During our married life, we transitioned six different times because of job transfers, one of those job transfers taking us to Kansas City, Missouri. Unfortunately, during this time, I chose to take up the coffee habit to stay awake. Apparently, the effects of this stimulant triumphed over the ill-tasting flavor that I felt that coffee had.
During this time, we were active in our new ward, attending our Sunday meetings, and Relief Society, Primary and youth programs during the week. It wasn’t long before I was called to serve in Primary. With my coffee habit, I was surprised by the call. When I met with our Primary president, Bonnie Williams, I informed her of my coffee issue. Her response was very kind and without dismay or criticism. She responded, “That should not keep you from teaching Primary. However, when there is a lesson on the Word of Wisdom, I will teach your class that day.”
I have learned through the years that auxillary leaders are inspired to make right choices and in retrospect, I can see where Bonnie knew that this “good sister” was ready to make some changes in her life.
This was a most humbling experience for me and with Bonnie’s encouragement and confidence in me, I accepted the call and gave it my all. I also knew that I could not wait for the day when Bonnie would give that particular lesson. I was certain that I would and should make some changes that would make me worthy of this call.
My daughter, Marilyn, listened patiently as I shared my concerns with her. She had never been critical of my coffee drinking, realizing that her mom had her own agency. Her only comment was, “Maybe you should pray about this.” It would seem like such a simple thing to give up occasional cup of coffee. I asked the Lord for His help. As I pondered upon this one evening before falling asleep, the simple answer came: “Instead of drinking coffee, take a nap on a day when you feel the need for a bit more energy.”
“Take a nap” — three simple words were an answer to my prayer.
I gave up coffee because of the influence of Bonnie, our devoted Primary president. How different my life would have been had she said, “Betty, I appreciate your honesty. Let’s think about it for a while, perhaps after you have observed the Word of Wisdom.” But, she was willing and I think inspired to get me started on the right path. My testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel increased, and I attribute this in great part to leaders like her who helped along the way as I looked for answers to challenges.
— Betty Damron, Kansas City 1st Ward, Kansas City Missouri Stake
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