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Friday Minute: A single blade of grass small and simple things

Published: Friday, Sept. 30 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Orchard grass

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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Small things determine mighty things.

While serving with President Kent Turley of the Phoenix Arizona Stake, he told us this story: "I was mowing the lawn and needed to plow through the task quickly due to a full Saturday schedule in preparation for stake conference.

"When my lawnmower stalled mid-way through the task, I flipped the housing on its side and examined the blades, carefully removing the wet grass clippings. I yanked the mow rope many times to no avail.

"I checked the gas tank. Plenty of gas. The spark plug looked good. Exasperated, I dropped to my knees to pray. At the conclusion of my simple prayer, I opened my eyes and noticed something I’d missed: a single blade of grass interrupting the flow of current to the spark plug."

Just as a single blade of grass can disrupt the flow of power, so a single grudge or a small measure of pride can snowball into something that blocks our connection to the powers of heaven.

If small missteps can disrupt our spiritual power, it is the simple things that may also restore such power. A Book of Mormon prophet has said that by "small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).

In a similar revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared, "You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm" (Doctrine and Covenants 123:16).

Whether small helms steer large ships or simple acts of kindness lift souls, we can accomplish mighty things when the power of righteousness flows uninterrupted by the world’s blades of distraction.

As with a blade of grass, simple things like prayers unspoken, scriptures not read and family home evenings ignored interrupt our spiritual power. Each by itself will not determine our eternal destiny, but the cumulative effect interferes with our growth, power and effectiveness in God’s sacred work.

Our communion with the Holy Ghost can be an uninterrupted flow of power, "and (our) scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth" (Doctrine and Covenants 121:46). As we eliminate the small things that disrupt our spiritual power, we become pure, one blade at a time.

William Monahan is a 1980 graduate of BYU Law School. He practices law and teaches law and ethics. A former Phoenix stake president and current high councilor for the QC Chandler Heights Stake, he is active in Interfaith and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

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