Leading with Love

The prophet Joseph Smith was a remarkable leader. He served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; mayor of Nauvoo, one of the largest cities in Illinois; lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo Legion; and in 1844 he was a candidate for President of the United States.

What set Joseph Smith apart from other dynamic leaders was the source of his teachings: the God of Heaven. “The best way to obtain truth and wisdom,” he taught, “is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.”

Joseph Smith Translate Book of MormonJoseph led with love. He recognized the worth of every soul as a child of God. When asked why so many followed him, he replied: “It is because I possess the principle of love. All I can offer the world is a good heart and a good hand.”

The Prophet refused to place himself above others. Rather, as he humbly said, “I love to wait upon the Saints, and be a servant to all, hoping that I may be exalted in the due time of the Lord.” Bereft of pride, Joseph personified the Lord’s counsel: “Whosoever will be great among you, . . . shall be servant of all.”


1. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 191.

2. History of the Church, 5:498.

3. History of the Church, 4:492.

5. Mark 10:43–44.

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