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LDS Leadership Training: Following Christ’s Example of Leadership

Guest Author - P.D. Wiles

By guest author, P.D. Wiles.

As most Latter-day Saints know, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we receive a call to lead or teach. We wonder if we know enough, if we are talented enough or capable enough. And we wonder most of all… are we worthy enough?

As we serve in our various offices and church callings, it is imperative that we constantly seek the guidance and support of our Heavenly Father in all things we do. Sometimes in our zeal to be the perfect Relief Society counselor or Gospel Doctrine teacher, we can become too bogged down in details that aren’t really as conducive to the Spirit as we think they are.

For instance, have you ever admired a teacher whose lessons were chock full of colorful, artistic visual aids? Brother DaVinci obviously puts a lot of time into his lessons, you think, as he proudly displays a portrait in oil of Enos praying in the wilderness—which he painted specifically for this lesson. Sister Scrapbooker always gives the greatest handouts, too, because she has a master’s degree in Origami, and each person in the class always receives her own personal paper masterpiece. You wouldn’t dare drop THAT on the floor on your way out from class. Or how about Sister Bertha Bank Account that is so afraid to teach a lesson without props that she bases the lesson on a theme and BUYS everything for the lesson like someone would do if she were decorating a baby nursery in Disney Babies accessories?

For those of us who are artistically challenged, socially insecure, and financially limited—there’s good news. You can lead and teach and help people find their way to Christ without all that stuff. Now remember, I’m not saying visual aids are bad. What I’m saying is that they are not always necessary—and often, they are not appropriate. All you need to know about fulfilling your calling has been demonstrated to you by the Savior, Jesus Christ, as He went about teaching the people and training his disciples.

Listed below are six ways in which Christ taught and led, each followed by scriptures that you can look up and read yourself. Study these, and picture in your mind how Christ taught by His actions, His humility, and His willingness to put Heavenly Father first in all his doings. Prayerfully read and study, and work to develop these talents within you, talents that will help you as you serve in the callings that God has extended to you.

Accept your calling and magnify it…

For he taught them as one having authority from God, and not as having authority from the scribes. (JST Matthew 7:37.)


Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (Mark 1:14.)

And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. (Mark 1:21.)

Bear your testimony…

And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. (Mark 2:2.)

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31.)

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:32.)

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:32.)

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:16.)

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:50.)

Illustrate gospel principles with stories and ask questions…

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? (Matthew 13:10.)

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: (Mark 4:11.)

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31.)

And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (Luke 7:42.)

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. (John 21:17.)
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
(3 Nephi 11:14.)

Set the example as the servant…

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (John 13:14.)

Listen for promptings of the Spirit as you teach…

But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? (Luke 5:22.)

Be slow to anger or offend, or to be angered or offended…

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. (John 8:6.)

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The Call to Serve by Thomas S. Monson
Watch Over and Strengthen by Henry B. Eyring
Content with the Things Allotted Unto Us by Neal A. Maxwell
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Content copyright © 2014 by P.D. Wiles. All rights reserved.
This content was written by P.D. Wiles. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact C.S. Bezas for details.

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