I love milk.
My husband joked recently that I consume 2/3's of my daily caloric intake through milk alone.
I'm not gonna deny it. Drinking milk makes me feel all happy inside. It's comforting to me, brings back good/happy memories of growing up in a loving home, and quenches my thirst in a tastier way than any other drink, including water most days.
Another awesome side-effect of drinking milk: I've never broken a bone...ever...despite the fact that I played every sport known to womankind as a teenager and even a bit in college...(Thank you, Title IX!) During the fall season, I regularly participated in three different sports at the same time. No sweat.
I chalk that up to good genes and good old-fashioned milk.
I chug it. I sip it. I'll even drink it from a straw (makes it last longer.)
It was pretty awesome when I figured out how to drink straight from the milk jug. I made less dirty dishes that way, ya know? And no one knew that when half a gallon of milk disappeared, that I was the culprit. That is until I started wearing lipgloss....But I've since broken myself of that habit. (You're welcome family!)
You know what I do NOT love?
To be specific...caffeinated pop. (Oh, I know, many of you call it "soda." And you are free to do so, but if you grew up in the midwest/east like I did, you most likely say pop.)
Oh, I do drink caffeine-FREE pop from time to time...like when I am suffering from morning sickness, sometimes I'll have ginger ale. Or on a hot summer night, I'll serve some yummy root beer floats (LOTS of ice cream...easy on the root beer!)
But for the most part, I find pop offensive to the system. 7UP is pretty mild...Sprite...forget about it. To me, taking a swig of Sprite feels like getting slapped in the face.
After I drink pop, I feel like, "Uh, why did I just do that to myself?"
GIVE ME MILK OR GIVE ME DEATH!
I'm glad that I grew up learning from my parents that caffeinated drinks were a "no-no."
You see back in the 70's, 80's, 90's that was the consensus for most LDS people I knew growing up in Ohio.
Why did we feel that way? Uh, common sense probably. But also because of wise counsel given by church leaders of the day...and I guess we were all just sort of "quick to observe" back then.
Here's one official statement from 1972 that I found quoted in the D&C Institute Manual:
"An official statement by the Church’s leaders reads: “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, p. 4.)"
That's some pretty sweet advice if you ask me.
CAFFEINE-FREE SINCE 1977
So, as you probably know, the church put out a small correction on its website last week...not a correction to the Word of Wisdom (or its interpretation,) as some people are billing it, but a list of corrections to information that was presented by NBC News during their hour-long documentary on Mormonism. After a handful of adjustments/corrections to the way NBC presented information on their show, the church said this:
Finally, another small correction: Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine. The Church’s health guidelines prohibit alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee.
According to LDSLiving.com, the way this correction was originally worded said:
“the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine” and that the reference to “hot drinks” “does not go beyond [tea and coffee].” But that wording was changed to say more specifically that the Word of Wisdom itself does not mention the use of caffeine.
Here's another tidbit from the Institute manual that I found helpful. The lesson asks this question:
Why isn't the Word of Wisdom more explicit?
Here's the manual's response:
"The Doctrine and Covenants does not specifically mention heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, other illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription drugs.
"President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Such revelation is unnecessary. The Word of Wisdom is a basic law. It points the way and gives us ample instruction in regard to both food and drink, good for the body and also detrimental. If we sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, we need no further counsel. . . .
“Thus by keeping the commandments we are promised inspiration and the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord through which we will know what is good and what is bad for the body, without the Lord presenting us with a detailed list separating the good things from the bad that we may be protected. We will learn by this faithful observance that the promises of the Lord are fulfilled.” ( Improvement Era, Feb. 1956, pp. 78–79.)"
AMEN TO THAT!
Caffeine-drinkers of the world...Gotta love ya...and I do, I really do.
I'm just saying...I'm glad that because of the wise counsel of my parents I never started drinking it...and despite the clarification offered by the church to NBC News this week, I'm still not going to run out and start drinking Coke (ack!)...because I now know by experience why it's a substance that isn't welcome in my life.
(Somebody get this girl some 2%!)
Furthermore, I'm going to keep teaching my kids to stay far away from the stuff.
(Now if only I could get my daughter to stop thinking that butter is a food group!)
I am so glad that the Lord teaches us correct principles and then expects us to govern ourselves.
There is so much personal growth to be obtained by having to search out these answers, by having to live out the answers that we receive, and by having to endure and live with the results of our own choices. The plan works, people!
OH, be wise...what can I say more?
Here are a few more bits of "advice" given by the church on the consumption of caffeinated bevies...not official, of course, but official enough to be printed in church mags.
From 1988 Ensign: Caffeine: The Subtle Addiction
From 2008: Energy Drinks: The Lift That Lets You Down
From July 2008 Ensign: Cancer, Nutrition, and the Word of Wisdom: One Doctor's Observation
Also from 2008: Boyd K. Packer answers questions about Caffeine