Nelson Alcohol Experience

Christmas Tree

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Christmas Party

"Years ago, while I served as a young intern in a large medical center, I attended a Christmas party.  The host was the chief of surgery.  I had made a major commitment to work for and be loyal to him and his world famous institution, which had produced many of the great surgeons, scholars, and researchers of our generation.  At the party, the chief's head resident offered alcoholic beverages to Sister Nelson and me.  Of course, we politely declined.

Minutes later he returned with a more persuasive pitch: "Take a drink," he said, "or the chief will be offended." Again we declined.

Our refusal infuriated the head resident.  Red-faced and indignant, he said, "Nelson, you take this drink or I'll make life around here mighty miserable for you!"

I simply replied, "You do what you must, doctor, but I will do what I must."

I fulfilled my promise, and he fulfilled his.

He saw to it that I had no vacation that year.  His responsibility to prepare the schedule of assignments and on-call duty bore the stamp of his vitriolic vengeance against me.  But now, as I reflect on this matter some forty years later, I would not trade places with him today, or ever.

Remember that decisions are best made before the time of testing, whether those resolutions concern forsaking drugs, alcohol, and other addicting substances, or pornography, which can become an addiction of the mind.  Resist any temptations of lust disguised as love.

This personal experience was shared by Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Council of the Twelve, at a BYU Devotional given January 7, 1990: