Jump to content
MorningStar

Explaining the Word of Widsom

Recommended Posts

MorningStar    2,701

I have a new friend who can be rather opinionated at times and I walked away feeling really irritated the other night.  I don't mind when people have misconceptions about our beliefs, but when I try to explain and they insist that they are right, that drives me nuts!  She made this comment that I didn't 100% follow my religion because I eat chocolate.  I said, "We can eat chocolate."  "No, because of caffeine."  "We can have caffeine."  "You're not supposed to have mind altering drugs."  "Caffeine isn't a mind altering drug."  "Yes it is."

Would you all consider caffeine a mind altering drug?  What the heck.  So bizarre when people try to hold us to a higher standard than the church expects of us.  Ugh.  I explained a bit about how there were church members who assumed the prohibition against tea and coffee was about caffeine, but it was about those specific "hot drinks".  She asked if I have iced coffee.  No, I don't.  I avoid all coffee and anything with tea leaves.  It can't just be about the temperature of the drink or else we wouldn't have hot chocolate or soup.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
rpn    1,233

I do consider caffeine to be a mood (not "mind") altering substance ---- how can you not when so many people you know can't function without it in the mornings?

But I don't see that "mood altering substance" is part of the word of wisdom either.   It might be part of the spirit of the word of wisdom IF you believe the word of wisdom to be all about diet and health.   I understand the health promises, but  I'm not persuaded that it IS or ever was a health code.   I'm not even sure that the reason God wants us not to do certain things, is the same for everyone.    Maybe the word of wisdom is simply that conspiring men would take over and encourage things that would waste resources,  and create addictions that would undermine moderation.   Maybe it is simply a way to designate His people.

Share this post


Link to post
MorningStar    2,701

Agreed, rpn.  I avoid caffeine because it's addictive, but I do eat chocolate sometimes, but I don't have to start every single day with chocolate in order to function.   I've also read things about coffee and tea being a waste of space when life-sustaining food could be grown there, such as cocoa beans for life-sustaining chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, brownies, etc..  

I've had friends say they thought I wasn't allowed to drink pop at all, but they accepted it when I told them that wasn't true.  I do choose not to drink pop though.  I've cut out fast food for the most part and pop for over five years now because we don't have to be commanded in all things.  :)  That's what I felt the need to do for myself.  

Share this post


Link to post
Amulek    196
40 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

She made this comment that I didn't 100% follow my religion because I eat chocolate.

None of us follow our religion 100%, but thankfully abstaining from chocolate isn't something we have been asked to do. I mean, what kind of God would give us back bacon only to take away chocolate in return? /shudder

 

44 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

I said, "We can eat chocolate."  "No, because of caffeine."  "We can have caffeine."  "You're not supposed to have mind altering drugs."  "Caffeine isn't a mind altering drug."  "Yes it is."

I usually tell people that the notion that we are to abstain from caffeine is largely a misconception, resulting more from tradition than actual commandment. However, we have been counseled to avoid consuming habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in us becoming addicted. Based on the amount of caffeine in chocolate, you would have to be eating an unhealthy amount of chocolate every day in order to become addicted. I doubt that is a problem for most people though.

Incidentally, if it really is against our religion, then somebody should tell our Bishop to stop handing out king size candy bars for Mother's Day. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
thesometimesaint    4,765
39 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

Agreed, rpn.  I avoid caffeine because it's addictive, but I do eat chocolate sometimes, but I don't have to start every single day with chocolate in order to function.   I've also read things about coffee and tea being a waste of space when life-sustaining food could be grown there, such as cocoa beans for life-sustaining chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, brownies, etc..  

I've had friends say they thought I wasn't allowed to drink pop at all, but they accepted it when I told them that wasn't true.  I do choose not to drink pop though.  I've cut out fast food for the most part and pop for over five years now because we don't have to be commanded in all things.  :)  That's what I felt the need to do for myself.  

