This is a talk I read repeatedly on my mission. My trainer, Hermana Leyton showed it to me. She might have given it to me because she thought I was prideful..but who isn’t right?
This talk changed my view on pride and helped me understand better how I can come closer to the Lord, and in doing so, a better missionary, or a better person.
Since I am no longer a missionary this talk has brought on a new meaning to me. I think it is one that every person on this earth needs to read. I think even if you don’t believe in God you can believe in pride. Every person can benefit from becoming less prideful and in turn, making their lives better.
Let me make one thing clear. I am writing this because I know that I have so much pride that needs to be taken care of, and it has helped me be so much happier in this life that I think it’s a great tool for others to know about as well.
Really the first step is admitting we have a problem. Every person is prideful. Everyone. So let’s see which ways we are prideful and fix it!
I will write it directing it towards people who do believe in God so if you don’t, just do your best to see what I am trying to say and I bet you can use some of this to benefit your life as well.
Pride: The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.”
Here is a quiz to help you know what you can work on and then how to fix it.
I think half the battle is being aware of what you need to fix. It’s hard acknowledging our faults. It may feel overwhelming! But just because we have a lot to work on doesn’t mean we aren’t a good person. Also, God knows we are all prideful and He loves us anyway! That’s all that matters.
What do I struggle with?
1) Am I putting my will against God’s?
- Do I think I know more than God
- Am I trying to persuade God to agree with me and not the other way around
- Am I being rebellious
- Am I unrepentant
- Am I seeking for signs to verify what I want
- Am I disobedient just because it is someone of authority over me
- Do I tend to murmur about others in a position above me
- Am I involved in groups that target disloyalty to the Church or God
- Do I struggle with accepting council or appropriate chastisement
2) Am I being competitive or jealous of others?
- Do I live beyond my means to try to show off my wealth
- Do I gossip and try to elevate myself above others and diminish them
- Do I brag on social media to gain acceptance and approval from others
- Do I become jealous or sad of someone else’s gains or victories
- Do I struggle to forgive others
- Can I find fault easily in others but not in myself
- Do I look to blame them first instead of what I may have done wrong
3) Do I fear what people think more than what God thinks?
- Is pleasing God my motive or pleasing people
- Do I look to the reasoning of men more than revelations from God
- Does my self esteem rely in other’s hands
- Am I afraid to do what is right because of what other people will think of me
4) Am I selfish?
- Is it all about me
- Do I care too much about power
- Am I unwilling to change
- Am I unwilling to accept the truth
- Do I not admit I was wrong when I am wrong
- Do I cause contention in my home or anywhere else
- Do I struggle to say I am sorry regardless of the circumstances
- If I am wrong am I willing to change my ways even if it will be embarrassing or hard
If you are being honest with yourself you will have recognized something above that you struggle with or may have in the past. Good for you, you are not completely prideful! J
Now how can we fix it? All these ways are found in President Benson’s talk below!
1) Love God more than anyone else, including yourself and especially others
2) Confess your sins and forsake them. AKA..admit what you have done wrong and don’t do it anymore
3) Fear God’s judgment more then others
4) Seek God’s will, if you don’t know it, find out and then do it even if it may be difficult
5) Listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost telling you what you should change and what you can do better
6) Put off the natural man AKA if something you do is not in harmony with God’s ways..change it. We all have things we need to change about ourselves. This life is about striving to become better..always.
7) Be Humble
8) Be Submissive
9) Be Meek
10) Be loving towards all
11) Seek correct council
12) Accept appropriate chastisement and then change
13) Forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive quickly
14) Clear competitive motives feelings from others. Life is not a competition to be compared with others
15) Seek to lift others up, not tear them down
16) Admit you were wrong, it’s ok to make mistakes
17) Make time to go to the Temple
18) Go on a Mission
19) Spread the Gospel with others
20) Put God first
21) Seek out any selfless service opportunities
22) Never hold back a compliment or kind word to lift up another
23) Remove any and all pride
24) “If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem.”
Now please read this talk is by Ezra Taft Benson. He wrote it the year I was born, 1989 but what he has to say is timeless.
He says it better than I ever could. But as you read it prayerfully think, how does this apply to me? What are my imperfections..what is keeping me from living a more satisfied and happy life? Try not to just think of who else needs it..you need this.
Throughout his talk I have marked the number to the question on the quiz that it relates to so you can look back for more knowledge and guidance. *
Three times in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord uses the phrase “beware of pride,” including a warning to the second elder of the Church, Oliver Cowdery, and to Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet. (D&C 23:1; see also D&C 25:14; D&C 38:39.)
“Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39.)
But what exactly is pride?
Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance.
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.)
Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.
The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God (1) and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. (1) When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” (1)
The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. (See Hel. 12:6.) They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works. (1)
Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers.
The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s. (1)
The proud make every man their adversary (2) by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “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.”
In the pre-earthly council, Lucifer placed his proposal in competition with the Father’s plan as advocated by Jesus Christ. (See Moses 4:1–3.) He wished to be honored above all others. (2) (See 2 Ne. 24:13.) In short, his prideful desire was to dethrone God. (See D&C 29:36; D&C 76:28.)
Saul became an enemy to David through pride. He was jealous because the crowds of Israelite women were singing that “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (1 Sam. 18:6–8.)
Herod sorrowed at the request of his wife to behead John the Baptist. But his prideful desire to look good to “them which sat with him at meat” caused him to kill John. (Matt. 14:9; see also Mark 6:26.)
The proud love “the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (3) (John 12:42–43.)
Jesus said He did “always those things” that pleased God. (John 8:29.) Would we not do well to have the pleasing of God as our motive (3) rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and outdo another?
Effects from pride:
When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, (3) and the proud let go of the iron rod. (See 1 Ne. 8:19–28; 1 Ne. 11:25; 1 Ne. 15:23–24.)
Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. (2) 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. (2)
Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us. (1) It can be a parent, a priesthood leader, a teacher, or ultimately God.
A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position. (1)
Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” (4) is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.
Another face of pride is contention. (4) Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride.
The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. (1) (See Prov. 15:10;Amos 5:10.) Defensiveness is used by them to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures. (See Matt. 3:9; John 6:30–59.)
The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. (2) They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.” (2)
What can we do:
If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem. *
Pride is a damning sin in the true sense of that word. It limits or stops progression. (See Alma 12:10–11.) The proud are not easily taught. (See 1 Ne. 15:3, 7–11.) They won’t change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong. (4)
Think of the repentance that could take place with lives changed, marriages preserved, and homes strengthened, if pride did not keep us from confessing our sins and forsaking them. (See D&C 58:43.)
Pride affects all of us at various times and in various degrees.
Pride is the universal sin, the great vice. Yes, pride is the universal sin, the great vice.
How to fix it:
The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. (See Alma 7:23.) It is the broken heart and contrite spirit. *(See 3 Ne. 9:20; 3 Ne. 12:19; D&C 20:37; D&C 59:8; Ps. 34:18; Isa. 57:15; Isa. 66:2.) As Rudyard Kipling put it so well:
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.)
Let us choose to be humble.
We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. * (See D&C 38:24; D&C 81:5; D&C 84:106.)
We can choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service. * (SeeMosiah 2:16–17.)
We can choose to humble ourselves by getting to the temple * more frequently.
Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion. I repeat: Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.
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.” * (Mosiah 3:19; see also Alma 13:28.)