“Questions and Answers,” New Era, Feb. 2009, 14–15
Determine ahead of time—now—that you will say no. If you give in, it will be much harder to say no in the future. Most people will respect you for living up to your standards. And they will be less likely to ask you to partake in the future.
Don’t worry about people getting mad at you. That’s their choice if they do, but it’s your choice to keep the Spirit with you and not do something you would regret.
You may find it easier to say no if you have a friend on your side. The support of a friend can help you stand up to a group.
Also, try to prevent this situation from coming up. Choose friends who share and respect your standards. If you’re going to a party, for instance, find out who will be there. Don’t go if you feel uncomfortable or prompted not to.
After I got baptized, I didn’t go to parties with alcohol and cigarettes anymore. One day my friends told me, “Come on, let’s go. Nothing’s going to happen.” But I told them no because I had promised that I would not drink alcohol, smoke, or take drugs. They understood because they knew that I belonged to the Church, and they know how important making a promise is.
We need to please not our friends but our Heavenly Father. If we fulfill the promises we made to Him when we were baptized, we will be blessed.
Roxana C., 19, Lima, Peru
I too was afraid to let my friends down. But I thought to myself that if I did give in, whom else would I let down? What worked best for me was to make the decision long before the situation came up. I made the commitment to myself that I would say no to drugs and alcohol. After I said no a couple of times, I was more respected for the decision I made. After a while, when someone would ask me again if I wanted a drink, one of my friends would say, “No, Calder doesn’t drink.” It made it easier for me once my friends realized that I wasn’t going to drink.
Elder Calder, 20, Idaho Pocatello Mission
Earlier this year I was offered drugs. I did not want to offend that person, but I gained the courage to tell him that I was not interested. I cannot even tell you how grateful I am for holding true to what I believe in. A couple of weeks later, the guy who offered me drugs told me that he was so impressed that I stood up for what I believe in. He told me that he had never met anyone who could do that and that it took a lot of courage. He said he would never forget that experience.
Through your example you can be a light to others and a good influence (see Matthew 5:16).
Mary T., 16, Arizona, USA
Your peers will respect you for saying no and keeping your standards. Surround yourself with friends who have the same standards as you. They will support you in being steadfast and immovable.
Lindy S., 15, Utah, USA
If you decide now to never accept drugs or alcohol, then it will be much easier not to take them. You will not have to think twice about your answer. People will often respect your choice, and you might have a missionary experience by telling them about the Word of Wisdom.
Chandler H., 14, Alabama, USA
I also had such an experience. I prayed to our Heavenly Father. I read the scriptures and pondered upon them and tried to strengthen my testimony. And then when I was faced with such a situation, I said, “I am sorry, but I don’t drink. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” I tried to help others understand my standards. At first I was nervous, but now I have become accustomed to doing it, and I continue to keep the Lord’s commandments. I overcame the trial with the Lord’s help, and I was also blessed with confidence, faith, good health, and high standards. Please tell your friends no with confidence and courage. When you do not compromise your standards, you can shine as a bright light.
Lee M., 17, Seoul, Korea