Ask Sister Christensen: Pursuing Leadership

Sister Christensen,

My son left a few weeks ago to serve in the Rio de Janeiro mission. He is struggling as a junior companion because he knows he would be more effective as an AP. The mission president even refuses to listen to my son’s inspiration! How can he climb the ranks into the upper tiers of leadership as is outlined in his patriarchal blessing?

Sincerely,

Concerned Parent

 

Dear Parent,

What a wonderful question! As Mormons, we realize a fundamental truth: The only way to make a difference is to be in leadership. Here are a few of my suggestions and cautions you can relay to your son.

1. Don’t make others feel that you were the one inspired for their calling

– We’re taught that no one receives revelation for the stewardship of someone else. With that doctrine, make their stewardship your stewardship! Lift the less-inspired leader to a higher position and calling by saying “my job is to make you look better.” Tell them the Spirit whispered that to you in order to assuage any fear that they might have about your suggestions.

2. Don’t tell anyone but friends and family about your leadership aspirations

– Telling others outside of your comfort bubble will make people think less of you. Your friends and family, on the other hand, will be praying for your success and your entrance into the upper echelons of leadership. This leads me to my final point…

3. Pray that you will be noticed and promoted into leadership positions

– Matthew 7:7 reads “ask and it shall be given you.” Need I say more? If you need further evidence, remember Joseph Smith after he translated the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. He prayed and prayed, even after God said “No”, until eventually God saw his righteous desires and his prayer was answered and he received the desired answer. The same can happen to anyone who prays to be in leadership. If you need help with prayer, I responded to another email a few months back with some more suggestions.

If he follows these suggestions, I know with every fiber of my being your son will be in leadership in the twinkling of an eye.

Love,
Sister Christensen

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  • dba.brotherp

    I would suggest the young missionary follow the example of Brother Robert Millet (i.e. answering the question they should have asked) accept the position that they should have called him to. This is a terrific way to get what you want without showing deceit or pride, unlike the suggestions of Sister Christensen. But I can’t fault her since she doesn’t hold the priesthood.