Each day is filled with moments of opportunity to show our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. Through His Spirit, we learn of what He would have us do through small, simple acts of service and obedience. It is rare that we don’t get caught up in all the great and marvelous things we could do. We all seek to make the best of our lives. Sometimes this desire and ambition drives us a little too hard and gets in the way of what is right before us. The atoning grace of Jesus Christ has already brought us to Him. He has already accepted us.
However, we must be obedient to His gospel in order to receive an eternal reward. The beauty of the Plan of Salvation is that we do not need to earn our way into heaven. Instead, we learn how to get there through small and simple acts of faith every day. God does not expect us to perform grandiose tasks. Instead, he seeks our humble sacrifice in our day-to-day activities. Deen Kemsley, author of Trust in the Lord, relates an experience he had with his daughter that helped him understand this principle:
One evening, I took one of my daughters to a school friend’s home to play. Following my daughter’s directions, we drove up to a humble home on a busy corner, a cottage in a town of mansions. As I approached the door, I wondered why my daughter had chosen this particular home to visit, a place that lacked the prestige of all that surrounded it. However, when I stepped over the threshold of the home, a feeling of comfort and respect swept over me. At first I didn’t understand why. The inside of the home didn’t look much different from the outside.
Then I met the mother of my daughter’s friend—a woman who worked as a nurse at night and served her family devotedly throughout the day. Given her tough schedule and lack of sleep, I couldn’t help but think I’d just become tired and cranky if I tried to do what she did. Yet she was filled with optimism and enthusiasm. Though her tasks were difficult, they were simple and unnoticed by the world. They were not unnoticed by God, however. He had magnified her efforts, sanctifying her home with his presence.
Through simple acts, she fulfilled a faithful mission in life. She wasn’t a star in the world, but she was something much higher—an instrument in the hands of God. Likewise, each of us can fulfill the deeper purposes of life by performing the simple acts God would have us do. Christ himself set the example. Although filled with might and power, he spent his mortal ministry performing simple, yet deeply meaningful, acts of obedience, submitting himself unto the will of the Father in all things. He taught, he served, and he healed in the most humble of circumstances, personifying simplicity.
Christ loves our simple acts as well, not only because they follow in his footsteps but also because they amount to little on their own and can’t be mistaken for extraordinary personal achievement. They only produce fruit as Christ magnifies them. When he does, the harvest he generates can dwarf our small contributions, leading us to marvel at the power of his hand in our lives, filling us with appreciation and drawing us closer to him. In other words, simple acts of faith leave ample room for the power of his redeeming grace. Unlike many remarkable deeds, simple deeds don’t squeeze out the Savior with the burden of their own greatness. It doesn’t really matter what simple acts we perform as long as they are acts Christ would have us perform.
I know that when we focus on the things that matter most and do as Christ would do, we will be sustained and uplifted. I have come to learn of this truth as I study the teachings of the modern day apostles. I love my Savior and I know that His grace is sufficient for me. Apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:
Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents.
The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us (“Of Regrets and Resolutions, October 6, 2012).
–Excerpts in this article are from Trust in the Lord: Reflections of Jesus Christ, by Deen Kemsley, 2008, Sweetwater Books (a subsidiary of Cedar Fort, Inc.)
Article was written by Mady Clawson
Mady Clawson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (ʺMormonʺ single adult), with a zest for the gospel. She currently studies English, with an emphasis in Professional Writing and Communications at BYU-Idaho.