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An investigator had a health concern and she was prescribed by her doctor to drink coffee with her medicines at least once a day. Is she allowed to be baptized and receive a temple recommend in the future without giving up coffee? Or will she be required to give up it? Thanks Gramps.

Elder Manuel




Dear Elder,

If I were to speak with your investigator as a friend, I would advise her to ask her doctor why he prescribed coffee and if there’s any alternatives. I know many people who, when given a pricey prescription, will ask for alternatives (starting with generic versions of the medicine) so they can save money. Surely they would also be willing to ask for alternatives when it conflicts with the counsel and command of prophets!

After asking, she may find out that there really is no other alternative but the coffee. The Church has clarified its stance on the Word of Wisdom:

The only official interpretation of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early Church leaders that the term “hot drinks” means tea and coffee.


Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician.

So is her coffee a forbidden “hot drink”? or is it a “substance” used “under the care of a competent physician”? In this case, my opinion doesn’t matter a fig. The mission president holds the keys! The mission president is the gatekeeper for the covenant of baptism. Elder, please ask your mission president what he discerns in this matter. If he gives the go-ahead, then you may also wish to work with the bishop who holds the keys and is the gatekeeper for temple blessings.

I’ve locked myself out of my own car before. I am not entrusted with keys, so I’m afraid any specific answer I give will not provide any meaningful solution. The key holders have the answers you’re looking for.






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