Choosing Our Leaders By Popular Demand


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your church leader could always be someone you loved? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a say about who would be the next Bishop of our ward? Wouldn’t it be nice if “we the people” choose our next Stake President? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the “popular” people, who everyone adores running things? Wouldn’t it be nice…? Or would it? Wouldn’t it be a travesty if we weren’t one of the “popular” people and we were never given the chance to grow and serve because we weren’t from the “in” crowd? And, haven’t all of our lives been blessed by a leader of the church, who we didn’t think we would like, but in retrospect, turned out to be someone we greatly loved? What would the church be like if the leaders were called by popular demand?

See if you can recognize these two exchanges between the Lord and a couple of “unpopular” men.

“…O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue”. (Exodus 10:4)

“…Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant” (Moses 6:31)

What would the church be like if the leaders were called by popular demand? Well, it wouldn’t have had Moses or Enoch, mentioned in the above scriptures, as it’s leaders, as well as countless others who have made huge contributions to the building up of the Lord’s kingdom. Equally disturbing is the fact that most of us might never be given opportunities to grow and develop in church callings because the voice of the people might not be behind us. Isn’t it really wonderful that the Lord calls, through his servants, who He wants! Which isn’t always what His people want, or need! Imagine the chaos if our leaders were chosen by “voting”. I can imagine that many “hard” feelings would abide and soon the church would splinter apart. The ways of the Lord are different from the ways of man. He is wise indeed!

Once in a conversation with a Bishop, he told of a young women who got up in a testimony meeting and said how she was mad at him because he had released the young women’s president whom she dearly loved. But, the young woman than told of how, within a short period of time, she developed a love for the new president. This young woman’s life had now been doubly blessed, as she now had two women who were of influence in her life. I’m sure if this young woman had her way, she never would have agreed to the change. And “she” would have missed out on a wonderful relationship that ensued with her new leader. And her new leader would have missed out on the opportunity to share of her gifts and talents.

I am sure that all of us have “special” feelings for certain leaders who have touched our lives. Many times the Lord calls these people at certain times, and places, because He knows of our needs. Sometimes we receive calls because the Lord knows of our need to be challenged. He also knows that our particular abilities might best be able to bless the lives of someone in need of our particular talents.

The Lord leads and guide His church by inspiration and revelation. If we trust in His way of governance, we will better understand that the Lord calls who he wills, not who we will, because He knows best. “By Popular Demand” may be a fine way of selecting a “Prom Queen”, but it’s no way to run the Lord’s kingdom here on earth.

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