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Old 04-26-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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Katzpur, I know that Mormons believe it's a sin to drink caffeine. I invited a Mormon lady to an interdenominational Christian women's luncheon a few years ago, and to my embarrassment they only offered her sweet or unsweet tea. They did bring her a Sprite, though, when she asked. I had no idea before that.

I thought it was very interesting because I grew up in a very anti-alcohol family and community, so when I met my Catholic husband, it was a huge issue. I almost didn't marry him because of it, but since I loved him, I decided to deal with it. He never gets drunk but enjoys his beer. So, I had been judgmental about him and his family drinking alcohol for many years when this happened with the tea. It really made me realize what I had been doing when I was the one on the other side of the fence, doing something that someone else deemed sinful that I thought was perfectly fine.

My question is, do Mormons view drinking caffeine sinful to the degree that many non-Catholic Christians view drinking alcohol, or is it more in line with their view of overeating? In other words, for lack of a better term, is it considered a big sin or a little sin? Just curious. Not to debate, but even though caffeine is a stimulate, I can't see it being in the league with alcohol since drinking it in excess doesn't destroy lives like alcohol can. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,278 posts, read 20,889,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
My question is, do Mormons view drinking caffeine sinful to the degree that many non-Catholic Christians view drinking alcohol, or is it more in line with their view of overeating? In other words, for lack of a better term, is it considered a big sin or a little sin? Just curious. Not to debate, but even though caffeine is a stimulate, I can't see it being in the league with alcohol since drinking it in excess doesn't destroy lives like alcohol can. Thanks!
That's an interesting question. I've had people ask me a lot of questions over the years ago out health code (which is called "the Word of Wisdom") but I've never heard that exact question before. Before I try to answer it, let me just give you a little bit of background on the subject.

Strictly speaking, the Word of Wisdom doesn't even mention "caffeine" per se. When the "Word of Wisdom" was revealed to Joseph Smith in 1838, it said, "hot drinks are not for the body." I guess the question must have come up quite early on as to what was meant by "hot drinks" because almost from the beginning the Church leadership interpreted this as specifically referring to tea and coffee. There has never been any actual explanation given as to why tea and coffee were to be avoided, but most people have assumed that it was because they both contained caffeine. As time went by, iced tea became popular, but practicing Mormons avoided it because tea was tea and the Word of Wisdom had been clearly interpreted by the Church leadership as prohibiting tea and coffee. Caffeinated soda came upon the scene much later, and since it was neither tea nor coffee, it was easy enough for people to justify drinking caffeinated sode because "caffeine" is not prohibited in the Word of Wisdom. A lot of Mormons won't drink anything that has caffeine in it. Others do. (I credit myself with almost single-handedly keeping the Coca-Cola company in business and am drinking a bottle of Diet Coke as I'm typing this answer. )

The Word of Wisdom specifically prohibits "hot drinks," "strong drinks" and "tobacco." I've just explained how "hot drinks" has been interpreted. "Strong drinks" has been interpreted to mean "alcoholic beverages." Tobacco is... tobacco, in any form. Remember that the Word of Wisdom is first and foremost, a health code. While it mentions hot drinks, strong drinks and tobacco, it doesn't even alude to methamphetamines or cocaine, but I can guarantee you that no member of the Church who admitted to using these substances would be thought of as obeying the Word of Wisdom. It's really pretty much a matter of common sense, and recognizing that the whole point of the commandment is to help us maintain good health. The Word of Wisdom does not just tell us what we should avoid; it also encourages us to eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, and to eat meat "sparingly." Technically, anyone who does not obey the advice on what they should be eating is breaking the Word of Wisdom, too, but people tend to pay more attention to the "thou shalt nots" than to the "thou shalts."

Now, with respect to your actual question, even though drinking tea or coffee would be considered to be "breaking the Word of Wisdom" just as much as drinking alcohol would, we definitely recognize which of these substances would do the most harm to the human body and which poses the greater threat to society as a whole. So, while a member of the Church who drank coffee would be encouraged to try to stop, it would not be considered as serious a problem as if he drank alcohol. If drinking coffee were continued to be as serious as drinking alcohol, it would be because drinking either one would constitute disobedience to a law we believe to have been divinely instituted. It would not be because we see them as having equally serious consequences. Does that make sense?

Last edited by Katzpur; 04-26-2010 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Katzpur, thanks for the info. That's very interesting and makes a lot of sense!
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Good advice




( Is BACON ok ? )
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,278 posts, read 20,889,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakback View Post
Good advice




( Is BACON ok ? )
D&C 89:12 "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanskgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly."

Two thin slices only.
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:49 PM
 
5,500 posts, read 4,417,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
D&C 89:12 "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanskgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly."

