Tuesday, February 7, 2012

From Small and Simple Things...

Alma 37:6 - Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 -  And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

(I have no clue why the words at the beginning of this video are not in english... :))

Beth's Birthday Present
By Allan K. Burgess

     When Beth was ten years old, her Primary teacher taught her class that Heavenly Father would answer their prayers if they asked in faith and if what they desired was right for them. Beth was the only active member of the Church in her family, and this lesson so inspired her that, upon arriving home, she immediately went to her room and began to pray. She said, “Heavenly Father, you know my father is a good man and a good father, but he never goes to church—not even when I have a part on the program. Oh, Heavenly Father, please touch my father’s heart so he will want to go to church so we can become an eternal family.”
     Several times every day for six years Beth pleaded with the Lord in behalf of her father. Many times during these six years she would break down and cry as she poured out her soul to God. Some people may have given up after just a few months—let alone six years—but Beth’s faith never faltered.
     A few days before her sixteenth birthday, the family was sitting around the breakfast table. Her father asked her what she would like for her birthday. He was a well-to-do building contractor and had purchased Beth’s sister a new car for her sixteenth birthday just a year before. Beth’s father told her that she could have anything she wanted and that money was no problem.

     Beth was about ready to suggest a new car when the Holy Ghost spoke to her and said, “Beth, here is your chance! Here is what you have been hoping and praying for all of these years!” The Spirit then told her what to ask for.
     When I first heard this story I thought she was going to ask her dad to start attending church. But God had something much more powerful in mind.
     After pausing a few seconds, Beth said, “Dad, there is one thing I would like to have more than anything else in this world, and it won’t cost you one penny.”
     This really excited her father, and he wanted to know what this marvelous thing was that would not cost him anything. Beth said she would not tell him until he promised her that he would give it to her. Her father did not feel this was fair, and the rest of the family took his side, but she stood firm.
     Seeing that she was not going to give in, her father finally said, “All right, I promise!”
     Beth said, “Dad, the one thing I want more than anything else in this world is that we kneel down every morning together as a family in family prayer.” Her father later said it was like someone dropped a ton of bricks on him—he just sat there stunned. It was a request he had least expected but knew he must fulfill in order to maintain his integrity with Beth.
     The next morning, true to his word, the father called the family together for family prayer. He called upon Beth to give the prayer because she was the only one in the family who was active. Beth gave the prayer every morning for the first week. After about a week, her mother said that she would be willing
to take a turn, and it wasn’t long until Beth’s older sister began to pray. Soon her two little brothers were praying also. As a matter of fact, everyone in the family was praying except the father—the one who had been the focus of Beth’s prayers for six years.
     After about a month, as the family knelt for prayer one morning there was a pause for a moment, and then the father said, “I guess it’s about my turn to pray.” Beth said as her father began to pray, tears welled up in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. She felt that she was hearing the most humble and beautiful prayer that had ever been expressed by the lips of a mortal man. It was wonderful! It was the first time she had ever heard her father pray, and the spiritual effect it had upon the whole family was overwhelming.
     When the prayer was over, the whole family came together in one big hug of emotion and wept in gratitude for the great blessing that had come into their home.
     It wasn’t long after that that the whole family began going to church together. Beth spent her seventeenth birthday in the Salt Lake Temple, kneeling at a holy altar with her family as they made eternal covenants together. 

     The Lord works in mysterious ways. Simple things we do and decisions we make may not always seem like they will affect our lives (or someone else's) greatly, but sometimes they do. 
     The kind of life we live... the kind of person we are... is evident in our small acts of service. 
     If you never help others, and then you one day decide that you are going to help out with some huge ward service project... just this once... don't expect people to think that you are a charitable person.

     If you are always grumpy, and you one day spend an entire hour being nothing but nice... that's great, but people still won't consider you a very nice person.

     You and your life are not defined by the big things. It is a person's little and constant actions that show you what kind of personality they have.

     If you are always helping people out, even if it is just in small ways... maybe making a sibling's bed, or holding the door open for someone, or smiling at a lonely kid... people will consider you a very kind and giving person. 

     And these simple things that you do... may mean the world to someone else. NEVER FORGET THAT!

     “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 small and simple 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.”
-Elder David A. Bednar

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