Faith of leaders can bring about `mighty change'

From the life of Hezekiah, king of Judah, Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy drew a lesson about leadership.

Speaking at the April 1990 general conference, Elder Condie related that for 220 years, the people of Judah had set aside their sacred covenants and wandered in the ways of the world."Then a young man named Hezekiah began to reign in Judah," he said. " And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,' andHe trusted in the Lord God of Israel.' (2 Kings 18:3,5.)

"Hezekiah gathered together the priesthood bearers of the day and said, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.' (2 Chron. 29:5.)Be ye not like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God . . . but yield yourselves unto the Lord, . . . and serve the Lord your God.' (2 Chron. 30:7-8.)

"In response to this assertive leader, who was supported by the prophet Isaiah, the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people' (2 Chron. 30:20), andin their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.' (2 Chron. 31:18.)

"From King Hezekiah, as from King Benjamin (see Mosiah 2-5), we can learn a very positive lesson on leadership: circumstances do not always need to remain the same. Leaders can make a difference! Faith in the Lord and high expectations can bring about a mighty change of heart among an entire people.

". . . May each of us engaged in the work of the Lord perform His work in His way, `by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

" `By kindness, and pure knowledge. . . .

" `Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love.' (D&C 121:41-43.)"

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