A Word of Wisdom
    Footnotes

    “A Word of Wisdom,” Ensign, Oct. 1995, 72

    A Word of Wisdom

    Faced with self-imposed deadlines, outside pressures, and more choices than ever, I had been staying up late and skipping meals, running myself ragged, and then remaining sedentary for days at a time while I caught up on reading and paperwork. All of this was taking its toll on my emotional well-being. I felt overwhelmed and unable to cope.

    I prayed, hoping to receive an assurance that all would be well. Instead, I heard the still, small voice say, “Keep the Word of Wisdom.” I felt puzzled and disappointed. I didn’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages, and I had never drunk coffee or tea. How could the counsel to keep the Word of Wisdom apply to me?

    I reflected on the many times my friends had mentioned feeling discouraged and unequal to their tasks. Most of them had risen above those feelings and had carried on with their lives. But among those who felt perpetually inadequate, the common denominator seemed to be their priorities—they came last on their own lists. They never took time for regular meals, and they rarely got to bed before midnight. Reluctantly, I acknowledged that I was making the same mistakes and that I needed to change.

    First, I stopped thinking about secondary preoccupations and concentrated on basics. I worked on getting up early so I would be sleepy earlier in the evening. I ate nourishing food, and I exercised—consistently! As I developed a routine, I was able to plan better, and I began to feel in control of my life. Many of my previous worries now seemed unimportant, and I was free to direct my thoughts and feelings to other things.

    Often we try to run before we can walk. Perhaps we simply need to reevaluate our obedience to God’s most basic commandments before we attempt to reach more ambitious goals.—Diane Cripe, Perry, Missouri