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Section 9.11 - Meekness

Meekness

Meekness is perhaps one of the most misunderstood leadership traits on my list.  It is often considered to be synonymous with weakness, but that is far from the truth.

We do know that meekness is required to be acceptable before God.  “...for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart..” (Moroni 7:44)

Meekness is a trait of Christ, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.' Matthew 11:29.

Meekness is often used in the scriptures with humility.  If they are synonymous, then there would not be a need for them both to be used.  It is instructive to understand the difference between the two.   Look at the Definition from Websters 1828 Dictionary.
MEEK, adjective [Latin mucus; Eng. mucilage; Heb. to melt.]
1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
2. Appropriately, humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud,…

Section 9.10 - Gentleness

Gentleness

When you see the word "gentle", or "gentleness" in the scriptures it is almost always contained within a list of other desirable traits.   However, it is worth considering separately as a desirable leadership trait.  If there were no distinction between gentleness and the apparent synonyms that occur around it like submissive, meek, and humble, then why include it?

First, let's review definition from the Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
GEN'TLENESS, noun
1. Genteel behavior.
2. Softness of manners; mildness of temper; sweetness of disposition; meekness.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness goodness, faith. Galatians 5:22.
3. Kindness; benevolence.
4. Tenderness; mild treatment. Note how the definition brings to mind different actions than simply being meek, submissive, or humble.  Gentleness is the outward expression of these desirable traits.  For example, read Proverbs 15:1
1. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but g…

Section 9.9 - Persuasion

Persuasion
An often neglected trait of leadership is the fine art of persuasion.  With the tremendous stress and pressure that leaders feel it is easy for them to become impatient with others.   In the scriptures the word forbearance is sometimes uses as an appropriate synonym for persuasion.

Note how it is used in Proverbs 25:15
15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.      One of the definitions of Forbear in the Websters 1828 dictionary is “To be patient; to restrain from action or violence”.  Patience and restraint allow us to use the gentle art of persuasion in our leadership.   I also like how it is used in Ephesians 4:2 “forbearing one another in love”.   This clearly resonates with the core principle that leadership is love in action.  

President Howard W. Hunter said:
To fully understand this gift of agency and its inestimable worth, it is imperative that we understand that God’s chief way of acting is by persuasion and patience and l…

Section 9.8 - Confidence

Confidence

I would like to start with the definition of confidence.  I use the 1828 version of the Websters dictionary, because the definition it provides would be closer the the way Joseph Smith received it in D&C 121:45 than using today's dictionary.  From the Webster 1828 dictionary I would like to pull the first two definitions of confidence.  

CON'FIDENCE, noun [Latin  See Confide.]
1. A trusting, or reliance; an assurance of mind or firm belief in the integrity, stability or veracity of another, or in the truth and reality of a fact.
It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8.
I rejoice that I have confidence in you in all things. 2 Corinthians 7:16.
Mutual confidence is the basis of social happiness.
I place confidence in a statement, or in an official report.
2. Trust; reliance; applied to one's own abilities, or fortune; belief in one's own competency.
His times being rather prosperous than calm, had raised his confidenc…

Section 9.7 Sincerity

Sincerity

The Oxford English Dictionary and most scholars state that sincerity from the root sincere is derived from the Latin sincerus meaning clean, pure, sound.  There is also an often repeated folk tale about how sincere is derived from the Latin sine = without, cera = wax. According to one popular explanation, dishonest sculptors in Rome or Greece would cover flaws in their work with wax to deceive the viewer; therefore, a sculpture "without wax" would mean honesty in its perfection.
Either of these word origins is fine for our purposes.  Another dictionary definition lists sincere as free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings.

In Doctrine and Covenants 121:42 it says that the priesthood should be used without hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy is defined as the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform.

There is an important distinction between a person with hypocrisy and a person who has set high m…