Hot drinks

What are considered hot drinks?
Tea and coffee. “Hot drinks [defined as tea and coffee] are not for the body.” (E.T. Benson, Ensign, May 1983).

To what does “tea” refer?

“I have heard it argued that tea and coffee are not mentioned therein; that is very true; but what were the people in the habit of taking as hot drinks when that revelation was given? Tea and coffee. We were not in the habit of drinking water very hot, but tea and coffee—the beverages in common use” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 182).

Tea as it is was consumed in the days of the early Saints, as it is today, was an infusion of the leaves, buds and internodes of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). Teas derived from this plant include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, congou tea, pekoe tea, orange pekoe tea and souchong tea. They are available under numerous brand and product names.

Are diet supplements that contain green tea against the Word of Wisdom
The Word of Wisdom specifically states hot drinks. It does not specify ingredients that make up those hot drinks. While many prophets since Brigham Young have clarified that hot drinks means tea and coffee, they have not said that the coffee bean or the tea leaves are in violation of the Word of Wisdom (or at least not so far as I can tell). However, that being said, iced tea is also against the Word of Wisdom, so it appears that the temperature of the drink is irrelevant. One interpretation of the hot drinks portion of the Word of Wisdom could specify only the drink form.

Are herbal teas against the Word of Wisdom?
Herbal teas are not infusions of parts of the tea plant. They are infusions of other herbs, fruits and flowers.

Is caffeine the reason tea and coffee restricted?
Not necessarily. The Lord has never said that we are to abstain from tea and coffee because of the caffeine. In fact, He has never said what the physical reason is. We are to abstain from them because it is a commandment and because they “are not for the body” (D&C 89:9).

Is decaffeinated tea or decaffeinated coffee fine to drink?
As above, caffeine has never been revealed as the reason why we are not to partake of tea and coffee. The revelation has only been interpreted as coffee and tea. Period.

Does tea include “iced tea”?
Iced tea is still an infusion of the plant mentioned above, except where the drink is derived from other sources (herbs, fruits and flowers).

Are cola drinks prohibited in the Word of Wisdom?
No. But leaders have encouraged us not to partake of them.

“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” (Priesthood Bulletin, Feb 1972).

Isn’t herbal tea just decaffeinated tea?
No. Herbal tea is not created from the tea plant.

Are all herbal teas then fine to drink without fear of breaking the Word of Wisdom?
No. Some do contain parts of the tea plant. Care should be taken when purchasing herbal teas to read the list of ingredients.

What about other hot drinks?
It has been said that drinking beverages of high temperatures can cause damage to the lining of the mouth, esophagus and stomach. However, “hot drinks” only refers to tea and coffee.

What were the people in the habit of taking as hot drinks when that revelation was given? Tea and coffee. We were not in the habit of drinking water very hot, but tea and coffee—the beverages in common use” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 182).

Is chocolate against the Word of Wisdom?

At no time has cocoa or chocolate been included in the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom, and at no time has the Church said that cocoa is as harmful as coffee. Those who make these claims do so on their own responsibility, and obviously without knowing the facts of the matter (Elder Mark E. Peterson, Patterns for Living [Bookcraft, 1962], pp. 235-37).

Are tea tree oil products made from the same plant as green tea?
Tea tree oil is derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.

85 thoughts on “Hot drinks

  1. SRR, apparently you are some sort of prophet yourself. You know my thoughts and my heart and we’ve never even met. You wrote, ” And I simply won’t accept that tried and true deception that somehow God told you that blacks are inferior and did not deserve the priesthood. He did not tell you that. You convinced yourself to believe it or the rest of your testimony would be threated. You don’t have to believe in things that are not true to accept the things that are true. Give up on the blacks and the priesthood. It was a big mistake and nothing else.” I tell you that I have had the Spirit of the Lord repeatedly testify to me that Joseph and Brigham were His prophets and that they did want He wanted. I did not lie to myself to keep my testimony. But your anger has kept from ever feeling the Spirit. You are a child of our Heavenly Father just as beloved as I am or anyone is. I hope that you can eventually lose the anger and pain in your heart so that you can feel the love of God in your heart. And by the way, I never said nor ever thought that blacks were inferior to anyone. Those were your words. You really are an expert at twisting words.

