Friday, November 26, 2010


What exactly is power? Power is the ability to do or act, or the capability of doing or accomplishing something. It also refers to roughly twenty other definitions ranging from political power to molecular power, but that's not the subject that I'm focusing on. Power is what enables us to do and act by our own choices. And if I may quote someone,"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it's absolutely awesome." This is a true statement. Power does corrupt. When one has power GIVEN to them that is. However, when one works hard and goes through trial and error to get this power, depending on their circumstances, they may: first, be bad when they search for power and end up using it wrongly anyway. Second, they seek it with good intent, yet make bad choices to get it and thus become corrupt. Third and rarest of all, they don't seek for power, but through good choices and good example are handed the power by those who want them to have it. The third person is who all of our greatest leaders were or aspired to be. George Washington lead with example on the battlefield, executed wise and cool headed orders, and was elected into office against his wishes. Abraham Lincoln sided on the values that were deemed right and made complementary choices in order to bring those values into fruition. He then was hated by the Confederate states because of the fact that they all thought of slaves as animals that were property, yet he saw them as human beings that wanted their freedom and rights. Ronald Reagan led with the awareness of the American peoples' needs. He lowered taxes, gave wise words of advice, even if those words were taken from scripts that he had used in films that he starred in at Hollywood. These men used their heads and made the right choices, not for themselves, but for the benefit of others, and thus are known as the best leaders of our country. Others, however, have used their power irrationally and have payed for it dearly. Hitler used his power to enslave the countries of Europe using brute force to get them to surrender. He used his power and made the choice to get rid of the people that he hated by imprisoning and killing them in the most brutal of ways. Gas chambers, firing squads, torture, furnaces, etc. He was then opposed by those who desire freedom for everyone and was defeated. This is why we desire the ability to act like those in movies that have superpowers or have extreme skills that put them in extreme circumstances that make them loved and admired by those innocent bystanders that the superhero is trying to protect. But, because of the natural way of mankind, none of us would survive long with powers such as these. We would become corrupt and would seek to use them for our own purposes. That is why we must temper ourselves to become rational enough and wise enough to use any power correctly that we are given. Otherwise, we will destroy ourselves with that power if we use it incorrectly.


  1. I've thought a lot about power lately--not so much what people do with it, but how to aquire it. The power of God, that is, and I don't mean the priesthood. I even taught a Relief Society lesson about it. It all boils down to faith and personal righteousness. It's simple, but not necessarily easy. Doing simple things like praying, fasting, reading our scriptures--the classic Sunday School answers--is where that power lies. Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it.