Out of Small Things Proceedeth That Which is Great by Lohren Fronk
Good morning brothers and sisters. I am so grateful for this opportunity to speak, and I say that genuinely because this is the first sacrament meeting in three years where I don’t have a baby tugging at my feet, or I’m dishing out Goldfish the entire time. It’s so quiet up
Just a quick introduction, my name is Lohren Fronk and my husband’s name is Kevin. We have two daughters, Georgie who is three and Maeve who is one and we’ve got another little girl joining our
family this fall so please excuse me for being short winded and out of breath. We moved into the ward a little bit before COVID and we absolutely love it here in the Beachside ward. I am originally from Utah, where I taught first grade before I was set up with an avid surfer from southern California. Kevin and I dated long distance for about a year before getting married and he convinced me to trade in the mountains for the ocean. It’s been a really nice change of pace and luckily the beach and my kids are perfect tools to bribe family to come visit often. We feel so grateful to have landed in the Beachside ward and can’t
thank you all enough for your love, support, and friendship.
For today's talk, I was assigned to study a message given by President Nelson titled, "We Can Do Better and Be Better." In his talk he speaks about daily repentance and shares this thought. He says “The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. MET-UH-NO-WAY-OH. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix - noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” and “spirit”. So, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, and our spirit. When we choose to repent, we choose to change!”
The Savior is not only asking us to change, but to change for the better. Can you imagine what the outcome would be, if we applied this change each and every day? No matter how small our efforts? Elder Michael A. Dunn shares a wonderful example of how small
changes can make an enormous difference. He shares the story of the national bicycle racing teams of Great Britain and how they had been the laughingstock of the cycling world. British riders had managed only a handful of gold medals in 100 years of Olympic competitions and had been even more underwhelming in the three-week long Tour de
France—where no British rider had ever won in 110 years. Some bike manufacturers even refused to sell bikes to the British riders, because of how bad they were and despite devoting enormous resources into cutting-edge technology and every fancy new training regimen, nothing worked. Until 2003 when Dave Brailsford was hired. Unlike previous coaches who attempted dramatic, overnight turnarounds, Brailsford instead committed to a strategy implementing small improvements in everything.
I like to apply this principal, of small minor changes, to that of daily repentance. Even if we need to make large changes overall, it can feel much more manageable to start small. Sometimes we’re required to make dramatic leaps of faith. But more often it’s the small hops that move us forward. Small adjustments over time can bring greater balance and peace to our lives. For example, what if you discover you have neglected a daily reading of the Book of Mormon? Well, instead of desperately plowing through all 531 pages in one night, what if we committed instead to read just a chapter or two? Or another manageable goal for your situation?
I am entirely guilty of biting off more than I can chew, and setting unattainable goals for myself. And when I do, I often fail. We can be much more successful if we start small and stay persistent. For me, sometimes it’s just a verse or two of scripture study a day. Or maybe listening to a General Conference talk while doing the dishes. They may be small acts, but it’s enough to keep my progression moving forward, my goals to feel attainable, and my efforts to be recognized. With this approach of daily repentance, of choosing to be better, in order for there to be real change, there must be a consistent, day-in and day-out effort. And although we won’t likely be perfect, we must be determined to mirror our persistence with patience. Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 states, “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.” Be patient and remember nobody’s perfect, but everybody can be better. God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on
Elder David A. Bednar said: “Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity.” So, what about the British cyclists who made those small changes each and every day? Well, British cyclists have now won the Tour de France an astonishing six times. During the past four Olympic Games, Great Britain has been the most successful country across all cycling disciplines. And in the Tokyo Olympics, the UK won more gold medals in cycling than any other country.
President Nelson says repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. Although there is true joy to be found in daily repentance, there are also many people who consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances. But this feeling of being penalized
is produced by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ. He uses fear to scare us away for progression and change. To quote President Uchtdorf, “Satan will try to make us believe that our sins are not forgiven because we can remember them. Satan is a liar; he tries to blur our vision and lead us away from the path of repentance and forgiveness. God did not promise that we would not remember our sins. Remembering will help us avoid making the same mistakes again. But if we stay true and faithful, the memory of our sins will be softened over time.”
We need to remember that our Savior is waiting for us with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, and strengthen us through the process of repentance.
Remember, when we choose to repent, we choose to change! When we choose repentance, we are choosing to actively progress towards Jesus Christ. We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus
Christ! I pray that we can all be active in this wonderful choice of daily repentance and that we can each do our part, no matter how small, to do better and be better. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.