And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Personal Power vs Position Power

In reading about Melchizedek in Alma 13 this last week in class, we read:
" 18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to theaholy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent;. . ."
I suggested (quoting from Bro. Robert Norman) that Melchizedek influenced his people through the power of his personal righteousness rather than by virtue of his position.

I found the same story on a Jewish website :
There was once a boy who wanted to be king. At first he bullied and yelled. He instilled fear into the hearts of all those around him, and got everyone to do what he wanted. But the moment that the king went away, no one followed his orders or obeyed his rules. The boy, now king, realized that obtaining power through fear doesn’t work in the long run. He decided to try a different way. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. He was sincere, giving, caring and kindhearted. They honored him and performed his will. Even away from his presence, they continued to follow his orders and obeyed his laws.

This same article also said that "one must first approach each situation from the right side, the side of chesed [HB for mercy], and then it can be approached with the left [the side of din, or judgment]. We start with chesed and end with chesed."

This is saying the same thing as D&C 121

39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
 40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

You can read the rest of the article here.

[The mosaic of Melchizedek meeting Abraham with bread and wine is from Santa Maria Maggiadore.]

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