A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.
In the quiet heart is hidden Sorrow that the eye can't see.
It was ever thus. The price of leadership is loneliness. The price of adherence to conscience is loneliness. The price of adherence to principle is loneliness. I think it is inescapable. The Savior of the world was a Man who walked in loneliness. I do not know of any statement more underlined with the pathos of loneliness than His statement: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
There is no lonelier picture in history than of the Savior upon the cross, alone, the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the world, bringing to pass the Atonement, the Son of God suffering for the sins of mankind. As I think of that, I reflect on a statement made by Channing Pollock:
Judas with his thirty pieces of silver was a failure. Christ on the cross was the greatest figure of time and eternity.
When we borrow our strength from the label on our shirt, sweater, shoes or dress; from our association with a club, an "in" group; from our position of influence, power, and prestige; from our car, beautiful house, or other status symbols and trappings; or from our good looks, stylish clothing, fashionable appearance, clever tongue, or degrees and credentials, we do so in order to compensate from being impoverished and hollow inside. But by doing so, we reinforce our dependency on these symbols, on living by appearances, on extrinsic values, and we build weakness within.
After holding the highest and most influential positions in the land, which enabled him to bring pressure to bear on decisive issues-commander of the armies, chief judge, head of the church-he laid aside al his high offices and did 'go forth among his people ... that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way,' after all his experience 'that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony' (Alma 4:19).
With all his vast experience, Alma was convinced that he could do more good and actually have more influence as a simple missionary than as head of the state, head of the army, of head of the church! And so he takes his leave, disappearing all alone over the horizon into the midst of hostile and unbelieving people.
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