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Dear Gramps,
I was helping my dad bring in some new green tea into the house and he said I could have a case of it. I said “sorry I won’t drink it.” He just looked on and said, “Why not?” I said, “Its against the Word of Wisdom.” We got into a big discusion and he in my opinion justified that it was ok for him to. He then said that I was wrong sense I drink soda. So my question is this if drinking green tea is against the Word of Wisdoom does that mean that drinking Soda is also against the word of wisdom? Because soda is by far more poisonous for our bodies than Green tea. I have read a few of your Q/A already and I have decided for myself that I shouldn’t be drinking green tea, but is my dad correct in
saying that I’m taking the Word of Wisdom, in a way, too far?


Dear Kenneth,

There are three things prohibited by the Word of Wisdom.  They are tobacco, strong drinks and hot drinks.  The Prophet Joseph Smith defined hot drinks to be tea and coffee.  D&C section 89 also gives us counsel of what is good for us and promised blessings when we live in obedience to this commandment.  But, no where in the scriptures or the writings of the Brethren have they said that drinking caffeinated drinks is against the Word of Wisdom.  There are many things that modern science has determined to be harmful to our bodies, including caffeine.  We would be wise to avoid them, but we need to keep in mind what is stated in this commandment and what is not.

The Word of Wisdom is not the only revealed word we have relative to food and drink.  Eighteen months prior to receiving the Word of Wisdom, the Lord revealed the following to Joseph Smith that we can find in D&C 59:  16 “Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;  17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;  18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;  19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.  20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”

Some members of the Church have put their own spin on the Word of Wisdom, but the Word of Wisdom does not prohibit the eating of white bread, things made with white flour, white sugar, cocoa, chocolate, eggs, milk, meat or anything other than strong drink, tobacco, coffee and tea.

We should use wisdom in the things we eat or drink.  People with health problems and various allergies need to refrain from eating certain foods or drinking certain drinks which can be harmful to their bodies.

The Word of Wisdom was 3″ Given for a principle with apromise, adapted to the capacity of the bweak and the weakest of all csaints, who are or can be called saints.”


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