Bishop Brandon Leavitt was called as bishop 8 months ago, and has grown greatly. He is from Logandale, Nevada (close to Las Vegas) and works in the road construction industry.
5 Leadership Principles
(In Bishop Leavitt’s own words)
1. Don’t steady the Ark
When the Ox cart shook, Uzzah touched the Ark to steady it (Samual 6:6-7). By doing so he disobeyed the Lord and the Lord smote him. I don’t pretend to know or understand exactly what happened here but I do believe there is something I can learn from Uzzah’s mistake. It comes down to a lack of faith for me. Uzzah may not have had enough faith to realize that the Lord had a plan for the Ark when it shook and would protect it. I am learning to not be so quick to “steady the Ark”. If an individual is struggling or if a program or auxiliary is not performing to the standards that are expected I have learned and am still learning that the Lord has a plan, He is still in charge, this is His work and things will most likely work out. I’ve learned to be patient with the process and to let the Holy Ghost work in the hearts of people to help them make the appropriate changes. I’m learning not to always be so quick to rush and steady the Ark unless prompted by The Holy Ghost. President Howard W. Hunter said, “Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow to him” (Oct 1987 April #ldsconf).
2. Avoid the Rameumptom
After being released as the Young Men President in my ward and then called to be the Young Men President for our stake, I was excited to share with those I was asked to train the successes that I was able to experience by using the tools and programs given to us by the Lord through the brethren. My approach when training for the first year was doing just that… sharing MY successes. I good friend pulled me aside and told me that to some I was coming across as boastful and that my style of training may leave the impression that “my way” was the only way. I was embarrassed. I took this opportunity to ponder how I went about things in regards to training others. I came to the conclusion that I would concentrate more on highlighting the tools and resources and where and how to use them and less on how I implemented them. I found this to be a better approach. It gave those being trained the opportunity to go to the Lord in prayer and receive their own inspiration on how best to approach their calling. I highlighted our Savior more and myself much less.
3. Follow the Handbook.
This is the Lord’s church. He gives us handbooks of instruction to help carry out the work in a manner pleasing unto Him. I treat the Handbooks akin to scripture unless moved upon by the Holy Ghost or directed otherwise by my priesthood leaders. The handbook also helps me remember to represent the Lord to the people and not the people to the Lord.
4. Grace, Mercy, Charity
All of us, I mean, ALL OF US are struggling with something. All of us want to be loved and supported by those around us. Offer a hug, a kind word, a helping hand, a prayer… judgment is not ours. When it comes to the two sided coin of mercy and justice, mercy is the only side of the coin that we have been given permission to give. We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. I am learning to give to those around me the benefit of the doubt and realize that we are all doing our best and that the grace of Christ is sufficient. The Lord has offered me nothing but love and mercy in my life, I’m learning to do the same with those around me.
5. Covenants, Covenants, Covenants
Everything we do in the church and in our homes should lead us to the sealing alters of the temple and/or in preparation for this crowing ordinance. When Elder Bednar taught that it would be appropriate to identify the next savings ordinance in that persons life and prepare them for it, I was changed. My work with the Young Men changed from mission prep only to a focus on receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood and preparing for the temple. I noticed that they had become, at times, check marks on a long list of items before receiving a mission call not a lot different than dentist and doctor exams. We started to teach about the covenants attached to ordinances and how those covenants would fuel their missionary service. The covenants become our “why”. I believe that our covenants should guide us in how we serve and how we live our lives not our callings. All roads lead to the temple. As a church leader my goal is to help create multi-generational families that make and keep sacred covenants.
Uzzah steadies the ark (2 Samuel 6:6-7)