If I were an enterprising BYU student, first thing in the morning I’d go buy Coke at Costco

Behold the opportunity:

At the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, caffeinated drinks are not sold. It is not because of a church or university edict, said spokeswoman Carri Jenkins, but customer demand.

“Dining Services has made the decision to not sell or serve caffeinated beverages on campus,” she told FOX 13. “Simply based on what our customers want or do not want.”

Jenkins said students would not violate BYU’s Honor Code by consuming caffeine, nor would people be forbidden from bringing it on campus.

Costco sells Coca-Cola for $12.79 per 32 cans. I think you could easily push 3 cases at $1/can in a few hours at a lemonade-style stand in a central place on campus. Some quick math:


  • 3x$12.79 for 3 cases of Coca-Cola (Costco)
  • 2x$2.99 for 2 bags of ice (gas station)
  • ice chest (borrow)


  • 3x32x$1

That’s $51.65 in profits. (Deduct a couple bucks of lost revenue if you–unlike me–are an imbiber of caffeinated sodas, to account for the couple you drink yourself while on the job.) Not bad for a few hours of work.

You’re welcome, BYU students. Better act fast though, or your fledgling business might get crushed by a behemoth entering the marketplace: BYU.

The university would also revisit the sale of caffeine-full soda — if it became an issue of demand.
“It’s just something we’ll have to look at,” Jenkins said.

Readers, weigh in: would you buy caffeinated drinks on BYU campus if they were sold there? Is Cari Jenkins correct–is there no demand for this?


  1. Peter LLC says:

    Yes. No, and my reason for saying so derives from a stint with the Utah division of a national chain of grocery stores.

  2. If its an issue of demand, why do the new chain fast food they have at the cougareat don’t sell it? Someone must have instructed them not to. There may be “no demand” on campus because everyone has it in their dorms and off-campus housing.

  3. Cynthia, you are very, very naughty.

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    How can they possibly know there’s no demand if they’ve never been sold there? That’s ridiculous, everyone knows it’s a holdover from older folk views of the WoW.

  5. There was an enterprising 3L that did this when I was a IL at BYU Law School. I was told she made a decent amount of money every day.

  6. No demand on campus? Ha ha. That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. And in other news, everyone at BYU hates football.

  7. The lack of “demand” is parents and sponsors.

  8. Jettboy has the measure.

  9. Brilliant. I have actually left BYU campus just to fill my diet coke cravings.

    The one hitch: I really do like fountain diet coke more than bottled. Not substitutes in my mind.

  10. I can think of quite a few stores stationed just on the south border of campus, more than willing to help students indulge…

  11. *Snicker* They really ought to quiz the gas stations and restaurants adjacent to campus what their caffinated sales are like. I would go to the Subway across the street over the one in the Wilk simply beccause the more distant one had caffine. (Well, and honey mustard. Why the cougareat Subway never had honey mustard is a mystery to me.)

    Alas, the campus has policys against students selling anything that competes with the businesses in the wilk. It was always a hinderance in fundraising efforts. I think they’d declare that “caffinated soda” is pretty much “soda” and that’s reducing the volume of sales within the Wilk.

  12. I would argue that non-caffeinated sodas are sewer water thereby a non-competing product.

  13. J (#11). Well there’s the catch-22. Either there is demand or there is not. If there is demand, then the university admits there is no reason not to provide the produce on campus. If there is not demand, then a student setting up shop in front of the Wilk would have no impact.

  14. Reminds me of a classic skit from the old Garren’s comedy group where a guy in a trenchcoat and sunglasses is hawking caffeinated drinks out of a guitar case.

  15. Sharee Hughes says:

    I don’t drink caffeinated sodas at all. I can’t stand the taste of Coke or Pepsi. In fact, I rarely drink sodas, period. On occasion I might have a Sprite or root beer (I had a root beer float the other day, but add ice cream and the carbonation is pretty much gone), but not very often. There are lots better things to drink. I prefer water.

  16. MikeInWeHo says:

    One of these would be better.

  17. It’s not a matter of demand, it’s a matter of bellyaching. For example, there used to be a movie theatre that would run “airline edit” R-rated movies. Huge demand, but a vocal set of students got complaining that *somebody* had to watch the R-rated version to know where the cuts should be, and BYU was therefore requiring that *somebody* sin for the public benefit. Theatre switched to old G-rated fare and musicals, demand dropped, and theatre was removed for lack of business.

    Fully loaded Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper would sell big on campus, but then there would be that complaining and whining going on about how we at the Lord’s Only True University (TM) should avoid the appearance of evil, and it finally becomes easier to stock the unleaded variety. Smart students know they can hit the gas station for their fix, so they complain once and take appropriate measures. The self-righteous snobs will complain until they get their way.

  18. I rarely drink caffeinated drinks. It is really annoying to me that caffeine is put in so many drinks. Barq’s Rootbeer has caffeine where I live (not that I particularly like it). Sunkist has caffeine. It is really annoying that there are so few choices of non-caffeinated drinks. When I was at South Padre Island on a “date” with my husband once and I ordered a lemonade. They brought sparkling lemonade. I then went and breastfed my baby and then my baby was up all night. That sucked. A few months later I found Sunkist sparkling lemonade at the store. I bought it and read the label. That explained my horrible night on vacation.
    There IS a demand for non-caffienated drinks. BYU happens to choose to cater to those people. Come on, other people have the rest of the world with the choices of “Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Barq’s Rootbeer, and Sprite.” I usually choose water because heaven forbid there be another diet choice that doesn’t have caffeine.
    Pregnant women usually choose to not consume caffeine (or at least reduce it). Breastfeeding mothers choose not to drink caffeine (unless they are addicted and then convince themselves that their baby has colic). Parents of young children don’t feed their children caffeine, or at least avoid it in the evenings so their kids will go to sleep at their reular bedtime.

