How can I help my friend to get the advice she needs? She is pregnant and unmarried, and turning to me for help.

It’s difficult when a friend turns to you for advice on such a serious problem. Encourage her to gather the information she needs to make a decision that will be best for her baby and herself.

Encourage her to talk with her parents. She may be afraid that they will be upset and disappointed, but they love her and will want to help.

During this difficult time, your friend needs someone who can give her spiritual guidance. If she is a member of the Church, she should turn to her bishop. The bishop can discuss with her the counsel that has been given by the First Presidency regarding unwed pregnancy.

Your friend may not know about the help that LDS Family Services offers. Whether or not your friend is LDS, she can meet with a counselor from LDS Family Services who will explain her options, and she can find support from other girls who have been in similar situations.

There are many people who understand her situation and are available to offer the help and support she will need as she decides what to do.

Photo illustration by Robert Casey

Is there anything wrong with drinking sodas with caffeine in them? Is caffeine bad? The Word of Wisdom doesn’t mention it.

Doctrine and Covenants 89:9 says we shouldn’t drink “hot drinks.” The only official interpretation of this term is the statement made by early Church leaders that it means tea and coffee. Caffeine is not specifically mentioned as the reason not to drink these drinks.

However, we should keep in mind this counsel given by President Boyd K. Packer: “The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ (D&C 89:3). … A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Generally principles are not spelled out in detail. Members write in asking if this thing or that is against the Word of Wisdom. … We teach the principle together with the promised blessings. There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation. … Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, 17–18).

My friend doesn’t want to hear anything about the gospel. How can I still be a good missionary?

The line between being a bold missionary and a pushy friend can be hard to balance, but there are definitely things you can do to share the gospel. First of all, don’t underestimate the value of being a good example. In addition, make the gospel a part of your everyday conversation. If he asks how your weekend was, don’t skip over your Sunday meetings. Tell him about your great lesson or what they announced for your Mutual activity. When he asks you what your goals are, tell him you want to serve a mission and be a father or mother.

He may eventually have further questions, so be prepared. If he has more questions than you can answer, ask him to go to, or invite him to your house to visit with the missionaries. But be patient. When the time is right, you can invite him to church, youth activities, or family home evening. You can also share a copy of the Book of Mormon with him and perhaps point out your favorite scripture. Then follow up to see what he thought.