Chapter 2 - Leadership Principle #1: Aligning our with with our Heavenly Father
The first step in leading like the Savior is understanding how he wants us to lead. How do we do that? How do we align our will with his. Consider the definition of “Prayer” in the Bible Dictionary.
Prayer: As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
A couple of key points are worth repeating. First, we use prayer to help align our will with the will of the Father. Second we are not trying to change God, we are trying to change ourselves. We must submit our will to His will. This concept was best articulated by Neal A. Maxwell.
“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! Neal A. Maxwell “Swallowed up in the Will of the Father”, October 1995 General Conference
Additionally, we come to know our Father’s will when we serve him. Mosiah 5:12-13 states:
12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
So, through serving our Father in Heaven we can come to know him and by knowing him we can align our will with His.
Finally Elder Uchtdorf gives us a pattern to follow:
"We increase our love for our Heavenly Father and demonstrate that love by aligning our thoughts and actions with God’s word. His pure love directs and encourages us to become more pure and holy. It inspires us to walk in righteousness—not out of fear or obligation but out of an earnest desire to become even more like Him because we love Him. By doing so, we can become “born again … [and] cleansed by blood, even the blood of [the] Only Begotten; that [we] might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory.” Moses 6:59. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God", October 2009 General Conference)