I had the chance to read the book One by One by Elder David A. Bednar and found that it was an excellent scriptural study in addition to an inspiring read on serving and loving as the Savior did. In his book he states,
“The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ are the greatest examples of the principle of one by one. I believe the scriptural phrase one by one reveals essential aspects of what we need to know about and emulate in the Savior’s nature, attributes, and character and teaches us in powerful ways how we are to minister to and serve God’s children.”
Each chapter provides both scriptural examples and personal insight from Elder Bednar and includes a few Questions to Consider as well as a place to jot notes at the end of each paragraph. I loved this feature because I’ve never lost the highlight and marking up of texts from my college days. I decided that I was going to read this text with 2 main questions in mind.
- What can I apply from this text to increase my own self worth?
- How does ministering one by one apply to visiting teaching and how can I be a better servant through this calling?
Increasing Our Self Worth
Just with the scriptural examples alone, you can see that the Lord views each of us individually, that He values each and everyone of us, but the personal accounts that Elder Bednar shares helped me remember the times in my own life that I received divine help and tender mercies. He gives account after account of individuals who were searching for answers, praying for help, or struggling with hard questions and how the Lord led them to what they needed and provided them with the comfort and peace to endure. It reminded me of his talk on tender mercies and made me reflect on my own experiences where the Lord’s hand was evident in my life. The number and frequency of these experiences not only reminded me of His love for me, but also helped me refocus and recognize that my worth to Him is great.
How the Principle of One by One Applies to Visiting Teaching
I think this principle is incredibly important in how we visit teach, treat family members, and serve in our church callings. President Thomas S. Monson said,
“We have the responsibility to see individuals not as they are but rather as they can become. I would plead with you to think of them in this way”
Often as we visit teach we are assigned to sisters that we may not relate to, understand, be able to get ahold of, or even those who struggle with issues that we don’t about. As we work to see them as Christ sees them, and commit to being the servant that God can use to minister to them, I know that we are not only being the best disciples we can be, but that we’re being true disciples.
I find that despite my best efforts to life this principle consistently, I falter often and need to constantly refocus my efforts. This book along with the scriptural examples included have helped to recommit me in my efforts but also expanded my understanding. It’s a quick and great read that can be reviewed time and time again – perfect for getting us to practice this principle and make it a part of how we see and treat others.
You can read more and find this title at Deseret Book. I’m always looking for good books to read. What’s your current favorite? I’d love to hear – share in the comments below.