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In a crowd of about 2,500, Jesus ministered one by one. Here's how you can too

by | Oct. 06, 2020

Editor's note: “Resources to follow Him” curates study resources, teachings, and thoughts to deepen your study of this week's Come, Follow Me.

The character of Christ is displayed clearly in 3 Nephi 17–19, the Come, Follow Me chapters for September 28–October 11. Filled with compassion, Christ said to those who sought relief, “Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy” (3 Nephi 17:7).

His invitation is just as valid and real today as it was when He ministered in person to the people in the ancient Americas. It is our hope that through your studies of Come, Follow Me, you will find the healing you seek and that you will find ways to offer healing to others through your ministering efforts. Here are a few ideas to start your study. 

One by One Ministering

On an episode of the Sunday on Monday Study Group, host Tammy Uzelac Hall is joined by Mandy Green and Roberta North. Together, they explore the ideas of Christ’s universal invitation for healing and the word “any,” which is found three times in 3 Nephi 17:7. Green points out:

He is accessible anytime, anywhere, any place, to any heart that reaches out. Now, I want to take it up one level really quickly. Let's get out of the mortal world, and let's take it to a heavenly perspective. Am I sick of this world or as a result of being in this world? Am I afflicted? Am I lame—spiritually lame? Oh, you better believe it. I feel like my wings are clipped, right? Am I blind? Yes, I need my spiritual eyes opened. I can't speak with the tongue of angels, and I'm afflicted by being in the mortal world. So much, much more than a reprieve from physical healing. This is an invitation to level up.

Tammy also offers an insight: “One of the things that stood out to me in this is that He heals the adults first, and then He blesses the children. And when He says, ‘Behold your little ones,’ I just thought: ‘How powerful that He heals the adults of what they need to be healed of so they can behold the little ones.’”

The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original presented by LDS Living. You can access the full study group discussion through the Bookshelf app. Listen to a segment of this week's episode below or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.

Christ blessed the children in a personal and meaningful way: one by one. “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. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude and said unto them: Behold your little ones” (3 Nephi 17:21–23).

This one-by-one pattern of ministering is also expressed in a song called “One by One” by Paul Cardall. The song specifically illustrates the events in 3 Nephi, and Elder David A. Bednar wrote the lyrics.

Listen to the full song here.

You may also like: Elder Bednar shares his inspiration for writing the song ‘One by One,’ posts beautiful music video 

The Sacrament and Ministering

On an episode of “Don’t Miss This," Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler discuss a potential reason why Jesus Christ’s lessons on the sacrament and ministering appear in close proximity. 

Freeman shares, “He [Jesus Christ] will often begin with an object lesson and then the sermon will come right on the heels of an object lesson or a lesson where the people get to actually experience something before the teaching happens. And that happens here in chapter 18. And sometimes we don’t even realize how well these two things marry together.”

She then explains some of her thoughts about why Jesus would begin a lesson on ministering with the sacrament and offers insights on the significance of renewing baptismal covenants. She states:

We say that we will remember our baptismal covenant. That’s one of the things that we do when we take the sacrament, which is to bear burdens, to mourn, to comfort. We promise to keep the commandments. The first great commandment is love God and then love your neighbor. So keep that in mind. We promise to stand as a witness for Jesus Christ, which means we say in every situation we go into, we’re on His errand. We will represent Him in that situation.

Butler and Freeman also highlight specific ways we can show love to those who struggle to follow the Savior, as well as the power of being an inclusive, compassionate, and uplifting influence for good. Watch the full episode below. 

 You may also like: Why do we take the sacrament with our right hand? A look at this symbolic action and its connection to the ongoing Restoration

Motivated by Him

Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, shared counsel regarding ministering in her remarks in the October 2018 general conference. In her talk during that conference, “For Him,” she shares a personal experience about when she and her husband ministered to a family who was initially uninterested in their visits.

Though President Jones and her husband felt frustrated and discouraged, their service became joyful as they focused on serving Him. She states:

The Lord counseled, “Look unto me in every thought.” (D&C 6:36). And each week we covenant to do just that—to “always remember him.” (D&C 20:77,79). Can such a godly focus apply in everything we do? Can performing even a menial task become an opportunity to demonstrate our love and devotion to Him? I believe it can and will.

We can make each item on our to-do list become a way to glorify Him. We can see each task as a privilege and opportunity to serve Him, even when we are in the midst of deadlines, duties, or dirty diapers.

Read or listen to her full remarks here.

You may also like: 17 ways Latter-day Saints want you to minister to them

Ministering through Prayer

Much ministering also takes place through prayer. Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests one idea to keep in mind:

Imagine what it would be like to hear the Savior pray for you. What might He say in your behalf? His teachings and prayers in these chapters might give you an idea. As you study, what do you learn from Christ’s example that can make your own prayers more meaningful? What blessings from prayer have you seen in your life?

Throughout 3 Nephi 17–19, the Savior consistently turned outward and served—including in each prayer He gave. As David Butler points out in "Don’t Miss This," we can follow His loving lead. 

“Some of my sweetest times praying and some of the times I feel most connected to God in prayer is when I am praying for another person. There’s just something about it that is just way more poignant. . . . You almost feel like you’re on a team,” Butler says.

You may also like: How to transform your prayers from a monologue into a dialogue

Lead image by Getty Images

Image titleYou've read the Doctrine and Covenants before, but Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, hosts of the popular YouTube scripture-study channel "Don't Miss This," have created a new approach that will change the way you read your scriptures. These great teachers, whose love for the scriptures is contagious, explore the significance of one verse from each section of the Doctrine and Covenants, showing you how to dig deep and find personal application of God's word. Each short, devotional-style lesson shares a story, typically beginning with the question that prompted the revelation, a little background about the person the revelation was for, and that person's experience with the revelation. Then the authors relate that experience to us today. Their invitations will lead you to a more meaningful personal study of the Doctrine and Covenants. Found at DeseretBook.com.

Author profile

Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is the current editorial intern for LDS Living. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, which is also where she discovered the restored gospel and joined the Church. With a bachelor’s degree in human biology, she delights in translating her research and analytical skills into journalism. She believes that nothing is too hard for the Savior and that life is made infinitely better by good stories and sweet dogs.

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