  19. I’m with you, Sharee. But if I were a BYU student, I wouldn’t shy from selling Coke to Coke-drinking gentiles, even as I righteously abstain. ;-)

  20. Of course there is demand. Ridiculous to say otherwise. If BYU wanted to determine the demand, just let the vendors do what they do everywhere else–offer a choice of caffeinated and non-caffeinated Diet Coke. Then after a sufficient period of time (six months), report on how much of each has been sold. I’d bet almost anything that caffeinated Diet Coke would outsell most, if not all, of the other offerings.

  21. I know with every fibre of my being that there is a huge untapped market for caffeinated drinks at BYU. The question is, what permits would you need to get to sell out of your cooler on campus? The BYU police have very little to do: I’m sure they’d shut you down quickly.

  22. I think it’s rather disappointing to publish a letter like that, which completely misunderstands the Word of Wisdom and downplays it into meaning, “Don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or smoke”.

    There are two aspects to the WoW. The “commandment” part, which was expressly added later, as prophets have delivered commandments not to drink tea, coffee, alcohol or use tobacco. And the actual revelation received, which in its very own words sets forth the mind and will of God, and is not a commandment but given to those who want to act in wisdom and follow and become like our Father in Heaven.

    Please don’t read me as judging and saying you’re a bad person, as we all do things that just aren’t ideal that don’t have a reflection on our goodness or badness. But I don’t excuse myself for it… I don’t think its anywhere close to a huge issue in and of itself that someone would go out of their way to drink Coke, etc. I enjoy a Mtn Dew, etc. on rare occasion. But I don’t think for a second it’s what God would do and I don’t convince myself that it’s positive for my body. I don’t see the Lord going out of his way to drink a concoction of chemicals which have negative effects on the body merely because it tastes good (after you acquire a taste for it).

    D&C 89 is plainly laid out, but it does not spell out a lot of specifics. Rather it sets some specifics and some principles — the main principle being that God clearly has an opinion on what goes into our bodies, and he leaves it for us to decide.

    I really don’t care if others drink caffeine, energy drinks, etc. I think it’s not a wise decision, but we all make unwise decisions and that’s part of life and consequences. To me, that’s a big part of what the WoW is saying. Here is God’s will, you apply it and decide.

    But I don’t for a second think that I’d see the Lord going out of his way to get a fix for himself, whether it’s coffee, caffeine, or heroin. Notice that dozens of “hard” drugs are not listed in the WoW, but we still wisely avoid them anyway.

    I’m not trying to sound McConkie-esque, or rather what the bloggernacle would accuse of McConkie-esque because I think many have got the wrong measure of him. I think the newsroom article was faced with the difficult of saying, “here is what the church asks its members to do to be in good standing” versus “here is what God asks us to do to become like him.” There is quite frankly a HUGE difference between the two. And no, I don’t think you’re risking your salvation over caffeine… but I think a decision guided by the Spirit would say, “is this good for my body, and should I be doing it?”. The answer is not one that disqualifies us, but I think if we answer and act properly, of our own free will and choice, we’d be better off for it.

  23. I’m pretty sure God drinks Pepsi Max. And wine.

  24. God drank wine.

    Lucifer drinks Pepsi Max.

  25. When I was on campus and needed a caffeine fix, I would go to the Subway on 9th across the street from the law school parking lot. I really don’t think the caffeine thing is as big of a deal among my generation as it is to the baby boomers, and while you might hear some dissenting student voices if BYU started selling caffeine on campus, they would be few and far between.

  26. I’d be a lot more inclined to take Word of Wisdom mongers and bellyachers seriously if they weren’t so busy stuffing their faces full of meat whilst admonishing me not to drink Pepsi.

    If BYU really cared they would only sell meat sparingly and in times of great famine, but of course it is always about appearances. Somehow people got the notion that caffeinated drinks were the issue so of course they must be removed.

  27. Next thing you know they’ll say that people only wear socks with their sandals out of preference. sigh.

    I’m not a soda drinker at all…sugar and carbonation=yuck.

    But to say there isn’t a demand is just so ridiculously silly.

  28. Ryan Mullen says:

    One of my memorable BYU experiences: a guy was selling candy on campus in the quad. I saw him walk by with his homemade over-the-shoulder tray. Next thing I know, he’s lying on the ground yelling, “HELP HELP HELP HELP” in a loud monotone. A security guard is holding his hand up in the air, while the perp lies face down on the floor. The guard looked as surprised and confused as the rest of us. I think the guy dropped to the ground when security grabbed his arm to escort him off-campus. In the end a squad car was brought over to drive him away. The whole time he never stopped yelling.

    I always assumed the issue was selling items on campus without approval, so I don’t know that Cynthia’s Coca Cola Stand would fly.

  29. I’m a grad student at the BYU – there is definitely a demand. But I’ve found out that there are secret places to get caffeine on campus. It’s offered at some events at the Alumni Building, approved caterers will deliver it if it’s ordered, and some student clubs have secret (sacred) stashes. Personally, I pack a stash of caffeinated Crystal Light packets in my purse in case of emergency… I like to be prepared.

  30. Meldrum the Less says:

    My daughter is the grateful recipient of an academic and music scholarship at Emory University, worth about $60,000 a year. This is funded to a significant degree by generous donations from Coca Cola. She is one of their most fanatic supporters, although she doesn’t actually drink the product more than about once a week. So drink plenty of coke and support my daughter’s education!

    A little-publicized secret is that a few Emory student functions have had alcohol (wine) provided by the university. Oh, my. There really is not much alcohol drinking at that school. Too competitive and demanding. However, Pepsi products are not available on campus. In fact as a prank a few students heisted a Pepsi machine and left it on the quad which is shaped like a coke bottle. It didn’t last 20 minutes.

    Emory: Alcohol allowed. Coke encouraged. Pepsi forbidden.


