A couple of weeks ago I had decided there were two kinds of Mormons in the world; those who’ll vote for Mitt Romney and those who won’t. But a sudden change in Mormonism has forced me to amend my first stance.
As of right now there’s the mormons who still drink the recently approved caffeine, and then there’s those who have spent years fighting the substance and have no idea what to do with themselves now.
Everything has changed. The Mormon culture as we know it has been turned on its head. How many years have we spent debating the substance?
Think back to every uncomfortable Word of Wisdom lesson you ever had at church. Every time someone brought up caffeine and the discussion grew heated and went all dark-side. What is that Sunday School teacher who so valiantly argued that Cola was the drink of sinners because ‘he heard it on Sixty-Minutes‘ doing now?
What about my church issued Philippines Missionary flip chart (which I still have) that clearly has the word Caffeine listed there beneath coffee, tea, and alcohol?
Holy crap! What are my parents doing? For years my mom and dad drilled into me that caffeinated drinks were bad and we as mormons do not partake. I remember going to school parties and saying ‘no’ to a glass of Coca-Cola because it was bad.
For years now I have been a closet caffeine drinker, afraid to be caught partaking of my Mountain Dew. Now what? Do I come out of the closet and announce my caffeine addiction?
And what brought upon us this sudden announcement anyway?
Did a member sneak a photo of President Monson drinking a Red Bull before conference (he is the only one who stays awake) and threaten to Facebook it? Or perhaps the First Presidency’s tired of having members shake their hands and ask, “What of the caffeine?”.
Or maybe…just maybe…it’s a ploy to help get Romney the office. I’m sure Mitt drinks Coca-Cola. With caffeine always being a bizarre ‘hot button’ for those outside the church, what would they say if he was caught drinking cola? Would they harass him for not only being unable to make up his mind but that he can’t even be loyal to his own church too?
Okay but seriously that probably isn’t it. It’s just irony that this announcement came this close to the election…right?
What of the Sixty Minutes interview? What was that all about? Did President Hinckley just speak personally? Or maybe it’s a higher law (see my missionary flip chart), but the members of North America aren’t ready to live it. Come on, tell me you wouldn’t pitch a fit if the church announced all Coke drinkers were not temple worthy. Doesn’t matter though…cause they didn’t. And maybe that’s it, too many members already partake. To ban them from the church would cut membership down to nothing.
In the end I’m typing this while drinking my energy drink and wondering if so much really will change after all. There will still be those who refuse to believe the church’s stance. BYU already refuses to accept the official church ruling by accepting caffeine on campus, forcing its users to continue shamefully covering their drinks with brown paper bags.
On the flip side, I don’t doubt my parents judgement in banning the stuff. Caffeine hasn’t exactly been in the spot light for good health with its ability to increase blood pressure and cause temporary ADD when overdosed.
Still here I am looking over the contents of my now morally accepted drink:
Yellow Number 5
Caffeine (equal to one cup of coffee)
Wait…my drink has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee?
Oh well, sorry Starbucks. Maybe next time.
-The Token Single Guy