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Science and caffeine
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The story "OK, Mormons, drink up — Coke and Pepsi are OK" (Tribune, Aug. 31), explained that "part of the confusion" about why people think Mormons forbid caffeine drinks "stems from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks."

Perhaps, but the main reason is because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actively campaigned against caffeine sodas in previous decades. The official LDS Church News ran stories that listed the caffeine content of drinks (my babysitter was distraught that Dr Pepper had more caffeine than Coke). Mission presidents railed against caffeine drinks, and elders who imbibed were made to feel like they had sinned.

There was a full-court, anti-caffeine campaign, short of being an official commandment.

But science won out. Studies show that caffeine isn't bad, and so instead of saying "My bad," the LDS Church just changes its website, as if the whole issue were a misunderstanding by the "gentiles."

Baloney. Anyone who lived in Mormonism the past half century knows the misunderstanding started at the top of the Mormon pyramid.

David Jones

Salt Lake City

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