The Coffee Question

Those crazy Mormons are at it again. Not only do they have to their own Bible, but now they're supposedly health nuts? Who cares if they drink coffee or tea? They drink energy drinks and soda and those are worse!

I get it, I really do. Why have restrictions on something so widely used and say it's for health reasons when ignoring all the other garbage we eat and drink? There are a lot of answers and opinions on the Word of Wisdom, but really, it boils down to obedience.

Whether you are a born and raised Mormon, convert to the Church, or just interested in Mormonism, there's one thing that you should know about that really gets people's feathers ruffle: the Word of Wisdom.

Like most revelation given to prophets both in ancient times and present, the Word of Wisdom started out as an answer to a problem Joseph Smith presented to the Lord. The Lord answered with guidelines for fruits, vegetables, grains, and vague statements like "hot and strong drinks". Fortunately, we have prophets who clarify what it meant. In 1921, Heber J. Grant told the Saints that the Word of Wisdom specifies alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. Pretty simple, right?

Well, in the less than one hundred years there have been justifications and reasonings and murmurings as to why the Word of Wisdom isn't applicable. On the other hand, there are people who become fanatics and refuse to entertain phrases such as "coffee table".

People will come up with reasons that God instituted the Word of Wisdom, a common reason people say coffee is avoided is tannins, but there are just as many tannins in grape juice.

In opposition of the Word of Wisdom some Mormons will say that since barley is set apart for use in mild drinks (D&C 89:17) it's okay to drink beer, even though prophets have specifically said alcohol is breaking the Word of Wisdom.

Sometimes commands from God are simple. Sometimes they don't make sense either. In the Bible the Israelites were bitten by snakes. The Lord told them they would be healed if the bites if they looked at a serpent on a staff. And what happened? It was too easy. Many of the Israelites didn't believe it could happen. Like the Israelites there's a promise to the Word of Wisdom:

18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel, and marrow in their bones;

19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21

Sounds pretty awesome to me, but the promises, like every other promise from God has a prerequisite of obedience. You don't have to understand the why, sometimes you just have to show God the respect He asks for and the love He deserves by following His commands.


-Nikita

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Author: millennialmormon

Nikita is a regular lady who gets through the day one a wing and a prayer and with help from God. She’s a stay-at-home-mom to five crazy awesome kids and is married to her best friend of 22 years. This is her blog about loving Jesus and living life.

4 thoughts on “The Coffee Question”

  1. Thank you!!! I opened this blog feeling worrisome that it would be an expanded list of dos and don’ts. Perhaps similar to a church news article my mother once gave me that stated if the word of wisdom was given today it would include sugar (made me so mad!! We have prophets today for that exact reason and if sugar was suppose to be there it would) ANYWAY, thank you for speaking from the words of the prophet and with faith. I struggle with my weight and have an addiction to food. But I believe, as D&C states, that even I, as the weakest of saints, can be obedient to its principles.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Everyone seems to have opinions on the Word of Wisdom, it’s always refreshing when we are not confronted with lists of restrictions that haven’t been approved by anyone with authority. I wish you the best of luck!

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    1. I’ve actually asked this myself. Eating meat sparingly and in times of cold or famine is something I personally feel should be emphasized. Like every part of the Word of Wisdom there are multiple interpretations that float around. The Church hasn’t given specific guidelines for it, so as of now it’s more of a “personal interpretation” thing. A lot of people I have spoken with say “sparingly” means one serving per meal. Which is way more than I personally think is needed. I think it’s not emphasized as much because of the ambiguity.

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