    My son at Georgia Tech; that is another matter. Their infamous school song is a telling hint:

    I’m a rambling wreck from Ga Tech,
    and a h*!! of an engineer,
    A h*!! of a h*!! of a h*!! of a h*!! of a h*!! an engineer.

    Like all the jolly good fellas,
    I drink my whiskey clear,
    Cause I’m a rambling wreck from Ga Tech,
    and a h*!! of an engineer.

    Note: The “rambling wreck” refers to the school mascot, one of the most dangerous in college sports. A 1930 Model A Ford which has nearly killed several cheerleaders and band members while roving around the field at football game half times. To be selected as a “designated driver” of the rambling wreck is a high honor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramblin'_Wreck
    “Good fellas” are frat boys who paint their entire bodies yellow and wear long curly bright yellow wigs, white shirts and sometimes yellow suit coats and are doing just about anything but good.

    Ga Tech has been described as an engineering school with a drinking problem.
    Or is it a drinking school with a few engineering problems? I can’t remember.
    Rival University of Georgia on the other hand is described as a drinking school with no such problems.

    I think if BYU can keep the alcohol drinking to a minimum that is great.

    Of actual relevance to this topic:

    A recent BYU engineering graduate who is attending Ga Tech grad school and is in my ward told me this. Although he was at the top of the class at BYU he is really struggling at Ga Tech. He wishes his classes at BYU had been far more demanding. Especially the math and physics. He estimates he will have to spend at least an extra year catching up. For him, this is of greater concern than caffeinated soft drink availability at BYU.

  31. marginalizedmormon says:

    and this is what is discussed by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in a computer blog) in 2012–

  32. Well I think my world has just moved. Did BYU just decide for the rest of the world that caffeinated soft drinks wouldn’t send us to the Telestial kingdom? Because I wish someone would tell New Zealand that. Out here we are pretty sure it will still cost you your exaltation. This is important stuff.

  33. marginalizedmormon, we (‘in’ this computer blog) have been known to talk about some other topics as well.

    kiwimormon, as long as you are only *pretty* sure there is always scope for new light and knowledge to extend to the periphery of Mormonism. :)

  34. Haha, Meldrum! “Emory: Alcohol allowed. Coke encouraged. Pepsi forbidden.”

    Indeed, at universities, donors trump ALL. In fact, I imagine that’s a lot of what’s going on with this BYU thing. Of course students at BYU would buy Coke. But what might happen is that you get a bunch of angry letters from alumni and other donors saying, “Well I never! Why should I give my money to BYU rather than secular schools, if BYU isn’t going to be any different” &etc. (I’m not mocking BYU exclusively here–all universities suffer from the demands of rigid, exceedingly opinionated, exceedingly conservative (in the apolitical meaning of resistant to change) alumni. IMHO Princeton has it worst. Theirs are just awful. They fought tooth and nail to prevent the school from changing policy to admit women, for example.)

  35. Maybe marginalizedmormon should start a parchment blog to discuss more substantive matters.

  36. Cynthia, I love you. And soon I will be rich.

  37. it's a series of tubes says:

    He wishes his classes at BYU had been far more demanding. Especially the math and physics.

    The grad student in your ward isn’t by chance a mechanical engineer, is he? Their math / physics requirements are fairly soft as compared to the EE or Chem.E curriculum.

  38. One of my roommates at BYU would stack cases of Dr. Peppers under his bed. Any beyond that, we would still go off campus for large 44 oz Dr. Peppers. I would take a caffeinated beverage on campus over a V8 Splash any day.

  39. :slaps forehead: I could’ve had a V8!

  40. I wonder how much red meat they sell on campus everyday?

  41. I agree, this is rediculous. Of course there’s a demand. However, I actually do see the wisdom in keeping caffeine of BYU campus. Mormons are limited by the number of addictions we can have, and since BYU is so competitive, adding caffeine convenient locations would only increase unhealthy caffeine addictions among students.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still drink regular coke at my apartment, but no caffeine on campus keeps me from overdoing it, and also keeps my wallet a little heavier (thank goodness).

    Now the no beard policy is another matter altogether…

  42. 40 Carey I absolutely agree.

    41 DavidF a caffeine beard would definitely cause quite a stir. Double the forbidden pleasure.

  43. Jeannine L. says:

    Please, please, please somebody go try to set up a Diet Coke stand at the BYU. I really want to find out that it’s against policy and that they have to get the campus police involved.

    (I REALLY miss PBR)

  44. marginalizedmormon says:

    I have looked at this blog, and there have been some good things on here, so I apologize if I have offended–
    but I do think that this discussion says much about the state of the American/Mormon culture. I should not have commented, and if someone can tell me how I may do it, I will remove the offensive comments–

  45. marginalizedmormon, you have not offended. I think your comment misses the irony in the post. Plus, if you think there is something to say how this discussion relates to American/Mormon culture then feel free to make that argument. kiwimormon did just that in the comment below yours.

  46. Huh. Costco has changed their price since last night. Now just $10.84 per case of 32 cans. That means the profits are now $57.50. Go forth, young entrepreneurs!

  47. Holy cow, people, you’re missing an important element in this debate. Can you imagine what a hopped-up BYU student body would mean for Police Beat Roundtable??

  48. This isn’t news- I don’t know how people think you survive a degree at BYU *without* spending inordinate amounts of time walking to that Subway just off campus for a DP fix. So yes, there’s a demand and of course they’re not going to kick you out just for carrying it around.

    And I think I’ll be down there tapping into unmet demand this weekend, if anyone wants to join me.

  49. elizarsnow says:

    Caffeine triggers migraines, so I didn’t miss the caffeine on campus. (Theobromine is my mild stimulant of choice.) In fairness, though, if BYU isn’t going to sell caffeinated sodas, they should have more couches available for napping.

