Concern for the One

I have loved writing this blog for the past month! Thank you for all the kind words and emails- I’m so glad to hear that the time I put into writing and studying might be bringing the Lord’s love and His spirit even a tiny measure more into your life.

My sister and blogging mentor has been leading me along in the world of ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘followers’ and all the other ways the internet measures ‘success’ in blogging. When I was considering starting a blog, I would call her and whine:

“Nobody is going to want to read what I’m taking the time to write — there are much better writers, much wiser people, much more savvy internet people than me!”

She would reassure me:

“There are lots of people in the world who will not care about what you are writing. But you don’t need lots of people to make a difference. You just need to care about the few somebody’s who will benefit from what you write.”

I’m sure Goggle feels more powerful than I do when they look at their internet stats. They are practically ready to start their own planet. But when someone very dear to me lets me know that what I wrote the other day brought positive feelings into a otherwise negative feeling day or a spiritual giant from my teenage years tells me she was praying for a way to study her scriptures the day before she found out I was writing a scripture study blog…then I feel like the time I’m putting into navigating favicons, plug-ins and widgets is worth it. (well…actually my husband is the mastermind for all things computer. But at least I know what a favicon is now!)

The world applauds those who gather big audiences. Advertisers are paid by how many people they can reach. Often the better teachers in college teach the bigger classes. How many views a youtube video garners is headline news. We sometimes even spend more time preparing a talk for the whole congregation than we do for our lesson of only 4 youth. So why would I feel so good about only one person’s one day being a little better?

stuff of eternityBecause, as Elder Ucthdorf says so beautifully, “We are made of the stuff of eternity.”

We are children of God before we are citizens of plant confused Earth. The things of true eternal principles resonate with our soul whether we like it or not. We may spend our lives trying to squash out the light of eternity that is in our soul, many are not aware that what they are feelings are messages from our Heavenly Home, some push away the feeling of light when it comes– but it does not change the fact that we are from Heaven with Love.

In the sight of God, “the worth of souls is great.” Because this is an eternal principle, when even one soul is cared for, the person doing the caring will feel God’s love– which is the best feeling we can feel on our lonely Earth.

 

 

 

From October General Conference, Elder Hugo E. Martinez said:

As I have sought guidance during my service, I have found comfort in remembering that the Savior focuses on the individual and the family. His love and tender attention to the individual have taught me that He recognizes the great worth of each of Heavenly Father’s children and that it is essential for us to ensure that each individual is ministered to and strengthened by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God’s ways are higher than man’s ways and He cares about the ministry to one person just as much as a group of people. Honestly, this is something that is sometimes hard for me to wrap my mind around. As I study the scriptures and prophets’ words cited below, however, I see the Lord trying to teach me how important one soul truly is to Him.

jesus heals

So, even if you end up being the only person reading this, I’m still going to write it for you. =)

Screenshot 2015-01-01 at 11.13.42 PMLara

 

S: (Prayer/Ask) Why is one soul worth so much to God? Please help me understand this truth over the world’s view that many people becomes more important than one person.

M: (Study)

  • Study Luke 15, the chapter of lost items (the coin, the sheep and the son) Note the themes you find in your scripture journal.
  • Read through this great list of scriptures (from lds.org study helps)
  • There is joy over one sinner that repentethLuke 15:10;
  • God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten SonJohn 3:16;
  • They could not bear that any human soul should perishMosiah 28:3;
  • Is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul at the time of his coming?Alma 39:17;
  • The thing of most worth unto you is to bring souls unto meD&C 15:6;
  • Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of GodD&C 18:10–15;
  • This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of manMoses 1:39;
  • Study Matthew 25:32-40 As you read these familiar scriptures, read deeply rather than skimming.

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, yeblessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

  • This is a wonderful talk from Elder Rasband called One by One. I especially love his scripture references from Jesus visiting the Americas:
  1. “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).
  2. “And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him” (3 Ne. 17:9; emphasis added).
  3. “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them” (3 Ne. 17:21; emphasis added).
  4. In verse 25 [3 Ne. 17:25] we read: “And they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.” Certainly, there is a very profound and tender personal message here. Jesus Christ ministers to, and loves us all, one by one.

O: (Ponder)

  • Why is one soul so important to God? Do you feel like the following quote from Elder Martinez explains why the worth of souls is so great? What else would you add?

Every soul is of great worth to God, for we are His children and we have the potential to become as He is.

  • Why does the world believe the almost exact opposite– that many is more important than one? Why would Satan happily promulgate this erroneous idea?
  • How does believing this principle effect the way we interact with each person we meet?

R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: Why is one soul worth so much to God? Please help me understand this truth over the world’s view that many people becomes more important than one person.) Also consider writing down the following:

  • Read this quote from Elder Martinez then write in your scripture journal how you think Jesus’ teachings show the way to minister to the one. Find and copy down a scripture that backs up what you are writing.

