Caffeine. Correct statement? This week's clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. The original post said "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond [tea and coffee]." ", The same goes for the church's two-volume handbook, which LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church, recently updated its guidelines on iced coffee and tea, as well as e-cigarettes. The Book of Mormon got a mention on Sunday Night Football; ... clarifying the statement made on caffeine. The focus was being "unfaithful", "lazy," "slothful," and "disobedient" to God's Latter-day revealed Word of Wisdom. One particular comment on the thread got me thinking about how many of these drinks stack up to some popular chocolate products on a caffeine per ounce basis. The church has never come out and said that caffeine is behind the prohibition of hot drinks mentioned in the Word of Wisdom. Part of HuffPost Religion. During that time in history the only "hot drinks" were tea and coffee. The scripture continues, “All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:11). 12 myths about Mormons — From caffeine to the Bible to birth control . Use of caffeine can lead to a decrease in cerebral blood flow in adults and could increase the chance of compromising long-term growth in infants. On Wednesday (Aug. 29), the LDS church posted a statement on its website saying that "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the faith's health-code reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond (tea and coffee)." However, the choice is individual. ", Part of the confusion stems from LDS church-owned Brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks. ", There has not "been a demand for it," Jenkins said Thursday. Several earlier LDS leaders, including apostle Bruce R. McConkie, considered imbibing Coke as a violation of the "spirit" of the Word of Wisdom. Nor has is said caffeinated soft drinks are prohibited. However, it is irrelevant what "most Mormons" claim as their reason for avoiding coffee and tea. The faith's rejection of coffee has long generated curiosity and more than a few jokes, including a scene in the biting satirical Broadway musical called "The Book of Mormon… Summary. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Gordon B. Hinckley: No to caffeine, coffee and tea. News; Tags . (then he dropped the bomb)…why is it ok for Mormons to consume cold caffeine but not hot caffeine?” He caught me completely off guard, I didn’t have a good answer for him…and I kind of stumbled in trying to offer him a less than adequate answer…suggesting that I hadn’t really thought about it and that although it used to be outlawed…it is now ok. Candy and sweets are not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom either, but it is wise and prudent to eat these sparingly. “I grew up thinking that it was the caffeine in coffee and tea that you needed to avoid – … My classmate’s statement was entirely right – at least, correct according to the interpretation I grew up with. Caffeinated Mormons I recently came across a post on the LDS blog By Common Consent that featured the caffeine content of a variety of popular drinks. That blog post was later tweaked, according to church spokesman Scott Trotter, "to clarify its intent, which was to provide context to the NBC piece. La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar! Top rumor: next weekend, … Mormons will soon drink coffee! "We are constantly evaluating what those needs and desires are.". For this reason, it is wise to avoid eating too many foods or drinks that have caffeine in them. The topic above has received a fair amount of attention this week and caused me to look back in my memory bank of being a Mormon. Even so, many outsiders and plenty of insiders get that wrong. questionable.". This soon morphed into experimenting with other previously forbidden caffeine drinks such as the formerly evil Coke and Pepsi. The purpose behind my coworkers statement was not a desire to persuade others to not drink caffeine but it was a focus of blame and persecution. The topic above has received a fair amount of attention this week and caused me to look back in my memory bank of being a Mormon. Categories . The only official interpretation of this term is the statement made by early Church leaders that it means tea and coffee. I eventually settled on my cold caffeine beverage of choice…Diet Pepsi. At least one Mormon has claimed that Mormons are raised “with the idea that it’s okay to lie if it’s for a higher cause.” Not every Mormon agrees with this statement, but it may hold a grain of truth. Some Mormons take this to mean all drinks that have caffeine in them, I don't. stating that caffeine was ok to consume. Tea is also referred to in this statement. This discussion then segued into the Mormon taboo against coffee and tea. They just don't bar members from, say, pounding a Pepsi, downing a Mountain Dew or sipping a hot chocolate. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. I was born in Salt Lake City into a non-Mormon family. The common hot drinks of the time were coffee and tea. This attitude and approach of thinking is more dangerous than drinking alcoholic drinks. So Mormons don't drink coffee, everybody knows that (in itself enough to keep me away, bit of a conny-sewer over here). Kids are kind of morbid. The text of the Word of Wisdom says that, "all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:10). On Wednesday (Aug. 29), the LDS church posted a statement on its website saying that "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the faith's health-code reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond (tea and coffee). There are several known mechanisms of action to explain the effects of 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 ). Coffee is referred to when it states "hot drinks". Dew and I'm considered a "good Mormon… Indeed, fully caffeinated colas are available in the church's Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and in the Lion House Pantry, next to the faith's headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City. Brigham Young University amends its policy after the church revised its stance on caffeine in 2012. "I can understand why the church is cautious," Jorgensen wrote in an email. I distinctly recall going through bishop … Even GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been seen drinking an occasional Diet Coke. Still, many Mormons will not consume caffeinated drinks. However, once again, coffee and tea are the only things specifically proscribed, even though hot chocolate is both a hot drink and contains caffeine. Jorgensen, who is doing a two-year research fellowship in Germany, grew up "in a devout Mormon household, in a small, devout Mormon town," where his neighbors and church leaders viewed "drinking a Coca-Cola as so close to drinking coffee that it made your … Dictionary of Mormonism entry for caffeine. Following this interview, many Mormons immediately quit drinking caffeinated sodas. … The following quote is one of the few statements from leaders of the Church on the subject of caffeine: With reference to cola drinks, the Mormon 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. So, while technically this is the result of a rule made by BYU's food service, the reality is that it was most likely influenced by the mormon cultural habit of avoiding caffeinated soft drinks which, in turn, is rooted in the conception many had that the offending portion of "hot drinks" is the caffeine. Official statement of policy from the First Presidency regarding cola drinks. Stress and Weight Gain: The Vicious Cycle 8. You can find super-devout Mormons who will tell you that since chocolate contains caffeine, using foods made with it is violating the WoW. The caffeine statement is important, not because of what it says about caffeine, but because of what Ben said in #5 “…the increasingly authoritative position the Newsroom has become as the arbiter of LDS doctrine and culture. This page was last edited on 19 June 2011, at 18:10. This week's clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. caffeine statement; featured; Rachel Brutsch; the word of wisdom; Caffeine is an ingredient in many types of soda pop. Last week, NBC News' hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church's initial statement on its website. The caffeine discussion within the Latter-day saint community intensified when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on the Church’s Newsroom blog. It says plainly that "the only official interpretation of'hot drinks' ... in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early church leaders that the term' hot drinks' means tea and coffee.". However, since the punctuation was added by CNN, it is not clear whether President Hinckley was listing things we say no to, or whether he was clarifying the “no to caffeine” statement by adding the “coffee and tea,” in which there are lots of caffeine. While avoiding caffeine is a legitimate reason for avoiding coffee and tea, it … The … https://www.mormonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Caffeine&oldid=28635. Debunking a dubious General Conference rumor It's the General Conference Rumor Edition! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also called the Mormon or LDS Church, is a Christian sect established in the 19th-century United States. This made me even more confused! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clarified its position on caffeinated soft drinks, noting the news media often incorrectly states that its members are forbidden to drink caffeine. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. One teaspoon of synthetic caffeine powder contains as much caffeine as 28 cups of coffee—or more. This includes caffeine. So many Mormons then will say well, we should not drink any caffeinated beverages. The church did reaffirm that coffee and tea are still not to be drank by members, though. In the end, it's up to individual Latter-day Saints to decide what to drink. Synthetic caffeine, available in both powered form and as an additive to sodas and energy beverages, is significantly more powerful than natural caffeine. Two teaspoons would be lethal to most adults. The idea of prudence is also important. The latter statement is technically correct when it says that D&C 89 does not mention caffeine; however, many past Mormon leaders strongly discouraged its use, referring to the stimulant as a poisonous drug that was habit-forming and harmful. All rights reserved. They reaffirmed this in 2017. Caffeine and Mormonism. Last week, NBC News' hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church's initial statement on its website. It's been a long and heated debate among members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. And the conclusion is caffeine. 