Disclaimer: This blog is a way of expressing my personal opinions thoughts and anecdotes, as well as my personal understanding of the scriptures, and conference addresses. It is not meant as a statement of doctrine, and may not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, or doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
14 August 2015
Peter and Paul; a pattern for leadership (Part 1)
I'm a fan of a couple things when it comes to reading. I like underdogs, patterns, origin stories, and thinking about characters and people who don't get a lot of attention (Mr. Fezziwig from 'A Christmas Carol is a personal favorite).
The scriptures contain glimpses of people who are main elements to the narrative, but can seem overshadowed by later individuals. Studying the Gospels and the Book of Acts, I have noticed Peter quite a bit.
While some give him a bad rap sometimes, he is a vital and powerful leader who helped establish the Church into a global model after Christ was resurrected [see http://www.lds.org/manual/the-life-and-teachings-of-jesus-and-his-apostles/appendix-section/appendix-d?lang=eng by Pres. Kimball and The Lengthening Shadow of Peter
By Brother Holland (Dean of Religious Education at BYU at the time) for some great insight into how amazing Peter is, despite some faults that are thrust upon him].
Peter is interesting because he is bookmarked between two dynamic characters (namely Christ and Paul) which full a good amount of the New Testament. His powerful testimony is seen strongly in the beginnings of Acts and holds the Keys of revelation and leadership to lead the church. The church grows from somewhat of a congregational setting or loca/tabernacle oriented and into a global focus that focuses on different cultures and establishing doctrine within a variety of frameworks.
I like characters like this because the small amount of teachings they give us are precious and impactful. Prophets like Lehi and Alma the Elder are similar to me. Lehi had some amazing teachings in the eary part of the Book of Mormon but we can often move past his narrative to get to Nephi's, which is more lengthy and spread out. A favorite discussion on the emphasis of Lehi's Ministry can be seen here:
We think of him as an older man, patiently waiting on his children to grow and learn the gospel, but as a younger prophet he moves emphatically and establishes a pattern of discipleship for those over whom he had stewardship.
Alma sr. Has a similar background. We see the record of his son with greater emphasis in the middle of the Book of Mormon but the establishment of the church in his day was brought about through him, and the doctrines, keys, and teachings he brought forth, while smaller in size, are rich in insights, especially regarding leadership (both family and ecclesiastical) as well as personal worship.
As we study the scriptures, we hear the names of Lehi, Alma sr. And Peter, but often we read them as a prelude to the works and teachings of Nephi, Alma jr. And Paul. While not diminishing the importance of the latter examples, it is beneficial to recognize the importance of the ministries of the former patriarchs and prophets and focus on the emphasis that their specific ministries had on building the Kingdom of God.
How have the ministries of those prophets benefits your personal ministry and worship?