Small & Simple Things

Small and Simple Things

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“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).

Temple Spotlight

Vancouver British Columbia Temple

On May 2, 2010, the Vancouver British Columbia Temple became the 131st temple to be dedicated in this dispensation. The temple covers 28,165 square feet (2,617 m2) and contains a baptistry, a celestial room, two endowment rooms, and two sealing rooms. Inside, the color scheme features green, light blue, and gold, honoring the majesty of the forests, sea, and sky of the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific dogwood, the provincial flower of British Columbia, is portrayed in paintings and fabrics throughout the building.

The night before the dedication, more than 1,200 youth participated in a cultural celebration. Titled “A Beacon to the World,” the show portrayed the history and people of Canada. At the beginning of the celebration, President Monson changed the opening hymn to the national anthem of Canada, saying, “We are here to enjoy Canada with you.”

In the dedicatory prayer, President Monson said: “May all who enter have clean hands and pure hearts. May their faith increase as they labor here for those who have gone before. May they depart with a feeling of peace, praising Thy holy name.”1

From top: A look at the baptistry, decorative details, and celestial room of the Vancouver British Columbia Temple.

Fasting Journal

Renee Harding, North Carolina, USA

Fasting used to be difficult for me—until I began keeping a fasting journal. Now, before I begin each fast, I write down a specific purpose for my fast. For example, I might write, “Because I am so nervous about my new calling as Beehive adviser, I am fasting and praying that the Lord will bless me to be calm, confident, and composed tomorrow when I teach my first lesson.”

Throughout my fast, I jot down relevant things that transpire; thoughts, feelings, and impressions that come into my mind and heart; and scriptural references that especially pertain to the purpose of my fast.

As I share my desires with Heavenly Father, He often blesses me in ways I had not imagined. What might otherwise seem to be random events in my life are clearly linked when I write them down and see how they all contribute to my growth and development. Since 1996, when I first began keeping a fasting journal, I have seen how Heavenly Father has blessed my life. I testify of the incredible spiritual power of fasting and praying and consider fasting an opportunity for “rejoicing and prayer” (D&C 59:14).

Great Lives Remembered

Mary Fielding Smith

Mary Fielding Smith, a faithful Latter-day Saint woman, was left with several young children while her husband was in Liberty Jail during the winter of 1838–39. Mobs raided her home, and her son was nearly killed as a result of the attack. As the wife of Hyrum Smith, Mary was left a widow when her husband was assassinated at Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. She and Emma Smith endured many trials along with their husbands, Hyrum and Joseph Smith. Today, Mary is admired as one of the most stalwart pioneers of the early Church.

Mary married Hyrum Smith on December 24, 1837. Hyrum’s first wife, Jerusha, had died in childbirth, and Mary cared for Hyrum’s small children as her own. Hyrum and Mary also had two children together, including Joseph F. Smith, who later became the sixth President of the Church.

When the Saints left Nauvoo for the Salt Lake Valley after Joseph and Hyrum were martyred, Mary resolved to make the journey. She and her family were assigned to a traveling group, and the captain told her that she would be a burden to others and shouldn’t attempt the difficult journey. Mary responded, “I will beat you to the valley and will ask no help from you either.”1 The trek proved difficult, but she arrived with her family in Salt Lake on September 23, 1848, a day ahead of the captain who had doubted her.

Mary Fielding Smith remained faithful to the end of her life. She paid tithing, even in her poverty. When someone inappropriately suggested she not contribute a tenth of the potatoes she had grown that year, she responded, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? … I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it.”2 She established a farm in the Salt Lake Valley and taught her children the gospel. President Joseph F. Smith later said, “She taught me honor, and virtue, and truth, and integrity to the kingdom of God, and she taught me not only by precept but by example.”3


  •   1.

    See Don Cecil Corbett, Mary Fielding Smith: Daughter of Britain (1966), 228.

  •   2.

    Mary Fielding Smith, quoted by Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 48.

  •   3.

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 36.

  • Top: Mary Fielding Smith crossing the plains.

    Above: Joseph F. Smith with family members at Mary Fielding Smith’s Salt Lake City home, about 1910.

    Left: photograph of Vancouver British Columbia Temple by Steven Davis; interior photographs by Matthew Reier, © IRI, may not be copied; right: illustration by Glen Hopkinson