  50. elizarsnow says:

    Should have said… caffeine triggers MY migraines. It’s a trigger for some migraine-sufferers, but certainly not all.

  51. My guess is that they don’t sell any red meat. Being good Wasatch Front Mormons, they burn it all beyond recognition, so not a hint of red–or even pink–remains.

    It’s enough to make you think that Uncle Ernie thought it was part of eradicating all the Commies and other pinkos from campus.

  52. Ardis is right. Anyone who lives in that general area and cares at all about BCC should see it as their duty to provide caffeinated drinks on campus. We’ve gone far too long without a new PBR post, and those withdrawal symptoms can be as bad as letting go of a caffeine addiction – or so I’ve heard.

  53. Fun comment, Mark. And happy birthday.

  54. hahahahaha…no demand. I am a current student at the law school and last year one of the guys in my class started selling caffeinated soda for some profit. HUGE demand for that. This year we got an email from a dean telling is that it is “against University policy to sell caffeine on campus.” You can still find plenty of caffeine at every law school sponsored activity. No demand…*snort*….

  55. I also miss PBR desperately.

  56. I just saw this “Last place you can’t get a Coke” on the front page of Yahoo News and freaked out for a second that the rest of the world cared.

  57. 54aa well now your enterprising friend has a piece of paper to shone back in their face!

  58. 1. No caffeine on BYU b/c of no demand;

    2. No tithing monies go to the BYU athletic department;

    Keep the honesty coming BYU.

  59. Left Field says:

    Back in the early ’80s when I was a graduate student at BYU, I briefly carpooled with a faculty member who lived in my town. On the way into work every day, he would stop and buy what he referred to as his “cold coffee.”

  60. The problem with this post: Image should be of Fentimann’s Curiosity Cola not Coke.

  61. The “demand” thing is obviously false. The millions of non-Mormon visitors who were forced to purchase non-caffeinated drinks at the Polynesian Cultural Center housed on BYU-Hawaii’s campus did not suddenly stop demanding the caffeinated beverages they drink on the mainland. The unintended irony of replacing one ridiculous face saving myth with another is a fitting coda to this particular era of Mormon prohibition.

    On only an only slightly related note, how horrible is Carri Jenkins’ job? For years I’ve heard her flack the most preposterous notions while apparently maintaining a straight face to the point where I now simply shake my head at her cyborg-like willingness to push a line that is ripe for ridicule. A catalogue of her greatest hits would of course include BYU being “puzzled” by a gay employee’s comment about “an increasingly hostile work environment” but must also include “the honor code really reflects who we are as a university” for, again, the unintentional irony component.

    There should probably be a “Carrie Jenkins” award (resist the urge to truncate it to the “Carrie”) to be given each year to the individual who publicly maintains the most bizarre and obviously false notion in the service of the institution to which he or she is attached. This need not be limited to Mormons–nominees can come from any institution and place though obviously the wild contortions that religion, politics and law require of those who take them seriously enough to make them their professions will no doubt result in overrepresentation from those categories.

  62. Even though the Carrie would not have to be limited to Mormons, based on the criteria I still think Mormons would win most years. Sorry, I could not resist the urge to call it the Carrie, I really did try though.

  63. Really, EOR? Do the phrases “wide stance” or “not intended to be a factual statement” ring a bell? There’s plenty of world-class competitors for this award.

  64. I don’t think a was ever taught that the was a rule about caffeine, specifically, in the word of wisdom. I was taught to be very careful about what I put in my body. We never had soda at home, unless we made home made ice cream and were having root beer floats.

    When I married a vegetarian, I wasn’t worried. I liked meat, but we had meals with no meat at least twice a week so I knew plenty of recipes. I got a job as an assistant manager at McDonalds, so occasionally I had bacon on a breakfast sandwich, but was pretty much meat free for a year. The cool thing with my job was that I could drink soda all shift, and it was free.

    After several months I was deep into a caffeine addiction. I realize for a lot of people it wouldn’t matter much, but like most women in my family I had been having migraines since I started menstrating. The caffeine was making the headaches way worse, but more than 18 hours without caffeine and I was literally shaking. We didn’t have health insurance so I just took lots of ibuprofen and Tylenol and kept drinking Mountain Dew.

    A year later, when we finally had insurance, I went to the doctor. No meat meant that I was severely anemic. All the tylenol created a life long liver imbalance, and the six week withdrawal from caffeine ended up taking two hospitalizations for dehydration from the migraine side effects. Six months later, when I was still severely anemic, we found out that iron in supplement form wasn’t being processed by my body.

    It really wasn’t until 3 years later that my blood work finally got back to normal, and 18 years later we still do liver function test every 6 months. I take caffeine, in pill form, if I have a migraine that doesn’t respond to my first line meds, but other than small doses occasionally in chocolate, I have to be really careful. The more products they put caffeine in, the closer I have to pay attention.

    I do not think anyone needs to follow my path. There are lots of people who drink caffeine and do not have the problems I had, even after years of use. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an addictive substance. I saw a substance abuse counselor who specialized in caffeine addiction, and my husband had an easier time giving up his 2 fifths a week, alcoholism than when he stopped drinking caffeine. It is addictive. It does cause disruptions in your body, and for some people it causes severe problems. (Doesn’t that sound like the reasons seminary teachers told us alcohol, even a glass of wine with dinner was prohibited?) For me, not letting any substance control my life includes using caffeine only as a seldom used medication. I consider that, and eating red meat and lots of dark green vegetables (for the iron) part of following the WoW. As it is written, I think of the WoW as an invitation to ask Heavenly Father how best to take care of my body. I wish I had learned that lesson without messing up my liver.

    I think BYU’s reasoning is silly, but I admit it would be nice to find a chain of restaurants that were caffeine free. It won’t happen. I know that. I won’t ever find an onion free restaurant either. (Allergies suck)

  65. Cynthia, haha you got me!

    Julia before I stopped eating meat I made sure I had plenty other diverse ways to get my iron because I am anemic (have been for many years) I also am mindful of my protein as well.

