I just got back from attending a large international conference with scholars on family issues from around the world. Their scholarship was impressive and the sophistication of their techniques and methods was astounding. It was a gathering of individuals with mighty professional credentials, of persons who regularly speak in the media or before parliaments and legislatures on family issues of substance and concern. Then I got home.
Small Things and Families
The first thing I did after getting off the plane in Fargo (yes, Fargo) and reaching my family was to take my daughter inside to the bathroom. Then I chased my two sons up and down the escalators and back to the car. After that I attempted to kiss my wife over the hollers and halloos of my children. The sophistication of the conference faded. I was back to small things.
I love small things. Why? Because the Lord works by small things. After providing Lehi and his family with the gift of the Liahona to guide their way through the wilderness, the scriptures softly teach:
“And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.” (1 Nephi 16:29; emphasis added)
Small things. In family life they might include:
- Sitting down with an anxious boy to read about astronauts and answer questions about the mysteries of space travel.
- Asking a spouse to sit and read while you finish cleaning up the remains of dinner.
- Teaching a child to fold her arms and bow her head just one more time – night after night after night.
- Rising early enough for a dad and two or three kids to shovel the walks when there is a new-fallen snow.
- Calling a grandparent just to see how they are doing and making sure that you can ask them to share a story with you.
- Do you see the power of small things? Small acts of kindness and courage and thoughtfulness are small acts of connection that bind us to each other and to the Savior. And they can bring about great things.