Small and Simple Things

Small and Simple Are Great

The Smallest Things Add Up

“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33)

You might think your life is unimportant, or that the things you do don’t matter very much. That thought is false, and to put any weight in it is to fall into a trap that Satan would have you believe. Your life does matter, even the very smallest acts.

A good friend of mine is a very talented woman in many different ways. She has a beautiful voice, is a talented stage actor, and runs a design business from her home. She is also her ward’s Young Women’s president, is rearing two beautiful children, and is married to a good man who is no less capable than she. Her capacity, talents, and gifts are great.

The other day she did a courageous thing – she asked Heavenly Father what she she was missing. What things needed to be done that weren’t done. “What lack I yet?” in other words.

The answer, when it came, was surprisingly simple: spend a few extra minutes each day with her children individually.

Small and Simple Things

For as great as her capacity is, for as much as she can do, the instruction was to engage in “small and simple things.” For in those small acts, the greatest things are accomplished.

The littlest things can make the biggest difference. A boulder thrown into a pond does little more than displace water. A small pebble that falls into a pond causes ripples that keep going until they reach the farthest shore.

While God wants us to be anxiously engaged in good causes, he doesn’t require us to do huge things. The greatest lives are made up of the smallest acts.

It is the small acts that make up the biggest lives. When you look at someone who appears to be the biggest deal, she did not get there in one day.

Elaine Jack, former general Relief Society president, said, “Women’s lives are full of small and simple things—discussions about how the day was, visits to schools, laughter at a homemade joke, work in its many forms, playing with children, trips to the doctor, tending the garden, cooking meals, teaching a lesson in church, helping a neighbor, serving a community group, sharing a lesson learned with a sister. Small and simple things that define relationships and build testimonies. Small and simple things that grow strong men and women.” (“Charity Never Faith,” April 1992.)

Be the Answer to Prayer

What is one small thing you can do that is within your reach? It could be as simple as the counsel given us by Emily Dickinson:

They might not need me; but they might.
I’ll let my head be just in sight;
a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.

Today is the day that you can be the answer to someone’s prayer, and even be someone’s miracle. “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 82).

Laura’s favorite quote is “Never suppress a generous thought.” She tries to remember that the those sudden thoughts that come out of seemingly nowhere are actually promptings from Heaven – reminders to be a little kinder, to serve a little more.

About the Author:

Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.


  1. Bablofil April 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks, great article.

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