The Straitness of the Path – 2 Nephi 31:9

9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

(2 Nephi 31:9)

Earlier in this chapter, Nephi teaches us two of the reasons Jesus was baptized: to set an example for us and to be obedient to His Father.  But why would the Father require the Savior to be baptized?  This verse gives us a reason: to show us how precise the path of discipleship really is.

The word “strait” means strict or rigorous.  By being baptized, the Savior showed us “the straitness of the path.”  No one can credibly say “I’m too good to be baptized,” or “I’m an exception to that rule.”  If even the Savior was willing to obey that commandment, none of us can claim that our circumstance is so exceptional that we are exempted from following the rule.
Think about how that principle carries over into other, less public commandments.  Clayton Christensen told of a time when he was tempted to break the Sabbath day “just this once” because of an extenuating circumstance.  He was grateful that he didn’t succumb to that rationalization, because, as he put it:

My whole life has turned out to be an un-ending stream of extenuating circumstances, and had I crossed that line just that once, then the next time something came up that was so demanding and critical, it would have been so much easier to cross the line again…. It really is easier to keep the commandments 100 percent of the time than it is 98 percent of the time.  (“Decisions for Which I’ve Been Grateful,” BYU Idaho Devotional, June 8, 2004)

Today, I will remember the “straitness of the path.”  When confronted with decisions regarding obedience to God, I will resist the temptation to think of myself as an exception to the rule. I will strive to be exactly obedient to God’s commandments. 

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