IF I've learned one thing over the decades about the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants section 89) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is that this is much MORE than just a health code.
Various scientific claims of the health values of drinking coffee or wine -- have abounded over the years and none of that dents my testimony of this God-given revelation.
Because I believe the Word of Wisdom is also something that separates, or distinguishes LDS Church members from the rest of the world.
In a majority of places in the 21st Century, anyone who does not drink coffee, tea, alcohol or even caffeine-laced energy drinks stands out.
Like the Israelites of the Old Testament times and their strict dietary code, today's World of Wisdom makes Latter-day Saints a distinct people.
I think a key problem with many teachings about the Word of Wisdom in Sunday School or Seminary -- or even Institute of Religion Classes -- fails to adequately stress this non-health aspect, a second dimension to this commandment.
Thus, some millennial Church members may drink coffee, energy drinks or similar fare -- especially college age young adults, thinking the practice is healthy.
-Ultimately, any Church member with a true testimony of the Word of Wisdom doesn't need any scientific backing to believe in it, just the confirmation of the Holy Ghost.
AND, it is also possible for a Church member to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and NOT of the Word of Wisdom. Most Church members can lack true conversion in a number of specific commandments, as we are all imperfect.
NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.