Doing simple things brings great blessings

The great work of the Lord is primarily accomplished through small, kind acts that exemplify the basic teachings of His gospel, said Elder Rex D. Pinegar during the Sunday afternoon session.

"Obedience in doing the simple things," said Elder Pinegar of the Presidency of the Seventy, "has always been the means of obtaining the blessings of the Lord."He told the story of Naaman, the Syrian captain, who went to the prophet Elisha to be cured of leprosy as recorded in 2 Kings. When Elisha instructed the captain through a messenger to wash in the Jordan River seven times, Naaman was angry. But his servants said "if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" (2 Kings 5:13.) Then Naaman went and washed and was healed.

"Are we not sometimes like Naaman, looking for big or important things to do and bypassing simple things which could change our lives and heal us of our afflictions?" Elder Pinegar asked.

He said, "Focusing our attention on teaching and living the simple messages of the Savior in our homes will improve ourselves and strengthen our families. Our first line of defense is a world of spiritual and moral decay is and will continue to be the family."

Among simple instructions that Elder Pinegar cited to help strengthen families were faithfully holding quality family home evenings, having daily family prayer and faithfully reading the Book of Mormon.

"Brothers and sisters, we must not fail to do the simple and easy things that the gospel requires and thereby deny ourselves and our families the great blessings that the Lord has promised," Elder Pinegar said.

He recalled the counsel given in the previous general conference by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve that parents give up one outside thing for their family. He then told the story of Charles Francis Adams, the grandson of the second president of the United States John Adams: " He was a successful lawyer, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Ambassador to Britain. Amidst his responsibilities, he had little time to spare. He did, however, keep a diary. One day he wrote: `Went fishing with my son today - a day wasted.'

"On that same date, Charles' son, Brooks Adams, had printed in his own diary, `Went fishing with my father today - the most wonderful day of my life.' "

Elder Pinegar concluded, "President Hunter has said, `Frequently it is the commonplace tasks that have the greatest positive effect on the lives of others.' "

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