Inspiration – Leaders and followers

Dan Cooper,
President,
High Prairie
Branch,
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints

We live in a world filled with individuals vying for our attention and devotion. They cry, “Follow me!” in loud, colourful ways, placing themselves directly in our view and shouting to convince us of their great worth and value.
But what really makes a good leader? What the world tells us and what God teaches are vastly different.
Stephen W. Owen stated, “The world teaches that leaders must be mighty; the Lord teaches that they must be meek. Worldly leaders gain power and influence through their talent, skill, and wealth. Christlike leaders gain power and influence ‘by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.’ In God’s eyes, the greatest leaders have always been the greatest followers.”
True leaders become leaders because others are drawn to them for their sincerity, compassion, charity and constancy. They emulate the Saviour in all things, and in following Him they become leaders.
The Saviour, as always, is our perfect example of this concept. He truly followed our Heavenly Father in all things. He did what was required, even giving His own life.
He served those around him in humility and grace. He taught in word and deed the very things God had taught Him. In turn, people followed Him and His example because they saw Him live what He taught and His Gospel brought peace and joy.
We can also be followers and leaders as we pattern our lives after Christ. We can follow in His footsteps as we serve those around us without judgment and with perfect love.
We choose to be like Him when we bite back criticisms and gossip and instead speak kindness. We spread His peace and joy as we optimistically look for the good in the world around us and point it out to others.
When we choose to follow His example, others will see. They will wonder what it is that makes us so happy and content in a world of turmoil. They will then want to discover the root of that joy and pattern their lives in such a way. We can then become leaders as we follow the Saviour, setting off a chain reaction for all to do the same.
The Saviour said, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Straightway the disciples left their nets and were blessed beyond any worldly measure. His gently invitation is still given to all, “Come, follow Me.”
He is the way, the truth and the light. He is the greatest follower and the greatest leader.

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