Should my husband talk to the Bishop about his soda habit?

Should my husband talk to the Bishop about his soda habit?
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Question

Gramps,

My husband is an avid soda drinker. It seems he must have it everyday. And it has to have caffeine. I’ve tried to convince him to go without it for a week but he says he knows he can but he doesn’t want to. I am concerned for him, Is this okay? Should I encourage him to talk to our bishop? Oh, he is a temple worker. Thank you for any suggestions.

Jan

 

Answer

Jan,

The spirit of the Word of Wisdom, of course, is that we abstain from habit-forming  and harmful substances. The Spirit may reveal to specific individuals or families that they should abstain from caffeine. However, abstaining from caffeine is not a requirement for either baptism or temple recommend interviews and use of caffeine is not grounds for church discipline.

 

Gramps

 

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Should my husband talk to the Bishop about his soda habit - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
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My husband is an avid soda drinker. It seems he must have it everyday. And it has to have caffeine. I've tried to convinced him to go without it for a week but he says he knows he can but he doesn't want to.
  • Gordon Lynn Brown

    It is surprising to me that no one has commented on this. I would like to add my personal perspective. Before I launch into this, trust me, I have had my fair share of addictions. When the Lord revealed the Word of Wisdom to Joseph Smith, it was offered in love and concern for us as His children. In this particular instance it appears that there are both spiritual and physical ramification(s). There was even provision for those who were addicted at that time and the Word of Wisdom did not become a commandment until some time later.

    My immediate rhetorical question would be, “Why has the Lord given this as a commandment?” Hopefully, when it comes to the harm alcohol, and tobacco can inflict, the answer is obvious. There is enough scientific evidence to shed considerable light on the harmful constituents in those substances. None-the-less let me ask the obvious rhetorical question, and that is, “What is it in alcohol and tobacco that is harmful to us?

    In the case of tea and coffee, (i.e. hot drinks), the harmful constituent component may not be as obvious. If my memory serves me correctly, in the summer of 1968 the U.S. News and World Report published a two part article on the major drug concerns in the world. In that report the drugs that generated the most concern in the medical community were listed. Can you guess what they were?

    LSD was the number one concern. Anyone who thinks back to that time can pretty well come to that conclusion. The number two and number three greatest concerns may come as a surprise to you. Number two was caffeine. Number three was aspirin. LSD often had acute (immediate or near immediate) effects on the cell structures in the brain. But why would they list caffeine and aspirin?

    At any given time during the day and night there are sub-atomic particles from outer space and from the earth that go crashing through our bodies. Most of the time the particles go right through us. In other instances they are absorbed by the body. In either case there is a potential for one or both of the strands of DNA and RNA to be broken. If the body is in reasonable health a single strand compromise will be healed and the two ends of the broken strand will be rejoined. That is a good thing. If on the other hand, both strings of the DNA or RNA strands are broken and then rejoin in a flip-flop or reverse positions, then it is believed that this can be the beginning of cancer. Obviously not a good thing. Caffeine impedes that ability of the strands to repair themselves. The concern over caffeine was based on the volume of caffeine that occupants of the world consume on a daily basis.

    Just so you will know, Aspirin has the same effect as caffeine. It inhibits the repair of cells at the sub-cellular level.

    I would be the first to agree that there is no commandment that states, “Thus saith the Lord, thou shalt not consume drinks or foods that contain caffeine.” To be on the safe side, why not just hone up to the fact that caffeine is not going to contribute to your long term health.

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