Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ramblings of a Co-Cola addict

Read this beautiful article sent to me by my friend:

OK, Mormons, drink up — Coke and Pepsi are OK
Health » Church posts statement clarifying — again — that caffeinated sodas are not off-limits.
First Published Aug 30 2012 03:53 pm • Last Updated Aug 31 2012 11:09 am
Maybe now, reporters, bloggers, outsiders and even many Mormons will accept that the Utah-based LDS Church does not forbid cola drinking.
On Wednesday, the LDS Church posted a statement on its website saying that "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the faith’s health-code reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond [tea and coffee]."

A day later, the website wording was slightly softened, saying only that "the church revelation spelling out health practices ... does not mention the use of caffeine."
Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. It says plainly that "the only official interpretation of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early church leaders that the term ‘hot drinks’ means tea and coffee."
That doesn’t mean church leaders view caffeinated drinks as healthy. They just don’t bar members from, say, pounding a Pepsi, downing a Dew or sipping a hot chocolate.
Even LDS presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been seen drinking an occasional Diet Coke, and Mormon missionaries in France routinely imbibe caffeinated colas — without embarrassment or consequences.
This week’s clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker.
Jorgensen, who is doing a two-year research fellowship in Germany, grew up "in a devout Mormon household, in a small, devout Mormon town," where his neighbors and church leaders viewed "drinking a Coca-Cola as so close to drinking coffee that it made your worthiness ... questionable."
That view was magnified when LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley offhandedly told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine. Several earlier LDS leaders, including apostle Bruce R. McConkie, considered imbibing Coke as a violation of the "spirit" of the Word of Wisdom.
It was dictated in 1833 by Mormon founder Joseph Smith and bars consumption of wine, strong drinks (alcohol), tobacco and "hot drinks," which have been defined by church authorities as tea and coffee.
Even so, many outsiders and plenty of insiders get that wrong.
Journalists — from The New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd to The Associated Press — have often stated that Mormons don’t drink caffeine. Last week, NBC News’ hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church’s initial statement on its website.
That blog post was later tweaked, according to church spokesman Scott Trotter, "to clarify its intent, which was to provide context to the NBC piece."
Part of the confusion stems from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks.
But BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins explains that is "not a university or church decision, but made by dining services, based on what our customers want."
There has not "been a demand for it," Jenkins said Thursday. "We are constantly evaluating what those needs and desires are."
Indeed, fully caffeinated colas are available in the church’s Joseph Smith Memorial Building restaurants and in the Lion House Pantry next to the faith’s headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City.

(sorry...I couldn't get the end of the article of copy over to my post)

Well, I didn't know this, but it's about time. While watching NBC's "The Mormon's" on RockCenter, I almost gagged at the lady who said she remembers the one time she drank a Coke. Yeah....she remembers it because it was awesome! But I do think it prompted the church to clarify this little arguing point with us Mormons. I seriously never understood why people felt guilty or apologized for it. 
As a child, Coke was the drink given to us as toddlers by my southern Grandma. It practically ran through our veins. Co-cola  was a big part of the southern culture if you couldn't have iced tea.  In Utah, nobody used to balk at the sight of a Coke. A little shock of caffeine was good for your day. Once I met Bill, I guess I understood it a bit better. Having grown up in California, people would ask him about it a lot. They didn't want to be seen drinking it because it was viewed as wrong by non-members. There really had never been that public clarification.  Don't worry. Marrying me got him all caffeined up. He pounds a Dr. Pepper better than the rest of my family. 
But, we little judgy-judge Mormons aren't much better. I remember being a leader a girl's camp a few years back. One of the leaders showed up on the 3rd day with a big case of Diet Coke for the leaders. We were more than appreciative! Except one leader who snarked around that "we were so awful that we can't live without it for more than 2 days."  The same lady sure had enough chocolate bars up there, which also have a lot of caffeine, I might add. I don't know. Maybe I'm weak. I've quit several times for various reasons, but have always been happy to return. 
In moderation. Like everything else. Is it healthy, NO! But sadly, it's kind of a bright light in a mommy's day. Our days seem  to be completely monotonous or crazy insane. There isn't much middle ground I've learned. Truly, growing up, my parents were sure it could fix certain ailments, and whose to say it didn't cure my diarrhea or stomach flu? I will say I do know better than to give it to certain children of mine except on rare events like New Year's Eve....and stomach flu.  
And one more thing......I laughed so very hard at the BYU food service man saying there hasn't "been a demand" for it on campus. Really? I lived next door the Hart's convenient store. The perfect place to stop on your way up to campus to fill up on the DC. It had plenty of business from sleep-deprived students.  If I were still a student at BYU, this is a cause I could get behind. 
I have to say my little rebellious heart wanted to end testimony meeting today with one of two things; We had a couple "Mitt-amonies" going on, and I thought I should maybe bring my viewpoint to the podium. Or I should have talked about this wonderful revelation from the church over caffeine. Either could've gotten Bill released, right? My Bishop is too cool. 
Do you have a Diet Coke-amony, too?


Jennifer N. said...

LOL Liz! As a non-cola drinker (simply because I don't like the stuff, but also, for some reason caffeine does nothing for me, seriously!) I found your post spot on to what I imagine a large number of LDS "drinkers" probably feel. I saw the article last week, and I actually laughed out loud when I read the quote about "lack of demand" for caffeinated drinks at BYU. Yeah, right. The students just never realized they COULD make a demand for it, and have anyone do anything about it. I have a feeling that the food service folks at BYU may now be in for an earful!

