AMK LEADERSHIP STUDIES
"And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation." (The ministry of Abraham was about 1996 B.C. and the death of Joseph was about 1635 B.C.)
"And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: come on, let us deal wisely with them. . .
"And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour, and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage . . .
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, "Every son that is born [of the Israelites] ye shall cast into the river . . ." (KJV Exodus 1:6-14, 22; see also Acts 7:17-19)
And Moses was born in Israel of the tribe of Levi, but he was saved from death, and he was raised by Pharaoh's daughter as if he were her own son.
"And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds." (KJV Acts 7:20-22)
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt . . ." (KJV Hebrews 11:24-26)
Moses could not be bought off by any amount of pleasure, wealth, or fame. Righteous leaders are have no price. They remain true no matter what it costs.
Some of the Israelites would not accept Moses and the Egyptians sought his life. He fled Egypt and was a stranger in the land of Midian. After many years the Lord called Moses to return to Egypt and deliver Israel and to lead them to the land of promise. (see KJV Exodus: chapters 3-4; Acts 7:23-35)
"And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
"And the Lord said unto him . . . go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." (KJV Exodus 4:10-12)
But Moses was still reluctant and the Lord became angry and said, "Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
"And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
"And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
"And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
"And Moses took his wife and his sons and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand." (KJV Exodus 4:14-16, 19-20)
In spite of the fact that Moses chose the right course he was rejected, persecuted, and forced into exile. Forty years later the Lord called upon Moses to return and deliver the Israelites from bondage.
Moses doubted his ability to do what needed to be done. His lack of confidence displeased the Lord, but Moses was given extra help and assurance.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand, and I will prosper thee; but Pharaoh will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go . . .
"And it came to pass, that the Lord appeared unto him as he was in the way, by the inn. The Lord was angry with Moses, and his hand was about to fall upon him, to kill him; for he had not circumcised his son.
"Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and circumcised her son, and cast the stone at his feet, and said, Surely thou art a bloody husband unto me.
"And the Lord spared Moses and let him go, because Zipporah, his wife, circumcised the child. And she said, Thou art a bloody husband. And Moses was ashamed, and hid his face from the Lord, and said, I have sinned before the Lord.
"And the Lord said unto Aaron, go into the wilderness to meet Moses, and he went and met him, in the mount of God. .
"And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him." (JST Exodus 4:21, 24-28)
Even though Moses was one of the greatest prophet-leaders of all time he was not perfect. He still had weaknesses. He still made mistakes and committed sins. It is the same with all earthy prophets and leaders (except the Messiah). Moses received a divine calling, but he had failed to perform the token of the Abrahamic covenant. The Lord was stern with Moses in order to teach respect for covenants and commandments. With the help of his wife, Moses repented and continued to receive divine direction and power.
Sometime before Moses delivered Israel from bondage he ". . . was caught up into and exceedingly high mountain, And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence. . .
"And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.
"And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.
"And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed . . . And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me. And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? . . .
"And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
"And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
"And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
"And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
"And it came pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not.
"And now of this thing Moses bore record; but because of wickedness it is not had among the children of men.
"And it came to pass that when Satan had departed from the presence of Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son; And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.
"And lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days; for thou shalt deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen." (Moses 1:1-2, 8-10, 12-13, 18-26)
Moses saw God and some of his creations, and he was overcome with amazement. Moses had experienced the grandeur of ancient Egypt and was surprised at its insignificance compared to the glory of God.
Moses was very impressed with the Lord's creative power. Creativity is a characteristic of righteous leadership. But Satan didn't have any comparable creations to show Moses. Satan and his followers consume more than they create. They rely on theft rather than increase.
Satan appeared to Moses and solicited his worship in several ways. First he tried deception followed by intimidation, fear, and force. When none of these worked he threw a terrible tantrum. Many leaders attempt to gain support by using these same approaches. These methods don't work very well when dealing with people who are reasonably intelligent, good, and strong. When wicked leaders are resisted or overcome they often become raging fools.
"And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
"And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." (KJV Exodus 5:1-2)
In spite of Pharaoh, Moses ". . . brought them out after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years." (KJV Acts 7:36; see also Exodus chapters 5-40)
Pharaoh stubbornly refused to acknowledge and obey the Lord, regardless of the consequences. No matter what was said or done he would not submit to anything higher than his own will. Pharaoh was so wound up in himself that he could not even surrender to the demands of reality. Leaders like this are almost incapable of learning or improvement.
Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses' hands [were] heavy; and they took a stone, and put [it] under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (Exodus 17:8-11)
When Moses held up the rod as a symbol of authority and power the people were encouraged. If his arms sagged performance diminished. If the legitimate leader wearies or even makes mistakes it is the duty of those who sustain him to help and lift, and not presume to take over or tear down.
