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
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)