When I was investigating the gospel before my baptism at age 15, I learned about the Word of Wisdom, as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833 (see D&C 89). I took it upon myself to obey this commandment as a sign of my obedience to God, despite any social pressure I might face.
In the Japanese business world, it is customary for sales representatives to entertain prospective customers at nightclubs and bars. Accordingly, alcohol is an integral part of professional life for many people. But I have seen the consumption of alcohol become a stumbling block. In some cases it leads to serious illnesses. Many businesspeople spend so much of their time working and entertaining after hours that they neglect their families. Often excessive alcohol consumption eventually results in a loss of status at work and a ruined career.
When I was 28, I was meeting with the manager of the trade department of a large corporation and coffee was served. I politely declined, explaining that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that I do not partake of alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, or tobacco. The trade manager quickly accepted this and even praised me for my faith.
Ever since then, whenever I have needed to discuss business with my customers, I have taken them only to restaurants for dinner. I have never been asked to accompany them to bars. During the Christmas season I invite my customers to Christmas dinner shows that celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I have been able to share the gospel frequently on these occasions.
It is widely known at my company and within our industry that I am a member of the Church, and I believe this knowledge has contributed to my success at work. I believe firmly in the promise the Lord gives to those who will obey His law:
"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
"And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
"And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint" (D&C 89:18-20).
My testimony of the Word of Wisdom is strong. I am thankful for the blessings I have received for abiding by this principle. It is my conviction that as we obey the Word of Wisdom--despite any pressure we may face from those around us-- we can become worthy to receive the blessing promised by the Lord at the end of this great revelation: "And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them" (D&C 89:21).