  2. You are a liar if you accept that it was God’s will that blacks be denied the Priesthood. Brigham Young borrowed the concept from the Southern evangelical churches. A concept created to justify enslaving black Africans. That is the truth. You can bear your testimony all you want to me. It means nothing more to me than the two FLDS men bearing testimony to me that Warren Jeffs is a true prophet. They are just words. I have the truth on my side regarding blacks and the priesthood. The modern Church itself denounces this policy. It makes me sick to my stomach when members of the Church hang on to this policy as God’s will. It was never of God. Period. Stop lying to people about it. It is fine to lie to yourself, but stop to lying to others about it. That is the reason it last for over 130 years. Because people kept the lie alive because they could not accept that Brigham Young made a mistake.

    And as far twisting words, if you accept that God commanded Brigham Young to deny the Priesthood to African Blacks and accept that Brigham Young did not make a mistake in this area, before you decide whether you are racist or not, read what Brigham Young said about it in General Conference. It is so disgusting and so not of God. So yes, I doubt very much that God whispered to you that it was true. God does not tell lies.

    • I do believe. That is why I know that God does not lie. And God would not tell a prophet something false like African blacks are not allowed to hold the priesthood. And I doubt seriously that a someone that speaks for God would say the horrible things that were preached from the pulpit about African blacks by Brigham Young.

  3. Also, SRR, just because you haven’t experienced the Spirit of the Lord and the love of God, doesn’t mean I haven’t. I am not lying.

    • If you are stating that God told you that what Brigham Young said about African Blacks and Priesthood was true, then you are a liar. The spirit of the Lord did not whisper that to you because the Lord does not lie. Why is it so hard just to admit that the priesthood ban and the awful things said about blacks by Brigham Young are simply wrong. That is what the Church itself states today. What is so hard about accepting that our leaders sometimes make mistakes.

      • SRR, once again, you have either not read my post or are trying to purposely misstate what I have said. I have at no time said that I believe what Brigham Young said about blacks and the priesthood. The priesthood ban was right. The reasons people may have thought the Lord did ban ordination were wrong. And the Church has NOT said that the ban was not from God. It has disavowed any teaching that the ban was because of the curse of Cain. It also for many decades (long before 1978) also made it clear that black people were denied the priesthood because of something they did or did not do in their premortal lives. Elder Bruce McConkie of the Twelve stated publicly, “Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President
        George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and
        precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more”

        And I really doubt that you believe in God. A disciple of God would not be so full of hate and vitriol as you are.

        • I do believe in God. I just no longer believe in people that cover things up or continue to perpetuate lies and mistakes of the past.

          The reason I am so contention about this issue is that it is so clearly racial in nature and born in the times and conditions under which Brigham Young developed his opinions and views. I don’t blame him for his view. But I do blame him for imposing his view on the Church. And that is what happened. You can wrap it up anyway you want to justify it. But there is no justification. Brigham Young made LDS members racists for over 130 years and that racism still exists today because members still believe the ban was of God and that somehow African Blacks did something in the pre-existence that made them somehow unworthy to hold the priesthood until the ban was lifted in 1978. You rightly distance yourself from the racism, but you still hold onto the divinity of the Priesthood ban and you still believe that God ordained the ban. I don’t believe that and it does not make me a bad person. Nor does in translate into a disbelief in God. I just refuse to accept something that is clearly a lie that is continuing to be perpetuated even today. Brigham Young had a lot of doctrinal beliefs that are rejected to day. It does not make him any less of leader. It just makes him human.

          I will not stop until the Church fully apologizes for this travesty. The Southern Baptists, who by all rights are the ones that invented it, have fully apologized and state clearly that it was to justify enslaving others and still remain in the good grace of God. Their leaders made a bad mistake and they have apologized for it. It does not erase what happened, but I can certainly move forward with that type of apology. The Mormon Church needs to do the same.

          And the fact that you still justify the Priesthood ban was of God, simply does not work for me. And by the way, Bruce R McConkies’ books are not held in high regard anymore. If you still consider him a seer and revelator, you need to do some real reading about what the First Presidency has said about his books and some of his very strange views of doctrine. So throwing his name out as support of your opinion weakened your argument in my mind.

