13 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat;
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
(3 Nephi 14:13-14)
In order to understand the Savior’s admonition in this passage, we need to recognize that the word “strait” is not the same as the word “straight.” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “strait” (without the “gh”) means “strict,” “rigorous,” “constricted,” or “difficult.”
Why is the gate strait, and why do few people find it? Why is the way to destruction broad? I think the Savior is teaching us that the law of entropy applies to our personal decisions. The easy way is often not the right way. We cannot safely benchmark our decisions against popular opinion, because the crowd is likely to pursue an unsustainable path. He’s telling us that if we are serious about following him and entering into eternal life, we have to be willing to defer gratification and do hard things. And implied in this admonition is a vote of confidence in us: “The path to eternal life isn’t easy, but I want you to take it. With my help, you can do it.”
Today, as I make decisions, I will remember that the easy answer may not be the right answer, and that the popular approach may lead to destruction. I will make decisions based upon my conscience and will stand up for what I believe to be right.