By Small and Simple Things

“By Small and Simple Things,” Ensign, June 2009, 70

By Small and Simple Things

Jessica Edwards–Englestead, Virginia

Years ago a severe car accident left me with chronic back pain. Because of a bad reaction to a cortisone treatment, I’m unable to sit for more than 45 minutes at a time or lie down for more than two hours unless I am connected to an electronic device to ease the pain. But I have learned to use these precious snippets of time when I feel well to be of service to the Lord. There is much that I and others in similar situations can do even when we are homebound.

Callings. As a visiting teacher, I contact the sisters who have requested only phone calls or written correspondence. I’m also a visiting teacher supervisor, and I enjoy sending out birthday cards from the Relief Society.

Family history. I began by entering information on Personal Ancestral File. My daily goal then was to increase my time sitting at the computer by one minute. I would do this several times a day. When I finally gained Internet access, I had over 700 names in my computer files that I had entered in just three months. About a year after that, I submitted more than 40,000 names—and I’m still going strong. There are also volunteer opportunities to index names from home. Just log on to to get started.

Friends. I have a list of friends who are homebound like me, and I call them regularly to visit and make sure they’re doing well.

Overlooked projects. The baptismal clothing for our ward was not sorted well. I asked to have it delivered to my home, where I organized it into boxes labeled by size and type of clothing.

Though I’m limited in what I can do, I feel immense joy and inner peace as I serve Heavenly Father and those around me in small and simple ways.