    I never got addicted to caffeine, and we were “soda in our bottles” babies. It surprises me because I actually have a very addictive personality. It just doesn’t impact me at all.

  66. EOR-

    I agree that my case is fairly extreme. At 19, I didn’t know I was anemic or that the vitamins I was taking weren’t going to be processed by my body. The fact that I hadn’t had caffeine before probably added to how easily I was addicted, and how much it impacted my migraines.

    My best friend, who brings her own Dr Pepper when she comes over thinks I am setting my kids up for problems. I then remind her of the camping trip that she decided she was going to quit Dr Pepper cold turkey, and was driving around Central Oregon at 2:00 am looking for any form of caffeine. We both laugh, and go back to the really important thing in life: is that 70 point word in the Scrabble dictionary?

    I share my experience mostly as an example of why some people, and families, see caffeine as part of their choices in keeping the WoW. My son and husband may come home from campouts very glad to not have hyper scouts that are still drinking caffeine at 11:00 pm, but that isn’t the caffeine’s fault. ;-)

  67. I know a guy who took a job in a BYU campus booth getting students to fill out credit card applications. He came up with the idea of giving away a free 2 liter bottle of Coke (he had a variety of sodas, actually) to anyone who filled out the application. He was paid ~$5 per application filled out, and only paid <$1 for the soda. He made killing at this job and found the caffeinated soda was of high demand.

  68. This would totally be a money maker… I wouldn’t do it anymore than I’d setup a cigarette stand at the elementary school; but I’m sure someone will set something up.

    I get that it’s “for the weakest of saints” but to me Caffeine still falls into the category of “because of conspiring plans that can and do exist in the hearts of men in the latter days.” lol, but then again, I feel the same about High Fructose Corn Syrup too.

  69. Julia :)

    zankin I understand what you are trying to say, but selling cigarettes to minors is illegal so imo they are nowhere near the same ballpark.

  70. So was Carrie lying for the Lord? Just wondering…

  71. Okay, maybe not THAT extreme, but it’s still against my personal beliefs. Glad you know what I’m trying to say.

  72. I called the Skyroom in the Wilk after a friend said they thought that the Skyroom sells caffeinated drinks. The person I talked to said that they did not because it was “university policy” and that only non-caffeinated Coke products are sold. That seems to conflict with what we’ve been hearing that this is just a decision by dining services based on demand.


  73. I wonder why members in positions of authority have trouble not using weasel words. Why couldn’t the person interviewed just said its banned. When President Hinkley was asked why women didn’t hold the priesthood he used the same words “there is no demand for it”. And what is the consequences if there is demand?

    Very amusing satirical post.

  74. < So was Carrie lying for the Lord?

    No, she was doing PR for BYU. And it’s fun to listen to PR people, because they tend to be very, very good at saying things with a straight face (see, e.g., Dana Perino when she was Bush’s press secretary). It’s a seriously impressive skill; Perino was clearly better than Jenkins, but she was the press secretary for PotUS, not just a university.

  75. Yeah the Skyroom definitely does not serve caffeine. That’s really a lesser beverage scandal, though, than the fact that the Skyroom’s fabled specialty lemonades are made not with actual lemons but Country Time powder mix. It’s true!

  76. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Country Time is an abomination.

  78. In other news, predictably, nobody but nobody is believing the “there’s no demand” lie. Not even the most die-hard BYU sports boosters. Behold:

    I don’t want to be mean but I’m it going to say it
    That statement was a big fat lie.
    It’s disappointing that the lie came from the BYU spokesperson.

    And 20 other commenters saying the same thing:

    Even some guy whose handle is “Coog4Life” and whose avatar pic is the BYU logo, says “That is blatant dishonesty.”

    Way for the grown-ups to set a good example for students of living the Honor Code. Sheesh.

  79. It is a bit silly. Few byu students ask for cokes because they already now they aren’t available. But there must be a few who don’t know yet. I think they hould ALL start requesting it. Every time with everything they buy on campus.

  80. The irony of this whole thing is how the tail is wagging the dog. You think if you wrote a letter to the FP you’d get a church wide reply? And yet now we have the Newsroom speaking in behalf of the church on a subject prophets have surely known there were constant harping, but chose not to answer because its a bit silly to be expected to be the decider for every question.

    Now the Newsroom can fill that role to the media but also back to the church.

    The Newsroom better be careful because they are getting pulled into involvement and people will take notice. Its very easy to start having others steering the messaging, which is not what the church presumably wants. In essence, the outside media, etc. Is not telling the Newsroom what to say, but biasing what subjects they talk about.

  81. Kathie Christensen says:

    “Do you scrupulously avoid the use of stimulants and substances that conflict with the intent of the Word of Wisdom, or have you made some personally rationalized exceptions?” – Richard G. Scott, GC, Oct 2008

  82. I’m willing to bet that there have been one or two conference talks about being honest, too.

  83. “How cheaply some men and women sell their good names!” — Gordon B. Hinckley, We Believe in Being Honest.

    “For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, honesty is the only policy.” — Elder Sheldon F. Child, As Good As Our Bond.

    “[I was asked,] “In times of war, should not the moral code be relaxed? Does not the stress of battle justify men in doing things that they would not do when at home under normal situations?” I recognized that here was a chance perhaps to make some points and look broad-minded. … In the end I simply said, “I do not believe there is a double standard of morality.”” — James E. Faust, Honesty–A Moral Compass.

