The brother missionaries, Nephi and Lehi, had miraculous results when preaching the word of God because they had authority from God to preach and then spoke the words that God gave them through the Holy Spirit.
…They did preach with great power, insomuch that they did confound many…dissenters…insomuch that [the dissenters] came forth and did confess their sins and were baptized unto repentance…And…Nephi and Lehi did preach…with such great power and authority, for they had power and authority given unto them that they might speak, and they also had what they should speak given unto them. (Helaman 5:17-18)
-Who has a line of priesthood authority to preach that goes directly back to Jesus Christ?
-How does one rely on the Holy Spirit so that the words spoken, when preaching, are given by God?
True Priesthood leadership comes from those who are called by God and do not harden their hearts against the truth and power of Christ’s Atonement.
“…They have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the blindness of their minds…” (Alma 13:4)
“…Thus this holy calling [was] prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared.” (Alma 13:5)
-How much intelligence, truth, and grace can flow into a heart that is open to God’s Spirit and the power of Christ’s Atonement?
Alma teaches the importance of only following those who follow God.
“…Trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23:14)
-Where can leaders be found that have authority from God to teach and who walk in God’s ways?
Those who led the congregations of Christ’s people among the Nephites were not paid monetarily or with physical goods for their service. Rather, they supported themselves and their own families, and then also labored to serve the Lord and His people. This separation of financial incentive from spiritual service increased the grace and Spirit of God in their lives and they were able to teach with greater power and authority for the benefit of their followers.
“…The priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.” (Mosiah 18:26)
-Can you see how mixing financial incentive and church (or synagogue) service could easily dilute the spiritual power of those who lead congregations?
-How many are willing (or able) to serve for the grace of God and forgo financial reimbursement for their service?