While they were in the wilderness Moses' father-in-law, the priest of Midian, came unto him and ". . . Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
"And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
"And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
"And Moses' Father-in-law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
"Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee. . . And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
"Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: "And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring into thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
"If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
"So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said." (KJV Exodus 18:1, 5, 13-24)
A long line is usually a sign of inefficiency. Unorganized leaders prolong waiting. Even though Moses was working hard at a worthy task he was doing something bad to the people, and to himself. His failure to delegate was tiresome and wasteful. Reserving all power and responsibility unto oneself stifles the growth and development of others, which is exactly the opposite of what a leader is supposed to be doing.
Jethro identified the problem and proposed a solution. Moses did no huffing and puffing about who he was and he made no sarcastic remarks. He just accepted good counsel and implemented the improvement. The humility of Moses was a sharp contrast with the pride of Pharaoh.
And it came to pass that, “. . . the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend." (KJV Exodus 33:11; see also JST Exodus 33:11-23) Thereafter ". . . Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord . . . And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and . . . they prophesied and did not cease . . . And Moses said unto him [Joshua], enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" (KJV Numbers 11:24-29)
And it came to pass that, ". . . Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses. . . and they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? . . . and the Lord spoke suddenly unto Moses and Aaron and Miriam . . . and he said . . . With him [Moses] will I speak mouth to mouth . . . wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? . . . And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them . . . And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sined." (KJV Numbers 12:1-14)
And it came to pass that some of the people and princes of Israel, ". . . gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord? . . . thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?" (KJV Numbers 16:2-3)
And the Lord was angry at those who rebelled against Moses. And he destroyed those who would not repent, and many of those who followed after them. (KJV Numbers 16)
Many people attempt to elevate themselves or protect their position by suppression. Rather than being suppressive Moses encouraged others to advance, even in revelation and prophesy.
Righteous leaders encourage and help everyone to attain their full potential, temporally and spiritually. They share power and strive for maximum participation in the leadership process.
On several occasions Moses' leadership was challenged by usurpers. They questioned his worthiness and accused him of assuming too much power and authority. In connection with their accusations they tried to promote themselves and flatter the people. If the Lord would not have supported Moses, and intervened, they might have been successful.
In order to promote progress, and avoid confusion and oppression, most circumstances require that one righteous leader have authority and responsibility for conclusive decisions within his sphere.
"And Moses come and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord . . . And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." (KJV Exodus 24:1-17)
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, an when thou walkest by the way, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates . . .
"Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee . . ." (KJV Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 17-18)
Righteous leaders try to get their people to make voluntary commitments. When these commitments are reciprocal and mutually beneficial they are called covenants. Such covenants help establish firm relationships and expectations. The making and keeping of covenants is a fundamental development process.
Important covenants should be solemnized by a symbol or token of agreement. If the symbolic representation is powerful it will help recall and strengthen the commitment.
Those who really love the Lord will remember him and keep his commandments. They will also diligently teach their children the words of the Lord so that the truth and the covenant blessings will be passed on from generation to generation.
"And it shall be, when he [the future king] sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book . . . And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
"That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left: to the end that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel." (KJV Deut. 17:18-20)
The reference above could be referred to as, "The Devine Law of Leadership." Every leader should have a copy of the scriptures and study them everyday. By so doing he/she can learn to uphold and obey the laws of God, and retain humility. If a leader is faithful in following this commandment he will bring blessings on himself and those he serves. If this commandment is not followed most leaders will fall into prideful ways of the world.
"And notwithstanding they [Israel] being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God." (I Nephi 17:30 [23-30])
Nevertheless, "[Moses received] the Holy Priesthood . . under the hand of his father‑in‑law, Jethro . . . Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years . . . And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest . . . Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wildeness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
"Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; and the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb." (D&C 84:6-27; see also KJV Exodus 19:3-8; JST Exodus 34:1-2)
Wherefore the lesser law was given as a schoolmaster to bring the people to Christ. (KJV Galatians 3:24)
But the prophets that continued in Israel were ordained to the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, even though the blessings of that priesthood were generally withheld from the people, until the coming of Christ. (TPJS 181)
Because the people were not faithful and obedient they were not worthy to receive the blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Therefore, they were given the preparatory gospel and a host of lesser commandments which were administered by the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood. The fullness of the priesthood was later restored by Jesus Christ.
God's perfection is unchanging but his government is conducted by revelation adapted to the situation. That which is required under one circumstance may not be under another. (TPJS 256)
Sometimes it is necessary for leaders to lower the level of expectation and adapt regulations and procedures according to the circumstances and capacity of the people. This should be done in such a way that it will eventually lead to higher laws and levels.
© 1996 by Ancient message Keeper™. May not be used as part of any publication or commercial product.