There were lots of Utah TV news reports in late August 2012 on so-called clarifications about the LDS Church's Word of Wisdom vs. caffeine.
What I saw was little in clarification and a lot in supposition.
Yes, caffeine and cola drinks are NOT mentioned in the Church's Word of Wisdom doctrine.
So, yes, technically church doctrine does not oppose drinking colas on that basis, as "hot drinks" in the Word of Wisdom officially only refer to coffee and tea drinking.
However, the church has always stated that its members should avoid harmful and habit forming drugs.
Also, in October of 2013, some caffeinated soft drinks accidentally ended up for sale at BYU. The drinks, once discovered, were promptly removed.
So, BYU or church leaders can say caffeinated drinks are not specifically against church policy, but their actions say otherwise, since they are not sold at BYU or at any College Institute of Religion.
As I've watched regular cola drinkers over the years, some are certainly addicted to the stuff.
There's enough caffeine in colas to be obviously especially harmful to young children the most.
Now consider this, the drugs LSD and Heroin are not mentioned in the Word of Wisdom revelation (D and C section 89), so are they OK then?
In reasonable moderation, cola drinks with caffeine are probably OK. But, how do you define "reasonable?"
My wife will sometimes drink a caffeine-loaded cola to stop a headache. That's probably OK, if it works, as a kind of medicine.
(She thinks I drink too many soft drinks period.)
I personally hate the cola taste and so there's no issue for me here. And, there are some non-cola drinks that have caffeine in them as well (like Mountain Dew, which I also dislike the taste of.)
-Regarding coffee and tea:
It ISN'T just the caffeine in those drinks that is against the Word of Wisdom.
By the same logic of 'actions speak louder than words' -- there is NO decaf coffee or tea on sale at BYU or any Institute of Religion.
That's because there are other ingredients in those that are bad.
Also, "hot drinks" is a core principle of the Word of Wisdom, as in setting the Lord's people apart and distinct from the rest of the world ...
Remember: It isn't evil or a sin for non-LDS members to drink caffeine or coffee or tea. But it is a sin for Church members, who should know better, to do so and who are held to a HIGHER standard..
Conclusion: All things in moderation is probably the best advice and that includes chocolate, meat, soft drinks in general, candy and any food or drink. Why, even drinking too much water can make you sick, or kill you.
But coffee, tea and any caffeinated soft drinks (or other drinks with that ingredient) are AGAINST the Word of Wisdom.
NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.