Care for little things yields big results

Orson Hyde has a name that many people recognize, but most of what he did isn't too well known. Mildly famous for a long, dangerous mission to Palestine, where he dedicated the land for the return of the Jews, Orson was kind of plain and stocky and short. He wore short hair and a clipped beard. Behind those average looks was an incredible, energetic, enigmatic life -- one that ended on Thanksgiving Day, 1878.

I like -- but follow poorly -- some advice he gave to LDS Church members gathered for general conference in 1865.

Hyde was talking to farmers, but this advice can apply to anyone. As the head of colonizing efforts in Sanpete County, he had seen men trying to farm too many acres, thinking they could get ahead this way. But they couldn't manage so much: "They run from break of day until dark of night, wearing themselves out" and still couldn't get everything done.

Instead, he advised the people to tend smaller tracts well .

Hyde felt that if a person really cared for a small farm well, the farm would produce as much or more than a larger tract that gets less focused attention. Besides, he said, "if we branch out so largely, we have no time to make necessary improvements around our homes and in our cities; in fact, we have so much to do that we can do nothing at all."

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