“Martin’s Choice,” Liahona, June 2017
Martin woke up slowly. His mom was shaking his shoulder.
“Martin,” she said, “it’s time to wake up.”
Martin rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. The sky was still dark, but he knew what time it was. His family woke up at 5:30 every morning to read the Book of Mormon together. It wasn’t always easy to get up so early.
Martin rolled out of bed and walked slowly to the front room. He stretched and yawned really wide. His brothers and sisters looked sleepy too, but they were all there.
Each person read for five minutes. At first Martin wanted to go back to bed. But he kept listening. Each verse seemed to make him feel better and better. By the time they were done reading, Martin felt spiritually strong.
And spiritual strength was something Martin needed every day. In Kenya, there were only a few Church members Martin’s age, and they all lived far away. After school Martin went to a boys’ club run by a Catholic church. One week the club went on a camping trip together.
Martin had a lot of fun. He sang camping songs. He chopped logs. He even helped build a campfire.
But on the second day, one of the leaders brought out a teapot. “We’re going to have tea now,” he said.
The other boys were excited. They drank tea at home for special occasions. They all grabbed their cups and waited for the leader to fill them.
Martin felt a little nervous. He knew that he shouldn’t drink tea. But he didn’t want to offend his friends.
Then he remembered how he felt when he kept the commandments. When his family followed the prophet and read the Book of Mormon together, he felt happy. When they didn’t, he didn’t feel as happy.
Martin knew what he had to do.
“No, thank you,” he told the leader when he came to fill Martin’s cup. “I don’t want to drink tea.”
The leader looked surprised, but he let Martin drink water while the rest of the boys drank tea. Some of the boys wanted to know why Martin didn’t drink tea, but none of them made fun of him. Martin felt happy. He knew the Word of Wisdom would make his body strong. And he was glad that he had been strong enough to do the right thing.