This is probably the most difficult lesson I am about ready to share with you about Humility and the dangers of Pride. For I am just as flawed as the next man, and the natural man is an enemy towards God. I simply felt that I needed to share this particular lesson at this particular time, and at this particular place for what ever reasons may be. We learn in Mosiah 3:19 regarding the natural man.
19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
President Ezra Taft Benson in his 1989 Beware of Pride speech stated this concerning Pride.
Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. (SeeMosiah 3:11; 3 Ne. 6:18.) In the scriptures there is no such thing as righteous pride—it is always considered a sin. Therefore, no matter how the world uses the term, we must understand how God uses the term so we can understand the language of holy writ and profit thereby. (See 2 Ne. 4:15; Mosiah 1:3–7; Alma 5:61.)
Interesting statement, but in order to understand this statement so that we may reverse course in our own lives we must look at what is pride. Pride is according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary
1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
With the reciprocal pronoun, to pride one’s self, to indulge pride; to take pride; to value one’s self; to gratify self-esteem. They pride themselves in their wealth, dress or equipage. He prides himself in his achievements.
One of the dangers of pride that I would like to focus on today, is enmity. Merriam-Webster’s definition of enmity is.
1. The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence. It expresses more than aversion and less than malice,and differs from displeasure in denoting a fixed or rooted hatred, whereas displeasure is more transient.
I will put enmity between thee and the woman. Gen.3.
The carnal mind is enmity against God.Rom. 8.
2. A state of opposition.
The friendship of the world is enmity with God. James 4.
Think to yourself of how often have you seeked for favor with your fellow man? How often have you seeked for wages for self-fish desires, instead of honest wages for yours and your families basic needs? How often have you coveted over what your neighbor has had, instead of being simply happy for them and their accomplishments? How often have you used your own lives accomplishments and education over someone else? Pride creates contention and through that contention leads to arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances. Through the power structure of pride we become disobedient towards employers, religious leaders and God. Basically anyone that has stewardship over us. Pride breeds what is known as secret combinations in every civilization that leaves their pride unchecked. Secret Combinations are known to seek power, gain riches and to gain control over the minds of men. As we learn in Hel. 7:5
Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—
Let us all remember this statement by President Benson in this talk, which reads. Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. (See 2 Ne. 9:42.) There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.
I could go on and on with the evils of pride, but for the interest in time I will encourage you to watch the full speech by Ezra Taft Benson on this subject.
Now I wish to speak to you concerning the opposite of pride, which is Humility. For humility is of God and pride is of Lucifer. We read in Alma 32:16
Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has this to say regarding Humility.
1. In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth. In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.
Before honor is humility. Prov.15.
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind. Acts.20.
2. Act of submission.
Think towards all the great leaders of history spiritual or otherwise. Either George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, President Monson, President Hinkley, President Benson and others. What major similarities did they all have as leaders? They exercised the Christlike attributes of meekness, humility, and prayer nearly flawlessly. Let us all choose to be Humble.
Choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service. (SeeMosiah 2:16–17.)
Choose to humble ourselves by getting to the temple more frequently.
I say this important message in His name, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.