Sunday, February 6, 2022

Elder Ronald A. Rasband on ministering one-by-one like the Savior

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015. This talk was given shortly after his call as a Seventy.
"Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, 'one by one.'
"This sacred assurance is taught compassionately by the Savior Himself in His appearance to the people of Nephi. We read of this in 3 Nephi, chapter 11, verse 15:
"'And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth' (3 Ne. 11:15; emphasis added)....
"Certainly, there is a very profound and tender personal message here. Jesus Christ ministers to, and loves us all, one by one.
"As we reflect on our Savior’s way of loving, we sustain you dedicated stake and ward leaders, men and women of great faith. We gratefully recognize the many efforts of those of you working with the youth. And we express great appreciation to our caring Primary leaders and teachers for your Christlike service. We consider each of your one-by-one ministries and say thank you and please, please continue. Perhaps never in the history of mankind do we need to be serving on a one-by-one basis more than we do now....
"I have a testimony in my heart, brothers and sisters, that God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ know and love us individually. I’m not sure I fully understand how, I just know and have experienced that They do. I urge all of us in our own ministries, to our families and to our fellowman, to embrace the Savior’s warm invitation to come unto Him, one by one, and be perfected in Him."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "One by One," Ensign, November 2000, pp. 29-30
Click here to read the full talk

The very best teachers and leaders grasp the truth of this message almost intuitively: the service that has the most impact in a Church setting, or anywhere else for that matter, happens not as lessons are presented or activities occur, but as one-on-one interaction happens. In those times it's so much easier for heart to speak to heart, for spirits to reach and touch each other, for true love to be felt. As Elder Rasband points out, the Savior exemplifies that principle throughout His ministry.

Often it's in the activity setting — a girls camp or youth excursion — that those opportunities to interact occur. Sometimes it happens when a teacher or leader notices a concern and reaches out in other settings. I knew a young men leader recently who would often take his teachers out for a burger, one at a time (with parents' permission), just to have a chance to talk with them; later testimonies as they matured showed that he did immeasurable good with his loving kindness.

We are blessed in this way, and all other ways, as we follow the Savior's example.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
February 6, 2016

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