Chapter 6: Jacob 2

Book of Mormon Video Guide, (2001), 6–8


Note: This is the first of two presentations about pride in the Book of Mormon Video package. The second presentation is “Pride Cycle” (Helaman 7–12). President Ezra Taft Benson defined pride as “enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3; or Ensign, May 1989, 4). This presentation emphasizes the recognition of pride. The second presentation emphasizes the results of pride and its effect on society.

Purpose

To help students recognize the sin of pride as enmity toward others.

Before the Video

Introduction

A major resource for this presentation is President Ezra Taft Benson’s April 1989 general conference address, read by President Gordon B. Hinckley (see Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3–7; or Ensign, May 1989, 4–7). As you prepare to teach this lesson, you may want to carefully read President Benson’s address and outline his major points.

Scripture Activity

As you read and discuss Jacob 2:1–16 with the class, the following may be helpful:

  • Verses 6–11: How did Jacob feel about his responsibility?

  • Verses 12–13: How had God blessed the Nephites?

  • Verse 13: What sin did Jacob warn the Nephites about? (Pride.) What two things were they doing that displayed their pride? (Judging each other by material possessions and creating class distinctions.)

  • Verses 14–16: According to these verses, how does God regard the sin of pride? (He condemns it. Pride is abominable, and it will destroy our souls.)

Discussion

Discuss how pride affects us today. You may want to ask the following questions:

  • To what extent do we suffer from the sin of pride?

  • Do we still suffer from the same signs of pride as in Jacob’s day? (that is, judging each other by material possessions and class distinctions).

  • How does pride destroy our souls?

Using the Video

Pride 9:51

“Look For” Activity

Suggest that the students watch for President Benson’s definition of pride.

Show Segment 1

Segment 1 (4:48) shows a Latter-day Saint family spending an evening at a futuristic computer simulation center where they encounter various situations depicting pride.

Diagram

Discuss video segment 1 with the class. Discuss the following questions and quotes and draw the accompanying diagram on the board:

  • What is the central feature of pride? (Enmity.)

  • What is enmity? (“Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us” [Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3; or Ensign, May 1989, 4].)

  • How can we determine if we are guilty of pride? (If we have feelings of hatred, hostility, or opposition toward others, we have pride.)

    pride diagram 1

Discussion

How might the following quotations from President Benson relate to Lisa in segment 1?

  • “We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 4; or Ensign, May 1989, 4). (Lisa saw herself as better than Jennifer.)

  • “In the words of C. S. Lewis: ‘. . . It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest’” (in Conference Report, 4; or Ensign, 4). (Lisa wanted to be sure that everyone else, including Jan, knew she was better than Jennifer.)

  • “The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others” (in Conference Report, 4; or Ensign, 4). (Lisa used clothes and money to prove to herself that she was superior to Jennifer.)

How did Lisa display enmity? (Lisa displayed hatred for her fellowman by thinking she was better than others.)

Diagram

Lisa’s pride was from the top looking down because she felt she was superior to others. Help students apply their understanding of this form of pride by drawing on the board a diagram similar to the one below. With the class, list manifestations of pride from the top looking down (conceit, arrogance, haughtiness, boastfulness, self-centeredness, demeaning others, and so forth).

pride diagram 2

Discussion

Discuss the following questions with the class:

  • How did Jan display enmity? (She admitted she did not like Lisa.)

  • Why was Jan surprised that she was guilty of pride? (She assumed that only arrogant and conceited people like Lisa have pride.)

  • Why was Jan’s pride harder for her to recognize than Lisa’s? (“Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves” [Benson, in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 5].)

  • How might the following quote apply to Jan? “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. . . . There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up” (Benson, in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 5). (Jan felt justified in finding fault with Lisa’s arrogance and being critical of Lisa.)

  • Why is this pride from the bottom looking up “far more common” than pride from the top looking down?

  • How does this more common form of pride manifest itself?

Diagram

Jan’s pride was from the bottom looking up. Help students apply their understanding of this form of pride by drawing a third diagram similar to the one below. Discuss with the class the manifestations of this form of pride. (“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” [Benson, in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 5].) Why do many fail to see these actions and attitudes as manifestations of 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” [Benson, in Conference Report, 3; or Ensign, 4].)

pride diagram 3

“Look For” Activity

Suggest that the students watch for what influence Steve’s friends have on his pride.

Show Segment 2

Segment 2 (1:45) shows Steve entering a simulation of his home, where he and a few of his friends are watching an inappropriate video.

Discussion

Discuss segment 2, considering how the following quotes from President Benson’s general conference address relate to Steve:

  • “Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us” (in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 5). (Steve was not willing to be obedient and do what his mother asked.)

  • “The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily” (in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 6). (Steve was not willing to take his mother’s counsel. He placed himself above the rules of his house.)

  • “Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away” (in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 6). (Instead of being obedient, Steve contended with his mother.)

How did Steve display enmity? (He was hostile toward his mother. He was in a state of opposition to his mother, her authority, and the family rules.)

Add the manifestations shown in segment 2 to the first diagram of pride.

“Look For” Activity

Suggest that the students try to discover the antidote for pride.

Show Segment 3

Segment 3 (3:18) shows the conclusion of Steve’s discussion with his mother.

After the Video

Discussion

Discuss segment 3, considering how the following quotes from President Benson’s general conference address relate to Steve:

  • “Defensiveness is used by them [the proud] to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures” (in Conference Report, 5; or Ensign, 6). (Steve rationalized to his mother that since a friend brought the video, watching it should be all right.)

  • “The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment” (in Conference Report, 4; or Ensign, 5). (Steve was afraid to face his friends. He admitted that in this case he was more concerned about what his friends would think than what the Lord would think.)

  • “The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. . . . It is the broken heart and contrite spirit” (in Conference Report, 6; or Ensign, 6). (Steve learned that the way to set aside pride is to be humble.)

  • “Our motives for the things we do are where the sin is manifest. Jesus said He did ‘always those things’ that pleased God” (in Conference Report, 4; or Ensign, 5). (Steve was thinking more about pleasing his friends than pleasing God.)

Conclusion

You may want to share the following quote from President Benson’s general conference address:

“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 do it. I know we can” (in Conference Report, 6; or Ensign, 6–7).

Suggest that the students watch for the element of pride as they continue reading the Book of Mormon.