Monday, April 1, 2019

President M. Russell Ballard on the blessings of small and simple things

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"We must never ignore or pass by the prompting of the Spirit to render service to one another.
"Great and marvelous events seem to motivate us, but small things often do not hold our attention. Noting that the Liahona worked by faith, Alma stated, 'Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means … [the people of Lehi] were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.' (Alma 37:41.)
"Is our journey sometimes impeded when we forget the importance of small things? (See Alma 37:46.) Do we realize that small events and choices determine the direction of our lives just as small helms determine the direction of great ships? (See James 3:4; D&C 123:16.) Are we ever like Naaman, the leper, expecting some great thing before we will pay attention to prophets? (See 2 Kgs. 5:1–14.)
"May the Lord bless each one of us to follow the counsel of our prophets. We need to have family and personal prayers; study the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon; hold family home evenings; follow the admonition of the Savior to love one another; and be thoughtful, kind, and gentle within the family. Through these and other similar small and simple things, we have the promise that our lives will be filled with peace and joy."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Small and Simple Things," General Conference April 1990
Click here to read or listen to the full talk 

There's no question that we have an easier time paying attention to the "great and marvelous" things that might happen in our lives, or listening to the profound promptings. President Ballard counsels us to also pay attention to the more simple and quiet things that can come. A simple prompting to give service to another can have profound and dramatic impact.

Following the counsel of prophets is a good example of this principle. We often look for dramatic counsel or changed directions, and can easily neglect the ongoing counsel for basic and fundamental obedience to principles and commandments. The simplest things can truly bring the greatest peace and joy.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15