Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela: 'Small and Simple Things'
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In the Saturday afternoon session of general conference, Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the Seventy reflected on the words of Alma from the Book of Mormon, "Now ye may suppose that his 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."
Elder Valenzuela said, "As members of the Church, we are able, through our own small and simple things, to 'convince many of the error of their ways' and help 'bring them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls" (Alma 37:8).
As an example, Elder Valenzuela recalled a visit he made with others to a less active Church member. They taught him in a very simple way the blessings of the Sabbath and expressed their love. The man said all he needed was for someone to come and give him a hug. "I immediately stood up and embraced him," said Elder Valenzuela. "The next day was Sunday. This same brother came to sacrament meeting with his entire family."
Elder Valenzuela spoke about Martha, a member of his ward. Elder Valenzuela's wife was her visiting teacher and during a visit, Martha told her and her companion never to come back. She had decided to stop coming to Church.
One of the visiting teachers asked if they could sing a hymn before they left. Martha agreed. "Little by little, the Spirit began to fill the room," said Elder Valenzuela. "Each of them felt it. Martha's heart began to soften." She began to attend church with her daughter and eventually her husband joined them. She later served as the ward Relief Society president. "All this began with the singing of a hymn, a small and simple thing, that touched Martha's heart," he said.
"I testify that any of those who need our help are there waiting for us all to go forth and rescue our brothers and sisters to reach out to them, and rescue them through small and simple means," said Elder Valenzuela. "I have personally spent many hours visiting less active members of the Church, whose hearts have already been softened by the Lord, who are now ready to receive our testimonies and our sincere expressions of love. When we reach out and invite them, they will return to the Church without hesitation."