10789_000_050If I refused to drink the wine, I could be punished and so could my family.“Learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God” (Alma 37:35).
Illustration by Steve Kropp
I went with my family to visit my parents’ village for a New Year celebration. It had been three years since we had visited last, and we were looking forward to seeing friends and family members again. When we arrived, we were happily welcomed.
When New Year’s Eve came, we gathered with others for a traditional ceremony to wish protection, long life, and prosperity to the oldest son of each family. I am the oldest son in my family. I learned that all those taking part would be expected to drink wine as part of the ceremony.
I was very worried. I knew that drinking the wine would be breaking the Word of Wisdom. But I also knew that if I did not drink the wine, I might be punished for being disrespectful—and my family might be punished too. Then I remembered what my mother had taught me: when you find yourself in a situation you cannot control, you should pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you.
I prayed silently, “Heavenly Father, let Thy Spirit guide me and help me to do what is right.”
When it was my turn to drink the wine, I was nervous, but I spoke loudly and clearly. “My body is a temple. I will not break the Word of Wisdom,” I said.
The village elder was very surprised. He turned to me and said, “You seem very sure of what you are doing. Please, we would like to hear more of your views.”
My family and I were not punished, and our faith was strengthened. I know Heavenly Father helped me have the courage to choose the right.