“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
There was a time in my life when my belief in the Savior was almost non-existent. I had eroded the foundation of my faith in Him with sin and pride and “fun.” I had neglected my knowledge and trampled over my testimony so many times it was unrecognizable. I thought it was dead.
It wasn’t until I was going through a particularly trying time that my buried testimony started to flicker underneath my wicked and wandering feet, like a small light under a frozen lake. Through the mercy of Jesus Christ, after years of coldness I was able to feel the warmth and comfort of the Spirit. Indescribable peace filled my soul as I made small steps towards Him.
As the Holy Ghost filled my soul with peace, there also came an onslaught of confusion and lies to my mind from the father of them all–Satan. The Adversary is cunning and creative in his ploys to convince us that we must never turn to our Savior. Satan would surely thwart our testimonies of Him if he could. Jesus Christ is certainly our Savior and our friend whom we desperately need, but Satan would do anything and everything possible to convince us otherwise.
Directly contradicting the above scripture, Satan promised me that if I turned to the Savior in repentance my life would be so much harder. The responsibility of discipleship was surely a much greater burden than the “carefree” life I had been living. If I changed my lifestyle to follow Christ I would lose my only friends, I would never have any fun, I would limit my opportunities for love, I would shackle myself with accountability. The liar assured me that I would always be wracked with guilt and torment from my mistakes. He promised that I would never be good enough to be forgiven. He brought even small mistakes to the surface of my memory and pushed my face into the darkness of all I had done wrong until I thought I was drowning.
Only thoughts of Christ would bring me to the surface. I would gasp for breath as I clung to what I knew: I hadn’t felt this kind of peace or love in my heart for years and I did not want to let it go. Not for friends, not for fun, not for beer or wine or coffee. Not for piercings or tattoos. Not for short shorts or tank tops. Not for anything. Satan had gathered up all these seemingly small things that I don’t think qualify as “serious sins,” and tried to taunt me with them. He tried to lure me away from the best feelings in the world; peace, comfort, joy, forgiveness, and hope, with “eat, drink, and be merry,”
I promise you the small things matter. They are worth standing up for. Not because Jesus won’t love you anymore–He loves EVERYONE–but because Satan will use those small things against you. He will use them to fight your testimony of the the Savior. Our bodies are shields against the influence of Satan. He cannot influence our spirits unless we give him a path through our protection, our bodies. This is why our body is sacred. It is a gift from a loving Father in Heaven to be a weapon against the adversary. Honor it. Protect it. Stand up for the little things that help shield your spirit and your mind from the influence of the evil one. He is ever fighting against our testimonies of the Savior, don’t give him an advantage by letting the little things become big.
I still have a hole from a piercing in the cartilage of my left ear. It will never close because of the nature of it, but I don’t ever wear an earring there. People have asked me why I don’t, and have told me, “it’s not a big deal, it’s already there so why not.” And they are right. It’s not a big deal, so why would I wear it? Why would I risk it? That empty piercing has become a symbol to me that even though I have scars from my mistakes, the Savior doesn’t see them as long as I keep choosing Him, as long as I keep turning to Him. If I choose to return to my mistakes, to turn my back on the Savior, I lose His peace. Not because he has taken it away from me, but because I have let it go, and picked up something much heavier–the expectations and cares of the world.
His yoke is truly easy, and His burden is light. Choose to carry your testimony of Christ. Carry it in your heart and it will make it light. Yoke yourself to him and find rest from the world. He has rescued me from excruciating heartache, from disappointment and defeat. He has lifted me up, loved me, forgiven me, and helped me see my worth. He is worth following through the little things and the big things. Even now, years later, He saves me. As I read my scriptures, as I say my prayers, the sweet peace of the Spirit pours into my heart and helps me remember who I am and what I am worth.
A testimony in the Savior is a triumph against evil and a giant leap into being truly converted to His cause. I love my Savior more than I can adequately express, and I am so grateful to Him for taking the weight of the world from me, for healing my broken heart and my broken spirit, for His forgiveness, and for His love. A testimony of the Savior will carry you through the darkest times of your life, and elevate the rest to new heights. It’s worth it, it is so worth it all.