It appears that the generally accepted definition of "hot drinks" may 
have been fairly broad for a period of time.  A quote from Widtsoe's 
1937 book on the Word of Wisdom--

Caffeine, the essential principle of tea and coffee, was discovered, as 
a chemical substance, a few years before the Word of Wisdom was 
received. This knowledge was, however, buried in scientific 
publications. It is very unlikely that the Prophet Joseph Smith had 
heard of it. It was many years after 1833 that the physiological effect 
of caffeine was established by science. In the days of Joseph Smith, tea 
and coffee did not come in for the disfavor shown by some towards 
alcohol and tobacco. Indeed, people were often advised to use tea and 
coffee as a means of conquering the liquor habit.

That the expression "hot drinks" was used in the Word of Wisdom rather 
than "coffee and tea," is notable; for by so doing a host of other 
injurious habit-forming beverages now used (or that may be used) become 
subject to the Word of Wisdom. 

( John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern 
Interpretation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1937], 99.)

I see several other quotes from Church authorities during the 
mid-nineteen-hundreds that contain similar language with reference to 
caffeine-containing beverages.

As far as I can recall, it was never interpreted thus during my 
lifetime.  Apparently the revision to more narrowly focus the Word of 
Wisdom came about some time after the 1940's.

It would also seem more significant, I suppose, if we knew specifically 
what the requirements for a temple recommend were based on.  Again, my 
experience over the last thirty years is that the temple recommend 
interview only focused specifically on tea and coffee as "hot drinks".  
No bishop has ever questioned me about using caffeine.

Mij Ebaboc

Jon Spencer wrote:
We talked about this issue today with a couple of sister customers in 
our bookstore.  They both recall that when they were married (many moons 
ago), it was taught that caffeine was against the WoW.  They said it was 
in the lesson manuals (I'll take their word for it because I am just a 
newbie - 9 years).  They also knew that that had been retracted.

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