The Slippery Slope: Ask the Bishop (Poll #9)

By: Bishop Bill
October 1, 2011

The Slippery Slope:  Ask the Bishop!  Poll #9

A sister asks to visit with you. She is very distraught. Once in your office, she tells you that last week she drank a can of a new type of fruit juice, and after she drank it, she read the ingredients and saw that it had “Green Tea” in it. She has a temple recommend, and asks you if she is still worthy to use it.

You're the bishop. What do you do? (Poll #9)

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Discuss.

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55 Responses to The Slippery Slope: Ask the Bishop (Poll #9)

  1. Dan on October 1, 2011 at 5:46 AM

    take the temple recommend away from the dastardly sinner of course. :P

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  2. Georgy on October 1, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    I drink green tea all the time!

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  3. Cowboy on October 1, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    I would hold a disciplinary council, revoke her temple recommend, and announce my decision over the pulpit.

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  4. Aaron L on October 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    This isn’t anything a little public humiliation wouldn’t solve. I’d make her wear an oversized T shirt that said, “I drank a little tea by accident” around church for a few weeks. That ought to straighten out this vile apostate.

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  5. NewlyHousewife on October 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    From the husband: “What? All those answers are wrong. If you didn’t know what it had in it, then you are not held accountable. That’s the rule.”

    (I choose the ‘don’t worry about it’ option)

    “And when it comes to the green tea it’s red, white, green, and black that you’re not allowed to have.”

    (Is there such a thing as blue tea?)

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  6. Glass Ceiling on October 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I struggle with this part of the WoW. I have a sleep disorder, and getting caffeine with tea has to be better than soda.

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  7. FireTag on October 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    I am interested in where the connection to caffeine came from historically. We don’t emphasize the WoW the way you do, but the D&C says hot and cold, not caffeinated. I don’t expect to catch flak from the Lord for drinking tea, but if so, it’d probably be for putting too much ice in it. :D

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  8. philomytha on October 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    #5 – Red tea (rooibos) isn’t against the WoW. It’s from a completely different plant than green, white, oolong, and black tea, and is considered an herbal tea.

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  9. Latter-day Guy on October 1, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    @8, More importantly, it’s delicious!

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  10. Paul on October 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    I chose, “…thank her for striving…” mostly because it acknowledges her efforts to be valiant as best she understands.

    In my mission (in Germany) we regularly taught the WoW proscribed “black tea” soas to differentiate from herbal teas, also very common there.

    Some members said, “Tea is tea” and did not drink herbal tea, either. Others drank herbal teas gladly. (I had never heard of green tea in those days.) When we moved to Japan years later, we learned that the Japanese saints seemed to have a secret decoder ring for all the forbidden teas.

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  11. Stephen Marsh on October 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Glass Ceiling — diet creme soda all the way ;)

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  12. Alex T. Valencic on October 1, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    I voted for the tell her not to worry about it, because that’s what I think more members of the church need to do. This goes along with NewlyHousewife’s husband’s comment: if you don’t know, then you can’t be held accountable for it.

    Some members said, “Tea is tea” and did not drink herbal tea, either. Others drank herbal teas gladly.

    Except that herbal tea isn’t a tea at all; it is an infusion. Herbal tea is as much like tea as root beer is like beer or ginger ale is like ale.

    There are many times when I wish that Mormons never found out that there was caffeine in tea and coffee. There is no way that caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom, since it is naturally found in other things we consume (notably chocolate). The WoW says “hot drinks” which has been specified as being coffee and tea. Except for an off-hand comment from Pres. Hinckley during a 60 Minutes interview, I have never heard a leader of the church say that the WoW forbids the consumption of caffeinated beverages.

    Glass Ceiling: Have you tried herbal teas with caffeine added? I know that Celestial Seasonings has a couple of varieties.

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  13. hawkgrrrl on October 2, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    I’ve often wondered if the hot drinks prohibition is because they are hot or maybe because they are expensive as a habit (nowadays that’s true) or perhaps because they were headed out into the wilderness and weren’t going to have ready access to tea and coffee without relying on imports.

