Jehoshaphat, Rehoboam’s great-grandson, reigns righteously in the kingdom of Judah, destroying the groves and high places and sending Levites throughout Judah to teach from the book of the law of the Lord.
1 And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel.
2 And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken.
3 And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
4 But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.
5 Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.
6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.
7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Ben-hail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.
8 And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
9 And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
Elder Paul E. Koelliker wrote:
“Jehoshaphat applied [a] principle of leadership when he condemned and ‘took away’ the ‘high places,’ where idol worship occurred, and the ‘groves,’ where immoral acts were committed (2 Chronicles 17:6). Similarly, each of us within our own circle of influence can have an impact on the evil influences that quietly creep into our homes, neighborhoods, and communities. Each of us can also reduce or eliminate the worldly trappings—idols—from our lives and our homes. As we replace worldly influences and invite the Spirit to fill our homes and hearts, we lead the fundamental organization of society—our family—in the paths of righteousness.
“. . . Jehoshaphat sent Levites and priests throughout the land to teach the people from ‘the book of the law of the Lord’ (2 Chronicles 17:9)—the scriptures of that day. He focused the attention of the people on the word of God as a guide for righteous living. Because God came to the aid of the people, ‘the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah’ (2 Chronicles 17:10; see also 2 Chronicles 20:29).”
(“Recognizing Righteous Leadership,” Ensign, July 2010, 32.)