From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville stake
Subject: Getting it right on Coke and Pepsi
Recently there has been some public debate over whether or not the LDS Church permits its members to drink caffeinated soft drinks. I recently read this thoughtful explanation in the FAQ section on a church approved website:
What is the Word of Wisdom?
--The Word of Wisdom is an inspired "ahead of its time" revelation from the Lord that has protected the members' health for generations.
Do Mormons take the entire revelation literally?
Do the Mormons avoid eating "too much meat" as instructed in the Word of Wisdom?
--Well, maybe not that literally.
How about the part about "moderation in all things?"
May they use alcohol or tobacco for "medicinal purposes" as the revelation states?
--Not unless they want to be damned.
What part of the Word of Wisdom do Mormons obey?
--Members abstain from tobacco, alcohol and hot drinks.
How do the Mormons interpret "hot drinks?
--"Hot drinks" are taken to mean tea and coffee.
So caffeinated drinks?
--No, the Word of Wisdom says nothing about caffeine. It only prohibits "hot drinks."
Are Mormons allowed to drink caffeinated soft drinks?
--Yes. Soft drinks are cold.
Then iced coffee and iced tea are allowed?
--Only if they're laced with high fructose corn syrup.
If the issue is temperature and not caffeine, why is it that I see so many Mormons drinking hot chocolate?
--Probably because it's so fattening.
Why don't the Brethren issue a statement saying unequivocally that caffeinated soft drinks are permitted?
--The Brethren don't want to say that caffeinated soft drinks are okay because that would sound as though they approve. On the other hand, if they say they're off limits, it might imply that the Brethren don't let the members make a single decision for themselves.
So caffeinated soft drinks are in league with PG movies, colored dress shirts, bermuda shorts and registering to vote as an Independent?
--Yes. In fact caffeinated soft drinks are available for sale in the restaurants at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and at The Lion House.
But not at BYU?
No. There's no demand at BYU.
Why is that?
Because if a BYU student were ever to be seen drinking a caffeinated Coke, he would be judged by his classmates, shunned by his ward, and never be able to get a another date.
If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll assume you're one of those Mormons who parades around in bermuda shorts.