RS/MP Chapter 18: “Church Leadership and Selfless Service” (Lorenzo Snow Manual)
Posted by kirkcaudle on September 13, 2013
Find the entire lesson here.
Find some of my thoughts on what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ in my notes from reading The Life of Holiness here.
For the lesson notes this week I will provide a scripture and/or quote from each section and then provide a few questions for you and/or your class members to ponder.
The Lord has given leaders in His Church a divine mandate: “Feed my sheep.”
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him,Feed my sheep.
he continued to say this [feed my sheep] until his apostles felt sorrowful.
Who are the sheep?
How well do we do feeding the sheep?
Do we feel sorrow when we do not feed the sheep?
What motivates us to get to work on this?
Leaders and teachers are called to follow the Savior’s example and serve with love, not to aggrandize themselves.
Lorenzo Snow asks:
Why is [a] man called to act as president over a people? Is it in order to acquire an influence and then to use that influence directly for his own aggrandizement? No, but on the contrary, he is called to act in such a position on the same principle as the priesthood was given to the Son of God, that he should make sacrifices. For himself? No, but in the interests of the people over whom he presides. Would he be required to offer himself up on the cross as did the Saviour? No, but to become the servant of his brethren, not their master, and to work in their interest and welfare.
How can we keep from falling into self aggrandizement when we are called into leadership positions?
How do leaders gain influence over others?
How does want sacrifice on behalf of others?
While pondering these questions, consider the teachings found in D&C 121:34-40
Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson, that the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. 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.
Can this passage be liken to church callings? If so, is there a difference between between “called” to a position in Church and be “chosen” for a position in the Church? For example, could I be called to be the Bishop without being chosen to be the Bishop, or vice versa?
Wise leaders appreciate the talents of others and give people opportunities to serve.
Because you will find, as a general thing, that talent is diffused through the many and rarely combined in single individuals; and it only needs opportunity in order to be developed
How is talent discovered?
Should we approach leaders and tell them about our talents or should we wait for them to come to us in order to ask about them?
Why do you suppose that talent is “rarely combined in single individuals?
The proper way to lead is by humility, good example, and devotion to the welfare of others.
Authorita[rian] rule is not the proper rule by which to govern Saints, but rather seek to administer in the spirit of humility, wisdom, and goodness, teaching not so much by theory as practice. Though one teach with the eloquence of an angel, yet one’s good practices, good examples, one’s acts, constantly manifesting wholeheartedness for the interests of the people, teach much more eloquently, much more effectually
Is it possible to rule by authority without being authoritarian? If so, what are the differences?
What does theory mean in this paragraph? Does theory mean something like doctrine or theology?
Why do you suppose that Snow believes that teaching by practice is better than teaching by theory?
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