Decide Now
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“Decide Now,” Friend, May 1985, inside front cover

Decide Now

(President Kimball Speaks Out, Deseret Book Company, 1981, pages 94–95, 97.)

From my infancy I had heard the Word of Wisdom stories about tea and coffee and tobacco, etc. Nearly every Sunday School day and Primary day we sang lustily, I with the other boys:

That the children may live long,

And be beautiful and strong,

Tea and coffee and tobacco they despise,

Drink no liquor, and they eat

But a very little meat;

They are seeking to be great and good and wise.

We sang it time and time again until it became an established part of my vocabulary and my song themes, but more especially my life’s plan. Occasionally some respected speaker said he had never tasted the forbidden things we sang against and then I made up my mind. Never would I use these forbidden things the prophets preached against. That decision was firm and unalterable. I would not and did not deviate.

In 1937 my wife and I were touring in Europe. In France I sat at a banquet table of the Rotary International convention in a fashionable hotel. The large, spacious banquet room held hundreds of people. The many waiters moved about the tables, and at every place, besides plenteous silver, linen, and fancy serving dishes, were seven wine glasses. No one was watching me. The temptation nudged me: Shall I drink it or at least sip it? No one who cares will know. Here was quite a temptation. Shall I or shall I not?

Then the thought came: I had made a firm resolution as a boy that I would never touch the forbidden things. I had already lived a third of a century firm and resolute. I would not break my record now. …

Now is the time to set your life’s goals. Now is the time to set your standards firmly and then hold to them throughout your life.

Illustrated by Brent Christensen