Blogger's Choice: Straight and Narrow But Not Always Flat
Today's Blogger's Choice is from Brother Rich Nath. He chose "Straight and Narrow — But Not Always Flat," originally published on June 6, 2012.
He says, "I chose this article because the vision of the straight and narrow is one of my favorite stories in scripture. Plus, it reminds me of how I got to one of, if not the worst, times of my life and how God brought me up and over the mountain. Life is full of hills and valleys, but no matter what, Jesus Christ is always there to guide me along the way."
I've heard the story of the straight and narrow path many times (1 Nephi 8), whether it be during sermons, classes, seminars, or reading the chapter myself. Lehi describes a dream where he saw the Tree of Life and a straight and narrow path leading to it. A rod of iron was seen next to the path, acting as a guide to those walking along.
Lehi said that when a mist of darkness came over the path, only those clinging to the rod of iron were able to press forward and make it to the Tree of Life. The others, who did not hold on to the rod, wandered off the path and were lost.
We know that the rod of iron is a representation of the Word of God. So the meaning of this portion of the dream is that if we cling to the Lord and His Word, we will make it to the Tree of Life, no matter what life throws at us.
The path is the road we travel in life. Although the scriptures describe it as "straight and narrow," it never states that it is flat.
I think it's safe to say we'd all agree life is not a flat course from start to finish. It's flat at times, but it's also filled with climbs and descents, too. Some of the climbs are subtle, while some feel like we're climbing Mt. Everest. Same goes for the descents. Some are gradual, while others are really steep.
The point is that life is going to happen to us. It doesn't matter if we've been baptized a day, a year, 75 years, or never. Life will be challenging at times. Some challenges will be easier than others to overcome. Some will be a result of factors totally out of our control, and some will be caused by our own actions.
Regardless of why we might be facing a mountainous climb in our lives, the Lord is always there to help. He's always guiding us as long as we are holding on to Him. If we ever find ourselves letting Him go and getting off the path, we must be quick to repent. Then He'll put us back where we can latch onto Him again.
To get back, though, it may require a harder climb than if we had stayed on the path in the first place. But we can't get discouraged. He's always there helping us, even when we don't think we're getting any help at all.
Eventually, we'll get to the top of the mountain, and we'll be able to praise Him for His goodness and mercy. Plus, we'll have learned a valuable lesson to help us be better servants and live better lives.
The bottom line is this. The path to salvation is straight and narrow. There's a rod of iron to guide us along the way and assist us in getting over the hills and valleys of life. We need to hold on to it all the time, or we may find ourselves making the climb of our lives. If we are ever in that position, we must be quick to repent. Then God will help us get over that mountain and back on the path to the Tree of Life.
Summer Reading Challenge Daily Assignment
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.