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November, 7, 2013

Imperfect Leaders in a Perfect Society

The Education in Zion gallery is filled with quotes from church leaders and other historical characters that help us recognize the kind of attributes the Lord wants His disciples to possess.  One of my favorite quotes in the gallery is from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

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“My plea is that … we look for strength and goodness rather than weakness and foibles in those who did so great a work in their time. We recognize that our forebears were human. They doubtless made mistakes … But the mistakes were minor when compared with the marvelous work they accomplished … The Lord has used imperfect people in the process of building his perfect society. If some of them have occasionally stumbled, or if their characters may have been slightly flawed in one way or another, the wonder is the greater that they have accomplished so much.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, First Presidency, 1986)

This can help us understand many things about life.  Not only does it help us understand that our leaders—despite their imperfections—were great, but it also teaches us how to view our peers and ourselves.

What if we were to only focus on our strengths and goodness rather than our weaknesses and foibles?  What if we were to focus on the talents and good of those surrounding us instead of their shortcomings? President Hinckley taught us not only a way to approach the study of church history, but also a way for us to live our day-to-day lives.