The Word of Wisdom that teaches us to avoid coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol comes with a promise that if we live this commandment we will "run and not be weary, and walk and not faint." This has been one commandment that I have been able to keep. I have never smoked a cigarette or tasted coffee. I did taste tea once at a Japanese cultural event in school. I have never tasted wine or hard liquor. I do admit that one time when I was really young (maybe about 7 years old) my friend got me to taste beer. I took one small sip and couldn't stand it. I have never taken any kind of illegal drug. Though some people say my life is really restricted because I don't use any of those things, it is really just the opposite. I am totally free of any addictions to these substances and so am totally free to make decisions about what I take into my body.
When I was in high school I ran on the track team. I was a hurdler. This run involved having to "jump" over 10 hurdles during the race to the finish line. I was pretty fast and gradually got better times as I mastered the technique of getting over hurdles. I worked very hard during practice after school each day. But I wasn't the fastest hurdler on the team. There was another boy who always beat me. To make things worse, he was a boy who was lazy during practice and who was known to get drunk on Friday nights. It didn't seem fair to me that I, who lived the Word of Wisdom and worked hard, would always lose to a guy who was lazy and a partier. But I eventually came to understand that the promise that I would 'run and not faint' was not a promise that I would always win races. Sometimes the blessings of living the commandments don't come right away. Sometimes the blessings come gradually over years. The blessing of living the Word of Wisdom has been a lifetime of confidence that the Spirit can be with me because of my obedience. It has been a lifetime of knowing that I am in control of my body. It is well worth it.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I have run out of ideas for my blog! Rod Brown, the Dean of our College and my boss, gave me the idea to buy a book from the bookstore called 300 Questions to Ask Your Parents. So I bought it on Friday. It has all sorts of ideas for what I could blog about. Today I want to tell a story about a time when I got got lying. One Christmas, I got a new sweater from my grandparents. I remember it as being orange with a brown V down the front. One day at school (I think I was in 6th grade) I took it off during recess while I played tether-ball. Tether-ball is a game that involves hitting a ball that is connected to a pole by a rope. Two people play. One tries to wind the ball all the way around the pole in one direction. The other tries to wind it in the opposite direction. The one who gets the ball wound all the way wins. Anyway, I guess I forgot about the sweater and left it on the playground when the bell rang at the end of recess. I'm not sure when I realized it was gone. Probably at the end of the school day. I remember going back out on the playground to look for it. It was nowhere to be found. I also went to the lost-and-found. Not there. When I got home my mom asked me where the sweater was. I didn't want to get in trouble for losing it so I said I had left it at school. That was a lie. I should have told the truth right then. Instead, I had to live an unhappy life worrying about what I was going to do. For the next week, I continued to check the lost-and-found. Nothing. I once saw a kid wearing a sweater just like the one I lost and wondered if he had taken it. Meanwhile, my folks asked about the sweater everyday, and everyday I continued to tell them that I had just forgotten it. I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I hoped that I would eventually find the thing. I didn't feel very good about myself and regretted lying to my parents. Finally, my parents gave me an ultimatum and said I had to bring the sweater home or else. Well, I didn't have the sweater so I had to finally confess that it was lost. As I recall, there was a flag football game coming up at the school that I wanted to play in. My punishment for lying about the sweater was that I had to miss the game. The funny thing is, I didn't get punished for losing the sweater. I got punished for lying. I learned that it would have been so much better to just tell the truth from the very beginning. I learned that it is not good to live a lie.