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Gramps,

I am a convert to the church and was heavily into coffee and tea and even immersed into the culture before I quit and joined the church. I switched to all natural, low sugar energy drinks and yerba mate. I am dependent on caffeine despite several failed attempts to wean. Am I still keeping the Word of Wisdom even though I have an addiction? Will it  keep me out of the temple or celestial kingdom? It hurts my heart daily to think about.

Angela

 

 

Answer

 

Dearest Angela,

Without question, one of the most common questions we get is asking if this or that particular substance is banned due to the Word of Wisdom. Latter-day Saints might bicker about many things but asking if we can drink tea/soda/or drinks with caffeine in them is bound to start an argument!

Hearing that this problem “hurts your heart daily” breaks my heart as well. Be kind to yourself Angela.  You are struggling with something that many of us do. Our addictions in this world, even those to harder substances, do not make us bad people. Be kind to yourself and remember that you are beloved daughter of our Heavenly Father and He wants you to be with him eternally.

Spencer W. Kimball, our president and prophet from several years ago is attributed to saying, “I love the smell of tobacco smoke in church because it means people are trying.” He was, of course, absolutely correct. I’m not saying any addiction is a good thing, but many of us are addicted to substances that, while maybe not against the Word of Wisdom, aren’t very good for us. Sometimes it could be fatty foods,  and sometimes it could be caffeinated substances. Caffeine is not against the Word of Wisdom (BYU has soda machines in their cafeterias. I can’t imagine them doing the same with beer).  While it’s not a good idea to have a caffeine addiction, it’s probably not going to keep you out of the temple or more importantly, the Celestial Kingdom.

Have you spoken to your bishop about this? I’m assuring you that he can also help you out and hopefully, put your worries to rest. Nothing bad can come out of meeting with the bishop, and you’ll feel much better about the situation having one on one face time with him. It might be something to look into!

You are in our prayers,

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

 

 

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