Reflections on Prophetic Leadership

Plans for ice cream notwithstanding, I went to bed as soon as we got home from the devotional with Elder Quentin L. Cook. Now I'm awake at 3 a.m.

It was a great meeting, probably one of the best I've been to in a long time. It was an experience I needed that left me feeling inspired.

Among the topics addressed, there was a recurring theme about drifting that was especially relevant to me personally. I really took to heart the reminder that you can be active in the church, but inactive in the gospel. I've heard this many times, never thought it applied to me. Now I see it has actually applied to me for a long time. I am so used to being a kind of spiritual nomad, all by myself in living the gospel. Now I'm surrounded by my faith. I don't feast, drink as deeply as I used to. Has been replaced by compulsive need to give and be needed, but never feeling full.

I also find myself thinking about what it means to have inspired men and women in my life who share the prophetic mantle.

I realize now that my confidence in my leaders has become tangled in a lot of negative feelings that have nothing to do with them. I recognized this when someone else at the meeting quoted from the family proclamation. I instantly bristled and tuned out. I don't necessarily have a problem with the existence of everything in the family proclamation. I have a problem when people use it to condone personal biases and prejudice. But I drifted from that place to one where I wasn't even willing to listen to someone teach from it at all. That's not where I intended to end up.

I sincerely believe in divine priesthood authority and I sustain all of my leaders. So how did I get to this place in my mind?

If I am completely honest with myself, it's because I have lost patience with the mistakes and inconsistencies I see in lay members around me. 

I've seen members of the Church say and do some pretty obtuse things. We all fall short of the glory of God, and I include myself in this. I'm sure at some point I have made someone stumble. It's never been my intention, but I know it has happened. I need to create a healthier spiritual space for mistakes, my own and other people's, and to admit that I'm not as consistent as I sometimes like to think I am.

If I believe and have confidence in my leaders, I need to acknowledge that more often. I have become casual in my feelings about the Lord's servants and their capabilities. This isn't what I want. It's not even consistent with the majority of my experiences as a Latter-day Saint. It's just easier to remain negative and frustrated than it is to confront the situation and fix it. 

I see now that I can do better than this and have a better idea of how to fix it going forward.

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