Yes, coffee is bad in multiple ways - and for some people it is more addicting than tobacco and alcohol. I know quite a few people who drink coffee regularly who literally can't quit without getting terrible headaches - nearly migraines. I don't think there's a single benefit from coffee that can't be obtained from something else.
Tea? Some is bad
for us; some isn't - and there are plenty of teas that are allowed by
the Church in various places in the world. Wheat tea in Japan, where I served my mission, is an example.
Ultimately, my main
concern with using the things that are prohibited in the current Word of
Wisdom policy is what I already said about coffee - that I don't know
of a single benefit that can't be gained from something else, and there
are definite risks for many people. That rarely gets mentioned and
discussed, but it's important to me. (Wine is the best example, in my opinion.
Who cares if a glass a night is fine for some people and provides some
benefits? Those same benefits can be obtained from other things - that
generally are cheaper, so why insist on drinking wine?)
biggest concern about many of those who follow the current restrictions is that
they often do so to the exclusion of the other counsel that is not
part of the prohibitions. I've struggled with weight issues for the
past 20 years, but I've lost about 50 pounds in the last nine months largely
by paying attention to the non-prohibition parts of the Word of Wisdom
and simply eating less. We should be much, much healthier as a people -
and I believe a major part of that is our refusal to take the overall Word of Wisdom
I'm not saying the Word of Wisdom is an
eternal law or that people who don't follow it religiously are sinning
when they don't believe in it - but I think the underlying principles
stated in it actually are eternal in nature: taking care of ourselves to
the best of our understanding and avoiding addiction peddlers who care
nothing about us but just want our money.
I believe those are really
3 hours ago