          You simply cannot stomach someone taking an adverse opinion on a subject that most Saints simply leave alone. And it is fully within my right as a human to disagree with you on a subject I am very passionate about. And a subject that I have researched extensively, not only in the Mormon Church but in other American evangelical churches that employed similar positions regarding African blacks. I was so surprised to learn that it was really just a southern American thing. From there I read everything I could on the subject. And I am firm in my conclusions that it was never a divine action. God did not tell Brigham Young to deny the priesthood to blacks. Brigham Young did that all on his own.

          So I don’t why you think I don’t believe in God. Because I question some of the things that happened in the past? That I firmly reject the Priesthood ban in all shapes and forms? That I am concerned that Joseph Smith entered into some very questionable marriages. I can accept that Joseph Smith was a mortal man and that Brigham Young was a mortal man. And they can make mistakes. And they did make mistakes. It does not erase all the good that they did. I just want to stop lying about our past and say, yes, those things were wrong and let’s move forward.

          • Many LDS still believe the priesthood ban was of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brigham Young was simply a racist and imposed his views on the Church. What a travesty. Dozens of generations of LDS were influenced by this false position and even though it was rescinded in 1978, many Saints continue to believe in the original divinity of the ban. What a shame. And the Mormon Church could put an end to that nonsense by fully apologizing for this error of history.

            And you are one of those Saints that is holding on to a false narrative. We cannot change the world without accepting the failures of the past. You blame me for my position because you still believe in the divinity of the priesthood ban. You are the one in the wrong here, not me. And you are too proud to admit it.

  4. Sorry I haven’t gotten back with you, SRR. I have been busy with higher priority matters in my life.

    SRR wrote: “And the fact that you still justify the Priesthood ban was of God, simply does not work for me. And by the way, Bruce R McConkies’ books are not held in high regard anymore. If you still consider him a seer and revelator, you need to do some real reading about what the First Presidency has said about his books and some of his very strange views of doctrine. So throwing his name out as support of your opinion weakened your argument in my mind.”

    I am with you on Bruce McConkie. There are many things he wrote which I disagree with. My point in quoting him is that if he with his inaccurate view on the subject of the priesthood ban, even he said for everyone to forget about all that was taught before. And he cited a New Testament precedent.

    SRR wrote: “You simply cannot stomach someone taking an adverse opinion on a subject that most Saints simply leave alone. And it is fully within my right as a human to disagree with you on a subject I am very passionate about. . . . So I don’t why you think I don’t believe in God. Because I question some of the things that happened in the past?”

    There you go again. You are claiming to know what I am thinking and believing. I don’t have any problem with anyone having an opinion which is contrary to my own. Educated people can do that. I consider myself and intellectual. But a true intellectual realizes that not all can explained by the human intellect. I true God for the rest because He knows all things. He also loves me and all His children with a perfect love knowing exactly what each of us need to move along to the happiness and fulfilment He wishes for each of us. As for your passion, you have the right to be passionate. But if you are a follower of Christ, you would not use such tactics. you say you believe in God. Do you believe in Christ? I questioned your believe in God because you don’t seem to follow Him in the tactics you employ as you argue your points.

    SRR: ” just want to stop lying about our past and say, yes, those things were wrong and let’s move forward.”

    I am not lying about them. And whatever God commands is right. Period. I’m moving forward. Apparently you aren’t. President Hinckley liked to say, “People can leave the Church. But they can’t leave it alone.”

    SRR: “And you are one of those Saints that is holding on to a false narrative. We cannot change the world without accepting the failures of the past. You blame me for my position because you still believe in the divinity of the priesthood ban. You are the one in the wrong here, not me. And you are too proud to admit it.”

    Again, it’s not a false narrative. I believe the worse thing that this country has ever done was black African slavery. I admit that and agree that without accepting that truth, our country can’t move on. You say I blame you for your position. What blame? I don’t understand this statement at all. I haven’t blamed you for anything. If I believed that the ban was not of God, I would not be too proud to admit it. I promise. And if you knew me, you’d know that’s a true statement.

    But we’ve come to an empasse. I will no longer comment on this issue or to you, SRR. I wish you well and much happiness.

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