If we are Facebook friends then you know that I recently worked on re-creating a habit I once had and set out on a mission to wear makeup 21 consecutive days so that make doing so a habit again. This goal of mine inspired a friend of mine to create some new habits herself and she is now a morning person as a result. Likely for the first time in her life actually. Her decision to wake up at 5am daily was based on it being a small part of a bigger goal. The bigger goal was to start work out in the morning. To be able to that, she had to first be able to get up and when we were talking recently about the bigger goal I was reminded of a scripture. It’s found in the Book of Mormon in the book of Alma. There are two Alma’s in the Book of Mormon, but the prophetic writer responsible for the scripture I’m going to share is Alma The Younger. He was kinda a brat and had a shady group of friends. Together, with the four sons of King Mosiah, these boys gave their parents cause to pray for them night and day. Not only was Alma The Younger just a rebellious teen, but quite committed to destroying the Church, actually. Maybe the proverbial “preacher’s kid”…who knows. Anyway…one converted, Alma The Younger followed in his father’s steps and became a great Ancient American prophet. In the 6th verse of the 37th chapter of his book it says: “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” This is pretty profound I think…in fact, I wrote the first part of this scripture on my bathroom mirror with the question “what small and simple things can I do today”. Let’s take a look at some small and simple things that have turned out to be great things for people. Before we do…I realize that what is great for some is not so great for others or can be made not so great as well. That’s called opposition and a topic for another day/post.
Let’s look at my friend’s life shall we? She enjoys being in shape. In fact, she wants to be in a fitness competition in the future. To do that, she of course has to be fit. To be fit she has to watch what she eats and use more energy than she consumes (that means she has to not only eat right but exercise too). She hates working out and she loves treats but neither of these things get her what she wants so she is diligent in working out and eating right. Avoiding her favorite sugary treats is just one small and simple thing she does to bring about greatness…in this case her fierce and sexy fit body (seriously you should see her she looks AMAZING). For my friend, being fit is a great thing.
Recently, I’ve tested this concept with my children. When I offer a small gesture or word of praise the great thing it brings about is often an end to contention. For instance, my son was given a bunch of commands at once and he was getting frustrated and angry and starting to throw a fit. Instead of scold him for the bad behavior I was seeing, I simply apologized for giving him so many directions at once that he was overwhelmed. Guess what…he stopped in his tracks, nodded his head affirmative indicating he was overwhelmed and then…while calm and collected went about completing all the things I has asked him to do. Before resuming gaming he asked me if there was anything else I needed done. This is a great thing given how this same situation usually goes when I get into scold mode.
Yesterday my little Sass-Master cleaned up the living room and hallway and her room without direction from me about it either. It was something “small and simple” to her but it had a great outcome. I was proud of her and bragged to others how well she did, she got to spend the night at her 2nd Mom’s house instead of put up with the house full of boys I had hanging out here, and she received tons of praise and recognition. Additionally, I was happier and calmer because the space wasn’t so chaotic and cluttered. Her small gesture had a huge impact; I’m pretty sure she never imagined just what a great thing her choice would be when making it…she just did it.
Now you’re probably wondering how small and simple things can “confound the wise” right? Consider how the candor of a child can often bring people to their knees because it’s so profound. This is what I think this part of that scripture means. The greatness that comes to fruition from our small and simple acts and efforts have the ability to effect such change it leaves the wise totally confused, to the point of shock and awe maybe even. I mean think about it…the greatest thing that was ever brought to pass in pretty much EVER came only after the one who made it happen was born homeless in what we’d now likely consider a barn. Pretty sure that right there is the epitome of “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” and Christ was found confounded the so-called wise more than once in his short life on Earth.
So…now I’m issuing the same challenge to each of you…what small and simple thing can YOU do to bring about greatness today? Greatness in your home, your family, your Church, your community, your city, your state, your whatever. Choose one small and simple thing every day and then sit back and watch all the greatness you have brought to you and those around you and it might just blow your mind! To receive a copy of the Book of Mormon free or find out more about what I believe as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please visit http://mormon.org.