“Peer Pressure and Pisto,” New Era, July 2016, 32–33
When I was 12, some of the girls in my new school invited me to a birthday party. It was the first party with these school friends I had been invited to. When I asked my parents if I could go, they said no because the party started too late.
A short time later, I got another invitation. I again asked my parents, but they again said no, and I got mad. Couldn’t I have any fun?
Then one of my closest friends planned a party. I was one of the first people she invited. The party started earlier than the others. It would be private and held near my home. I asked my parents for permission to go, and they said yes! I was excited.
The day arrived. As my parents drove me there, they said that they would pick me up at 10:00 p.m. When I got to the party, I found my girlfriends. Twenty minutes later, I still hadn’t seen the birthday girl.
A few minutes later, a young man came up to us and asked, “Have you brought money for the pisto?” He made a sign that let me know that “pisto” was beer. My girlfriends gave in at the request for money. I didn’t have any money with me, so I decided to go off with some other girls while these ones did their business.
Finally, the birthday girl arrived—an hour late. I congratulated her, and while we were talking, a big truck arrived. Five men got out and unloaded two crates of beer. Everyone crowded around and started handing out the beer. My girlfriends went off, and I was alone, watching those young people fighting to drink beer.
My girlfriends came over and offered me some. “No, thanks,” I told them. They again insisted. I again said no. My heart started beating fast, and I felt strange, like in a suspense movie where I was the main character and I was trapped in the middle of nowhere. Then I heard a car horn—it was my parents! I made my exit with a single good-bye and ran to the car.
I got in, breathing hard. I started thinking how heavy the environment felt where I had been. My mom asked if I was all right. “Yes,” I replied, “but something surprised me.”
“What surprised you?” asked my father.
“All my friends were drinking, and there I was, startled, waiting for something good to happen. How I wished for you both to get here, and now I’m here.” I looked at the car clock; it wasn’t yet 10:00.
My mom said, “That’s how parties are in the world. That was why we didn’t allow you to go to previous parties.”
That night when I prayed, I thanked my Heavenly Father that my parents had arrived early.
We members of the Church are in the world, but we are not like the world. I have learned that if I would have continued attending those parties, I might have fallen into breaking the Word of Wisdom and even the law of chastity. Many of my acquaintances have fallen into this, most of them outside of the Church, but even members of the Church themselves can reach the point of falling if they do not remain firm.
I feel happy with that decision I made to not drink. I thought that I would be made fun of afterwards, but my friends ended up with more respect for me because they know my standards. After that, I have not been afraid to say no to what I know will harm me.