I don’t normally drink coffee because it’s against my religion, but I now have a doctor’s prescription for it as an analgesic (painkiller), and it works remarkably well! So now I wonder if I’m still in good standing and Temple-worthy because I’ve been drinking my analgesic that I made a covenant with God not to, yet have a doctor’s order for. Here’s the deal, though — the Scriptures pertaining to and setting forth the directive are first advice and second, specify “hot drinks”. Modern revelation has refined that to be a commandment and to mean coffee and tea, and furthermore any caffeinated beverage in some interpretations. You can see that it gets complicated in a hurry. I confess that I drink a Red Bull fairly frequently, which has a ton of caffeine in it, but isn’t coffee, tea, or a hot drink. It is common for members of the Church to enjoy hot chocolate regularly without question and without guilt, though…and hot chocolate is definitely a hot drink. I’m not trying to split hairs, here. I feel like I’m doing something that I’m going to be judged for when I drink my analgesic coffee, but I’m also enjoying the pain relief that it gives from the statin side effects. And I have to take the statin. So what is one to do? The Church’s general stance on the caffeine issue is that we are to stay away from any addictive or habit-forming substance, which I agree is sound advice. What’s the difference between coffee and opioids? Some say a lot, some say nothing. Both can be addictive and habit-forming. Both can cause a person to be a slave to the substance in question. Both can help ease pain. Complicated? Nah.

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