I started skateboarding in the seventh grade with a group of my friends. Skateboarding was huge at my school in California. Most of the guys and some girls I knew skated on a regular basis.
I was a street skater. I didn’t like going to skate parks because of the people there. I was honestly scared of the kinds of people who showed up at the skate parks.
As my friends and I continued on our “skating careers,” we became fairly good. We were able to receive sponsorships from local skate shops, which meant we got free skateboards, shirts, pants, etc. It was awesome and a really fun sport to pursue.
But, as with anything else, there were temptations.
As we gained more confidence in our skills, my friends and I started traveling to different skate spots and parks, and we started meeting many new, different kinds of people. Unfortunately, the skaters we met all had one thing in common: smoking. Every skater smoked, it seemed. My freshman year, my friends gave in to the temptation and began smoking. Still, I didn’t think much of it, because I’d decided I would never do that.
As time went on, my relationship with my friends grew weaker. We didn’t have the same interests anymore. They used drugs or alcohol every weekend. I could see them throwing away their lives. I couldn’t believe how bad it had become.
One Saturday morning, one of them asked me, “How did you stay away from it, man? Why can’t I be like you? You have something special in your life.” It was then that I realized it was because I’d always held myself to the Church standards.
I owe my ability to resist smoking and the other temptations to the little things. Even as my life got very busy with school, family, Church, dating, sports, and friends, I stuck to the plain and simple things. I read my scriptures, said my prayers, went to Mutual, and went to church. I know that if I hadn’t given myself the spiritual nourishment I needed every day, then I may have given in to temptation.
I know we must do the little things in the gospel. They will give us the strength we need to stay strong and avoid temptation.