Word of Wisdom, Official Statements

FairMormon Staff

Word of Wisdom Official Statements

Church Handbook of Instructions:

Word of Wisdom

The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee.

Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician.

Priesthood Bulletin of February 1972 (volume 8, number 1):

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.”

Church Headquarters Public Affairs:

“The Church’s health code called the Word of Wisdom, is contained in a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The revelation prohibits the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages (‘strong drink’) and ‘hot drinks’ … The only official interpretation of the term ‘hot drinks’ as used in the revelation is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term means tea and coffee.

“On questions not specifically addressed by Church teachings, members are expected to exercise wisdom in applying the principles of good health. Soft-drinks containing caffeine fall into the ‘exercise wisdom’ category. They are not specifically restricted, but many Church members voluntarily avoid them.”

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