Salt Lake City — In an article published by Mormon Newsroom, the church clarifies 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.”
According to the church, “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.”
Latter-day Saints are free to drink Coke or Pepsi. The church has clarified its position on caffeinated soft drinks, noting the news media often incorrectly states that its members are forbidden to drink caffeine according to a news article published by Heraldextra.
“For me, it’s more of I don’t want to get addicted to it. I don’t want to be like, ‘I need my caffeine today,’ ” said Dave Rollins, who carried a caffeine-free Diet Coke.
In a statement released by the church about its stance on caffeine usage, they said that the 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—tea and coffee. Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks.
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).”
“A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Generally, principles are not spelled out in detail. Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. We teach the principle together with the promised blessings. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation. Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, 17–18).
A news article published by Ben Winslow to FOX 13 says that the Church-owned Brigham Young University, caffeinated drinks are not sold. It is not because of a church or university edict, said spokeswoman Carri Jenkins, but customer demand.
“Dining Services has made the decision to not sell or serve caffeinated beverages on campus,” she told FOX 13. “Simply based on what our customers want or do not want.”
Jenkins said students would not violate BYU’s Honor Code by consuming caffeine, nor would people be forbidden from bringing it on campus. The university would also revisit the sale of caffeine-full soda — if it became an issue of demand.
“It’s just something we’ll have to look at,” Jenkins said.
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