Baseball on the grass

Small and Simple Actions

We can strengthen our relationships with God, ourselves, and others through the “small things.”

It’s easy to get caught up in big-picture goals and planning for the future, but this thinking can distract us from the moments of daily living that end up amounting to more than we may realize—the “little things” that make all the difference.

In his BYU fireside address “Little Things Count,” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin talks about some of the little actions that are of great importance in our relationships with ourselves, God, and others. He quotes Doctrine and Covenants 64:33: “Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” 

Those small things include the little ways we interact with others. Elder Wirthlin shares the story of star athlete Dale Murphy, who led a successful baseball career without drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco, laughing at dirty jokes, or cursing at the umpire. His early-career figures paralleled those in the Hall of Fame, and many praised his kindness, saying, “There’s no finer fellow on earth.”

Plant sprouts from dark soil

Photo by Majharul Islam

What was it about Dale Murphy that made him stand out from his peers? Murphy played the same games as his teammates, but he knew that his small daily efforts to lead a righteous life would have a big influence on his relationships.

The relationships we cultivate with ourselves and with God are also influenced by small daily efforts. What little things could we do to improve and strengthen these connections? Do we need to take better care of ourselves? Do we need to revisit how we worship and study the gospel?

One of the adversary’s loudest messages in today’s world is that we don’t need to worry about the little things. But Elder Wirthlin reminds us that “these little things, which, in reality, become such big things, bring perspective to our lives as we learn to conquer them one by one in our effort to gain more and more strength.” The small efforts we make to show love to others, take care of ourselves, and worship the Lord on a daily basis will strengthen our relationships, our faith, and our ability to create great change.

Read Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s full BYU fireside address “Little Things Count” to dive deeper into the little things that make a big difference.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Hannah Ackerman, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Watch the BYU Devotional “Our Own Best Story” by Elder Gerrit W. Gong that further explores relationships and spiritual identity.

Take a look at Reagan Weston’s article “The Transformative Power of Incremental Change” for reflection on facing challenge through small and meaningful changes.

Read the article “Why Your Greatest Accomplishments Can Be Small and Simple” by Kamber Alldredge for further insight on the value of consistency in spiritual habits.

Listen to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “A Matter of a Few Degrees” for an illustrative metaphor on the powerful influence of small efforts.

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