Thanks to LDS Daily for pointing this story out to us.
Elder Bednar was inspired to write this song by the way Christ ministers to each of us individually. “One by One” features lyrics by and music by Cardall.
As Cardall reference the collaboration:
“He approached me, asking if I would help him pull this song out of him. He said to me, and he actually told this at the Missionary Training Center at a devotional last June, he said that he has absolutely no musical talent. This was something he thought. He just felt like he had no musical ability inside of him, and yet for years, he was telling me, he had this phrase that was constantly going through his mind, and that’s the phrase ‘one by one,’ a phrase that we find periodically in the scriptures.”
Elder Bednard talked about it in this way:
Much of what we need to know about the character of Christ is embodied in the simple principle of “one by one.” This principle evidenced in the life of the Savior has been a focus of my study for a very long time. I am always touched to consider how much the Savior loves each one of us as individuals. I wrote the lyrics to a song about this principle of “one by one,” which Paul Cardall put to music. It was later beautifully performed by the One Voice Children’s Choir.
As you study the ministry of Jesus Christ and seek for eyes to see and ears to hear, you will find that He ministered to “ones.” He healed the leper, the centurion’s servant, the man with palsy, the woman who touched his garment—plus many more (see Matthew 8 and 9 in the New Testament).
In the New World, He invited the multitude gathered at the temple in the land of Bountiful to come forth one by one and witness for themselves that He had been slain for the sins of the world. The Savior invited the multitude to bring all who were afflicted in any manner, and He healed every one. Then He commanded that their little children be brought unto Him one by one, and He blessed them and prayed for them (see 3 Nephi 11 and 17 in the Book of Mormon).
Remember, the simple truth of “one by one” reveals not everything—but much of what we need to know about the character of the Savior. Similarly, each one of us in our service to others—in our families, among our friends, in our communities, or in our callings in the Church—has the opportunity and responsibility to minister to “ones.”