(July 5, 2015)
I was impressed by Paul’s unwillingness to speak evil of the High Priest, even when that very High Priest was behaving unlawfully. I have been placed in a bit of a similar situation in my life, and I have learned that when I focus on my criticisms of my Priesthood leaders (even when justified and even when just in my heart), my connection to the Lord seems to weaken. In contrast, when I hold in my mind that my leaders are good men doing the best that they can (even when they make mistakes), I find my relationship with the Lord deepening.
I do not think that we, as Members of the Lord’s Church, necessarily need to ignore the mistakes of our leaders (though I believe them to be very rare). But it is important to remember that if the Priesthood means anything it means that the Lord honors the decisions of those Priesthood leaders even when they are wrong, and kicking against the pricks will bring destruction to us. When a leader makes a mistake, I have learned to turn it over to the Lord, to trust Him to make up the difference, and to pray for charity towards my leaders. This is the approach that brings me the closest to the Lord that I have found thus far.