AMK LEADERSHIP STUDIES
"God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself . . ." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 354; 346-349; see also KJV Matthew 5:48; John 17:9-11, 20-23; Romans 8:16-18; II Peter 1:11; I John 3:1-3; D&C 76:92-95; 84:33-39; 130:18-21)
God is our ultimate leader because of what he knows and because he uses his power to help us. He is the greatest leader because he knows the most and does the most for those who follow him. His laws are given so that we can learn to live like he does and share the joy he has. Our love, obedience, and growth are engendered by the love, knowledge, and example he offers us. Good leadership (starting with God) is based on knowledge, service, and love.
The Lord told Moses, ". . . worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose . . . But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them . . .
"For behold, this is my work and my glory -- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:33-35, 39)
God has created many worlds but gives us specific information regarding only this earth. Creative power is the foundation of divine leadership. Righteous leaders maintain a personal concern for everyone and everything under their direction. The leader's most important job is to help each follower achieve his highest potential.
And the Lord said to Abraham, ". . . I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
"Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones: and God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
"And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them . . . and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads forever and ever." (Abraham 3:21-25; see also KJV Jeremiah 1:4-5; Acts 17:26-28; TPJS 345-349)
God governs in the wisest and best way possible. He is the supreme leader of a vast number of dynamic individuals. Among those who follow him are many who are great in goodness and ability. These he promotes to positions of trust and responsibility. Among the leaders God chose, there was one very much like himself who directed the construction of the earth. One of the reasons for the organization of the earth is to prove each individual's loyalty and obedience under conditions of maximum doubt and adversity. Those who pass the mortality test with valiance and honor are to be endowed with all the glory, knowledge, and power of God.
". . . this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God," (D&C 76:25-29) came before God saying, " . . . Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
"But, behold, [said the Father] my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me, Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. "Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given unto him," (Moses 4:1, 3) and ". . . also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency," (D&C 29:36) [Therefore] ". . . I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not harken unto my voice." (Moses 4:3-4; see also KJV Revelation 12:3-4, 7-9; Isaiah 14:12-16; Words of Joseph Smith 62, 68, 200-201, 207-208)
Before the creation of the earth one named Lucifer, who was advanced in authority, came before God during a leadership council meeting. He aspired to become the Son of God in the flesh, claiming that he could redeem all mankind by coercion. He also asserted personal superiority and attempted to usurp power. The essence of his plan was to use deception and force to achieve personal advancement. Those who were most attracted by this sort of thing chose to follow him. Satan and his followers ceased to progress because they stopped obeying the laws which God instituted for their benefit. Rather than coming to earth to gain bodies and continue their progression these evil spirits were cast down and they continue to oppose God, and attempt to satisfy themselves, by bringing men into captivity.
In the pre-mortal existence Christ expressed voluntary submission to the wisdom and government of the Father. Those spirits who valued freedom, responsibility, and progress trusted the Father and the Son and were happy to follow their leadership. Later, these spirits came to earth to receive bodies, experience testing, and continue their progression.
God and Satan exemplify two very different kinds of leadership. God tries to share his knowledge, power, and happiness. Satan seeks to gratify his own selfish desires even to the point that he will deceive, deprive, and destroy. One kind of leader upholds and defends freedom. The other kind rules by force and compulsion. One kind of leader is a builder, the other kind is a spoiler. One kind of leader is righteous, the other is evil.
© 1996 by Ancient message Keeper™. May not be used as part of any publication or commercial product.