Jet Lag and the Word of Wisdom

Hide Footnotes


“Jet Lag and the Word of Wisdom,” Ensign, September 2018

Latter-day Saint Voices

Jet Lag and the Word of Wisdom

Illustration by Allen Garns

Several times a year, my work requires that I travel from Taiwan to San Francisco, California, USA, for training. The problem with traveling between these two places is the 15-hour time difference. Jet lag made me want to sleep during the day, and it kept me awake all night.

Colleagues from all over the world attend these trainings. They told me they coped with jet lag by drinking coffee to keep them awake and drinking red wine to help them sleep.

Some colleagues offered me these drinks, but I politely told them I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had promised the Lord I would not drink wine or coffee. Some teased me and said those commandments made my life harder. At times, it felt like I was being mocked by the people in the great and spacious building in Lehi’s dream (see 1 Nephi 8:26–27).

Over time, however, keeping the Word of Wisdom began to feel like a tedious burden. During one sleepless night, I realized my faith was weakening. Thankfully, my wife sent me a message that day encouraging me to keep my faith, rely on God, and keep His commandments regardless of the circumstances. With her encouragement, I started to pray for help and began to look at things differently.

On one trip, I noticed a colleague had two cups of coffee. I asked him about the second cup.

“One cup is not strong enough to keep me alert anymore,” he replied.

I was surprised to notice the same was true for those who drank wine. They needed to drink more to sleep. Sometimes, they even overslept because they drank too much.

Watching my colleagues become more dependent on alcohol and coffee made me realize how important it is to keep the commandments. If I had chosen to disobey the Word of Wisdom, I could have been in the same boat.

My jet lag has not completely gone away, but the situation has improved. One morning, I woke up after a good night’s sleep and saw the sunrise. As the sunbeams shone through the window, I realized that with Heavenly Father’s help, I can handle any trial, no matter how big or small. I just need to continue to obey, keep my faith strong, and endure to the end.