“I seek not for power, but to pull it down”. What would posses someone with power and authority to say such a thing? Or more importantly to live in such a way? When we look at the history of this world and we examine leaders of governments and nations, as well as leaders of churches or companies, we will rarely see the actions of leaders that truly seek to pull power down. The quote comes from a man names Moroni, the chief captain of the Nephite army for a period in the Book of Mormon (Alma 60:36). Though I am not going to be talking about Captain Moroni during this entry, I will be talking about other leaders that had similar desires and similar actions.
We all have seen many “leaders” that rule by force; and have a love and lust for power and honor. We see it in governments, we see it in business, we see it church and sadly we see in homes. Regardless of we are liberals or conservatives, democrats or republicans, we see most leaders as power hungry thugs. I am not going to be shy about my distaste for how President Obama leads this nation. He seeks for more power. He utilizes executive orders to do things that are outside of the limits of the executive powers. But before my liberal friends start having breathing disorders, let me also state, the Bush pulled the same crap. Why is it that men always seem to want more than what they have? Why is it man’s natural inclination to want to be “the boss”? Why to so many men use their size and strength to intimidate their wives and children? Why is it so rare to find a man (and women can be guilty of this too) that truly seeks the welfare of his fellow man?
There is much debate about the Founding Fathers, and I am sure there is a vast array of reasons that helped excite them to the great cause of freedom. All men want to be free. All men believe they can “rule” themselves and do not need a government to force them to do “what is right”; but sadly, the vast majority of those same men, are ok with using the power of government to force others to do what they think is right. While I can understand and appreciate many of reasons that pushed the Founders to action, I am greatly astonished that many of them, after obtaining liberty, did not immediately turn and seek power for themselves. George Washington, often referred to as the “Father of our Country”, did not want to be president. He did not want power, but he was willing to serve the people and answer the call for that service. There were men that wanted Washington to be king; and yet, despite that very position that he could have taken, he was shocked that any would even desire such a thing.
I want to share a quick story about a certain King Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. He was king of the Nephite people from about 124 B.C. to about 92 B.C. He ruled according to the strict laws of the land that had been handed down by their fathers; but he did not live on the labor of the people. He worked with his own hands to support himself and his family. In reviewing the history of his people and the history of a neighboring people that had been destroyed because of the lust of power of wicked men, he chose to take an “idea” to the people. He sent a proclamation to all the people throughout the land to assemble that he might speak to them. Among many other things that he said to them, he said, “Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people – I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.” (Mosiah 29:13). He then continued to admonish them to have a desire to “change the affairs of the kingdom”. He recommended that they choose (and vote) among themselves wise men to be judges. That they will have a small number of high judges and a larger number of lower judges (depending on the crime). If a higher judge (that had more power) was issues unrighteous judgments, then a group of lower judges would have the power and authority to judge him. He continued, “I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.” and “…but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.”
We the people are starving for leadership like this. Our nation needs it. It must start in our own homes. We must be men of honor and men of work. We must seek to provide for ourselves and our family and not depend upon the labors of others; as this is a form of bondage. I admonish us all to look inside first and foremost, and seek those ways that we can be better men (and women), and seek not for power, but to pull it down. I wish to share one of my favorite verses of scripture before I end. Doctrine & Covenants 121:37-46
“….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…”
Let us seek the benefit and welfare of our fellow man and not for power over them.