From the First Presidency

Small Things Make a Big Difference

First Counselor in the First Presidency

Adapted from “Small and Simple Things,” Ensign, May 2018, 89–92.

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a tree with a cracked sidewalk in front of it

Alma taught his son Helaman, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us many small and simple things. Over time these small things make a big difference.

I thought about this idea while taking a morning walk. I saw a crack in the concrete sidewalk. Did something large make the crack? No. The crack was made by the small root from a nearby tree. It grew only a little every day, but over time it was incredibly powerful.

The small things we do can be powerful. Think about daily scripture study. Or personal and family prayers. Or when we repent before taking the sacrament. Each of these acts may seem small and simple, but over time they help our spirits grow in powerful ways.

In the same way, small bad decisions can be powerful too. For example, drugs attack our bodies. Pornography hurts our minds. We can avoid the effects of these harmful things by never trying them—even once.

What do we watch on television and on the internet? What do we read? What music do we listen to? Are we honest? Are we cheerful and respectful to others? These small decisions can shape our lives.

We will be stronger by following the gospel of Jesus Christ and the leaders of His Church. I testify of Him. I leave a blessing with anyone who tries to stay on His covenant path.

Getting to Know President Dallin H. Oaks

pictures from President Oaks’s life

He was born on August 12, 1932, in Provo, Utah, USA.

When he was seven years old, his father died.

Dallin struggled in school for a time, but a loving teacher helped him improve.

His first job was sweeping out a radio repair shop. (Back then, some radios were as big as washing machines!)

He met his wife June at a school basketball game.

He liked fishing with his six children.

His motto is “Work first, play later.”

Before he became an Apostle, he worked as a lawyer, teacher, and judge.

He used to be president of Brigham Young University.

After June died, he married his wife Kristen in the Salt Lake Temple.

He was set apart as First Counselor in the First Presidency on January 14, 2018.