A day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
rayhale    8

The Word of Wisdom can be confusing. We get the Word of Wisdom from Doctrine & Covenants Section 89. We all know about no drinking alcohol, tobacco, (leaf) tea, coffee, but we either forget or don't know that the Word of Wisdom keeps going. Verses 10-17 talk about eating herbs, eating meat sparingly, in verse 17 it says that we should eat wheat. I've yet heard any Conference talk that is about the Word of Wisdom talks about not drinking alcohol, smoke, or even not to drink coffee, or (leaf) tea, but leaves out any, and all mention of wheat, herbs, or meat, leaving me wondering if those items are still considered in the Word of Wisdom, and we should eat if not exclusively, then mostly, wheat. I also wonder why the Word of Wisdom hasn't updated to modern times.

Share this post


Link to post
thesometimesaint    4,765
17 minutes ago, rayhale said:

The Word of Wisdom can be confusing. We get the Word of Wisdom from Doctrine & Covenants Section 89. We all know about no drinking alcohol, tobacco, (leaf) tea, coffee, but we either forget or don't know that the Word of Wisdom keeps going. Verses 10-17 talk about eating herbs, eating meat sparingly, in verse 17 it says that we should eat wheat. I've yet heard any Conference talk that is about the Word of Wisdom talks about not drinking alcohol, smoke, or even not to drink coffee, or (leaf) tea, but leaves out any, and all mention of wheat, herbs, or meat, leaving me wondering if those items are still considered in the Word of Wisdom, and we should eat if not exclusively, then mostly, wheat. I also wonder why the Word of Wisdom hasn't updated to modern times.

Hopefully we've developed the wisdom to use it wisely.

Share this post


Link to post
Kenngo1969    4,649

I wouldn't be able to get through most of my workdays without a couple of Diet Mountain Dews ... ;)  If that makes me a heretic, so be it. :D  (If I happen to run low on my own supply, or if my workplace happens to run out, and if I don't happen to have an opening in my schedule which will facilitate a trip to the store to replenish my personal supply, I don't dissolve in panic or succumb to tremors and/or to splitting headaches ...  I can go a day, or two, or three without it ... perhaps lethargically, but I can. :D  That's one f the advantages of having a job which, although it is mind-numbingly boring, once one learns how to do it, he can do it while he's half-comatose. :rofl:)

I don't have any sources, but when one of the other Brethren pointed out to President McKay that he was drinking out of a Coke cup and people might get the wrong impression, he said, "I don't care what it says on the cup, as long as there is Coke in the cup."  On another occasion, when chocolate candies which may have contained minute amounts of alcohol were consumed, President McKay was the first to partake.

There's a vast "gray area" in the Word of Wisdom as to what it says should or should not be ingested.  It's certainly possible that one's personal Word of Wisdom may include a prohibition on things that would not necessarily be a problem for the general population of people who are under covenant to obey it.  For example, the Word of Wisdom may not prohibit a certain thing or things to which a particular member would  be allergic, but "wisdom" probably would dictate that that member include a prohibition on such things in his personal Word of Wisdom.

The only thing which irritates me slightly is when someone tries to make his personal Word of Wisdom binding on the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole.  As a general rule, would heavily moderating, or perhaps even ceasing altogether, one's intake of chocolate, or of caffeinated soda, or of something else which the Word of Wisdom, by its terms, does not expressly prohibit, be a good idea?  In individual cases, perhaps.  If one's body, or if the Holy Spirit, is telling him to do such a thing, more power to him.  But that personal revelation is not binding on the Church of Jesus Christ.

Edited by Kenngo1969

Share this post


Link to post
JLHPROF    7,204

Caffeine is not against the word of wisdom.  Your friend can read D&C 89 if they doubt that.

That being said, if our bodies have a dependency on  a drug (especially one that isn't medically necessary) that could be seen as a violation of what the Lord has said.

