Mormons and Caffeine


CAFFEINE WAS CONSIDERED AMONG THE GREAT EVILS

There is no doubt whatsoever that the brethren of the LDS church felt that caffeine was considered side by side to those labeled as harmful drugs. From 1930 to 2002, there have been eight mentions in General Conference  (see below) of caffeinated drinks. 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. 

THE 2013 SCIENTIFIC TRUTH ABOUT CAFFEINE

According to Wikipedia, "Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid and a stimulant drug. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants... It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the seed of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush...  It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug...act[ing] primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior."

Dr. John Pemberton

THE INVENTION BY A PHARMACIST

May of 1886, pharmacist Dr.John Pemberton invented a medicinal drink at the "Eagle Drug and Chemical Company, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia." The drink was first sold in a Pharmacy in Atlanta on May 8, 1886. Dr. Pemberton believed that this drink would be a cure for, "many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence." The ingredients contained small amounts of cocaine until 1903. According to Wikipedia, "In 1903 Coca-Cola removed cocaine from the formula, substituting caffeine as the stimulating ingredient, while dropping all the product's medicinal claims.

WHAT DO THE PROPHETS HAVE TO SAY?

1930 General Conference by David A. Smith
"Caffeine and tannic acid are the harmful agents in these beverages."

1935 General Conference by Rudger Clawson
"Scientific men have told us that coffee (contains) a poison called caffeine. And we know that such must be the case, because these forbidden things are really and substantially narcotics, and a narcotic is something that is habit-forming."

1938 General Conference by George F. Richards
"I want to say to you that from the beginning of this Church, in the days of the Prophet Joseph, down to the present time, the leaders of this Church have interpreted that Word of Wisdom to include tea and coffee and all drinks that are habit-forming because of the caffeine and drugs they contain."

1940 General Conference by John H. Taylor
"We know the fundamental truth of the Word of Wisdom is based on a truth that can not be eliminated or removed by any type of argument or reason. For instance, in coffee we have caffeine that is harmful."

1965 General Conference by Sterling W. Sill
"It seems like just a little disobedience, a little caffeine a little nicotine, a little friendly indulgence in alcohol. Yet these are the springboards to disease, broken homes, immorality, disloyalty to God, physical death, and the death of many of our eternal interests."

1969 General Conference by Richard L. Evans
"The pleasures of vice are mere illusions, tricks of the nervous system, and each time these tricks are played it is more and more difficult for the mind to tell the truth. Such deceptions come through drunkenness and narcoticism. In greater or less degree all nerve-affecting drugs produce it: nicotine, caffeine, opium, cocaine, and all the rest, strong or weak. Habitual use of any of these is a physical vice. A physical vice becomes a moral vice..."

1999 General Conference by Keith B. McMullin
"He stopped using drugs and caffeine. He continued to read, not only the Book of Mormon, but also the Doctrine and Covenants. He started to attend sacrament meetings and... literally began to be a different person."

Gordon B. Hinckley
2002 General Conference by Gordon B. Hinckley
"Would the world come gladly to a state whose dominant religion asks members to abstain from alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine, three staples of international conferences?"

WHAT DOES THE LDS CHURCH SAY TODAY?

On August 9, 2012 the official LDS church News Room made a public statement saying, "Finally, another small correction: 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."

On September 7, 2012 Official BYU Spokeswoman Carri Jenkins stated that caffeine was not consumed on BYU Campus because there is no demand for it..., “This was a decision based on customer needs and desires by our Dining Services department.”

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