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.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newsroom, “Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right” (August 29, 2012)
Finally, another small correction: Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine. The Church’s health guidelines prohibit alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee.
Alex Beam, Boston Globe, 1/16/2003 in the article “Coca-Cola is OK”
In the interests of accuracy and broadening understanding among the world’s great religions, I conducted an inquiry.
“The Church’s health code,” spokesman Dale Bills e-mailed from Salt Lake City, “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.”