When it comes to the Caffeine issue, it’s about as clear as mud. In years past, as members of the Church, many would only drink Sprite, 7-Up, and other non-caffeinated drinks. But what’s happening now? I myself drink caffeinated beverages, and many of the members of the Church do as well.
To all of you reading this currently, whether Mormon (LDS) or not, let me just say that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does NOT prohibit drinking caffeine. As members of the Church, we do indeed drink Caffeinated drinks and Colas. There is no commandment whatsoever that either recommends nor prohibits the consumption of Colas.
But why, then, are only non-caffeinated drinks sold on the campuses of the Church-owned BYU and BYU-Idaho? Not only this, but Utah is by far the easiest location to find caffeine-free Mountain Dew.
Obviously, this is touching the topic of the Word of Wisdom. Let’s review what the Word of Wisdom entails. D&C 89:7-9 prohibits alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee. The restriction does not go beyond this.
Notice that caffeine is not included in that list. The reason that people often get this misconception is from the fact that we don’t partake of Tea and Coffee. Many have tried recommending “De-Caf,” but it’s not about the caffeine. All I know is that we’ve been asked not to partake of it as a commandment from the Lord, and that’s good enough for me. It’s not about whether science says it’s good or bad for our bodies. It’s about being obedient. And I know God knows much better what I need for myself than I do.
I think we’re all very familiar with the restrictions in the Word of Wisdom, as well as the blessings that are promised if we’re diligent in following this commandment. However, I feel that verse 4 is often skipped and should be reviewed:
Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation— (D&C 89:4, emphasis added)
The Word of Wisdom is there to protect us. So quit complaining that you can’t drink coffee, alcohol, tea, or that you can’t smoke. That’s how it is. And that’s how it will always be. The Lord has told us that evils currently do, and will exist, in our day and in the future. God has forewarned us, and we should be grateful for that.
Now, this is my personal view on it: I love my Diet Pepsi. I’m not a constant drinker, and I don’t have to have one at each and every meal. But from time to time, I do enjoy it. I love a soda with a meal, cola especially. Caffeine has proven bad health effects, but used sparingly, and not as an all-day thing, I feel that caffeine is okay. Caffeine has been proven to show that it does have bad health effects. High blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and bone loss at the spine in elderly postmenopausal women, just to name a few. But, used sparingly, I believe that it’s not all that bed.
So, the next time you see someone criticizing a Mormon for drinking Caffeine, you can defend them. The Church, as of this writing, has no official stance on caffeine.