The Word of Wisdom

This is from the May 1972 New Era

Cola Drinks and the Word of Wisdom "The Word of Wisdom, section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, [D&C 89]remains as to terms and specifications as found in that section. There has been no official interpretation of that Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that 'hot drinks' meant tea and coffee.

"With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided."


President Spencer W. Kimball taught:
But the spirit of the Word of Wisdom would be violated by the drinking or eating of anything that contained a habit-forming drug." With reference to the cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken any attitude on this at but I personally do not put them in the class as with the tea and coffee because the Lord specifically mentioned them [the hot drinks]. I might say also that strychnine and sleeping pills and opium and heroin are not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom and yet I would discourage them with all my power.
(The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.202)


President Heber J. Grant taught: 

I am not going to give any command, but I will ask it as a personal, individual favor to me, to let coca-cola alone. There are plenty of other things you can get at the soda fountains without drinking that which is injurious. The Lord does not want you to use any drug that creates an appetite for itself.
(Conference Report, April 1922, p.165)


Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: 

. there are many other substances which have a harmful effect on the human body, though such particular things are not specifically prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. Certainly the partaking of cola drinks, though not included within the measuring standard here set out, is in violation of the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. Harmful drugs of any sort are in a like category.
(Mormon Doctrine, p.845)


Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone taught: 

Speaking of those who rationalize the church's stand on cola drinks, Bishop Featherstone said, "We can find loopholes in a lot of things if we want to bend the rules of the church."
(The Church News, Conference Issues 1970-1987, p.9)


Elder Samuel O. Bennion taught: 

I heard President Grant say, recently, that he would consider it a favor to him, if men and women would abstain from the use of tea and coffee, tobacco, liquor, and coca-cola; that they would have power given them to establish themselves in the faith, and save themselves from debt, sickness, and disease. And he read from the revelations, that the destroying angel would pass them by; and he is a prophet of God.
(Conference Report, April 1922, p.140)


Elder John A. Widtsoe taught: 

Whenever a drink is advertised to "give you a lift," the "lift" is likely to be caused by the drug which it contains. Such soft drinks are decidedly harmful and habit-forming, even though sold by the millions. Such caffeine-containing drinks, offered by every soda fountain and most eating places, and consumed in large quantities, should be known and avoided.
(The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, p.97)


Elder Mark E. Peterson taught: 

And then there are some soft drinks which contain harmful or habit-forming ingredients. The leaders of the Church have not attempted to add to the list of prohibitions in the Word of Wisdom to include all such items, but they teach that in the spirit of the Word of Wisdom, if not in the letter, we should avoid anything which contains ingredients which are harmful and habit forming.
(A Word of Wisdom, p.15)