The Lord Warned the Latter-Day Saints That If They Sought to Build Up Themselves in Worldly Ways Instead of Seeking His Counsel, They Would Have No Power
Doctrine and Covenants 136:19
19 And if any man shall seek to build up himself, and seeketh not my counsel, he shall have no power, and his folly shall be made manifest.
President Dallin H. Oaks said:
“In every area of the Church, there are wonderful men and women who are struggling to shape themselves to the dimensions of their callings, making the changes necessary to measure up to their assigned responsibilities in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“In contrast, we have all seen examples of persons who have been unwilling to shape themselves to a new calling, but who have insisted on trying to make the calling conform to their own experience, preference, or comfort. We have seen teachers in church classes who have not taught the assigned subject, but have substituted the subject matter with which they are most familiar from their occupation or their recent reading. We have observed officers in various church organizations who have persisted in performing the duties of their callings according to the procedures of their own occupations. And we have seen speakers or others with church assignments who have used their positions as a way of serving a personal interest (such as gratifying their ego) rather than acting as servants of the Good Shepherd, who has called us to feed the flock of God.
“‘I won’t change. You’ll have to adapt to me.’ This is a powerful, all-purpose ideology. It is a familiar way of the world. It resists more than change. It resists learning, reformation, and repentance. It represents self-indulgence, if not self-worship. It demonstrates indifference to others, and it can lead to oppression. Indeed, it is the polar opposite of the qualities of humility, submissiveness, patience, temperance, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, faith, hope, charity, and love that qualify us for the work of God (see Alma 7:23–24; D&C 4:5–6).
“. . . [T]he world’s way[s] . . . proceed . . . by power, prominence, professionalism, and prestige! There are many . . . contrasts between the world’s ways and the directions the Lord has given to the restored church and its members. . . .
“. . . [T]he Lord . . . affirmed that His power must be obtained and exercised in different ways than earthly power: ‘And if any man shall seek to build up himself, and seeketh not my counsel, he shall have no power, and his folly shall be made manifest’ (D&C 136:19).”
(The Lord’s Way , 7–8, 10–11.)