 

Share this post


Link to post
MorningStar    2,701
48 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

They sell Coke Zero- cafeinated-  in the LA Temple.

Case closed.

Of course someone might have ordered it by mistake. 

It doesn't mean zero caffeine?  Oh, that's right.  Zero sugar.  Zero happiness.  

Share this post


Link to post
MorningStar    2,701

My friend's husband won't eat any baked goods that have vanilla extract because vanilla extract has alcohol in it. Seriously.  

Share this post


Link to post
Maidservant    736

When Heavenly Father (or one of his delegates) asked me if I wanted to do another round of Earth life, I said, "Sure--my parameters are toilet paper, blue jeans, netflix, chocolate, post it notes, internet banking, Goo Goo Dolls, and bbq pork."  Gabriel cocked his eyebrow a bit and said dryly, "I'll let Him know.  You do know that narrows it down a bit?"  I just smiled.

Share this post


Link to post
Jeanne    2,560
4 hours ago, MorningStar said:

My friend's husband won't eat any baked goods that have vanilla extract because vanilla extract has alcohol in it. Seriously.  

This reminds me of working in a store and stocking the baking aisle...everyday I would find empty bottles of vanilla on the shelf...someone was getting quite a fix.  Yuck!!

Share this post


Link to post
strappinglad    2,021

I'm with rayhale on this. Less emphasis on the ' thou shalt nots' and more on the ' thou shalts. ' . That said, my spouse is allergic to wheat. Trust me when I say it is way more difficult to live comfortably without any wheat products than coffee ones. The apparent obesity epidemic in North America should be of concern as well as diabetes, so ease up on that 2 lb box of chocolate you consume daily. Now if it is 2 lbs of ice cream .... we will agree to look the other way. ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
bluebell    14,876

Did you ask her where it says that mormons can't have 1) mind-altering drugs and 2) that caffeine is a mind-altering drug?  

Share this post


Link to post
mrmarklin    65

There is an article in Consumer Reports this month extolling the health benefits of coffee. There are some cautions, but overall, coffee is apparently good for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Duncan    3,568

My dentist is a long time friend of mine and a  member, he told me that I could eat or drink whatever I wanted as he wanted to go to Costa Rica this year for vacation, so I am followed his advice hashtagdollardrinkdaysatmcdonaldswhichisacrossthestreetwhichiswhyimovedhere

Share this post


Link to post
sunstoned    803
8 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Caffeine is not against the word of wisdom.  Your friend can read D&C 89 if they doubt that.

That being said, if our bodies have a dependency on  a drug (especially one that isn't medically necessary) that could be seen as a violation of what the Lord has said.

 

This is true.  Caffeine has come up in Mormon folklore as a way to justify the ban on the morning beverages of Coffee and Tea.   Of course caffeine is a common ingredient of both. But it is also found in over the counter medicines, chocolate, and soft drinks.  When you read the revelation on the word of wisdom, caffeine is not mentioned, but then again neither is coffee or tea.  If you believe the D&C is inspired, then the word of wisdom is not given as a commandment.  That came much later by a Prohibition era prophet who had an agenda.  He could not provide a revelation to counter the original D&C revelation.  So, we are stuck with elevating certain parts of the Word of Wisdom (coffee, tea, strong drinks, and mild drinks of barley (beer) ) to commandment status, and the rest of it (eat meat sparely, etc.) we just forget about.

Share this post


Link to post
Atheist Mormon    135
10 hours ago, MorningStar said:

Would you all consider caffeine a mind altering drug? 

RU kidding? You ask this like you never zapped by Caffeine. Every morning drink my coffee I can almost see the billions of neurons rushing in my brain.

Share this post


Link to post
MorningStar    2,701
2 hours ago, Atheist Mormon said:

RU kidding? You ask this like you never zapped by Caffeine. Every morning drink my coffee I can almost see the billions of neurons rushing in my brain.

I've had caffeinated pop a few times and never felt anything.  Maybe it doesn't have the much?  

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×