Small and Simple Things

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“Out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

Church History around the World


Although missionary work began in Germany in the 1840s, it wasn’t until 1851 that two people who were likely the first converts there were baptized. The same year, President John Taylor, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, went to Hamburg to help supervise the translation of the Book of Mormon into German. A branch was organized in Hamburg in 1852, but most of the early converts emigrated to Utah because of persecution. These included Karl G. Maeser, who later became president of Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah.

After World War I, Germany experienced great growth in Church converts, particularly from 1921 to 1925. The German Mission was divided into the German-Austrian Mission and the Swiss-German Mission. The East German Mission was created in 1937. Missionaries were pulled out of Germany during World War II. When they returned in 1947, the country had been divided into East Germany and West Germany. However, missionary work continued, and on June 19, 1985, the Freiberg Germany Temple was dedicated in East Germany—the first temple in a communist country. Another temple was dedicated two years later, in Frankfurt, West Germany. The country was unified in 1990.

The Church in Germany







Wards and Branches




The Gospel Comes First

Missionaries found and taught my great-grandfather in Samoa. In joining the Church, my grandfather had to forsake some of the traditional beliefs and religious practices of his people. Our family is proud of our Samoan heritage, but because of my grandfather’s example, we have learned that the gospel comes first.

When I was a young man, my dad talked to me about the tribal band tattoos that are common and some of the popular foods that wouldn’t necessarily be in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Dad said, “Don’t participate in any of that. You’re a child of God before you’re Samoan, before you’re a big, tough guy from the islands.” That is something I have always remembered.

Today my wife and I live in Costa Rica. There are traditions and cultural etiquette here, as there are everywhere, that do not align with what the Church teaches. Sometimes we have to have the courage to turn from these practices and to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Morgan Sa Mataalii, Costa Rica

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Members of the Church across the world can share the gospel by creating a profile on Visitors to the site use these profiles to learn about the Church directly from members. Create a profile and share your testimony by following these steps:

  1. 1.

    Visit Sign in using your LDS account. If you don’t have an LDS account, register for a user name and password by providing your membership record number and date of birth. Find your membership record number on your temple recommend or by contacting your ward or branch membership clerk.

  2. 2.

    Provide information in the following fields: “About Me,” “Why I Am a Mormon,” “How I Live My Faith,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” “Personal Stories,” and “Additional Information.”

  3. 3.

    When creating your profile, keep in mind that you are talking to people who are not members of the Church. Avoid phrases they may not be familiar with. For example, you might say, “I teach a class of adult women once a month from the words of living prophets,” instead of, “I serve as the Teachings for Our Time instructor in Relief Society.”

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    Provide your picture, first name, and a short introduction. You can also link your profile to your blog, Facebook account, or Twitter account, though this isn’t required. Avoid including detailed personal information, such as your last name or city of residence.

Once your profile is complete, it will be sent to moderators for approval. Once the profile is approved, visitors to the site will be able to read your testimony and contact you for more information about the Church.

Presidents of the Church Quiz

Match each item below to the President of the Church with whom it is associated.

  1. 1.

    Sunglasses. Worn by this President of the Church as he traveled to visit settlements throughout the Utah territory.

  2. 2.

    Top hat. This item is indicative of this prophet’s renown for refined appearance and behavior.

  3. 3.

    Medal of Distinguished Service. This Church President received this award for his service as Secretary of Agriculture in the cabinet of U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

  4. 4.

    Welfare commodity tokens. This President initiated and led the Church welfare program during the Great Depression.

  5. 5.

    Saddle. This prophet loved his horse named Sonny Boy.

  6. 6.

    Journal. This prophet was committed to preserving Church history, and his records are among the most valuable histories of the Church.

  7. 7.

    Photo of BYU Jerusalem Center. This Church President negotiated to obtain land in Jerusalem to build the center.

  8. 8.

    Miniature microphone. This President used this device, mounted on his glasses, because several throat operations treating cancer affected his voice.

  9. 9.

    Cane. This President used a cane in his later years, which he lovingly waved in the air to greet groups of Latter-day Saints.

  10. 10.

    Tithing slip. This President emphasized Joseph Smith’s teachings on tithing.

  11. 11.

    Fiddler on the Roof. This President loves literature and has quoted this classic on more than one occasion.

  12. 12.

    Typewriter. This President was one of the Church’s most prolific writers.

  13. 13.

    Sword. This Church President served as commander of the Nauvoo Legion.

  14. 14.

    Floral lei. This prophet went to Hawaii at age 15 as one of the first Latter-day Saint missionaries there.

  15. 15.

    Pocket watch. This item was worn by this prophet on the day of the Martyrdom at Carthage Jail.

  16. 16.

    Scouting Silver Buffalo Award. This President was the first major promoter of Scouting in the Church.

  • A.

    Joseph Smith Jr. (1805–44)

  • B.

    Brigham Young (1801–77)

  • C.

    John Taylor (1808–87)

  • D.

    Wilford Woodruff (1807–98)

  • E.

    Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901)

  • F.

    Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918)

  • G.

    Heber J. Grant (1856–1945)

  • H.

    George Albert Smith (1870–1951)

  • I.

    David O. McKay (1873–1970)

  • J.

    Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972)

  • K.

    Harold B. Lee (1899–1973)

  • L.

    Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

  • M.

    Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)

  • N.

    Howard W. Hunter (1907–95)

  • O.

    Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008)

  • P.

    Thomas S. Monson (1927–)

Answers: 1. B; 2. G; 3. M; 4. K; 5. I; 6. D; 7. N; 8. L; 9. O; 10. E; 11. P; 12. J; 13. A; 14. F; 15. C; 16. H