Monika said...

Isn't it a great article. I can think of a few people who could stand to read it . . .

During my time at BYU I would regularly go the the vending machine in the Tanner building looking for a Dr Pepper. Somehow every time I would be surprised to not find it there. :) You can't figure out how high the demand is if you don't offer the stuff! (Don't they sell a caffeine free version anyways?)

Karen said...

I love this post, Liz. SO funny! And I would love to see you get up and really stir the pot one testimony meeting!

That lady who remembered her ONE coke made me cringe too. Really?? Like people need any more fodder to think we are totally crazy. I mean, I'm all for being a peculiar people, but self-righteous?? no thanks.

brooke said...

I believe in Diet Coke with every fiber of my being. I know it is true.

pan x 8 said...

Not a Diet Coke but I love Coke. When I use to drink a few 32 ozs a day, I never really felt the guilt.. maybe I just didn't care ~ it really DOES TASTE THAT GOOD..

I've had to since curb the carbonation but still enjoy my now 64-oz Coke once in a while! lol

youreprettytoo said...

People are funny! Great post Liz. Now how about we schedule another lunchdate for our birthdays and get ourselves some cokes to go with!

Paul or Lindsay said...

I've been ahead of the curve on this one for a long time and was given Tab instead of formula as a baby (kidding...kind of). We were at a ward gathering on the day this came out and when the lady throwing the party heard about this, she headed to a hidden spot in her garage to get us all a Diet Coke. Addicts no longer have to hide!!

Paul or Lindsay said...

I also have a funny (and accurate) BYU and caffeine story involving a former president of the school; in a less public place, I'll have to share one day.

Marrdy said...

I ALWAYS smuggle Diet Coke to camp. Two years ago I actually had to drink it while standing at the back of my car. But when I got my temple recommend renewed I was asked if I drank Diet Coke and proudly said yes, he said he did too!!

Lori said...

WARNING: Long Comment
“Is it against Church standards to drink cola beverages or any other beverage containing caffeine?”
Answer/Bishop H. Burke Peterson

This is a very perplexing question to many. Maybe we should lead into its answer by first recounting a true story. (He recounts the story of Daniel and his friends).

At the end of the three years King Nebuchadnezzar had them all brought before him to be questioned and tested. The record says that among them all, none was found like Daniel and his friends. In all matters of wisdom and understanding the king found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in his kingdom. What a tribute and blessing to four courageous young men who would not defile their bodies with food and drink that was not good for them! Even then Daniel understood the Lord’s law of health.

The Word of Wisdom is a guide to strengthening the body and mind and keeping them healthy so the spirit of the individual can function without impairment. If we understand the Word of Wisdom properly, we will do all things necessary to avoid weakening the marvelous temple the Lord has given us to house our spirit.

The revelation in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants says:

“And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.” (D&C 89:10.)

We should notice the word wholesome and always consider the things that we take into our body as to whether they are wholesome or not. The scripture continues, “All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.” (D&C 89:11.) Consider the word prudence. Would eating a whole apple pie or a cake or watermelon at one sitting be prudent? It is contrary to the principles embodied in the Word of Wisdom to take an excess of anything into our bodies.

Two of the tests we can employ as we question the use of any food or beverage are: Is it wholesome? Is it prudent? As we know, some of us need more rest than others. These same principles imply that we should not tax our bodies beyond good judgment. Finally, remember that the Lord has counseled:

“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.” (D&C 58:26.)

We know that cola drinks contain the drug caffeine. We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. It is only sound judgment to conclude that cola drinks and any others that contain caffeine or other harmful ingredients should not be used.

For those who are willing to exhibit the same courage and good judgment as the boy Daniel:

“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint."

Great Answer to a Very Old question.

Lori said...

And to Clarify something important. The Statement that came out did say that the Word of Wisdom does not specify Caffeine, because it does not. But just because it is not outlined there doesn't mean that we should consume it, right?

We all choose to justify the things that we do, it's human nature. I justified binging on chocolate for years and years until 8 years ago, I realized that for me, it was not a good idea, so I chose to stop eating it.

An inspiring example for this topic would be Julie Beck's conference talk a few years ago where she spoke of her mother and the cinnamon rolls (overeating the cinnamon rolls that day and not feeling comfortable being voice for the family prayer). That taught me much about how sensitive the spirit is and how careful we must be in order to always have the full measure of the spirit with us.

Now, I am not telling anybody what to do or not do. I just felt it might be a good idea to balance out this topic and share a little info on the other side of this topic. We teach our children by our example. We want them to be grateful for the bodies Heavenly Father has blessed them with and always take great care of them. And as super busy mommies (I know, I home schooled 4 children while serving in busy callings, and all the rest that we busy ourselves with) we desperately need the full measure of the spirit to help us get through these days.

For further information, there's a great article about caffeine abuse from the Ensign here:
NOTE: Please, don't anybody be offended, because I am not even beginning to accuse anybody here of abuse, (that would not be my place, not my nature) I am simply siting this article for the purpose of providing helpful facts and information.

Please consider this Food for Thought.

Thanks for Reading and have a Great Day!

Bill said...

Lori, Coke is OK as long as you are married.