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I know the controversy of whether or not green tea is against the Word of Wisdom, but my question is specifically about a green tea extract called EGCG. I was wondering if I could use as a weight-loss aid?  I think it can contain very small traces of caffeine, if that makes any difference.





Dear Katie,

I think questions about the Word of Wisdom are among the most popular questions we get here. In 1996 during General Conference Boyd K. Packer said,

“Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. It’s well known that tea, coffee, liquor, and tobacco are against it. It has not been spelled out in more detail. Rather, we teach the principle together with the promised blessings. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation.” (The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promise)

His words ring true today. While one can easily nit pick the Word of Wisdom and members can debate what is and isn’t allowed, we often forget the big picture.

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to start a discussion/argument in the Mormon community is to ask if caffeine is forbidden by the Word of Wisdom. Though the members who debate this often mean well, it is my fear that they are being penny wise and dollar foolish.  Regardless of if there is “official doctrine” of what is and isn’t forbidden by the church, it’s never a good idea to run towards the edge of a cliff and look down just because no one told you not to.  You might slip on a stone and fall off the cliff.

Do you really want to test the limits of our obedience, or are we missing the big picture? We can bicker about green tea, energy drinks, caffeinated soda, and decaffeinated coffee but I think we (and you) know the answer. It’s never a good idea to start drinking/eating a substance just because it’s not forbidden.






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