Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Mighty Change

A Summer of Many MerciesMosiah 12:1 - Mosiah 15:4

Looking back at your life can you think of someone who had a profound influence on who you have become?

Your third grade teacher?

The English teacher in High School who pushed and pushed until you wrote like you had never written before?

A coach, a leader, a Bishop?

What was it about that person that allowed them to influence you so?

I have spent this week wondering if a leader can fall into the category of tender mercy?

It's because I have spent the last few days comparing the leadership style of King Benjamin and King Noah, and how the characteristics of one man can have such a profound influence on his people.

The first six chapters of Mosiah speak of King Benjamin's leadership style.

He fought against the wicked, assisted holy prophets, and taught the word of God with all his might and faculty. He spoke to his people from the scriptures and spent his time serving a laboring with his people.  He was a teacher and leader who spoke warnings, spoke plainly, spoke with angels.  He was righteous.  He prayed over his people.  He taught humility, obedience, charity, repentance, and diligence.  He invited them to take the name of Christ, and encouraged them to make and keep covenants.  He knew every name, and was concerned about every soul.

King Noah, on the other hand, did not keep the commandments of God...instead he walked after the desires of his own heart.  He did cause his people to commit sin.  He was lazy, and idolatrous, and he convinced his people to support iniquity.  He deceived his people with vain and flattering words.  He placed his heart upon his riches, and spent his time in riotous living.  (See Mosiah 11)

The people who lived under King Benjamin's leadership had the opportunity to experience a mighty change of heart.  Through him they came to know the Lord in a way they hadn't before.

The people who lived under King Noah suffered for his wickedness...their life was filled with affliction.

Again I find myself wondering, can a leader can fall into the category of tender mercy?

I think so.

The leaders that have had the greatest influence on my life have been a great blessing.

Heaven sent.

Each one...

A tender mercy.