Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, December 14

“Holy Bible | Numbers 27: Moses and the Daughters of Zelophehad: Feedback to LDS Church Leaders Can Nourish the Church and the Kingdom” by grego

Holy Bible | Numbers 27: Moses and the Daughters of Zelophehad: Feedback to LDS Church Leaders Can Nourish the Church and the Kingdom


Numbers 27 presents a case that the leaders hadn’t considered, and that the Lord hadn’t first revealed information to them about:
1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad…
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.

There’s a question, and a request based on a situation not covered.

Moses does not blow them off, give them an excuse, answer hastily to please them or himself or others; he does something all leaders would be wise to do:
5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

He gets a revelation for this case:
6 ¶And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

And as sometimes is the case, he gets further revelation on the principle and topic:
8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.

On one hand, I’ve asked local leaders questions and gotten better answers than “LDS Church Headquarters” could ever give.

On the other hand, I’ve seen the following feedback problems first-hand, and had to write “LDS Church Headquarters” a few times because of some:
1. The leader(s) (local and further-up) weren’t willing to open up their minds to listen to people and their hearts to listen to the spirit. (They already had their own ideas and answered accordingly; they didn’t like the person; they were embarrassed by the problem; etc.)
2. The local leaders(s) felt that “feedback” = “complaining against the called leaders” (which often is/ can be!), so they didn’t even touch it.
3. The local leader(s) didn’t want to upset local people.
4. The local leader(s) didn’t want to upset those further up!
5. The local leaders were unfamiliar with programs and precedents, etc.
6. The local leaders weren’t willing, capable, or courageous enough to understand, consider, or communicate the questions/ problems further up.
7. Busy further-up leaders didn’t understand the context or reason for the asking, and perhaps being busy and foreign, didn’t ask; or perhaps if they did, local leaders felt embarrassed and stopped the communication instead of clarifying it.
8. It’s nicer to have a better answer than “Well, the guy in the Church Office Building on temporary assignment figures that, according to his secretary”, it’s probably ok/ not ok to do it.
9. A woman says, “I’ve talked with top LDS leaders and they all agree with me”. It’s not enough for a press release statement, but more than enough to sway some people from the truth.

If more leaders were to follow the example of Moses–whether it be feedback from local members to local leaders, or from local leaders to further-up leaders–I am confident “LDS Church Headquarters” would have less work on their hands.

The example in Numbers 27 clearly shows that feedback is a very necessary tool in the work of the Lord that can:
–bring new situations to light/ keep the leaders current and focused;
–solve real people problems;
–keep leaders humble;
–bring clarification and revelation;
–and provide a better understanding of the principles of both the gospel and the kingdom.

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