Come Follow Me with Taylor Halverson (Doctrine and Covenants 121-123, October 18-24) – powered by Happy Scribe
What do we learn from Liberty Jail from D&C 121 about leadership and influence?
D&C 121 is a very powerful yet poignant set of scripture.
Many of us are familiar with this beautiful phrase that we learn from God, where he said says to Joseph Smith and his suffering, My son peace be unto thy soul thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high. Thou shalt triumph over all thy foals. Thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. I can tell you the moments of deep suffering I’ve experienced in my life.
These verses have given me significant comfort. I’d like for the next few moments to focus on a few other verses near the end of DNC. 121 that I believe beautifully express and encapsulate principles of leadership and influence that all of us can and should aspire to live in our lives and to find those who are willing to do the same. Let’s begin in verse 41. And as I read these verses, I invite you to think about times in your life.
You have seen good examples of these principles versus bad examples. And as you hear these principles think, what could I be doing in my life? To encourage more of these principles to flourish and to minimize these principles are avoided, meaning that people are not living these principles. So here we are in verse 41, DNC. 121.
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood only by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love and faint by kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile. Reproving the times with sharpness that actually means quickly not to be mean when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and then showing forth afterwards an increased of love towards Him, who now has reproved, lest he esteemed me to be his enemy, that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the chords of death.
We’ll continue on in verse 45 and 46 again thinking about what are the principles here that God has revealed about leadership and about influence? And what can we be doing to be better leaders and positive influencers in the world around us, and putting up those who are positive influences in the world. Here’s what we should be looking for these principles.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men and to the household of faith. And let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the Dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth, and thy Dominion shall be an everlasting Dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow into thee forever and ever. These are some of the most beautiful poetic verses that we have in the doctrine and Covenant.
God is declaring to us what true leadership, what real authority, what real influence is like. And I love that he sets a standard that all of us can aspire towards either in our individual lives or in terms of those that we actually support and encourage wherever you are in your life. I encourage you to look at these verses again and ask, Where have I seen God model these very principles for me? And how can I do better today to be just a bit better at spreading more light and more goodness?
Following these principles in DNC 121 you.