Mormon Quotes

Coffee

Brigham Young
You go through the wards in the city, and then through the wards in the country, and ask the Bishops — 'Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?' The reply will be 'Yes; No, not exactly.' 'Do you drink tea?' 'No.' 'Coffee?' 'No.' 'Do you drink whiskey?' 'No.' 'Well, then, why do you not observe the Word of Wisdom?' 'Well, this tobacco, I cannot give it up.' And in this he sets an example to every man, and to every boy over ten years of age, in his ward, to nibble at and chew tobacco. You go to another ward, and perhaps the Bishop does not chew tobacco, nor drink tea or coffee, but once in a while he takes a little spirits, and keeps whiskey in his house, in which he will occasionally indulge — Go to another ward, and perhaps the Bishop does not drink whiskey nor chew tobacco, but he 'cannot give up his tea and coffee.' And so it goes on through the whole church. Not every Bishop indulges in one or more of these habits, but most of them do. I recollect being at a trial not long since where quite a number of Bishops had been called in as witnesses, but I could not learn that there was one who did not drink whiskey, and I think that most of them drank tea and coffee. I think that we have some bishops in this city who do not chew tobacco, nor drink liquor nor tea nor coffee to excess.... If a person is weary, worn out, cast down, fainting, or dying, a brandy sling, a little wine, or a cup of tea is good to revive them. Do not throw these things away, and say they must never be used; they are good to be used with judgment, prudence, and discretion. Ask our bishops if they drink tea every day, and in most cases, they will tell you they do if they can get it.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 12:402 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Joseph F. Smith
Some of our pretend pious people, a few years ago, were shocked and horrified by seeing the symbol of the All‑Seeing Eye and the words 'Holiness to the Lord' in gilt letters over the front of Zion's cooperative Mercantile Institution. Especially was this the case with some of our brethren when they found these letters over the drug department of Z.C.M.I. Why was it? Why some of these pious (?) Mormons found that Z.C.M.I. under the symbol of the All‑Seeing Eye and the sacred words, 'Holiness to the Lord,' said tea and coffee, and tobacco, and other tings possibly that Latter‑day Saints ought not to use; and at the drug store, Z.C.M.I. kept liquors of various kinds for medicinal purposes. It was terribly shocking to some of the Latter‑day Saints that under these holy words liquor should be kept for sale. Has it injured me, in any sense of the word, because Z.C.M.I. drug store kept liquor for sale? Has it made me a drunkard? Have I been under the necessity of guzzling liquid poison? Have I made myself a sot because liquor was kept for sale by Z.C.M.I.? I am not worse for it, thank the Lord. And who else is? No one, except those pious Mormons (?) who in open day or under the cover of night would go into the drug store and buy liquor to drink.... Those who were most horrified at seeing the All‑Seeing Eye and 'Holiness to the Lord' over the front door of Z.C.M.I., I will guarantee are the ones that have bought the most tea and coffee, tobacco and whiskey there.... It does not matter to me how much tea and coffee Z.C.M.I. sells, so long as I do not buy it. If I do not drink it am I not all right? And if the poor creature that wants it can get it there, that ought to satisfy him. If he could not get it there, he would not patronize Z.C.M.I. at all, but would go some where else to deal.
Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, April 1898, p. 11
George A. Smith
We are doing a great business in the tea, coffee and tobacco in the Co‑operative Store. When we first established it we thought we would not sell tobacco at all; but pretty soon the Superintendent asked the Directors if he might not bring in some poor kind of tobacco to kill the ticks on the sheep. It was very soon discovered that unless they sold tobacco, so many Latter‑day Saints used it, that a successful opposition could be run against them on the tobacco trade alone, and they had to commence it, I believe, under the plea that it was brought on to kill the ticks on sheep. Shame on such Latter‑day Saints, so far as tobacco is concerned.
George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses 16:238 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
First Presidency
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.
First Presidency, Church Handbook of Instructions, section 21.3.11
David Whitmer
Some of the men were excessive chewers of the filthy weed, and their disgusting slobbering and spitting cause Mrs. [Emma] Smith... to make the ironical remark that 'It would be a good thing if a revelation could be had declaring the use of tobacco a sin, and commanding its suppression'.... The matter was taken up and joked about, one of the brethren suggested that the revelation should also provide for a total abstinence from tea and coffee drinking, intending this as a counter dig at the sisters.
David Whitmer, Des Moines Daily News, October 16, 1886, p. 20
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