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  14. Glass Ceiling on October 2, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    Alex,

    I will check them out.

    The thing is, hot drinks are good for the soul, IMO. So is hot soup. Should we add that to the list?

    I agree that caffeine is irrelevant. But sugar is. Chemical additives are. It is a cumbersome subject that never fails to leave me a little irritated. IMO, the Adventists got us beat on this particular subject.

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  15. Glass Ceiling on October 2, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    But then again, maybe the WoW is SUPPOSED to be a trial of faith. Who knows?

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  16. Gecko on October 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    As her Bishop, I would help her through other regrets she may have. Seems to me this may be more than Tea.

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  17. Mike S on October 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    #13 hawkgrrl: …perhaps because they were headed out into the wilderness and weren’t going to have ready access to tea and coffee without relying on imports.

    Brigham Young gave the pioneers a coffee ration. The early Saints drank coffee and tea as well as beer (a mild barley drink as per the WofW) and wine (even in the temples).

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  18. Mike S on October 2, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    #15 glass ceiling: maybe the WoW is SUPPOSED to be a trial of faith

    The WofW as currently followed is a law of obedience, NOT a law of health.
    - A glass of wine each day is healthy according to essentially every study that has looked at it, yet we proscribe it.
    - And being obese is definitely bad for our health according to thousands of studies, yet we allow it.
    - Societies that drink green tea tend to live longer than other societies, yet some people think we shouldn’t drink it.
    - Iced tea is defined as a “hot drink” yet hot chocolate is not defined as a “hot drink”.
    - Meat is counseled against in the WofW except in times of cold or famine, yet we totally ignore that part of the WofW even though many studies suggest that eating less meat is actually more healthy.
    - I’ve never seen tobacco used for bruising even though we are told to in the WofW

    While no revelation has changed, our interpretation of the WofW has evolved over the years. At the end of the day, however, it has more to do with obedience than health.

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  19. Glass Ceiling on October 2, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Mike,
    Very validating. The thing that concerns me is that it can be a hurdle for babtism and conversion. They ask why, and the answer is often less than satisfactory.

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  20. hawkgrrrl on October 2, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Mike S – The coffee rationing in the trek is why I think that’s behind the enforcement of WoW; because there was a limited supply, and eventually they would run out or have to rely on imports.

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  21. jmb275 on October 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Re FireTag

    I am interested in where the connection to caffeine came from historically. We don’t emphasize the WoW the way you do, but the D&C says hot and cold, not caffeinated. I don’t expect to catch flak from the Lord for drinking tea, but if so, it’d probably be for putting too much ice in it.

    It’s very puzzling I admit. Historically, the most prominent statements came from Hyrum Smith (and one other leader at the time that I cannot recall at the moment) that the term “hot drinks” meant tea and coffee, which were the primary hot drinks of the day. It’s not quite clear to me at what point this became linked to caffeine (if I had to guess, I’d place it at the feet of Heber J Grant who was otherwise responsible for the WoW in its modern form), but at least in modern Mormonism, it is accepted that since caffeine is the primary psycho-stimulant in those beverages, that it is what is being prohibited. Basically, modern Mormons are trying to see “the principle” rather than accepting the revelation for what it says.

    The problem is, the modern church is schizophrenic in relation to caffeine. Pres. McKay loved his diet Coke, and we are regularly reminded that it is only tea and coffee that are proscribed. But BYU and other church owned facilities do not sell caffeinated soda pop. Tea is also a mystery. It has become accepted practice that herbal infusions (herbal teas) are okay, and only teas from the camillia sinensis plant are forbidden (including green, black, white, oolong, etc.). I suspect as to the question of decaf coffee, Mormons might be split. Most will probably “avoid the appearance of evil” but not see anything technically wrong with it (since caffeine is believed to be the real issue). There is no statement on energy drinks (though I suspect more conservative members will renounce them) and I know plenty of members who drink them.