Two thin slices only.
Kat...you always manage to make my day with a big grin...

i.e. "you can try that on this post"...HAHAHA!
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,390,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
That's an interesting question. I've had people ask me a lot of questions over the years ago out health code (which is called "the Word of Wisdom") but I've never heard that exact question before. Before I try to answer it, let me just give you a little bit of background on the subject.

Strictly speaking, the Word of Wisdom doesn't even mention "caffeine" per se. When the "Word of Wisdom" was revealed to Joseph Smith in 1838, it said, "hot drinks are not for the body." I guess the question must have come up quite early on as to what was meant by "hot drinks" because almost from the beginning the Church leadership interpreted this as specifically referring to tea and coffee. There has never been any actual explanation given as to why tea and coffee were to be avoided, but most people have assumed that it was because they both contained caffeine. As time went by, iced tea became popular, but practicing Mormons avoided it because tea was tea and the Word of Wisdom had been clearly interpreted by the Church leadership as prohibiting tea and coffee. Caffeinated soda came upon the scene much later, and since it was neither tea nor coffee, it was easy enough for people to justify drinking caffeinated sode because "caffeine" is not prohibited in the Word of Wisdom. A lot of Mormons won't drink anything that has caffeine in it. Others do. (I credit myself with almost single-handedly keeping the Coca-Cola company in business and am drinking a bottle of Diet Coke as I'm typing this answer. )

The Word of Wisdom specifically prohibits "hot drinks," "strong drinks" and "tobacco." I've just explained how "hot drinks" has been interpreted. "Strong drinks" has been interpreted to mean "alcoholic beverages." Tobacco is... tobacco, in any form. Remember that the Word of Wisdom is first and foremost, a health code. While it mentions hot drinks, strong drinks and tobacco, it doesn't even alude to methamphetamines or cocaine, but I can guarantee you that no member of the Church who admitted to using these substances would be thought of as obeying the Word of Wisdom. It's really pretty much a matter of common sense, and recognizing that the whole point of the commandment is to help us maintain good health. The Word of Wisdom does not just tell us what we should avoid; it also encourages us to eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, and to eat meat "sparingly." Technically, anyone who does not obey the advice on what they should be eating is breaking the Word of Wisdom, too, but people tend to pay more attention to the "thou shalt nots" than to the "thou shalts."

Now, with respect to your actual question, even though drinking tea or coffee would be considered to be "breaking the Word of Wisdom" just as much as drinking alcohol would, we definitely recognize which of these substances would do the most harm to the human body and which poses the greater threat to society as a whole. So, while a member of the Church who drank coffee would be encouraged to try to stop, it would not be considered as serious a problem as if he drank alcohol. If drinking coffee were continued to be as serious as drinking alcohol, it would be because drinking either one would constitute disobedience to a law we believe to have been divinely instituted. It would not be because we see them as having equally serious consequences. Does that make sense?
This is probably a stupid question but as you know Kats are very curious creatures by nature....

Do Mormons then see people who are overweight (or underweight for that matter) or have health problems as having broken the Word of Wisdom?
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 5,961,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
D&C 89:12 "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanskgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly."

Two thin slices only.

The bolded words are very wise indeed.

It's my belief that recieving in thanksgiving to our creator, is the key.

When I forget that something like a chocolate chip cookie is in fact God's gift, but rather something I demand, or expect, or believe I'm entitled to, then it is subject to abuse and seperates me from God and neighbor. I could not rightly eat 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies, all the while thanking God as chocolate dripped down my chest


(except for BACON)
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,278 posts, read 20,889,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
This is probably a stupid question but as you know Kats are very curious creatures by nature....
I believe curiosity is said to have killed the kat. It doesn't really matter, though, until you hit life #9; then it can become a real issue.

Quote:
Do Mormons then see people who are overweight (or underweight for that matter) or have health problems as having broken the Word of Wisdom?
Actually, you'd almost never see this happen. Personally, I see the opposite happening more often. I've heard very obese people be critical of someone who has an occasional drink, while ignoring the fact that the excess 150 pounds they're hauling around is probably hurting their health far more than the twice a year glass of wine their neighbor may have. Isn't hypocrisy a wonderful thing?
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,278 posts, read 20,889,434 times
Reputation: 9959
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakback View Post
The bolded words are very wise indeed.

It's my belief that recieving in thanksgiving to our creator, is the key.

When I forget that something like a chocolate chip cookie is in fact God's gift, but rather something I demand, or expect, or believe I'm entitled to, then it is subject to abuse and seperates me from God and neighbor. I could not rightly eat 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies, all the while thanking God as chocolate dripped down my chest


(except for BACON)
That's kind of funny, really, because we Mormons are real sticklers for saying grace at mealtimes. A lot of times when we have social activites where only refreshments are served, we make a point to have a prayer before anyone starts going down on the cheesecake. When we ask God to help this food to nourish and strengthen our bodies, you have to wonder if He's thinking, "Heck, no!"
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