27 Principles I Learned While Serving in the LDS Church…

imagesIt has been nine years since I was called to be a bishop and about three since I was released. Those were busy, happy, sometimes lonely, often fun, and long days and times. I remember that season of our lives very, very positively. Some time in the middle of all of that I started making a list of leadership principles I was noticing and learning. As the months went on I continued adding to the list. A few items have been added since I was released. But I’m sharing a list of principles I learned that have blessed me as a father and as a member of the Church. I don’t have these down yet, as far as living them all consistently, but I continue to work on them and ponder them. I think I’ll share them with you with no explanation and let you do what you will with them…

  • Expect a lot out of people, relative to their gifts, abilities, and talents, and sincerely and specifically praise any degree of progress. Communicate these things kindly and clearly.

  • Think, act, and speak calmly, regardless of the situation. Assist others in acting in the same when appropriate.

  • Determine what really constitutes an emergency for yourself and/or others. An emergency for someone else does not automatically constitute an emergency for you.

  • Service in the Kingdom of God is enjoyable. Act like it.

  • Teach, teach, teach. Look for appropriate opportunities to teach and remember that timing and other people’s dispositions matter when it comes to effective teaching and learning moments.

  • Take time to think through issues and principles before taking decisions to the Lord. Show the Lord that you have been and are willing to do most of the work.

  • Use the scriptures. Know and love the scriptures deeply enough to be able to do this. The scriptures can teach more clearly than I can.

  • Become an expert by studying, studying, studying. Be an expert it peripheral things as well as central things so that you can be helpful in many situations.

  • Temporal problems cause spiritual problems. There are no temporal problems that aren’t spiritual problems.

  • Increase faith in others and self. Actions, words, and challenges help accomplish this.

  • Sharpen the saw. Make sure the oxygen mask is on. Continually upgrade, train, exercise, and participate in the little things that will make you more effective.

  • What have the Brethren consistently taught? Be willing to search that out. Most of the time we don’t need a new revelation.

  • Out of small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. Counsel others to focus on inspired, small and simple changes.

  • Self-discipline precedes focused personal power for good.

  • Most actions need time and consistency to have a deep, powerful, broad effect on a family or individual.

  • Allow for the fact that people have an infinite ability to change, especially when driven and influenced by the Spirit.

  • Purposely manage time and resources. Act, don’t be acted upon. You were not sent to earth as one of Heavenly Father’s children to be acted upon.

  • Focus on doing things for others that they cannot do for themselves; not on doing things for others that they should be doing for themselves. Teach them to act and not to be acted upon.

  • Ask inspired (and inspiring) questions and listen quietly.

  • Act in a simple, dignified manner.

  • Bless when it is time to bless, counsel when it is time to counsel.

  • Be willing to change your mind.

  • Take into account people’s spiritual gifts and talents. Those are always part of the equation and/or solution.

  • Simplification and clarity lead to power while complexity leads to confusion and loss of momentum.

  • Take time to ponder problems, situations, and opportunities. Record insights that come.

  • When you teach, teach clearly, plainly and simply.

  • Remember that the Savior should be at the center of your reason and purpose when you act. If He is not, make the changes necessary to place Him back in the center of your heart and intent.

Again, these will mean different things to different people. And some of these will mean nothing to anyone but me…

Be Encouraging,



7 thoughts on “27 Principles I Learned While Serving in the LDS Church…

  1. Joel R

    Think you for your insight from your experience as a Bishop. May I add something very obvious. Only that is chills me every time I read it.
    Doc & Cov 18:10-11 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God:
    11 For,behold the lord your Redeemer suffered the pain of all men that all men might repent and come unto him.
    Thanks again Joel

  2. Kristin Walker

    All of your posts are worthy of the read for sure, but this one was printed and posted on my fridge. As always…I appreciate the time you spend sharing with those of us who are watching, and “taking notes”! I loved this!!! Thank you:)

  3. dsmickelson

    I’d like you to add some scriptures to reference. Ok, maybe it’s a better idea if I study it out myself. Ok, thanks for leaving the scriptures out of it.


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