“Everyone is trying to accomplish something big not realizing life is made of little things.” -- Frank Clark
Have you ever wondered how the small and simple things can make a large change in your life? “We are taught many small and simple things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded that in total and over a significant period of time, these seemingly small things bring to pass great things.” -President Oaks. Heavenly father shows us time and time again through the scriptures that when we are obedient and do the small things they add up into large things. When we are obedient and practice the small things he will bless us.
Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
“I was reminded of the power of small and simple things over time by something I saw on a morning walk. Here is the picture I took. The thick and strong concrete sidewalk is cracking. Is this the result of some large and powerful thrust? No, this cracking is caused by the slow, small growth of one of the roots reaching out from the adjoining tree. Here is a similar example I saw on another street.
The thrusting power that cracked these heavy concrete sidewalks was too small to measure on a daily or even a monthly basis, but its effect over time was incredibly powerful.
So is the powerful effect over time of the small and simple things we are taught in the scriptures and by living prophets. Consider the scripture study we’ve been taught to incorporate into our daily lives. Or consider the personal prayers and the kneeling family prayers that are regular practices for faithful Latter-day Saints. Consider attendance at seminary for youth or institute classes for young adults. Though each of these practices may seem to be small and simple, over time they result in powerful spiritual uplift and growth.
This occurs because each of these small and simple things invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the Testifier who enlightens us and guides us into truth, as President Eyring has explained.
Another source of spiritual uplift and growth is an ongoing practice of repenting, even of seemingly small transgressions. Our own inspired self-evaluations can help us see how we have fallen short and how we can do better. Such repentance should precede our weekly partaking of the sacrament. Some subjects to consider in this process of repentance are suggested in the hymn “Have I Done Any Good?” — May 2018 Ensign President Dallin Oaks
Lets stop here and take a moment for self refection.
What where the small things that you either did or where done to you that have had a large impact in your life?
A big one for me is my husbands constant kindness and forgiveness. Another was my grandmother telling me I should come back to the church after expressing to her my beliefs and struggle on finding a non worldly husband.
Let’s continue reading one more part of the talk from May ensign 2018 -- President oaks small and simple things:
“Similarly, even small acts of disobedience or minor failures to follow righteous practices can draw us down toward an outcome we have been warned to avoid. The Word of Wisdom provides an example of this. Likely the effect on the body of one cigarette or one drink of alcohol or one dose of another drug cannot be measured. But over time, the effect is powerful and may be irreversible. Remember the cracking of the sidewalk by the gradual small expansions of the root of the tree. One thing is certain, the terrible consequences of partaking of anything that can become addictive, like drugs that attack our bodies or pornographic material that degrades our thoughts, is totally avoidable if we never partake for the first time—even once.
Many years ago, President M. Russell Ballard described to a general conference audience “how small and simple things can be negative and destructive to a person’s salvation.” He taught: “Like weak fibers that form a yarn, then a strand, and finally a rope, these small things combined together can become too strong to be broken. We must ever be aware of the power that the small and simple things can have in building spirituality,” he said. “At the same time, we must be aware that Satan will use small and simple things to lead us into despair and misery.”7
Elder David A. Bednar described this principle in a BYU Women’s Conference: “We can learn much about the nature and importance of this spiritual pattern from the technique of … dripping water onto the soil at very low rates,” in contrast to flooding or spraying large quantities of water where it may not be needed.
He explained: “The steady drips of water sink deep into the ground and provide a high moisture level in the soil wherein plants can flourish. In like manner, if you and I are focused and frequent in receiving consistent drops of spiritual nourishment, then gospel roots can sink deep into our soul, can become firmly established and grounded, and can produce extraordinary and delicious fruit.”
Whats some small and simple things you can do to bring the spirit into your home and draw closer to Heavenly Father?
Scripture study daily
If we go back to the water sprinkler parody know I go into fireman mode with this. Make it a habit even on a hard day read one verse. We can all do that!
This could come in the form of personal prayers, family prayer or blessing your food. I only started praying before every meal about six months ago. It is only a small gesture but now when I don’t do it if I am out a dinner with friends it feels wrong in my heart. Daily consistency on the small things with turn into good habits that will last a life time.
On going practice of repentance
This can be done through prayer and willfully trying to make changes. Heavenly father knows when we try. In fact I used to feel like a failure or I would not repent about something because I thought I would not have the strength to back it up with the actions. Then I read Putting on the Armor of God: How to Win Your Battles with Satan by Steven A. Cramer and he gave me a completely different point of view by introducing the concept of Winning Your Unseen Battles.
Instead of look at your failures, you may have been tempted 46 times that day and only gave in once. Celebrate the 45 times you resisted temptation and chose the right!
What does the scriptures teach us about being steadily obedient?
Let’s look at the next four scriptures:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Mathew 25.21
Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain. 2 Nephi 2.20
32 But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and ye list to obey the evil spirit, which was spoken of by my father Mosiah. Mosiah 2.41
Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark aveil of bunbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the clight which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had dovercome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God. Alma 19.6
Can you think of a time when you have been blessed from being steadily obedient? If so let me know in the comments below.
Lets conclude with this video: You never know how much good you do.