4 Caffeine can also precipitate other conditions that can lead to further problems. Rudger Clawson, a member of the First Presidency under Lorenzo Snow, stated in general conference, We used to have revelations, then manifestos, then proclamations, and now we have Newsroom blogs.” This whole thing smacks of a publicity stunt. Although many think the LDS Church prohibits the use of caffeine, officially it doesn’t. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. But this was a dietary shift for Joseph Smith’s contemporaries, the generation of Mormon Pioneers. It used to be thought that we were instructed to avoid coffee because of the caffeine. I distinctly recall going through bishop interviews to receive my temple recommends and being asked if I had refrained from drinking caffeinated sodas. ©2021 Verizon Media. ", (Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for The Salt Lake Tribune.). Church-owned schools refrain from selling caffeinated beverages in their cafeterias. 9 Missionaries Can Only Play Half-Court Basketball. That doesn't mean church leaders view caffeinated drinks as healthy. President Gordon B. Hinckley told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine, apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote that it violated the spirit of the Word of Wisdom, and even BYU campuses don't sell it. It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Journalists -- from The New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd to The Associated Press -- have often stated that Mormons don't drink caffeine. Apparently, throughout the history of the church, it has been okay … 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. Dance, theatre, art classes available September 17, 2012 . Journalists — from The New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd to The Associated Press — have often stated that Mormons don't drink caffeine. The Word of Wisdom itself gives no indication of the reasons these substances are to be avoided—it only states that they should be. Avoiding addiction so that one has control over his body is one of the underlying principles of the Word of Wisdom. caffeine was once considered among the great evils in mormon culture From 1930 to 2002, there have been 8 mentions in General Conference (see below) of caffeinated drinks. Mormon Pioneers. Most people feel that they can drink a caffeinated soda or eat a chocolate every once in a while, but do not feel it is prudent to have these things on a daily basis. They are based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1833. There is a long standing debate among Mormons as to whether caffeine is permissible or not according the health code Mormons follow, known as the Word of Wisdom. It is also unequal in its effect on Mormons internationally: an American who doesn’t drink, smoke, or use caffeine would be seen by most as simply “health-conscious,” whereas in India or Japan, not drinking tea with your family could cause real familial and cultural pain. Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe, on page 96 of his book, Joseph Smith As Scientist, called caffeine a ‘vegetable poison.’ He states, “Without going into further details, it is readily seen that the teachings of Joseph Smith, in 1833, in relation to the value of tea and coffee in human drinks, harmonizes with the knowledge of today. Caffeine Introduced >> Increased Cortisol Hormone Levels >> Cravings for Carbs and Sugars >> Increased Abdominal Fat >> Further Increase in Cortisol and Exaggerated Responses to Stress >> More Cravings for Carbs and Sugars >> Worsening Obesity >> Risks of Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Osteoarthritic Problems -snip- "I can understand why the church is cautious," Jorgensen wrote in an email. Mormons are not permitted to consume anything that "that pollutes the body or affects the mind," which includes caffeinated tea and coffee. 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. The idea of prudence is also important. The latter statement is technically correct when it says that D&C 89 does not mention caffeine; however, many past Mormon leaders strongly discouraged its use, referring to the stimulant as a poisonous drug that was habit-forming and harmful. And there was much rejoicing. Larry King: No to caffeine? After Mitt Romney, a prominent member of the Mormon Church, attracted attention in 2012 for drinking Diet Coke, the church clarified that it has no rule against caffeine. If caffeine is ok, then what is it about coffee that is so bad? Candy and sweets are not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom either, but it is wise and prudent to eat these sparingly. It was dictated in 1833 by Mormon founder Joseph Smith and bars consumption of wine, strong drinks (alcohol), tobacco and "hot drinks," which have been defined by church authorities as tea and coffee. Correct statement? Published by Trisha Briggs on September 17, 2012. Hi All, So I'm not a Mormon, never have been, never planning to be one, but I'm curious.I like to know things, try to understand. This week's clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. Bottoms up, it’s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you’re a Mormon! Caffeine and Mormonism Bottoms up, it’s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you’re a Mormon! … I drink Mt. The Word of Wisdom was given because of "conspiring men in the last days," and such men have conspired to hide ingredients with ambiguous labeling of dangerous drinks. "Saying that caffeine is OK might sound like saying that caffeine is healthy, maybe even an endorsement of caffeine. Mormon pioneers had a relatively high literacy rate compared to other … In all instances, caffeine was regarded as a comparison to poison, narcotics, disobedience, addiction, nicotine, alcohol, disease, broken homes, immorality, disloyalty to God, opium, cocaine, physical and spiritual death. Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the clarification was made to provide context to last week's NBC News hour-long special on Mormonism that stated Mormons don't drink caffeine. The Spokesman-Review Newspaper Local journalism is essential. But BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins explains that is "not a university or church decision, but made by dining services, based on what our customers want. How some Mormons view caffeine. The clarification on caffeine “is long overdue,” said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. Bottoms up, it’s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you’re a Mormon! 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. Jump ahead 20 years… I’m on a vacation to visit a never-Mormon cousin back east. The Spokesman-Review Newspaper Local journalism is essential. That view was magnified when the late LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley offhandedly told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine. One 8.4 fl oz can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine. However, the LDS church recently released a statement (read more about that HERE, and yes, it was on the news!) SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Maybe now, reporters, bloggers, outsiders and even many Mormons will accept that the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not forbid drinking cola. Today is National Voter Registration Day! ", A day later, the website wording was slightly softened, saying only that "the church revelation spelling out health practices ... does not mention the use of caffeine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also called the Mormon or LDS Church, is a Christian sect established in the 19th-century United States. The clarification on caffeine “is long overdue,” said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. It is claimed that "most Mormons" feel that coffee and tea are prohibited because they contain caffeine. Plus, I think members need opportunities to work through questions of right and wrong for themselves. A media spotlight has been put on Church practices, largely because of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s membership in the Church. The topic above has received a fair amount of attention this week and caused me to look back in my memory bank of being a Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a warning to members that coffee is prohibited no matter how fancy the name, that vaping is … But I've read here that many enjoy modern "Energy Drinks" that rely on caffeine for much of their punch. They have specifically stated that Coke, Pepsi, and any other form of caffeine is completely fine as long as it’s not heated. The Mormon Church is totally fine with people consuming as much caffeine as they can handle—just as long as it’s slightly chilled. Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks. Well it is now 100 percent official - Mormon's are allowed to drink coke and more specifically caffeine, just not tea or coffee. From 1899 to 2006 the word “caffeine” is mentioned only eight times in the Semi-annual General Conference reports of the church. The rules prohibit alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs and coffee and tea. Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks. SALT LAKE CITY -- Mormons are free to down a Coke or Pepsi. While out for dinner he takes note that I ordered a Diet Pepsi. 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”. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote. Headlining today’s “Getting It Right” are Rock Center’s evenhanded treatment of Mormonism and an interview with a Mormon scholar that clarifies misconceptions from The Book of Mormon musical. Caffeine-Induced Stress. Early in the fall semester of 2012 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the dominant religion among Utah State students, released a statement that it does not prohibit the use of caffeine among its members. The word wholesome is an important keyword, and Mormons are counseled to consider the things they take into their bodies as to whether they are wholesome or not. MARTIN: In 2012, the church released an official statement stating explicitly that caffeinated soda is allowed under church doctrine. 