The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Leadership

"From the most exemplary life of all, even that of the Savior Jesus Christ, we learn perhaps the most important lesson of all . As the Savior was in the depths of suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed that the bitter cup might pass from him, adding in meekness and lowliness of heart, 'Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done' (Luke 22:42; italics added). A leader in the Lord's kingdom must be meek and lowly of heart (see, Alma 37:34)." — Elder Spencer J. Condie, General Conference, April 1990

"What a thrill it was the other day to be visiting with one of our handsome full-time Navajo Indian missionaries when he said, 'The main reason I'm on a mission today is because when I was a small boy, President Spencer W. Kimball came into our home, patted me on the head, placed a silver dollar in my hand, and said, 'Take this and start saving for a mission.'' Wrapped up in that example of leadership are all of the important parts: recognition, encouragement, challenge, and example. To bring groups back, we must learn to lead the individual back through patience and love. Good leaders don't give up. Good parents don't give up. Good youth don't give up." — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Improvement Era, June 1970, p.42

"You are the men holding the priesthood and the leaders in your communities. From you we expect the real leadership. We hope you are going [to go] back to your homes and give better leadership to your homes and families, that you will teach and discipline your children, that you will be to your household as Christ is to the Church, that you will be kind to your wives and love your wives more than you love yourselves, and as you go back to your branches, that you will rule in kindness. There is no reason why anyone who holds the priesthood should become like Hitler. There is no place in this Church for masters or slaves. We are all equal, although we are deacons or apostles. We have callings and responsibilities but we are all the sons of God and there is no reason for anyone to rise up in his majesty when he has a position of responsibility, and no place for any leader to lord it over others just because he has authority. The Savior who was the head of the Church never ruled by force, but by kindness and long-suffering and love. So you branch presidents and you counselors go back and with greater love than ever before seek to give leadership to your branch as Christ does to the Church. Unlike the world, when we supervise, it should not be out of a need for status or need to control, but out of the desire to serve others and to help them in a way that increases their righteous capacity." — The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.485

"In few things is genuine meekness so essential as it is in the opportunities and responsibilities in connection with power. As we ponder the experiences of followership and leadership in the Church, certain lessons emerge. In one way or another, each of these lessons turns upon the meekness factor. If we in our leadership assignments take upon us the yoke of Jesus, we soon begin to learn of Jesus as a result of those leadership experiences. Appreciation of Christ then deepens into adoration." — Neal A. Maxwell, Meek and Lowly, p.17

"In this world upheaval, in this day of wanton destruction, we, as a people must look upward. There must be trust and faith in our hearts. Hope must walk by our side. We must remember charity also. We must treasure the warm words of the Father to His Church, 'Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.' (D & C 68:6) We who have been called to leadership in the Church of Christ must lead our people from anxiety and fear and doubt, to trust and faith in the Lord, and certainty in the outcome of the Lord's plan of salvation. We must repeat with gladness the words of the Lord, 'Fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.' (D & C 98:1)" — John A. Widtsoe, General Conference 1942

"Paul says: 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
'For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . .
'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
'So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
'For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.' (Eph. 5:22, 23, 25, 28-29.) This is often misunderstood, both by husbands and by wives. Consider it well, and do not contend nor argue with your Heavenly Father. When a man gives leadership in his home as Christ gives leadership in his church, little else can be desired." — Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, April 1974

"Another great leader who continually sought the will of the Lord was the Prophet Joseph Smith. His very life exemplified Paul's admonition to live the gospel that we preach (see 1 Corinthians 9:14). A great strength of the Prophet was his ability to delegate and develop leadership skills in those around him. The expedition of Zion's Camp is but one example of Joseph's leadership based upon the principle 'Come, follow me' (see Luke 18:22). At the conclusion of Zion's Camp, the Prophet gave the newly organized high council detailed instructions regarding their callings and then told them, 'If I should now be taken away, I [have] accomplished the great work the Lord [has] -laid before me' (History of the Church, 2:124). Long before his martyrdom the Prophet Joseph was diligently training those who would continue to lead the kingdom after he was gone. Here is another important lesson of leadership: Leaders are duty bound and obligated to prepare others to take their place at some future time. Brothers and sisters, the cemeteries are filled with leaders who thought they were indispensable." — Spencer J. Condie, General Conference, April 1990

"My friends, there are footprints to follow where we must go — made not by a leader who said, safely from the sidelines, 'Go thither,' but by a leader who said, 'Come follow me.' And our mortal leader is a prophet who is showing us how to lengthen our stride." — Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, October 1974

"Lehi and his family knew something of the perils of the wilderness. Indeed, for Lehi, life was a wilderness. He and his family also knew something of the lifesaving qualities of a reliable compass. The Liahona provided their direction through the desert. Its directing capability came not from a magnetic field but rather 'according to the faith and diligence and heed' (
1 Ne. 16:28 ) which Lehi and his family gave to the directions that appeared on this compass." - Lance B. Wickman, " Of Compasses and Covenants ," Ensign, June 1996, p. 38

"As General Authorities of the Church, we are just the same as you are, and you are just the same as we are. You have the same access to the powers of revelation for your families and for your work and for your callings as we do.

"It is also true that there is an order to things in the Church. When you are called to an office, you then receive revelation that belongs to that office that would not be given to others.

"No member of the Church is esteemed by the Lord as more or less than any other. It just does not work that way! Remember, He is a father—our Father. The Lord is 'no respecter of persons.'" - Boyd K. Packer, "The Weak and the Simple of the Church," General Conference, 6 October 2007

"Jesus aimed to make of every man a king, to build him in leadership into eternity. On that memorable night after the last supper, He said to the eleven (after Judas had slunk out into the night to go about his dark mission), 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father' (John 14:12). Through delegating, Jesus desired to lift, rather than suppress the individual. And all through the Church today, men and women are growing in stature through positions delegated to them." - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.380

"Those who know me best have heard me say before that each of us has our own zone of influence. How am I using my influence? How are you? Are we leading our fellowmen up the path to higher, greater achievements? Or are we despoiling our leadership qualities by helping others in the paths of folly, unbelief, bitterness, and unhappiness? We lead by example." - John Longden, "Conference Report," April 1969, Afternoon Session, p.145

“There can be no greater aspect to righteous living than to feel the regenerative force of striving to do better. There is no member listening here this morning, or over the air waves, who has come anywhere near in accomplishing what he actually is capable of; none have reached their full potential of leadership in the Church. This means that throughout the Church in all of the facets of its organization, members, teachers, officers, bishoprics, high councils, stake presidencies, and others, the challenge is before us today to step up to leadership, to step up to real membership in God's kingdom.” - Alvin R. Dyer, “Conference Report,” October 1962, First Day—Morning Meeting, p. 12

Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God’s hand working through those He has called. - M. Russell Ballard, “God Is at the Helm,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

If I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest leader who ever lived?”—what would you say? The answer, of course, is Jesus Christ. He sets the perfect example of every imaginable leadership quality.

But what if I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest follower who ever lived?”—wouldn’t the answer again be Jesus Christ? He is the greatest leader because He is the greatest follower—He follows His Father perfectly, in all things. - Stephen W. Owen, "The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers,” Ensign (CR) May 2016

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