    The thing is, it makes absolutely no sense in its modern interpretation. As Mike S said, it’s really an obedience thing rather than a law of health. My big beef with it all is the way we use it to condemn “the world” and elevate our own (lack of?) health standards which are hardly better than many other groups.

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  22. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Again, how do we explain this madness to new converts without them running away laughing?

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  23. Paul on October 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    #22: What madness? To new converts we say, no coffee or tea, tobacco or alcohol, or illegal drugs. What’s complicated about that?

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  24. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I can never understand why folks have a problem with obedience? Jews who follow the OT dietary laws would tell you they do it out of obedience. They do not try to understand it or explain it away. I imagine Muslims are the same way.

    But we have to over-analyze it, try to rationalize it, bring up the past as some justification and claim not to understand.

    There is much more to the WoW then just the don’ts. How many of us are following the dos?

    It might be a better use of one’s time to try to follow the Dos, then to think up ways to get around the don’ts.

    BTW, if President McKay drank a diet soda from Coca Cola, it was Tab, not Diet Coke. It was introduced in 1982.

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  25. Paul on October 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    24: Jeff, your comment reminds me of our family’s experience after baptism in 1967. My folks were smokers, social drinkers and coffee drinkers. And we all drank Coke.

    The family who introduced us to the chuch were not Coke drinkers, so when my folks gave up the rest, we all gave up Coke, too. But we drank Tab instead, not knowing the caffeine content. When my mother learned of the caffeine in Tab, we cut that out, too. If she’d only know President McKay’s view, she probably wouldn’t have worried. :-)

    (Of course now we drink almost no pop in my house; my wife declares it all bad — diet or not, caffeine or not. If they come up with a high-fibere whole wheat pop, maybe she’ll rethink her position.)

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  26. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I had a friend once who really wanted to join the Church. He was a professional classical guitar player, and practiced about eight hours a day. A cup of coffee was part of this ritual. He was denied baptism because he was not sure if he could maintain the coffee ban long-term.
    He went away offended.

    OTOH, the Church has many members who drink coffee all the time, then temporarily quit when they wanna go to a temple wedding.

    Madness.

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  27. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    “OTOH, the Church has many members who drink coffee all the time, then temporarily quit when they wanna go to a temple wedding.’

    So? Do you think the Lord approves of this type of behavior?

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  28. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Paul, Tab was also advertised in the Improvement Era until someone figured out it had caffeine. That kind of legalism still exists.

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  29. Mai Li on October 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I wonder why God didn’t just say tea and coffee instead of hot drinks (which would have eliminated the confusion about hot chocolate). Everyone at the time certainly knew what tea and coffee were, even if they didn’t know what caffeine was. So why not just name the offending drinks and not leave it open to the interpretation of whomever.

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  30. Will on October 3, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Add one more poll question:

    Tell her not to waste the Bishops time with that type of stuff. His time is already taxed enough dealing with real issues.

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  31. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    “I wonder why God didn’t just say tea and coffee instead of hot drinks”

    He did, through his servent, Hyrum Smith.

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  32. jmb275 on October 3, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Re Glass Ceiling

    Again, how do we explain this madness to new converts without them running away laughing?

    I haven’t the foggiest. I know they have laughed at me when I’ve tried to explain it. See my answer below to Paul…

    Re Paul-

    #22: What madness? To new converts we say, no coffee or tea, tobacco or alcohol, or illegal drugs. What’s complicated about that?

    It’s not complicated at all. It’s the rest of it that comes along for the ride that makes it complicated. You think new converts don’t eventually figure out that there’s no caffeinated beverages at any church functions, or that BYU doesn’t sell them, or perhaps it is brought up by some well-meaning but conservative member in Sunday School? It borders on dishonesty to act like it’s this simple with such strong cultural messages being sent about it. I would be more sympathetic of this if trying to explain it was this simple. Not long ago a carpool buddy asked me about the WoW (he had heard of it). I explained to him no coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, as you’ve said. He asked further questions.
    “Oh, so you don’t drink Coca-cola either?”
    “Well, yes, we can.”
    “But wait, that has caffeine right?”
    “Right.”
    “Well, isn’t it the caffeine that’s a problem?”
    “Well, it’s not clear.”
    “Well, what’s the big deal with coffee.”
    “Well, our scriptures say to avoid ‘hot drinks’.”
    “Oh, I see, so you don’t drink hot chocolate either?”
    “Well, no, we can drink that too.”
    At this point, I had completely lost him on the whole thing.