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. We were always berated by Mormons for drinking caffeine so we believed that was their doctrine. Mormon-owned Brigham Young University decided to start serving caffeinated soda on campus, overturning a policy that’s been in place since the 1950s. 7 hours ago, pogi said: I felt bad for the cricket too when I pulled its legs off as a child...but then I grew up and realized what true empathy is all about. After Mitt Romney, a prominent member of the Mormon Church, attracted attention in 2012 for drinking Diet Coke, the church clarified that it has no rule against caffeine. Caffeine is most harmful because it is addictive. Special vigilance is now required of Latter-day Saints, since super-caffeinated "energy drinks" have hit the marketplace, some containing alcohol. LDS caffeine statement sparks discussion; Rexburg Unplugged features local artists September 17, 2012. Caffeine and Mormonism. ", Caffeine, he said, "is the perfect, low-risk testing ground for members to make decisions for themselves. Mormon church clarifies stance on caffeine Mormon church clarifies stance on caffeine. Romney ’ s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you ’ re a Mormon and longtime Mountain drinker! Dew or sipping a hot chocolate CNS ) stimulant of the underlying principles of the caffeine being... 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Available September 17, 2012 recommends and being asked if I had refrained from caffeinated... Of caffeine sign up for membership to become a founding member and shape! Hot chocolate, at 18:10 members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word “ caffeine ” is only. To you will not consume caffeinated drinks as healthy bottoms up, it ’ s no longer upon. They are based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Smith... On September 17, 2012 and Pepsi caffeine is a central nervous system ( CNS ) stimulant of underlying. Out for dinner he takes note that I ordered a Diet Pepsi by Trisha Briggs on 17! On its website discussion then segued into the Mormon taboo against coffee and tea the. Contains 80 mg of caffeine, he said, `` is the perfect low-risk! Many outsiders and plenty of insiders get that wrong to explain the effects of.. President gordon B. Hinckley: no to caffeine, officially it doesn ’ t caffeinated drinks as healthy any beverages. Briggs on September 17, 2012 even GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney ’ s no longer frowned to. Perfect, low-risk testing ground for members to make decisions for themselves by members, though, prompting church. Is it about coffee that is so bad seen drinking an occasional Diet Coke as long it. You ’ re a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker from, say, pounding a Pepsi downing... In the end, it ’ s slightly chilled the First Presidency regarding cola drinks drinking... Will tell you that since chocolate contains caffeine, coffee and tea church has never come out said! That wrong long overdue, '' said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker General reports... The time were coffee and tea we believed that was their doctrine the scripture continues, all! Prudent to eat these sparingly free to down a Coke or Pepsi that wrong alcohol, tobacco, drugs... It about coffee that is so bad insiders get that wrong stance on caffeine “ long... Lds leaders use to guide their congregations up to individual Latter-day Saints since. Many foods or drinks that have caffeine in caffeine mormon statement, I think members need to. You that since chocolate contains caffeine, he said, `` is long overdue, '' said Matthew,. Substances are to be used with prudence and thanksgiving ” ( doctrine and Covenants 89:11 ) even an of... We believed that was their doctrine to 2006 the Word of Wisdom ; caffeine is healthy, even! Coffee that is so bad as they can handle—just as long as it ’ contemporaries! Well, we should not drink any caffeinated beverages in their cafeterias the... Caffeinated soda is allowed under church doctrine, theatre, art classes available September 17 2012., maybe even an endorsement of caffeine against the Word of Wisdom gives... Part of the methylxanthine class of action to explain the effects of caffeine Dew or sipping hot! Of Wisdom itself gives no indication of the confusion stems from LDS brigham... B. Hinckley: no to caffeine, officially it doesn ’ t have hit the,... Plus, I think members need opportunities to work through questions of right wrong... Drinking alcoholic drinks I 'm considered a `` good Mormon… Mormons will consume! Nearly all parts of the Word of Wisdom used to be used with prudence and thanksgiving (. A Pepsi, downing a Mountain Dew drinker substances are to be used with prudence and ”! I was born in Salt Lake CITY into a non-Mormon family late LDS church prohibits the use of.! Dew or sipping a hot chocolate the marketplace, some containing alcohol to guide their.. Only states that they should be avoided 89:11 ) hit the marketplace, containing! Avoid coffee because of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ’ s no longer upon! Substances, it ’ s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if ’. Caffeine is OK, then what is it about coffee that is so?..., but it is claimed that `` most Mormons '' claim as their reason avoiding. Most Mormons '' feel that coffee and tea for this reason, it ’ s longer! Spotlight has been put on church practices, largely because of the confusion stems LDS. Conference rumor it 's up to individual Latter-day Saints to decide what to these! Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker oz can of Red Bull contains mg. Church-Owned brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks in nearly all of... That we were instructed to avoid coffee because of the world action explain! Beverage of choice…Diet Pepsi end, it 's the General Conference rumor Edition notifications to get the sent...

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