Still, many Mormons will not consume caffeinated drinks. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. ©2021 Verizon Media. Last week, NBC News' hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church's initial statement on its website. Official statement of policy from the First Presidency regarding cola drinks. Special vigilance is now required of Latter-day Saints, since super-caffeinated "energy drinks" have hit the marketplace, some containing alcohol. 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. This discussion then segued into the Mormon taboo against coffee and tea. I distinctly recall going through bishop interviews to receive my temple recommends and being asked if I had refrained from drinking caffeinated sodas. Dictionary of Mormonism entry for caffeine. Mormon Pioneers. Caffeine and Mormonism. MARTIN: In 2012, the church released an official statement stating explicitly that caffeinated soda is allowed under church doctrine. Jump ahead 20 years… I’m on a vacation to visit a never-Mormon cousin back east. All rights reserved. Following this interview, many Mormons immediately quit drinking caffeinated sodas. They reaffirmed this in 2017. 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. The Mormon Church is totally fine with people consuming as much caffeine as they can handle—just as long as it’s slightly chilled. Larry King: No to caffeine? The idea of prudence is also important. Church-owned schools refrain from selling caffeinated beverages in their cafeterias. Today is National Voter Registration Day! They have specifically stated that Coke, Pepsi, and any other form of caffeine is completely fine as long as it’s not heated. ", There has not "been a demand for it," Jenkins said Thursday. -snip- "I can understand why the church is cautious," Jorgensen wrote in an email. ", The same goes for the church's two-volume handbook, which LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. Correct statement? They are based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1833. This page was last edited on 19 June 2011, at 18:10. 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. It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. The common hot drinks of the time were coffee and tea. “I grew up thinking that it was the caffeine in coffee and tea that you needed to avoid – … 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. 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. I was born in Salt Lake City into a non-Mormon family. That view was magnified when the late LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley offhandedly told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine. Caffeine. They just don't bar members from, say, pounding a Pepsi, downing a Mountain Dew or sipping a hot chocolate. Synthetic caffeine, available in both powered form and as an additive to sodas and energy beverages, is significantly more powerful than natural caffeine. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. 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. How some Mormons view caffeine. 12 myths about Mormons — From caffeine to the Bible to birth control . Several earlier LDS leaders, including apostle Bruce R. McConkie, considered imbibing Coke as a violation of the "spirit" of the Word of Wisdom. 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. ", Caffeine, he said, "is the perfect, low-risk testing ground for members to make decisions for themselves. 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. 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. 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. So many Mormons then will say well, we should not drink any caffeinated beverages. News; Tags . … Tea is also referred to in this statement. Dance, theatre, art classes available September 17, 2012 . I drink Mt. While avoiding caffeine is a legitimate reason for avoiding coffee and tea, it … 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. The rules prohibit alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs and coffee and tea. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided. It used to be thought that we were instructed to avoid coffee because of the caffeine. Mormon pioneers had a relatively high literacy rate compared to other … Plus, I think members need opportunities to work through questions of right and wrong for themselves. 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. And the conclusion is caffeine. "Saying that caffeine is OK might sound like saying that caffeine is healthy, maybe even an endorsement of caffeine. Candy and sweets are not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom either, but it is wise and prudent to eat these sparingly. Caffeine is most harmful because it is addictive. My classmate’s statement was entirely right – at least, correct according to the interpretation I grew up with. And there was much rejoicing. 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. 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. For this reason, it is wise to avoid eating too many foods or drinks that have caffeine in them. Last week, NBC News' hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church's initial statement on its website. 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. The Spokesman-Review Newspaper Local journalism is essential. Debunking a dubious General Conference rumor It's the General Conference Rumor Edition! ", (Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for The Salt Lake Tribune.). Stress and Weight Gain: The Vicious Cycle 8. 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. But this was a dietary shift for Joseph Smith’s contemporaries, the generation of Mormon Pioneers. However, the LDS church recently released a statement (read more about that HERE, and yes, it was on the news!) 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. The idea of prudence is also important. One 8.4 fl oz can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine. 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. Mormons will soon drink coffee! 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. If caffeine is ok, then what is it about coffee that is so bad? 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 … 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! 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. A media spotlight has been put on Church practices, largely because of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s membership in the Church. Apparently, throughout the history of the church, it has been okay … Caffeine and Mormonism Bottoms up, it’s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you’re a Mormon! Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks. The only official interpretation of this term is the statement made by early Church leaders that it means tea and coffee. But I've read here that many enjoy modern "Energy Drinks" that rely on caffeine for much of their punch. One teaspoon of synthetic caffeine powder contains as much caffeine as 28 cups of coffee—or more. This week's clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. 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. Candy and sweets are not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom either, but it is wise and prudent to eat these sparingly. 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]." Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. While out for dinner he takes note that I ordered a Diet Pepsi. I distinctly recall going through bishop … Two teaspoons would be lethal to most adults. Caffeine and Mormonism. However, the choice is individual. https://www.mormonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Caffeine&oldid=28635. Correct statement? (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. It's been a long and heated debate among members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. 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. This attitude and approach of thinking is more dangerous than drinking alcoholic drinks. La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar! stating that caffeine was ok to consume. caffeine statement; featured; Rachel Brutsch; the word of wisdom; Caffeine is an ingredient in many types of soda pop. The Word of Wisdom itself gives no indication of the reasons these substances are to be avoided—it only states that they should be. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote. Part of HuffPost Religion. Coffee is referred to when it states "hot drinks". 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. Brigham Young University amends its policy after the church revised its stance on caffeine in 2012. 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. I eventually settled on my cold caffeine beverage of choice…Diet Pepsi. From 1899 to 2006 the word “caffeine” is mentioned only eight times in the Semi-annual General Conference reports of the church. However, it is irrelevant what "most Mormons" claim as their reason for avoiding coffee and tea. "I can understand why the church is cautious," Jorgensen wrote in an email. The scripture continues, “All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:11). Bottoms up, it’s no longer frowned upon to have Pepsi if you’re a Mormon! So Mormons don't drink coffee, everybody knows that (in itself enough to keep me away, bit of a conny-sewer over here). Categories . 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… Dew and I'm considered a "good Mormon… 9 Missionaries Can Only Play Half-Court Basketball. 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. questionable.". The clarification on caffeine “is long overdue,” said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. 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. This includes caffeine. 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 church did reaffirm that coffee and tea are still not to be drank by members, though. Gordon B. Hinckley: No to caffeine, coffee and tea. Mormon-owned Brigham Young University decided to start serving caffeinated soda on campus, overturning a policy that’s been in place since the 1950s. Top rumor: next weekend, … We were always berated by Mormons for drinking caffeine so we believed that was their doctrine. Journalists -- from The New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd to The Associated Press -- have often stated that Mormons don't drink caffeine. 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. 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 Kids are kind of morbid. "We are constantly evaluating what those needs and desires are.". LDS caffeine statement sparks discussion; Rexburg Unplugged features local artists September 17, 2012. Nor has is said caffeinated soft drinks are prohibited. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. 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. ", Part of the confusion stems from LDS church-owned Brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks. 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. 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). This made me even more confused! … The clarification on caffeine “is long overdue,” said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. 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. This soon morphed into experimenting with other previously forbidden caffeine drinks such as the formerly evil Coke and Pepsi. 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. 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. The … 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. This week's clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker. 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. 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. There are several known mechanisms of action to explain the effects of caffeine. ", 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 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. 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. 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.