Monday, June 15, 2015

David A. Bednar on simple and small things

Elder David A. Bednar (1952- ) was sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2004.
"Many people in our contemporary world are drawn to promises of big results that occur quickly and all at once. Consider, for example, all of the money spent on lottery tickets. Recall the claims of advertising messages you have received that pledge immediate weight loss, instant health, fast hair growth, and a more youthful appearance in just 14 days. We are bombarded constantly with messages from a variety of sources promoting speedy supersizing, instant gratification, and outstanding performance that will impress our families and friends....
"I believe many, if not all, of the most satisfying and memorable accomplishments in our homes, in the Church, in our jobs and professions, and in our communities will be the product of this important spiritual pattern—of simple and small things. We should find great comfort in the fact that ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results....
"The spiritual pattern of small and simple things bringing forth great things produces firmness and steadfastness, deepening devotion, and more complete conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. As you and I become increasingly steadfast and immovable, we are less prone to zealous and exaggerated spurts of spirituality followed by extended periods of slackness. A spiritual 'spurter' is one who is given to a short burst of spectacular effort followed by frequent and lengthy periods of rest.
"A big spurt may appear to be impressive in the short run, but steadiness in small things over time is far more effective, far less dangerous, and produces far better results."
- David A. Bednar, "By Small and Simple Things Are Great Things Brought to Pass", BYU Women's Conference, April 28, 2011
Click here to read the full talk
Elder Bednar sets the stage for his teaching by pointing out a curious aspect of our modern society—the need or desire for rapid results and instant gratification. It's prominent in advertising schemes, and it often succeeds because so many are eager to get something for nothing, or to get as much as possible for as little cost or effort as possible.

But he teaches and testifies that the opposite is often true; real benefits come from prolonged and extended efforts, achieved a step at a time; the "simple and small efforts" will lead to the greatest results.

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