Have you ever found yourself thinking of eating just one scoop of ice cream but ending up eating a pint? Or planning on watching just a few episodes of a drama but ending up watching the whole series? Or thinking of browsing social media for a few minutes until you feel sleepy, but ending up browsing until dawn?
Life constantly confronts us with choices we have to make. Some are big choices that define a milestone in our lives, while the more common are the seemingly small choices that we make every day. Choices like the scoop of ice cream, few episodes, and a few minutes of social media browsing, that may appear so small that we do not give it much thought and consideration. But from these small choices often come habits that are hard to break.
On our journey of Christlike discipleship, there will be many seemingly small choices like these that could break our faith. Snoozing our alarm on a Sunday morning could be the reason we miss sacrament meeting. Watching one inappropriate media could lead to pornographic addiction. Swearing a little could lead to using profane language more often. Not praying one night could turn into many nights without prayer.
These small choices that we think cannot destroy the foundations of our testimony might be already eating away at our faith slowly, even without our awareness. Sometimes, all it takes is just one look, one taste, one experience to lead us ever so slowly away from the Savior. The idea of “just one more or just a little more”, can trap us until we have dug a pit so deep for ourselves that we can no longer get back out without help.
Another trap that we get into sometimes that increases our chances of making small incorrect choices is living on the edge. Living on the edge happens when we try to walk the boundary between righteousness and wickedness, assuming that we will always be alright as long as we don’t cross the line. But when we do this, the adversary intensifies his work, enticing us to move just one inch closer to the edge and then one more inch. The next thing we know, we may have already put our souls at risk of a tragic fall.
So what do we do when we find ourselves farther from God than we intended to go? The Savior, through His infinite Atonement, made sure that there is always a way back. And there is no other way than the way He provided for us. So how do we start?
First, we must have a desire in our hearts to follow Christ and repent of our sins. In the words of the prophet Alma, exercising even just “a particle of faith” is enough, “even if [we] can no more than desire to believe,” the Lord encourages us to cling to this desire and let His Atonement mend our brokenness.
Second, we must resolve to change the things that we can change. One of the most powerful counsels we have been given is to “avoid, not only evil, but even the appearance of evil.” This means that we must, by all means, avoid every circumstance that could possibly tempt us to make even a small choice that would start us on a journey of despair and misery.
Third, we must commit to take upon ourselves His name again and follow His commandments. It is important to note that for us to be made whole again, we must take every step to mend our brokenness, and then let God take it from there. Our daily actions should be a living testimony that we are willing to follow the Savior as He bids us to come follow Him.
As we strive to come back to His fold, He will magnify our desires to become part of His flock once again. As we make the seemingly small choices every day in our lives, we must always look back at the lessons we have learned: that trying to take a small detour from the Lord’s way can take us farther away from the Lord than we ever originally intended. May the Lord bless us all as we make these small choices and may we never intentionally move even an inch away from Him again.