    Re Jeff

    I can never understand why folks have a problem with obedience? Jews who follow the OT dietary laws would tell you they do it out of obedience. They do not try to understand it or explain it away. I imagine Muslims are the same way.

    Actually, I think this is the right way to frame it. Modern revelation says no coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense, you’re just supposed to do it because you believe God said so. I think that’s the best explanation. And I think that works for many. To others, it’s natural to try and understand the principle. Scripture, coupled with many conference talks, indicate it as a law of health, and as I said in #21, we frequently use it in our insider/outsider rhetoric for condemning the bad habits of “the world” and elevating our “law of health.” So I have no problem with your reasoning, but modern Mormonism belies this simplicity by aggrandizing it into something else. If it’s just something to be obeyed, great, but let’s not flaunt it as something we have that the rest of the world doesn’t, and act like it’s only a matter of time before modern science validates our worldview.

    BTW, if President McKay drank a diet soda from Coca Cola, it was Tab, not Diet Coke. It was introduced in 1982.

    Details, details… ;-)

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  33. Mike S on October 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    My point-of-view:

    I was in a fraternity in college. As a pledge, there were certain things you had to do. There wasn’t a really good reason for many of them, but if you wanted to be in the fraternity, you had to do them.

    It’s like having a glass of wine with dinner or a cup of coffee. There’s not really any good health reason to suggest why you couldn’t do either of those, and in fact there are studies that suggest that the converse is true. There is no really rational reason for these rules. And they are just current interpretations that haven’t been followed by prophets and apostles in the past, up to and including Christ.

    But … they are the current “rules”. They don’t have to make sense. If you want to be in an organization, you follow their rules, logical or illogical.

    My only beef is that we teach the WofW as a “health code”. If it was truly about health, it would be much different. It is an “obedience code” – take it or leave it.

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  34. Mike S on October 3, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    And regarding President McKay, from the biography, someone apologized at a sporting event because the cup said Coke on the outside. He replied that he didn’t care what was on the outside of the cup, as long as there was Coke IN the cup (not Diet Coke).

    Another time, President McKay was served some rum cake. Someone warned him about it, and he replied that the WofW only says not to drink rum, not to EAT it. So he dug in and enjoyed his cake.

    And for what it’s worth, President Monson has also been known to travel to various meetings, etc. with a cooler of Coke and/or Pepsi in his vehicle.

    Finally, showing further the schizophrenic behavior that the WofW causes, when I was at BYU in Helaman Halls, they didn’t serve caffeinated drinks. In the store, however, they DID sell No-Doze and Vivarin. I asked the store manager one day why that was so, and he said that used correctly, those were medicines. Hmmmmm. The ban DID pay for my late-night pizza habit, however. My roommate and I bought cases of Coke at Reams and kept our refrigerator stocked with a money jar on top and our door unlocked. We probably made $40-50 profit each week which we used to buy pizza each night to watch David Letterman.

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  35. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    “We probably made $40-50 profit each week which we used to buy pizza each night to watch David Letterman.”

    I imagine BYU could reduce tuition if they just sold regular Mountain Dew!

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  36. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    “It is an “obedience code” – take it or leave it.”

    So you’re saying that following the WoW in its entirety utilizing grains, vegetables, and less red meat would not be a healthy alternative?

    And why are not the blessings associated with obedience considered?

    Why is it being treated as some great deprivation? I gave that stuff up, it was no big deal to me.

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  37. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    JMB,

    Thank you for the dialogue with your friend. I have had different variations of that with numerous nonmembers. It always leads to them looking at me like I am nuts. And it hardly is a “Mormonad”, or a great video for the “I am a Mormon” campaign.

