When we become members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we covenant to always remember Him, take His name upon us, and keep His commandments (see D&C 20:77). Any sin prevents us from keeping this covenant, but there’s one sin, above all others, that we need to avoid because it leads to so many others: pride.
“Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness,” taught President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994). “All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is missing.” He said, “The central feature of pride is enmity [hatred or hostility]—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen.”1
Hostility toward God “is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’ … The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. … The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.”2
Enmity toward our fellowmen is manifested in many ways: “faultfinding, gossiping, back-biting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.”3
Pride hinders our progress, hurts our relationships, and limits the service we give. President Benson suggested this solution: “The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. It is the broken heart and contrite spirit.”4 He taught that “humility responds to God’s will—to the fear of His judgments and to the needs of those around us. … Let us choose to be humble.”5
The following illustrations show ways we can choose to be humble.
The Most Humble Man
“The greatest, most capable, most accomplished man who ever walked this earth was also the most humble. He performed some of His most impressive service in private moments, with only a few observers, whom He asked to ‘tell no man’ what He had done [see Luke 8:56]. When someone called Him ‘good,’ He quickly deflected the compliment, insisting that only God is truly good [see Mark 10:17–18]. Clearly the praise of the world meant nothing to Him. … We would do well to follow the example of our Master.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “On Being Genuine,” Ensign, May 2015, 83.