While preparing for my elders quorum lesson this Sunday, I came across something interesting. Nephi says the following in 2 Nephi 31:18?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú19:
And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
I always interpreted “strait” as synonymous with “narrow”. In fact, the dictionary even supports this. It defines a strait as:
A narrow channel joining two larger bodies of water.
As a result, I have always envisioned the strait and narrow path as a narrow path that we walk on to get to eternal life. But then I came across Moses 7:53:
And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith?¢‚Ç¨‚ÄùI am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.
So we don’t walk along the path after all? We climb it? When you read the adjectival definitions of strait, it makes things even clearer.
- Difficult; stressful.
- Having or marked by limited funds or resources.
- Affording little space or room; confined.
- Fitting tightly; constricted.
- Archaic. Strict, rigid, or righteous.
So, in actuality, the strait and narrow path is more like a steep, narrow path on the side of a cliff more than a narrow path through an empty field. It’s fraught with difficulty and requires strict righteousness to make it to the end of the path.