“Was I Addicted?” Ensign, Sept. 2000, 63–64
Like many new converts, I struggled to live the Word of Wisdom and the law of tithing. Tithing was for me the most difficult. How could I possibly take something away from the little that was just barely enough? The Lord helped me understand how I could do just that by teaching me a wonderful lesson.
As I began to pay tithing, I realized I would have to put my finances in order. I immediately began to budget my money better. I made a list of all my monthly expenses, starting with tithing. I compared the list to my monthly income. To my astonishment, there was enough to live on and even a small amount for savings. I was also surprised to see how much money I had previously spent on alcohol and coffee. The Lord blessed me financially and spiritually as I worked to live His law.
After I joined the Church in Germany, I had cried a little for the glass of wine I would miss at parties and also for my dearly loved cup of coffee. But it really didn’t matter, I told myself, because I was not addicted. But four weeks after I banned alcohol and coffee from my life, I woke up with excruciating pains in my legs. I ignored them and went to work. But within two hours, my whole body ached and each movement hurt more and more. I went to a doctor. He gave me some pills, ordered 14 days of rest, and said with a laugh, “Drink a nice, strong cup of coffee when you get home. That can’t hurt you.”
I suddenly realized that my pains were withdrawal symptoms. My body was reacting to the loss of caffeine. How easy it would have been to follow my doctor’s advice. How difficult it seemed in my weakened condition to listen to the Lord. Fortunately, the Lord strengthened me, and I did not give in to temptation. With His help, I overcame this condition and continued to obey the Word of Wisdom, which has been a blessing for me.