In a recent social media post, President Henry B. Eyring said, “Do with determination the simple things that will move you forward spiritually.”1 A familiar scripture from the Book of Mormon reminds us that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”2 Whenever I read this scripture, I think of my dad! He would smile and tell me it was one of his favorites. If you had known my dad, you would understand why. He was barely 5’4” and was raised on a farm. So, by the world’s standards, he was small and simple. But because my dad was determined to do the small and simple things of the gospel every day of his life, he became a spiritual giant with a profound knowledge of the gospel.
In order to become who God wants us to become, the small and simple things matter. Consistently doing things like saying our prayers every morning and night, reading our scriptures every day, quiet acts of kindness, and being honest really do keep us moving forward spiritually, even if we don’t recognize it. They are the needed drops of oil we add to our lamps of conversion.
David A. Bednar teaches that “conversion is an ongoing process and not a onetime event that results from a powerful or dramatic experience. Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God.”3
Of course the opposite is also true. M. Russell Ballard warned that “small and simple things can be negative and destructive to a person’s salvation. A series of seemingly small but incorrect choices can become those little soul-destroying termites that eat away at the foundations of our testimony until, before we are aware, we may be brought near to spiritual and moral destruction.”4
Little by little, day by day, the choices we make have a powerful impact. Are those choices drops of oil or destructive termites? May we be extra careful in the little things we do every day. Some of them will have eternal consequences. President Russell M. Nelson reminds us, “Each day is a day of decision.”5 The more focused we are on the small and simple things of the gospel, the easier it will be to walk the covenant path back home to our Father in Heaven.
1. June 28, 2020 Instagram Post – Henry B. Eyring
2. Alma 37:6
3. Converted Unto the Lord – David A. Bednar
4. Small and Simple Things – M. Russell Ballard
5. Decisions for Eternity – Russell M. Nelson