  84. This whole topic annoys me to no end. WoW has never been about caffeine. It’s about obedience. Obedience to no ‘hot’ drinks. If it were the caffeine, then everyone had better put the Hershey bar down & back away quickly. Certainly the BYU bookstore would be equivalent to a crack house due to the amount of candy & chocolate available there. The caffeine in a chocolate bar or piece of cake is nothing to shake your fist at. Everyone reacts to these substances differently. I can drink plenty of large Cokes/Dr.Peppers in a row & it never affects me. But I have relatives who go crazy after 1/2 of a small one. All of the nit-picking just allows finger-pointing & judgment. For mbrs who say it’s not okay & to tell non-mbrs that just makes it look like none of us know what we believe. Choffee, green & herbal tea, postum, near-beer drinkers – that’s where you might be pushing your luck on the obedience. I think the holier-than-thou attitude of non-Coke drinking mbrs is a much bigger problem. zankin – ‘weakest of saints’ ?? i really hope I missed the sarcasm you surely intended.

  85. So I am going to be very disappointed if some enterprising BYU students don’t start a Change.org petition to get caffeinated sodas sold on campus. If you can get 20% of students to sign the petition and deliver it to the head of dining, Jenkins office, the press etc. it would be really, really hard for them to deny that there is substantial demand on campus. Heck, I would go to the head of dining and ask “what percent of BYU students would need to express the desire for the sale of caffeinated beverages on campus to cause you to revisit and change the policy?” Then I would go out and hit the number. It can’t be that hard. I bet only 15-20% of BYU students would actively want to ban caffeine from campus. They get so few chances to do something activisty there. This should be a cake walk. Student Review here is your chance for some fun action jounalism!

  86. Re: 81, I find it interesting that that talk was given about the same time an article appeared in the ENSIGN


    which talked about the dangers of excessive caffeine intake. I remember at the time printing it out and checking the references. It was actually pretty balanced, recognizing the uses and acknowledging that many people don’t have problems while warning of issues with addiction and overuse.

  87. #84

    I don’t think I have ever heard herbal teas as something we should avoid. If so I think our stake president is going to hell. At Stake Conference he shared a story of a sick child who could only keep down peppermint tea, not even water, and what a blessing it was that the Lord allowed the child to have something that kept them hydrated, helped keep them warm inside, and had properties that helped to sooth their stomachs. He then went on to talk about how the scriptures should be out peppermint tea, in times of spiritual sickness or confusion.

  88. Hot Chocolate?

  89. Hot Chocolate?
    Tomato Soup?
    This is all so silly.

  90. Sorry for the double post.

  91. I have always understood that the reason for the WoW as this:

    4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—

    It is modern marketing techniques which identify your weak points and sell to them that is the danger. It is not particularly coffee, but Starbucks, not beer so much as Coors. Not beef so much as McDonald’s. Not wine so much as Mondavi or Safeway. I make a minor distinction with strong drink and tobacco because these are so addicting and so damaging, but still the argument applies that (marketing) people use addictions and desires to profit with your misery.

  92. T-NC #84
    It is not about obedience. It is about health.

  93. # 91 – your argument, as presented here, doesn’t make sense to me. If the purpose of the WoW was to help us avoid these evil marketers, wouldn’t I just be able to make my own bathtub brew at home without violating the commandment? Can you elaborate?

    Also, I don’t mean to threadjack, but can someone explain this “lying for the Lord” meme?

  94. Brother Remora (#17), your story on the why the Varsity Theater stopped showing edited rated R movies is not quite accurate. The reason they stopped is because Sony Pictures sent a letter saying BYU did not have permission to edit their movies. BYU decided to check with other movies distributors and got the same response.

    From http://utahtheaters.info/TheaterMain.asp?ID=191

    “Discussions with suppliers of films and film companies have made it clear that BYU will not be able to secure formal approval to continue editing films,” said Carri Jenkins, Director of Media Communications. “BYU will discontinue editing movies for the Varsity Theatre … [and] will continue to exercise judgment and prudence in the choice of films that it shows on the BYU campus.”

  95. In my own personal experience I have noted that the WoW is one of the most hotly debated items. I wonder why that is.

  96. RW, I disagree. The WoW has little to do with health, at least in the way it is currently interpreted by the church. If it were all about health, then the church would emphasize the parts that are concerned with eating meat sparingly and using grains and fruits. And we would be allowed to use those mild barley drinks that are spoken of!

    But the church doesn’t do that. Instead it chooses to proscribe some things completely, which the revelation itself does not do. The revelation mentions health only once, as a blessing for those who keep it, but it also mentions wisdom as a blessing as well, so you could as easily say that the Word of Wisdom is about wisdom. As it is currently interpreted by the church, however, it seems to me that T-NC is correct: it’s more about obedience. We have to keep it the way the church interprets it in order to get a TR, and in order to get the promised blessings. So we just do it. Does it result in better health? For the most part, probably so, but that seems almost incidental.

  97. Brian #93,

    Tobacco is a problem, but in the hands of modern marketing and advertising it is a menace. Sweet things, alone, are a treat, but in the hands of marketers, food chemists, and focus groups they turn into a national epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes. Tea and coffee, for the delivery of caffeine, are very comforting and much healthier than soda, but in the hands of multinational corporations the demitasse turns into the super-grande double espresso, so if there is a problem with caffeine it is multiplied many times. Mild barley drinks may be a pleasant social thirst quencher, in the hands of youth marketing may lead to alcoholism. Eating small portions of red meat on an occasional basis will not hurt and is a real treat, but excess red meat consumption is at the root of many health problems (colon cancer and heart disease) and environmental problems largely because of the success of test kitchens and modern marketing from beef councils, etc.

    Without the “conspiring men,” most of these things would not be a particular problem. But knowing the future, and the weaknesses of the natural man, God arms us against these temptations.

