Seven Habits Of A Highly Effective Priesthood Leader: Part Two

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5) Honor The Priesthood- Respect it and use it only in the service of our fellow man. There is no room in the priesthood for selfish aggrandizement and for the seeking of the honors of men. “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.” (D&C 121: 39-40). This warning was given by Lord for a reason! We need to be diligent in guarding against the natural tendency of man to “exercise” unrighteous dominion.

6) Don’t Take To Heart Compliments Or Criticism- As we serve in priesthood leadership we will have the wonderful opportunity to serve our fellow members, often during the best times of their lives. Sadly, we will also be a servant to many who will face the toughest challenges of their lives. During both times we will become close to families and individuals. They will, at times, give compliments. Do not take those accolades to heart. They are not intended for us; they are intended for the office in which we hold. Always remember that we are a representative of our Savior. Not the other way around. On the flip side; do not be discouraged if criticism also comes our way. Remember, that more often than not, they too are intended for the priesthood office that we hold. While we want to listen and learn from our experiences, the church is not a democracy. Remember that we are called, set apart, and commissioned to go forth in doing the Lord’s work. Sometimes that means making decisions that are difficult, hard, and sometimes unpopular.

7) Rely On The Lord- It is always important to be prayerful but even more so when called as a leader. Often we rely upon our own experiences, which can be helpful. However, our experiences need to be tempered with the spirit. A combination of the two will most likely result in better decision making. After 14 years Alma was reunited with the sons of Mosiah. He recorded this:

“Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” (Alma17:2-3).

When I was called as a Bishop, the outgoing Bishop only had one piece of advise for me. He said, “Rely on the Lord. Be prayerful.”  Ammon preached-

“And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent. Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed…” (Alma 26: 21-22).

And so the formula is given to know the mysteries of God and to be a effective servant of the Lords is: 1) Be penitent, 2) be one who exerciseth faith, 3) one who does good works, and 4) one who prays continually without ceasing.

It goes without saying that acting on behalf of the Savior requires that we emulate his characteristics in everything we do.

 

 

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