Personal Online Journal

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Perfection in our Church Leaders

Do we expect too much perfection in our leaders?

One of my church leaders, one I trust and love, made a technical error about the scriptures. He talked about how Nephi went and got ore and melted it to make a new, metal bow to get food for his family. In reality, Nephi made a bow out of wood (1 Ne 16:23). Yet this man went on to teach a great lesson about having earnest prayer and not letting ourselves say unmeaningful, repeated prayers.

So what is the greater truth?  A detail about Nephi's bow and arrow story or persuading each other to have meaningful communication with God?

Another leader of mine made a scriptural mistake. He said that Mosiah was 13 years old when he began to reign as king. Mosiah 6:4 says he began to reign in his "thirtieth" year. He was making the point that the Lord does not regard age when calling his servants. He sometimes calls them when they are very young. What he was teaching is correct, look at Samuel, David, Mormon or Joseph Smith.

These two experiences have caused me to think about the nature of our church leaders. We do not have our  leaders professionally trained to be our leaders. They come from all walks of life. What is more important, a leader that will not make technical mistakes about the scriptures? Or leaders that will not make mistakes about the central, spiritual principles of the doctrine of Christ and its main offshoots?

I will go with the latter. Mormons are about changing the heart and soul and hands and mind of humankind.  Leaders that are imperfect perhaps are more approachable. Perhaps their weaknesses are stumbling blocks to the learned.  I will stand with the good leaders of my church any day. I love them. They have my heart, my mind and my shoulders.


Papa D said...

There's also this thing about the Law of the Harvest that has real application in the LDS Church - since those we judge in their callings almost surely will be in a position to judge us in our callings at some point. I believe in the Golden Rule as a general principle, but I also believe in it at a very practical level - especially within the unique social structure of the LDS Church organization.

Yes, there are things that should be corrected even when said by a leader, but the "how" is every bit as important as the "what" in those cases. I always try to think how I would want others to correct me whenever I feel an urge to correct others.

Rich Alger said...

The golden rule is so valuable. It's like it's gold.