Latter-day Saint Life

Did the LDS Church Officially 'OK' Caffeine?

Did the Church just make an (un)official announcement saying it's okay to drink caffeine? 

Two days ago the LDS Church Newsroom Blog published a story responding to NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, clarifying the statement made on caffeine. The original post said "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond [tea and coffee]."

Yesterday the blog was tweaked to soften the wording, saying that "the church revelation spelling out health practices ... does not mention the use of caffeine."

Church spokesman Scott Trotter told The Salt Lake Tribune the wording was changed simply to "to clarify its intent, which was to provide context to the NBC piece."

So what does this mean for Mormons and Coke? 

It's been a long and heated debate among members on whether or not caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. President Gordon B. Hinckley told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine, apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote that it violated the spirit of the Word of Wisdom, and even BYU campuses don't sell it.

But this doesn't stop Mormons from drinking it. It's served in the Church's Joseph Smith Memorial Building and other restaurants on Temple Square. Also, according to an excerpt from "David O McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism," President David O. McKay once requested a soda; he was told that all they had were Coca-Cola glasses, but that another soda would be served in it, to which he responded he didn't care what was on the cup, as long as there was Coke IN the cup.

This is a touchy topic - many Mormons will stick to their belief of no caffeine, while others might take this as a blessing to drink Mountain Dew. What do you think? Has the Church just given members the okay to drink caffeine? Take our poll and leave a comment below.

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content