Jul 11, 2008

The Power of One

By Rebecca Talley

I’ve been thinking about the power of one lately. We are all aware of the One who sacrificed his life and took upon him our sins through the atonement (which has one contained within the word). The Savior had the power to save his life, but he chose to lay it down for each of us. The Savior is the one who provides the way for each of us to gain exaltation. It is only through his name that we can be saved. He is the one shepherd and we must come unto his fold.

We read in the scriptures how the Father and the Son are one. Some misinterpret this to mean that they are the same person, but we understand this to mean that they are one in purpose, they are unified. We are counseled to be one with our spouse. Our families should be one. Our organizations within the church should also be one. When we have the same purpose, the same goal, the same vision we can be one.

In Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 we read, “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” How great will be our joy in bringing one soul back to God. Of course, when we bring more than one soul our joy is multiplied, but even bringing one soul will make a difference. As teachers and leaders we are counseled that even if our words only touch one person in our class or organization, it will be worth the sacrifice to reach that one person. If a lesson or a talk or a testimony can make a difference in just one life, how great will be our joy.

In these latter days, we can see the power of one in Joseph Smith. Through his unyielding testimony and faithfulness, he restored the gospel to us. He was only one young boy who has since changed the lives of so many. The world saw him as an insignificant teenager, but we see him as one who’s changed the world. He could easily have been overwhelmed by his calling and believed that he, as just one person, couldn’t make such a difference, but he did. One young boy made a difference.

Rosa Parks stood, or sat, alone and with courage and determination, she made a difference.

What can we learn from these examples? There is power in one.

We often hear that one person cannot do much or make a difference, but I believe we can. Each one of us can have an impact on those around us. Each time we pick up a pen or sit at our keyboards we are using the power of one. Every time we compose an article or create a story we are using the power of one. Though we may never know the effect our words might have on another, we have the power to change lives because our words may be the healing balm that comforts, teaches, or helps someone else. If only one life is touched by something we’ve written, it is worth the sacrifice to create it.

There is power in one.


  1. What a great post! It's so true. It reminds me of the story of the boy throwing back starfish into the ocean and someone told him there are hundreds of them; he couldn't make a difference but as he tossed one back, he said, "It made a difference to that one." One of my favorite movies is called "The Power of One" (rated PG-13 because it is so hard to watch some of the horrors this boy went through)- story of a young English boy growing up in Africa and his passion for changing the world by teaching the natives English, among other things. Sorry, too long... loved what you had to say about the power of just one person to change lives... and thank goodness for those that do!

  2. In my personal experience, one of the most powerful things "the power of one" can impart is as simple as a smile. I can't tell you how many times, whether running myself ragged with errands or being stressed out running from one assignment to another at Church, how a simple smile from someone I pass gives me a moment of pause and lifts me and eases my stress. Hooray for the "simple" power of one!

  3. I am convinced the power of one is a mathmatical equation. The exponention results are astounding. Thanks for reminding us about the possibility to be the one, and to acknowledge the giving of one.

  4. Equally odd is the opposite view, how one can break a society echoing the strength of one.

  5. Wow...love the your post Rebecca. I am feeling the power of one as we say goodbye to my beloved father-in-law. He touched many lives...probably more than we will ever know. It is hard to say goodbye.

  6. Yes, we may be only one, but we ARE one. One voice, one vote, one support, sometimes lost in the shuffle, but sometimes outstandingly needed. The problem is we may never know just which smile counts, which word is needed, which hug inspires, which writing really inspires. So, why not be generous, so as not to be found wanting?


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