In this solo episode, Kurt considers the concept of aspiring to lead and shares ideas and experiences prompted by a series of newsletter messages.


4:15 Where the topic of aspiring started in the newsletter
8:25 Responses to newsletter messages: Is it okay for someone to aspire?
9:40 Quotes about not aspiring
11:00 Hypothetical situation and survey: Harry wants to be bishop
13:00 Aspiring can be a form of pride and a hunger for power; who is this teaching turning away?
15:20 Who was the first person to ever aspire to a calling? There are aspirations that aren’t based in pride/power/glory
17:10 Truman Madsen quote of Joseph Smith’s statement on aspiring
19:00 Letter from James: aspiring distracts from revelation
22:30 We are encouraged to aspire to some callings, or at least not discouraged
24:00 Why would anyone even want to lead?

  • 1 Timothy 3:1
  • God’s remarkable vision speaks to our souls
  • 27:15 Lift where you stand, but formal leadership callings simplify the process of discipleship

30:00 Unintended consequences of the teaching not to aspire:

  1. Putting leaders on pedestals; questioning a few sacred cultural cows
    • 33:10 Dynamic of individuals who do not have the same leadership opportunities
  2. 37:00 Leads to individuals seeking personal validation through leadership
  3. 40:45 Unintentionally disenfranchises the most capable; creates a culture of fear
  4. 43:10 Accidentally diminish our God-given desire for influence and purpose

48:45 Observations/ideas to improve the culture:

  • Liberate the capable by encouraging influence from everyone
  • Don’t shrink from influence
  • No more pedestals
  • Create more seats at the table
  • We need more examples of the desire for influence: aim to be on the list for consideration
  • Don’t diminish a calling by highlighting the sacrifices
  • When we label the desire to influence as prideful, only the prideful seek to influence
  • Destigmatize the desire to lead


From Baptist Preacher to Latter-day Saint | An Interview with Gary Miller
Truman Madsen lectures
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