What We Believe

We Believe in Being Humble

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“The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment. ‘What will men think of me?’ weighs heavier than ‘What will God think of me?’” —President Ezra Taft Benson

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 scriptures offer many warnings about pride, such as in Proverbs 16:18; Ezekiel 16:49–50; Doctrine and Covenants 23:1; 38:39.

examples of humility

We can show humility by:

Receiving counsel and correction.

Giving selfless service.

Praying with real intent.

Serving a mission.

Doing family history work and attending the temple more frequently.

From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (2014), 238–39.

Illustrations by David Habben

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (2014), 232.

  2. 2.

    Teachings: Ezra Taft Benson, 232.

  3. 3.

    Teachings: Ezra Taft Benson, 235.

  4. 4.

    Teachings: Ezra Taft Benson, 238.

  5. 5.

    Teachings: Ezra Taft Benson, 229, 238.