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).

Suggestions for Teaching Children

  • Greet each child by name as he or she comes into class.

  • Let children participate in lessons by inviting them to hold visual aids, choose a song, answer questions, or role-play a story.

  • Use simple and clear language.

  • Become familiar enough with the lesson that you can “tell” it to the children rather than read it from the manual.

  • Remember that children will follow your example. Try to set a righteous example in the way you treat them and others.

On the Calendar

General Conference

Don’t forget: the general Young Women meeting will be held on March 27, and general conference will be held on April 3 and 4.

What is general conference? It is a worldwide meeting of the Church, held twice a year—on the first weekend of April and October. Instead of attending regular Church meetings on Sunday, members gather to receive counsel from the prophet, his counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and other Church leaders.

General conference originates in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is delivered in four two-hour sessions for all members and one two-hour session for priesthood holders. Some Church members attend conference in the 21,000-seat Conference Center, but most receive it through a broadcast. Some areas can watch general conference live. Other areas will receive video or audio recordings of conference within a short time following the original broadcasts. Check with your priesthood leader or at for information about broadcast times and locations.

Following the conference, you can read and study general conference messages in the May and November issues of the Liahona.

The general Young Women meeting—a Churchwide meeting for young women ages 12 to 18, their mothers, and Young Women leaders—is held each year in March, and the general Relief Society meeting is held in September. These two meetings are broadcast on Saturday evening the week before general conference.

The Message of General Conference

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“A general conference of the Church is a declaration to all the world that Jesus is the Christ, that He and His Father, the God and Father of us all, appeared to the boy prophet Joseph Smith in fulfillment of that ancient promise that the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth would again restore His Church on earth and again come in like manner as [those Judean Saints had] seen him [ascend] into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). … Conference … is a declaration that He condescended to come to earth in poverty and humility, to face sorrow and rejection, disappointment and death in order that we might be saved from those very fates as our eternity unfolds, that ‘with his stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). … Conference proclaims to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the loving Messianic promise that ‘his mercy endureth for ever’ (see Psalm 136:1).”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Prophets in the Land Again,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2006, 106.

Temple Spotlight

São Paulo Brazil Temple

Dedicated in 1978 by President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), the São Paulo Brazil Temple was the first temple built in South America. It was financed in part by the contributions of local members, many of whom did not have money to give. Instead they offered wedding rings, bracelets, medals, and other valuable personal objects.

The temple is a modern, single-spire design. Its foundations are strong enough to sustain another 13 stories, making the structure virtually earthquake proof.

The exterior was constructed of reinforced concrete faced with cast stone composed of quartz and marble aggregates. There are 3,000 exterior panels of 400 different sizes and shapes, fit perfectly in specific places on the temple walls because the space between panels could be no more than one millimeter.

In 2004 the temple was rededicated following renovations, which included placing a figure of the angel Moroni atop the previously unadorned spire.

A Moment in Time

The Early Relief Society

In 1842 a small group of women in Nauvoo, Illinois, gathered to form a sewing society to provide clothes for the temple workers. However, as the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled them, their responsibilities would be “not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.” 1 Thus Relief Society was born.

Joseph Smith formally organized the Relief Society on March 17, 1842. His wife, Emma, was its first president.

The sisters quickly set to work helping the needy. New settlers, including immigrants, often needed food, shelter, and clothing when they arrived. Many also suffered physical hardships, illness, and the deaths of family members.

By the summer of 1842, the Relief Society organization had grown so large that no building in Nauvoo could accommodate its numbers. The sisters chose instead to meet in a grove near the temple site. During the winter of 1842–43, they postponed their meetings, but sisters of the “necessity committee,” a forerunner of visiting teaching, still visited one another.


  •   1.

    Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 5:25.

  • Great Lives Remembered

    James E. Talmage (1862–1933)

    James Edward Talmage was 13 years old when his family emigrated from their native England and settled in Provo, Utah.

    Intelligent and thirsty for knowledge, James was a part-time member of the faculty of the Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, by the time he was 17. He went on to study chemistry and geology at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Membership in many prominent scientific societies gave James Talmage access to important people and publications and helped him combat much of the prejudice faced by Latter-day Saints at the time.

    In 1888 he married Mary May Booth. They became the parents of eight children. From 1894 to 1897 he was president of the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City (now the University of Utah). During that time he bought one of the popular new chain-driven bicycles and rode it often. One evening he arrived home an hour late for dinner, bruised, bloodied, and dirty. Near his home was a single-plank bridge across a ditch. Normally, he dismounted and crossed on foot. But this time he felt he could ride across. He kept at it, crash after crash, until he mastered the maneuver.

    Elder Talmage was an effective lecturer, and some of his talks and lessons became the basis of some of the books for which he is well-known, including The Articles of Faith. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1911, the First Presidency had asked him to write a book on the life and ministry of the Savior. Later, a room was set aside in the Salt Lake Temple where Elder Talmage could concentrate on his writing. His 700-page book, Jesus the Christ, was published in 1915 and has been reprinted several times since then.

    Below: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1921. Elder Talmage is on the back row, second from the left.

    Left: photo illustration by Christina Smith; photograph by John Luke; right: photograph of temple by Matthew Reier; photograph of Christus by Matthew Reier

    Emma Smith, by Robert T. Barrett, may not be copied; photograph of book courtesy of Church History Library