel the same way. The WofW doesn't have to say that Krispy Kreme Donuts are bad for me...I'm not stupid enough to down them regularly (even though I would like to). It's better for me to just stay away from them because having them makes me want them (and other sugars) more.

    I got in the habit of drinking Mountain Dew in college. I experience the cravings for it and the headaches if I didn't have it. I broke myself of that HABIT and have not looked back. My kids all know that we don't "dew" caffeine and they always ask for the non-caffeinated drinks when we do have sodas (which is rare). I feel that I have taught them well and that it will be a great health benefit for them long-term to not have carbonated and caffeinated drinks in their body. Our family will definitely not be changing our ways regarding our avoidance of caffeine. It is a choice we have made for our good health.

  • downtown424 CHICAGO, IL
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:34 a.m.

    I get what your mom was trying to do, but I'm sorry, throwing out Coke to "avoid the appearance of evil" is nuts. Coke isn't evil. Like you said, the WOW has always been pretty clear on that. Heck, even coffee, tea or booze aren't evil by's a sin for us Mormons to drink them because we made specific promises to God not to, but they aren't specifically evil all by themselves. That isn't pious, its silly.

    If drinking a coke, something that has nothing to do with the guidance actually given to us, sets off those "evil alarm bells", then I think your own moral compass needs to be reevaluated a little.

    I've always loved Cherry Coke. If a confused person asks "why are you drinking that??", it gives me a teaching opportunity about the principles behind the WoW. Also, it's delicious.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:05 a.m.


    Coffee and Tea both have proven health BENEFITS. Red wine does too. Oh my.

    Please explain how that squares with the WoW.