The ‘Small and Simple Things’

    family time

    The Book of Mormon is a spiritual survival guide for the last dispensation of times.  It contains principles and patterns that will help us survive difficult days ahead.  That is precisely why we need to search it daily.  Consider this simple statement by Nephi regarding the Liahona: “Thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29).   

    Counterstrategies and Proactive Plans to Fight the Adversary

    President Nelson has recently stated: “The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate.  To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans” (Russell M. Nelson, “Opening Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2018). However, most of the counterstrategies and proactive plans announced thus far are just small and simple things that each member of the Church can do.  Each one is “a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints” (D&C 89:3).

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    Receiving Revelation Through the Holy Ghost

    Let’s just consider a couple of these relatively small and simple things along with the significant prophetic promises associated with each one.  First, President Nelson’s plea to increase our spiritual capacity to receive revelation. “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2018). Each of us has been blessed with the incomparable gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is a small and simple thing to include in our daily prayers, a fervent heartfelt plea to have the influence of the Holy Ghost during the day. 

    President Benson taught that someday we will find that we were constantly surrounded by the influence of the Holy Ghost.  But you can’t see what you aren’t looking for.  The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Holy Ghost is a revelator,” and “no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132).  If we want more personal revelation, we must seek for it and live worthy of it.  We can demonstrate this desire by searching the scriptures daily, especially the Book of Mormon.  As we read and really ponder about what we are reading, the Holy Ghost will help us form inspired questions to ask.  Things we want to understand more about.  We will feel impressed to pray about these questions.  Additional thoughts and impressions come, our understanding deepens, and we feel direction and comfort.  This is a simple, daily process that each member of the Church, young and old, can follow.

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    Transform Your Homes into a Sanctuary of Faith

    Second, President Nelson has asked “each family… to transform their home into a sanctuary of faith… diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning” (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Nov. 2018).   With the new shortened Sunday meeting schedule, each family and individual have an hour available for personal study of the scriptures and the new, integrated Come, Follow Me resource.  Many families and individuals have spent money creating home entertainment centers with large flat screen TVs, expensive sound systems and access to online streaming of music and video content.  We spend a significant amount of time downloading or accessing online media.  So, it really is a small and simple thing to remodel our homes into centers of gospel learning.  Without spending any money, we can create an environment where the influence of the Holy Ghost can be felt and where we can grow spiritually.  President Nelson has promised: “I promise that…over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight.  Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease.  Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Nov. 2018).  

    Vancouver Canada Temple

    Spending Time in the Temple

    Third, President Nelson has urged us to spend more time in the temple.  “…The assaults of the adversary are increasing exponentially, in intensity and in variety.  Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater… I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy.  I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Nov. 2018).   

    scripture study

    Spending Time Each Day in the Book of Mormon

    Fourth, the Lord has repeatedly emphasized the importance of spending time each day in the Book of Mormon.  It is a small and simple daily personal habit that each of us is more than capable of doing.  It also comes with a powerful promise from Nephi himself.  “I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Nephi 15:24).  President Gordon B. Hinckley further promised to those who read the Book of Mormon, “there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, Aug. 2005).

    The Small and Simple Things Matter

     Much of our ability to claim the promised blessings of the Lord, rests on our willingness to do the small and simple things.  To trust in the Lord and in His servants.  Small and simple things matter when it comes to our personal physical health and safety.  I invite you to prayerfully consider two important questions.  First, what are the small and simple things I need to stop doing to be aligned more with the Savior and to have His Spirit with me?  Second, what small and simple things could I start doing to qualify for Heavenly Father’s promised blessings?  Remember, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” in your life and in your family! (Alma 37:6) It is never too late to start.