Small and Simple or Large and Difficult?

We may think the small things don’t matter, but in reality they add up to something more.

"We need to follow the spiritual pattern of small and simple things." —Dallin H. Oaks

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Go to church, read your scriptures, say your prayers. Seems easy enough, right? What happens when we forget to do these steps?

In the general conference talk “Small and Simple Things,” President Dallin H. Oaks gives an analogy about a tree root growing through a sidewalk. He points out that the consistent growth of a tree root ended up completely splitting the sidewalk: “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.” Just as a tree root grows slowly, our faith can increase or decrease slowly. It all depends on the small and simple things we do.

The things I previously mentioned—going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying—are examples of small and simple things that help us grow. I know that when I do these things on a regular basis, my life is blessed. I may experience hard times, but I know that I will make it through any trial that comes my way if I’m doing these small things. In contrast, if I sleep through church, criticize a church leader, or disobey the Word of Wisdom, my faith will decrease.

President Oaks goes on to say, “To protect against the cumulative negative effects that are destructive to our spiritual progress, we need to follow the spiritual pattern of small and simple things.” We must continue doing these small and simple spiritual things if we want to stay on the path of righteousness. However, even if we fall by the wayside, through repentance we can always find our way back.

Learn more about the nature of small and simple things by reading “Small and Simple Things,” by President Dallin H. Oaks.

Source: LDS General Conference

—Maisy Ward, Mormon Insights

feature image by mahkeo

Find more insights

Read or watch Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s “A Matter of a Few Degrees” to learn more about how the small things add up.

Read Stephen W. Owen’s talk titled “Repentance Is Always Positive” to learn more about how to stay on the right path.

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