    It makes a difference whether you properly understand the reasoning behind the WoW. It is apparent that the original WoW, as given in the D&C, was to warn us and give us counsel. With the passage of time the meaning was narrowed and defined. The intent of the WoW apparently has morphed into a law to show how obedient we are rather than advice to keep us wise and healthy. So we focus on the exact measurable aspects of the WoW to show measurable obedience: do you or do you not use tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee. While the other parts of the law, equally important but harder to measure, are ignored: eating fruit in the seasons thereof, killing animals rarely and mostly only in winter when other food is scarce. Eating lots of grain.

    Imagine a temple recommend interview where the bishop asked for your meat eating log. Why is this part of the law ignored while the other parts, hot drinks narrowly defined as tea and coffee, generally innocuous, are so emphasized? Meat eating is much more damaging to more people by shortened lives than warm drinks containing caffeine, which might actually promote health. (Imagine a meatless 24th of July celebration because it is summer, feasting on corn, squash, early peaches and dairy products and pasta.)

    But let it here be known: I am all for obedience to God’s commands. But I am waiting to hear a GA in conference thunder over the pulpit about the evils of beef consumption or the virtues of whole wheat bread. (I can safely predict it will NEVER happen. Prove me wrong!)

    The BYU brouhaha over caffeine is just an indication of the triumph of the letter of the law over the spirit. We note the absurdity of the letter of this law, just like we note the absurdity of many Jewish Sabbath day restrictions. Another triumph of the letter was the advertisement of tobacco products on KSL for years and years. (We needed to sell tobacco to compete! The only reason they stopped was because of the national ban.)

  98. I always thougtht he word of wisdom was two fold…one is about health, but the other is as a marker-a difference maker. It is a way for us to choose to be peculiar or not.

  99. Thank you, RW #97, for voicing some of my own thoughts so articulately. I’ve often wondered if I wouldn’t rather have my children drink coffee than soda. And I’m grateful that the WoW has helped guide me away from a number of things that I’m fairly certain I’d lose my agency to.

  100. Kathie Christensen says:

    RW #97
    “… But I am waiting to hear a GA in conference thunder over the pulpit about the evils of beef consumption or the virtues of whole wheat bread. (I can safely predict it will NEVER happen. Prove me wrong!)”

    Brigham Young, Ch. 16: “Sisters, will you take notice, and instruct those who are not here today, to adopt this rule–stop your children from eating meat, and especially fat meat;” – Discourses of Brigham Young, Ch. 16

    George Q. Cannon: “We are told that flesh of any kind is not suitable to man in the summer time, and ought to be eaten sparingly in the winter.” -JD Vol.22, 221-224

    Heber J. Grant: “I think that another reason I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria in the Utah Hotel I have not, with the exception of not more than a dozen times, ordered meat of any kind. I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom and that, in my opinion, is one reason for my good health.” – General Conf. Report, April 1937

    George Albert Smith: “The Word of Wisdom sifts the people. They do not realize it. How carefully they are being tested. It’s a gradation, so to speak. It’s a cultural revolution. So also is their treatment of animals, etc.” -General Conf. 1855 (His son-in-law recorded, “In the summer he eats no meat, and even in the winter months he eats very
    little “)

    Ezra Taft Benson: “In this revelation (the Word of Wisdom) the Lord counsels us to use meat sparingly. I have often felt that the Lord is further counseling us in this revelation against indiscriminately killing animals, for He has said elsewhere in scripture, ‘Woe unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.'” -General Conference, April 1983

  101. Love this thread! Two comments:

    1. COUCHES. In the Wilkinson Center, second floor ladies room, there used to be (1970’s) several cots with sheets and pillows, as nearly as I could tell for women who were having “monthly ills.” None in the men’s room; at least none the guys admitted to. Apparently the cots’ removal from the ladies’ had something to do with the rise of feminism. (“If you’re going to rant and rave, you get no more pampering!”)

    2. COKE. An English Dept. faculty member walked into what was then called the “steno pool.” (No idea what it’s called now. Same room, though; same purpose.) She carried a large Diet Coke in a paper cup, still frosty from some off-campus supplier of ill-gotten goods.

    A colleague, ironic by nature, a committed bachelor, very aware of language nuances, and oddly enough, a very observant, by-the-Book member of the church, said, “Oh, Miss X! Lips that touch Coca-Cola shall never touch mine!”

    To which Miss X said at once, “Why qualify the restriction, Sir?”

  102. 102. Thank you very very much.

  103. Let us see, if Camels were advertized on KSL, then could we, as a Church, go up against McDonnald’s? Well, if the Church went up against half of California, maybe… naaa, it will never happen.

    Beef is not that moral an issue even though it is in the same commandment from God. But a roast or a half pound burger will never keep us out of the temple.

  104. Drinking a beer or a coffee is more immoral than eating beef?

  105. Oh Elouise, I remember the incident well–and who those characters were. It’s still called the steno pool.

  106. EOR, thou hast said. They are listed in the same commandment, and God did not discriminate. Anyway, coffee is not mentioned. So conspicuous beef consumption is more immoral than iced tea or coffee. They -should- be, at least, equally immoral. Imagine a world where Mormons would feel horror and shudder driving past Carl’s Junior. A world where the smell of beef on one’s breath were an admonition of guilt and the stain of barbeque sauce on one’s tie could put you on theological probation.

    In many ways, and very seriously, meat IS very immoral and maybe should be treated like coffee and beer.

    Thanks, Kathie Christensen, #100. It makes me feel better. But the latest date is thirty years ago. How about Elder Cook taking on the eating of meat out of season. How about a temple recommend question, “Do you take the admonition to eat meat sparingly with the seriousness with which it was given? Do you diligently try to keep this commandment?”

  107. Kathie Christensen says:

    George Albert Smith above (#100) should be 1955, not 1855.

