Heavy-handed rule fostered division

At the April 1990 general conference, Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy gave some scriptural lessons on leadership.

One of the examples he used is found in the Old Testament story of Rehoboam."After Solomon's forty-year reign, his son Rehoboam went to Shechem to be made the king," Elder Condie said. "He sought the counsel of the elders regarding how he should rule.

" `And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.' (1 Kings 12:7; italics added).

"The Savior gave His disciples similar counsel when He taught them, `If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.' (Mark 9:35.) Within the kingdom of God, to lead is to serve.

"But Rehoboam rejected the counsel which required him to humble himself and to serve others. Instead, he chose to reign over Israel with a very heavy hand, thus causing the great division into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah. (See 1 Kings 12:20.)

"For the next 220 years the people generally set aside their sacred covenants, thus wandering in the ways of the world."

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