Overcoming Pride

finger pointing

In 1989, the Prophet of God on the earth at that time, Ezra Taft Benson, felt compelled by God to share a message about PRIDE with the world. PERSONAL PRIDE–not “Gay Pride”— which interestingly, rainbows and gay pride are the only thing that came up when i searched for images of pride in Google. My message today is about the personal pride, the kind of pride that we all struggle with. The is the way God uses the term “pride” in holy write. President Benson’s talk was called “Beware of Pride”. This was the message that the world needed to hear in 1989. Do we still need it today? You bet every single one of us do!

I have loved this talk “Beware of Pride” for many years. Every time I read it, I feel like I should put a big bullseye on my forehead, implying “This talk was written just for me!” ( How prideful of me to think that a prophet of God would write a talk just for me! Ha!). As I read it, it makes me think of Alma 5 in the Book of Mormon– both give me a healthy dose of how I need to change myself FIRST..

Alma 5:14..

Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty cchange in your hearts?

Getting rid of our own personal pride would take a mighty change of heart.

Some of my favorite quotes from the talk “Beware of Pride” are as follows:

“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 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. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)

Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled. (See Alma 38:123 Ne. 12:30.)

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.

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.

Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17D&C 58:41.)

The proud make every man their adversary 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.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)

“Pride can readily be seen in others more than we see in ourselves.”

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.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)

“Far more common pride is from the bottom looking up: faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.”– I definitely struggle or have struggled with many of these. Is it safe to say that we all do? Pride from the bottom looking up is real!

“Pride is the universal sin, the great vice. Yes, pride is the universal sin, the great vice.”

“The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. (See Alma 7:23.) It is the broken heart and contrite spirit.”

“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 38:24D&C 81:5D&C 84:106.)”

“We can choose to humble ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement.” (See Jacob 4:10Hel. 15:3D&C 63:55D&C 101:4–5D&C 108:1D&C 124:61, 84D&C 136:31Prov. 9:8.)

“We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us.” (See 3 Ne. 13:11, 14D&C 64:10.)

“We can choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service.” (See Mosiah 2:16–17.)

“We can choose to humble ourselves by confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God.” (See D&C 58:43Mosiah 27:25–26Alma 5:7–14, 49.)

“We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.” (See 3 Ne. 11:113 Ne. 13:33Moro. 10:32.)

“Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can.”

This talk is just so good, I wanted to share it with you today. I believe that if we can try to see the pride in ourselves, our relationships and marriages with change for the better and we will become closer to God. We will become brighter vessels to carry His light throughout the world. The world needs our light, which is His light. Instead of pointing fingers at other, we can change ourselves first. Then we will have more room in our hearts just to offer love, kindness, and understanding. The man who wrote this talk in 1989 was whom I believe to be the prophet of God on the earth at that time. (Learn about what a prophet is here) My testimony of prophets is strengthened by this talk by Ezra Taft Benson. I know that he was a true prophet of God. I am grateful for his words that I believe came as direct revelation from God for everyone on earth in 1989 and so applicable today as well. I don’t know about you, but I need to read this every single day, multiple times a day! :)

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