    Furthermore, one of the things that I love about this Church is that it clarifies nearly everything confusing that exists in Christian theology in general. I love this Gospel.

    I would have no problem with the WoW if someone dared to amend it. Clarify it on 2011 terms.

    Maybe me and JMB are the only ones who have ever had this stuff get in the way of legitimate missionary work. I hope that is true, but I doubt it. Fact is, that friend of mine who was not sure if he could quit on the long-term, may have eventually quit on the long-term if he felt he was really welcome with us. Instead it was, and this from a Stake President in a YSA Ward, “Well, if you are not sure, sorry. Come back when you are. Bye.” My friend walked into the meeting an investigator. He left an anti-Mormon. He felt like all we cared about was coffee, even though he and I both knew Mormons who drank caffeinated beverages.

    Let’s go over it: Coffee and tea are bad. Herbal tea is good. Red tea is good. But hot drinks are bad. But Hot chocolate and hot soup are good.

    Caffeinated beverages are good, even though President Kimball basically said they were not, and the Church adopted the idea that they were not. They are good though, even though half the Church thinks they are not…but not the Prophet, however.

    Wheat is good, unless you are gluten intolerant, as many are.

    Meat is good in small portions, unless you have O blood type which means you have caveman blood, and you need more meat.

    Sugar is good, because it is not on the Wow. In fact, you can be temple worthy and way 500 bills all because you do not drink coffee or tea.

    You can be very healthy and ready to run a triathlon, but be unworthy of the temple because of a penchant for Yerba Mate…because it is a hot drink.

    Clear as a bell, right? Still wanna join the Church?

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  38. Mai Li on October 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    #31′s answer to my 29. You still didn’t answer my question, so I’ll ask it a different way: Why couldn’t God just say tea and coffee instead of needing a “servant” to define it for him?

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  39. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    oh, and what’s “a very little meat” in the US?
    Is there such a thing?

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  40. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    …and weigh 500 bills. Wow.

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  41. Jeff Spector on October 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    “Why couldn’t God just say tea and coffee instead of needing a “servant” to define it for him?’

    “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”(Amos 3:7)

    I can’t think of any other way it would happen.

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  42. Mike S on October 3, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    #36 Jeff: So you’re saying that following the WoW in its entirety utilizing grains, vegetables, and less red meat would not be a healthy alternative?

    No. I think that IS healthy. However, we reinterpret and differentially emphasize various parts of the WofW for no logical reason.

    Someone could weight 300#; completely ignore the recommendations on meat and vegetables and have bacon/eggs for breakfast, Philly steak sandwich for lunch, 16oz steak and potato for dinner (not in times of cold or famine); not have exercised for years; yet still get a temple recommend.

    Someone else could follow those parts of the WofW and avoid meat, have a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, exercise, get proper rest, and not have a temple recommend because they have a glass of red wine with dinner once a week.

    The first person chooses to ignore some parts of the WofW, the second person chooses to ignore other parts of the WofW – yet one is condemned and the other isn’t. It’s illogical.

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  43. Mike S on October 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    And even MORE illogical is how we can completely ignore a very plain instruction to avoid meat except in times of cold or famine, yet completely overinterpret a statement about hot drinks to include a cold Diet Coke yet not hot chocolate, when both have caffeine.

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  44. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Some will tell you that caffeine has never been the issue. Others will say its tannins. Others yet will say temperature.

    Yet we all are asked if we follow it. A temple recommend will define your eternity, potentially. And knowing if you are following the WoW can define your recommend status. It matters.

    And anyone who says the way things currently sit with the WoW does not affect missionary work and retention is asleep.

    The Church’s forte is simplicity and clarity. The Gospel answers questions the rest of the planet cannot answer. And clearly. Simply. Without confusion. The way the WoW is defined today is far from the rest of the Gospel from which it sprang.

