“Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion. I repeat: Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.”
“Pride affects all of us at various times and in various degrees.” (Benson)
“No one has avoided it; few overcome it.” (Uchtdorf)
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
“I have watched sports fans vilify and demonize their rivals. They look for any flaw and magnify it. They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team. When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice.
Brethren, unfortunately we see today too often the same kind of attitude and behavior spill over into the public discourse of politics, ethnicity, and religion.”
“Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.”
When our hearts are filled with charity it is almost impossible to be lifted up in pride. “No one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love.” When we see the world around us through the lens of the pure love of Christ, we begin to understand humility.
Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.
Humility directs our attention and love toward others and to Heavenly Father’s purposes.
My dear brethren (and sisters), there are so many people in need whom we could be thinking about instead of ourselves. There are so many ways we could be serving. We have no time to become absorbed in ourselves.
God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. Alma said, “Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” (Alma 32:16.)
“We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity towards each other, receiving counsel and chastisement, forgiving others, giving selfless service (which includes indexing), serving missions and preaching the gospel, going to the temple more frequently, confessing and forsaking our sins, by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.” (Benson)
I would like to include that self-esteem and confidence are not manifestations of pride. In regards to self-esteem, I would like to share the words of Helaman to his sons in Helaman 5:12.
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail.”
If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem
Regarding confidence, I sometimes mistake confidence and being cocky as being the same. In D&C 121:45, it reads:
“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; in the presence of God; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon the dews from heaven.”The footnote for confidence reads “Trust in God.” If we have this kind of confidence, we will not be prideful.
“We must yield ‘to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,’ put off the prideful ‘natural man,’ become ‘a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord,’ and become ‘as a child, submissive, meek, humble.’
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
“I once owned a pen that I loved to use during my career as an airline captain. By simply turning the shaft, I could choose one of four colors. The pen did not complain when I wanted to use red ink instead of blue. It did not say to me, “I would rather not write after 10:00 p.m., in heavy fog, or at high altitudes.” The pen did not say, “Use me only for important documents, not for the daily mundane tasks.” With greatest reliability it performed every task I needed, no matter how important or insignificant. It was always ready to serve.”
“Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can.”[closed with personal testimony]
The part I suggested that he left out was the story of President Benson with a little interpretation from me. I suggested that Elder Benson learned about humility and was able to give such an inspired talk on Pride when he was President of the Church because he had learned humility as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve as he was frequently called in by the First Presidency to be counseled to tone down his political views as they were rather extremely conservative and controversial at the time. As an aside, it is interesting to note that he did not promote his political views as President of the Church.
As a final point, I only wish to note how pleased I am with my son who gave this talk (as well as with ALL my kids!)
ADDENDUM: if you like this post, check out my son's new blog at Called to the Work.