Consistency in the Long Term

February 15th, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Sometimes when you hear something it just sticks. At the October 2009 LDS General Conference, Elder Bednar gave a talk in which he gave three suggestions for us to be “more diligent and concerned at home”. One of them stuck with me and I’ve kept thinking back on it this week. Here’s the section of the talk that has stuck with me:

In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.

More Diligent and Concerned at Home“, Elder David A. Bednar, October 2009 General Conference

So many things we do in our lives are like brushstrokes on our souls. As we go about our day there are hundreds of opportunities for brushstrokes. Do we pick up the brush or are we making ourselves too busy for even one brushstroke?


  1. Beth says:

    February 15th, 2011 at 9:24 am (#)

    I totally agree! I think of that principle a lot. I was reading the parable of the ten virgins this morning, and remembering the song from the seminary video that talks about the “drops” that fill our cruses with oil: “a drop for an act of kindness, a drop for a gift of love … for every hour of service, for every humble prayer.” It’s these little things that matter (“by small and simple things”), because that’s how we learn — “line upon line, precept upon precept.”