There is frequently debate regarding caffeine and its use. Whenever the subject comes up, first and foremost we should remind ourselves that charity never faileth and contention is of the devil. If our debate for caffeine causes contention, what good have we done?
This post is not for those who want to debate this. If you are here to debate, please try another site. This post are for those who sincerely want to know what the LDS Church has said about it.
Tired of “opinions?” You want the real deal on caffeine from the official LDS sources? Download the Caffeine handout here.
Also, in 2017, a media outlet made a false claim that caffeine was part of the LDS Word of Wisdom as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. The LDS Church corrected the claim in this statement, “Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine.” (mormonnewsroom.org, Mormonism in the News: Getting it right, Aug 29)
Many people have glanced over this quickly and thought it was a green light to drink caffeine. This is not the case. In the same article it also discussed many mistakes in their reporting such as temple garments. It is a list of reporting corrections, not a pro-drug announcement. In the Church’s statement, nowhere does it condone the drinking of caffeine. The Church simply stated that it’s not part of the Word of Wisdom-which is true. To illustrate this point, here is a list of other items that would fall in the same category.
Things NOT included in the Word of Wisdom:
- Injecting Heroin
- Using Meth
- Inhaling aerosol cans
- Drinking motor oil
- Snorting Bath Salts
- Drinking caffeine
- Eating rusty staples
It is a fact that none of the above is include in the Word of Wisdom. We are to be wise and realize that some things you just shouldn’t be putting into your body.
If a media outlet had reported, “Inhaling aerosol cans are against the Word of Wisdom of the LDS Church”, the church would have replied in a similar manner, “Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of aerosol cans.”
Does this mean we should all jump up and down and rush to the store to purchase aerosol cans and begin inhaling??? Just silly.
Tired of opinions? Want real quotes from official LDS sources?
Here are some items included in the download:
—begin pdf preview
ENSIGN & NEW ERA
“…substances such as caffeine… has been linked to disease.” Ensign – July 2008
“[Caffeine]… even in small doses, can be detrimental to good health.” New Era – Jan. 1997
“We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. It is only sound judgment to conclude that… caffeine… should not be used.” New Era – Oct. 1975
“Although caffeine is not listed specifically in the Word of Wisdom, we would be wise to understand that there are risks associated with the consumption of this stimulant.” Ensign – Feb. 2014
“Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can lead to addiction. Any addictive behavior, whatever the source, can lead to a loss of spiritual health and freedom.” Ensign – Dec. 2008
Known Caffeine Negative Effects (Ensign – Dec. 2008)
- Congestive Heart Failure
Gordon B. Hinckley
“No to caffeine, coffee, and tea.” (Larry King Live – Sept. 8, 1988)
Heber J. Grant
I am not going to give any command, but… [t]here are plenty of other things you can get at the soda fountains without drinking that which is injurious. The Lord does not want you to use any drug that creates an appetite for itself.” (Conference Report, April 1922)
Spencer W. Kimball
“I never drink any of the [caffeine] drinks and my personal hope would be that no one would. However, they are not included in the Word of Wisdom in its technical application. I quote from a letter from the secretary to the First Presidency, ‘But the spirit of the Word of Wisdom would be violated by the drinking or eating of anything that contained a habit-forming drug.’ ” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball)
Official Statement From LDS Church
“…[W]e do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs…” (Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1972, p. 4) (Repeated in the D&C student manual p. 209.)
Avoiding Caffeine is not a Commandment (Just Wise)
“…While some substances such as caffeine… are not specifically included in the commandment, they can nevertheless inflict much harm to a person… ” (Providentliving.LDS.org – 2018)
“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant… ”
Drugs are Medical Miracles
While in the hospital, you might be given morphine. We all appreciate this miracle drug. But, what if morphine was added to a leisure beverage like soda? Ask yourself, “Would it be okay if I drank this drug all of the time?” Caffeine can also have a medical application when used correctly. Caffeine is found in some headache medicine to make the pill more effective. Caffeine can be a medical benefit in our lives. Problems occur when medical use turns into casual.
Do Not Judge
To those who do NOT drink caffeine, please remember that everyone has not yet made this decision. Caffeine is not part of the Word of Wisdom. Give others around you the freedom to grow. Contention is of the devil.
To those who drink caffeine, please remember that those who don’t drink caffeine are not judging you. Give others around you the freedom to strive to be righteous without feeling alienated. Contention is of the devil.