“If you can read this, you are too close!”

October 15, 2007

This week’s topic: What does following our leaders mean?

by carrie ann

We like to think that the leaders of our church are:

1. Perfect
2. Completely unified
3. Always right

Without any disrespect, I find this to be not so. I don’t think the leaders of our church think this about themselves either (at least not all of them). They have differing opinions on policy, politics, points of doctrine. When something is presented officially to the church it has come about from much discussion, fasting, and prayer.

When a group of people come together to form a decision everyone is starting from a different perspective. At the onset, not everyone will be on the same page. This is where the Holy Ghost can play a huge role. I believe that through its influence, a group of individuals can eventually arrive at the same conclusion. It might take awhile, pride can sometimes get in the way, but if everyone sincerely seeks what’s right (rather than what they want) then unity occurs. I have experienced this many times as a missionary, as a spouse, and as a leader in various church callings. It’s amazing.

I am naturally obedient. I am not a sheep. I am not a blind follower. I have always questioned things. But I have a “spirit of acceptance of counsel and advice coming from those who rightly preside over me” (from my patriarchal blessing). The key word being RIGHTLY. I view this as an unusual but very necessary gift considering my personality. Without it, I would find it difficult to accept anything just about anyone said or told me to do.

But still I have agency. I still have to live by the spirit. I still have to listen to Sister Beck’s conference address and find in it what the Lord would have me learn, my pride and independence aside. It’s up to me. No one is going to force me into compliance. But thankfully, when something is taught by the spirit, it’s much easier to swallow.

When I read what this week’s topic was going to be, I immediately thought of that bumper sticker: “If you can read this, you are too close.” Let’s listen to the prophet’s voice, but give him some space, some room for you and me to feel the spirit, too.


One comment

  1. Nice post, Carrie Ann.

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