Sermon Illustrations

Back on the ranch where I spent my summers when I was young, my Dad and some of the other men used to break horses to ride and then would train them for various tasks according to their abilities and breeding.

The first thing they always did was to gain the animal’s trust. They would then trained them to reign, to turn and to stop on a dime, back up, follow a calf, and stand quietly and poised in a shoot ready to launch after a calf, etc. Some they trained as cutting horses, and some as roping horses. But first, there was the process of gently caring for them. This is where they brought in us younger “men” and started to train us to do what they did.

We brushed them, trimmed their hoofs, fed them, and halter broke them so we could lead them from one place to another. We would often tie a younger horse to an older and stronger horse and lead them around the corral. When the younger horse was large enough to carry a rider, we would step up and into the saddle while the young horse was tied close to the saddle horn of the larger horse. Sometimes, because the young horse so trusted us, this last step was not even necessary. Then came the process or teaching the horse to respond to the reigns and other cues.

These young horses didn’t like the new conditions at first. It scared them and they liked their freedom, but in time, through the gentleness of the trainer who showed gentleness and kindness for the horse, and through the example of the older horse, they became trained and learned to love what they did. It was not burdensome. They often had to work hard and would work up a sweat, but they loved it. It was a yoke fitted for their abilities and their natural instincts.

So the Savior promised, “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” It is tailor made for each of us and furthermore, He is always there with us to bear the burden.