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  45. Mai Li on October 3, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    #41 You can’t think of any other way it would happen? Really? How about if he just said tea and coffee instead of hot drinks. Wouldn’t that have been much simpler. #44 says the church’s forte is simplicity and clarity. Shouldn’t that be God’s forte too? Why leave us to debate and guess when it would have been so simple to just say tea and coffee.

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  46. hawkgrrrl on October 3, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    I agree that the “obedience” line is the only one that can be given with a straight face. Otherwise, we sound uneducated. It’s not like coffee & tea drinkers drop dead at age 50 whereas we all live to 90.

    My only concern with the “do” list in the WoW is that it is very carb-heavy. That’s great if you are an itinerant farmer. Not so good if you are sitting in front of a computer all day.

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  47. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Hawkgrrl,

    Great point about carbs and computers. Another argument for renovation of the WoW
    . And the fact that when it was written, people physically worked. Today people make an appointment to work out.

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  48. Kent on October 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    “You can be very healthy and ready to run a triathlon, but be unworthy of the temple because of a penchant for Yerba Mate…because it is a hot drink.”

    When I was on my mission in Argentina we were told in the MTC that Yerba Mate was not against the WoW. If fact, I remember a Stake President talking about meeting with local members, having a nice chat, drinking some mate, and then heading off together to go to the temple.

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  49. Glass Ceiling on October 3, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Kent,

    But it is a hot drink. It just tells me that there needs to be a Churchwide conversation. Til then the confusion goes in and on

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  50. Douglas on October 3, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I’d pick gently counselling her and assuring her that an inadvertent mistake won’t keep her from the temple. Then perhaps I’d suggest that she have her eyeglass prescription checked (jk).
    Cripes, the Lord gave us brains and at least some of us a sense of humor.

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  51. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 4, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    BTW “hot drinks” had a definite usage at the time of the Word of Wisdom, meaning coffee and tea. Much like “cola” does now. I would say I hear it addressed about once a year or so in Church, but it obviously is not sticking.

    Much of the debate about the meaning of the words comes across as would interpreting a statement by Elvis Presley that he “liked chicks” to mean he was enamored of baby birds.

    I know that cultural context is repeated from time to time, but obviously not enough. I’m not sure what is enough.

    Though this does remind me of some Jewish friends of ours who bought Mocha Ice cream for a party at our house, because they knew that coffee wasn’t acceptable ;) It had slipped the wife’s mind that Mocha = coffee.

    (This was back in the day when you could find both flavors on the shelf).

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  52. Paul on October 4, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    #51 Stephen: “Much of the debate about the meaning of the words comes across as would interpreting a statement by Elvis Presley that he “liked chicks” to mean he was enamored of baby birds.”

    Excellent.

    Glass Ceiling, I still don’t get the issue? The handbooks are clear: “Hot drinks” = Tea & Coffee. Does it get any simpler?

    As for the rest of the WoW — yep, you’re right: many are not compliant. But for whatever reason, the Lord’s servants have determined which elements will lead to temple worthiness.

    If you’d like a re-write of the WoW, I recommend you ask the Lord to do it.

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  53. Jeff Spector on October 4, 2011 at 7:18 AM

    “Why leave us to debate and guess when it would have been so simple to just say tea and coffee.”

    Some of us just don’t debate it and accept it. I don’t worry about what was said before.

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  54. James on October 4, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Mai Li, re #45,

    You’re missing Jeff’s point, which is, God only ever reveals things through his servants. Section 89 wasn’t just God saying something directly, it was a revelation given *through* Joseph. And then it was clarified *through* Hyrum. All of our scriptures, all of “God’s words,” are words that were first given to His servants.

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  55. Lars L. on December 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    The Word of Wisdom is called the Word of WISDOM. If you know something is harmful, DON”T USE IT. When we seek for ways to bend or go around the rules, when we have an attitude of “what can I legally get away with?” we are living the letter, but not the spirit of the law.

    With that said, during my mission 20 years ago, hot drinks were defined as Tea (including iced tea, but not herbal teas) and coffee. Because really, does it matter if you put ice cubes in your tea or coffee? That is just manipulating the language, going around the rules.

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