Robert Mortensen has been serving as a bishop for two years in Meridian, Idaho. We previously interviewed Robert on the “How I Lead” segment of the podcast in Jan 2016 about Creating a Culture of Missionary Work. He has written articles for Leading Saints: 3 Tips for Bishoprics that Lead to Better Sacrament Meeting Speakers and Empowering the Underutilized. Robert is proud to be a Core Leader and also one of our moderators on the Leading Saints Helpers Facebook group.

Enter Robert…

Wise leadership counsel was given to me by my wonderful mission president that I hope others will find helpful.

He shared that when he served as a bishop and stake president, as he worked with members facing challenges as well as grievous sins, he dealt with some really tough and sad things. He felt like he was doing well in helping unload the burdens of others but was taking those heavy burdens upon himself. He carried the weight of his calling home, negatively impacting his family.

With experience, he learned that he, as the bishop, needed to apply the atoning sacrifice of Christ just as much as those confessing and unburdening themselves to him.

Christ has already paid the price of the burdens, thus, Christ is the rightful owner of them. So this humble bishop learned to kneel down in his office at the end of interviews and, in prayer, pass the burdens he had received onto the Savior.

Sometimes, to fully pass along the burden to the Lord, he thoroughly repeated back to the Lord the gritty details of each situation. As he did this, he felt the burdens were made light as Christ took the weight of them from him. Thus, he was able to return home relieved and able to fully engage with his family.

I give you my witness that this principle holds true! And it doesn’t just apply to bishops and stake presidents. Christ has already paid the price of every burden and pain related to every calling and challenge. Let us show our gratitude for his sacrifice by allowing him to take from us what he has already paid for.

While the issues and concerns are still there and have to be worked through, as church leaders learn to forward the burdens of others to the Savior, the burdensome pressure and weight of it all is lightened through His grace.

“May God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son.” Alma 33:23

Consider This Scripture Chain for Additional Pondering

Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”

Mosiah 24:12-15

“And Alma and his people…did pour out their hearts to [the Lord their God], and he did know the thoughts of their hearts. And it came to pass that the voice of Lord came unto them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort. …I will ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs… and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”

Alma 7:11-12

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

How can you, as a church leader, better apply the atonement of Christ to yourself while serving?

How do we help leaders

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