The love of Jesus Christ must be our guide if we are to become aware of the needs of those we can help in some way. The teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ, show us the way. And that is how our personal ministry begins: discovering needs, then tending to them.

  • Copy the following quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin into your scripture journal.

True disciples of Jesus Christ have always been concerned for the one.

E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.

The Challenge: I think sometimes about Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16. I feel like this is the only scripture that makes it sound like more people will give you more joy.. What do you think? How does this scripture fit in with personal ministry and the worth of one soul? If you think of something you’d like to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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S'mores (4071) - BSP Assignment #206005

4 Comments

  1. Annette@FitnessPerks

    I am definitely a devoted reader & love studying along with these fantastic s’mores, so keep going for me, please! 😉

    And in my little experience of social media/blogs, you will have way more stalkers & people who adore you than you might ever know, even if you never hear from them :)
    Annette@FitnessPerks recently posted…Lily: 15 Months UpdateMy Profile

    Reply
    1. larabuckwalter (Post author)

      Thanks for enjoying s’mores and studying with me, Annette! =)

      Reply
  2. Kratzer

    Hi
    So I read your blog post about caring about the one, how if you can change or uplift one person then it makes it all worth it. I just finished reading Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot this morning. (I have a thing for epicly long russian novels) In this book the main character (the idiot) is this nice young man who stumbles upon the drama of St Petersburg. Specifically, he meets several people who are caught in self destructive cycles. Because he is such a pure and innocent soul, he sees that there is still good in all these people and begins endeavors to save them from themselves. He tries and tries, but ultimately fails, the moral, at least in my understanding, being that you cannot hope to save someone else.
    This may sound very depressing, but it is really true. No matter how much goodness you do in your life, you can never make it good enough to completely save someone else, but do not worry, we were never meant to.
    In my recent life I have been pondering a lot about what burdens are necessary, and which ones are not. I am currently blessed to be working with a start up company that aligns very well with my interests and has a possibility of blessing me with financial stability for years to come. But like most startups, the financial stability isn’t quite here yet. I am the lead engineer, which can be a very intimidating thing. It is intimidating because all of my coworkers finances depend on me being able to do my job well. When problems come up at work that I do not know how to solve, there is no one for me to go to for help.
    Thinking along these lines got me down one night. I just could not bare the thought that my failures could affect so many different lives in a negative way. I prayed and asked God how I could I bear these burdens, how could I possible shoulder these heavy loads? And if I was struggling so much with these loads, how could I possibly ever be ready to shoulder future burdens (ie marriage, children, more work, church callings)?
    I felt the spirit pressing upon my heart that I was never meant to do all of this by myself, but as I can be strong willed and prideful, I did not want to believe. God, being kind merciful and patient as he is, then told me to give a call to a family member. I explained my current feelings, and she helped calm me down. Two of the things she told me were; God still has a plan for me and, God will always expand my capabilities to burden whatever is necessary.
    What I was lacking was an understanding of what was necessary. I have a savior complex. I want to save people like the protagonist in The Idiot, I want to do it all the time and for everyone. This desire is not a bad one, but I need to understand that I was not sent here to save everyone. That role was already taken.
    We already have a savior. He is not just my savior, or the savior of mankind, he is the personal savior for each and every one of my brothers and sisters. I need to have faith in him, that he will be there for them. I need to trust my father in heaven to look out for them in ways that I can’t. (D&C 76:41)
    I am so grateful for him and his love for my siblings.
    That being said, he offers me chances to serve others, to bear their burdens so that I can understand him more and grow closer to him while he works through me.
    We often struggle and think we are not doing enough or that we are inadequate, but that is a mistake. If God wants us to do something he will make us adequate, but he doesn’t need us to do everything. To think that we have to do everything is to take our faith away from a savior who loves all of us, and place that faith in our own selves.
    He is concerned for the ‘one’ and he know what they need and how best to get that help to them.
    So the next time I feel like I am just not measuring up I need to remember to put my faith back ‘wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.’ (2Ne31:19)

    Sorry for the epic russian novel of a response 😉 Also sorry I only wrote it on part of your message, I just had this thought while reading it and decided to share it even if it was a bit off topic.
    Thanks
    Teancum Kratzer (瑞子)

    Reply
    1. larabuckwalter (Post author)

      Elder Kratzer! I mean Teancum, =) Great comment, it gave me so much to think about. I think the novel you discussed needs to learn from you– you said it perfectly- “We already have a Savior.” He saves us where we cannot. When I try to think about my role in helping others, I feel like Christ invites us to join Him in His mission to save. He doesn’t expect us to do the saving- how could we!? But I imagine He is grateful to know we are alongside Him, bringing His love, His message and His salvation to the agency of another.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It really is a life long challenge to “put our faith back ‘wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.’ (2Ne31:19)!! =)

      Reply

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