    Hugh Nibley: “God will justify the taking of animal life to sustain man’s want, but reserves a special blessing for those who place their own nobility before their necessity.” – Brigham Young and the Environment, p.23

  108. Kathie Christensen says:

    An interesting antidote:

    In the 1996 April General Conference, Boyd Packer’s talk was on the Word of Wisdom. He said, “”Avoid being extreme or fanatical or becoming a faddist. For example, the Word of Wisdom counsels us to eat meat sparingly. Lest someone become extreme, we are told in another revelation that “whoso forbiddeth to [eat meat] is not ordained of God.” (As I recall, this was around the time that PETA was blowing things up.)

    My children, who had been taught to eat meat very sparingly, were listening and were alarmed that they might be fanatical faddists. I wrote Pres. Packer and asked if he might clarify his remarks. He declined to do so. However, a few weeks later, my sister’s father-in-law, who is a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, was invited, with several other general authorities, to a dinner at Pres. Packer’s home. Apparently no meat was served at all and this particular Seventy was rather disgruntled about the whole thing. In fact, he told my sister and her husband that he had had to stop and get a burger on his way home from the event to make him feel that he had really eaten a meal. :)

  109. Kathie, believe it or not, this post has almost nothing to do with whether or not a given thing is proscribed or prescribed by the Word of Wisdom or not. It is about BYU policy, BYU internal politics, and BYU’s PR team. Please enough already with making this your soapbox for your pet interpretations. Same goes for everybody else.

  110. Kathie Christensen says:

    I apologize for being so off-topic.

  111. I apologize for being a tad harsher than was really called for.

  112. #83: “Does not the stress of battle justify men in doing things that they would not do when at home under normal situations?”

    Memo to James Faust: YES.

    Like, for instance, STICKING A BAYONET IN A DUDE.

  113. Thou shalt not kill, except when moved upon by the Holy Ghost or asked to do so by thy country.

  114. What in the world has this post turned into? Maybe it is time to close comments?

  115. Things always head south after 100 comments.

    Luckily, gst is our official thread-closer, and it appears he is here and ready to do the job.

  116. Cynthia, Sorry if it wasn’t an appropriate suggestion, it just seems pretty far away from the actual OP. :-). Sorry if I offended.

  117. Julia, you didn’t offend at all. It is simply an observation based on blogging for 4 years that threads tend to head south after 100 comments. We also have a sort of tongue-in-cheek tradition as of the past, I don’t know, maybe year or so, that gst is our official thread-closer. Whether it is the nature of his comments that precipitates the need for closing is part of the tradition.

  118. In the interest of science and enterprising students who take up this challenge should buy a single can of decaffeinated Coke and a single can of decaffeinated Diet Coke and offer them for sale as well. I bet those two cans will last all year.

  119. Got it. :-)

    I hadn’t realized the tradition and I am still terrible at voice inflection in comments yet.

    Thanks for letting me know.

  120. I quite enjoyed Kathie’s story and think that stories of the membership bothering apostles with every little concern is endearing. I would guess that it would be a real treat to get to read an apostle’s mail for a day or two. But not much longer.

  121. “Dining Services has made the decision to not sell or serve caffeinated beverages on campus, simply based on what some of our customers don’t want others of our customers to drink.”

  122. John Harrison: “I would guess that it would be a real treat to get to read an apostle’s mail for a day or two. But not much longer.” Agreed and agreed.

    Baura, perfect!

  123. #61 – Posthumous Carrie to the Iraqi Information Minister – “There are no tanks in Baghdad.”

  124. Could we give a Carrie to Paul Ryan for his explanation that he wasn’t actually saying Obama was to blame for the GM plant closure in Wisconsin?

  125. “Simply based on what our customers want or do not want.”

    LOL!!! Here is my two cents about this statement: I don’t think so Sister Jenkins. Get real.

  126. Ah, but the original post was about the letter of the law and the spirit. We were just extending that boundary but orbiting around that point. Sorry Cynthia.

  127. No worries. I shouldn’t have come down so hard. Y’all were being polite, that’s more than we often get around here. ;-)

  128. When I was a BYU-Idaho student, I would buy (on campus) a bottle of SoBe with guarana – a natural caffeine. Loved that they never caught on. Also, I was in good with some school administrators who would keep Diet Coke in mini fridges below their desk. I remember being offered one with the label removed. :)

  129. Re: 128
    Apostates!!! And thus we see how Satan works in oh so subtle ways… LOL! (and in BYU-Idaho… known to be much stricter than the laid back BYU Provo… hahaha)

  130. I am glad I didn’t wind up going to BYU. I never would have made it through my 18-22 years without sweet lady Pepsi. She comforts my soul in times of great need, an ever-present helper.

  131. EOR, you wouldn’t have had any Pepsi from a soda machine at BYU even if they didn’t have a ban on caffeine. They are a Coca-Cola products customer, not a Pepsico products customer. (Notice how no soda machine ever has both Coke and Pepsi options–they are strictly segregated by which parent company you contract with.)

  132. Terrible!

  133. Coke, not Pepsi, at BYU? That’s it! My kids are going elsewhere.

  134. Sonny I agree. Coke tastes like what I imagine battery acid must taste like, whereas Pepsi is cool and refreshing.

  135. EOR-
    So Pepsi is better tasting battery acid?

  136. No, Pepsi is good. I don’t always drink dark sodas but when I do, it’s Dos Pepsis

  137. EOR- okay, I have to ask (since we seem to be able to riff on the same wavelength) will you check out my Gay Trees and Gadianton Robbers Post? I gotta get the other side thrown at me.

    Poetrysansonions.blogspot.com it is the second one down, underneath the Ursula LeGuin post.

  138. Apparently there actually is demand for caffeinated soda: http://fox13now.com/2012/09/07/a-push-to-caffeinate-byus-campus/

  139. DigruntledActiveMormon says:

    Trust me, this idea has been thought of. My buddies and I seriously thought about selling Mt. Dew and energy drinks during finals week. Oh if only we had, we could have shown the demand for it!

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