Not just magical underpants

This ESPN story on Brandon Davies notes as an aside that not only are illegal drugs and alcohol prohibited by BYU’s honor code, but caffeinated beverages are also no-nos. I read that and found myself thinking, “jeez, what do the Mormons think of ginseng?” As it turns out, were it not for ginseng, which grew wild in Vermont, the LDS church might well not even exist:

Learning of the demand for crystallized ginseng in China, [Joseph Smith, Sr.] invested money in that product and made a shipment, but it proved unprofitable, and having in this way lost most of his money, they moved back to a farm at Tunbridge [in Vermont]. Thence they moved to Royalton and in a few months to Sharon where on December 23 1805, Joseph Smith Jr, their fourth child was born. Again they moved to Tunbridge and then back to Royalton…From there they went to Lebanon, New Hampshire, thence to Norwich, Vermont, still farming without success until after three years of crop failure they decided to move to New York State, arriving there in the summer of 1816.

The more you know! I wonder if the Mormons have official policies on MSG, too.

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