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).

Church History around the World

Sierra Leone

In 1981 a native of Sierra Leone, Michael Samura, heard the gospel in Holland and was baptized there. When he returned to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, he requested missionaries, but because the Church was not ready to send missionaries there, he was sent only Church literature. Brother Samura began teaching others and holding unofficial meetings. Members who had been baptized in other countries and had returned to Sierra Leone did the same.

The year 1988 was a milestone for the country. In January the first official meeting was presided over by a member who had been baptized in Germany. In May two missionary couples arrived, and in June the first 14 baptisms in the country were performed. In August the first branch—the Goderich Branch—was established. Ground was broken in 2004 for the first Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Sierra Leone.

The Church in Sierra Leone









map of West Africa

Sierra Leone




Atlantic Ocean


Wholesome Family Activities

Families that regularly participate in wholesome activities together can feel greater love and harmony. Family activities provide an opportunity for parents to discuss the gospel with children, and children will often be more willing to listen to and obey parents when they feel close to them.

Wholesome family activities include:

  • Family home evening: President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said, “It is so important that fathers and mothers sit down with their children, pray together, instruct them in the ways of the Lord, consider their family problems, and let the children express their talents.”1

  • Family service activities: You could visit an elderly member of your ward or pick up trash around the neighborhood.

  • One-on-one outings with Mom or Dad: These allow children to build individual and personal relationships with parents.


  •   1.

    Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 58.

  • Great Lives Remembered

    Truman O. Angell

    Truman Osborn Angell (1810–87) served for several decades as Church architect, planning and directing the construction of many significant buildings, including the Salt Lake Temple. Throughout his years of service to the Church, Truman was humble and obedient.

    He was born on June 5, 1810, in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. When he was a teenager, a local craftsman taught him carpentry and joinery, a specialized kind of woodworking.

    At age 22 he was introduced to the Church by his sister, who had received a copy of the Book of Mormon from missionary Thomas B. Marsh. In January 1833 Truman was baptized along with his mother, Phebe, and his wife, Polly.

    Shortly after Truman was ordained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, the Prophet Joseph Smith requested that he build a store in Kirtland, Ohio. Truman declined, telling the Prophet he was preparing to leave for a mission. The next day, however, Truman saw the First Presidency in the distance and felt prompted to accept the building assignment from the Prophet. He later recorded, “Accordingly I changed my determination and yielded obedience.”1

    In 1856 President Brigham Young sent Truman on a mission to Europe, instructing him to “take drafts of valuable works of architecture” so he could “be better qualified to continue” to work on the Salt Lake Temple and other buildings.2

    Truman was called as Church architect in 1867. (The Church no longer calls an official Church architect.) Although years of hard work had caused Truman’s health to suffer, he humbly accepted the call. He wrote in his journal, “I feel a good deal worn out but if the President and my brethren feel to sustain a poor worm of dust like me to be Architect of the Church, let me strive to serve them and not disgrace myself. … May the Lord help me so to do.”3

    Truman directed many building projects in Utah, including the Lion House, the Beehive House, the Utah Territorial Statehouse, and the St. George Utah Temple.

    Truman did not live to see the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893, but he served faithfully as Church architect until his death in 1887.


  •   1.

    Truman O. Angell, in Kate B. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage, 20 vols. (1958–77), 10:197.

  •   2.

    See Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage, 10:204.

  •   3.

    In Paul L. Anderson, “Truman O. Angell: Architect and Saint,” in Supporting Saints: Life Stories of Nineteenth-Century Mormons, ed. Donald Q. Cannon and David J. Whittaker (1985), 161; spelling standardized.

  • Top left: photograph courtesy of Church History Library; top right: portrait by Charles Savage; bottom right: drawings courtesy of Church History Library