Be Humble


Looking for lasting happiness? Want better relationships with others? Need more of the Spirit in your life? Then here’s an important key.

“Be humble,” President Gordon B. Hinckley said in his November 2000 address to youth (see New Era, Jan. 2001, 4). “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answers to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).

Recognizing God’s hand

There is nothing wrong with feeling pleased with the results of our hard work. But it is also important to recognize God’s hand in the things we are able to accomplish.

“Recently I have had a lot of personal accomplishments that have helped me feel good about my abilities,” wrote 18-year-old Brian Whitmer. “One night, though, I was reading Alma 26:12 where Ammon gives God credit for everything, and I realized I hadn’t been doing so. Then President Hinckley’s words reinforced my decision to give God credit—to thank Him for His help and blessings in my personal life. Since then I’ve noticed a change in my life as I’ve become more spiritual and more grateful.”

There is no place for arrogance

“There is no place for arrogance in our lives,” President Hinckley stated. “There is no place for conceit. There is no place for egotism.”

Arrogance, conceit, and egotism will stifle our ability to receive personal revelation, and may also damage our relationships with others.

“Whenever I find myself becoming self-righteous, proud, or distant from God and His love, I remember President Hinckley’s words and they help me see things as they really are again,” says Erin Knutsen from Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Just as humility helps us in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, being humble can also help us in our relationships with friends and family.

“Being more humble has gotten me more friends and improved the friendships I already have,” wrote Cody Wagoner from Middleton, Idaho.

One young woman found that being humble helped her in her relationship with her brother.

“As I was sitting there listening to President Hinckley, I was sitting by my mom and by my brother, who was preparing for a mission at the time. I heard President Hinckley tell the youth to be humble.

“We have never had a great relationship, my brother and me. We never got along because we let things get in the way—friends, age, school, and our actions. We never cared; we thought we were better than each other. We literally went days without talking or saying something nice to each other. So, after I heard President Hinckley, I made a promise that I would always bite my tongue, say nice things to him, and do nice things for him. For the next little while I did everything I could for him. Then it rubbed off, and he was nice to me; and now we are the closest ever.”

A great work to do

Being humble helps us in relationships, but it also gives us the opportunity to receive direction and guidance from our Heavenly Father.

In his talk, President Hinckley emphasized the importance of receiving counsel from our Father in Heaven. “We have a great work to do,” he said. “We have things to do. We have things to accomplish. We need direction in the pursuit of our education. We need help in choosing our eternal companion.”

One young woman found that when she was humble the Lord helped her make the type of decision the prophet spoke of.

“When I first heard these marvelous words by our prophet, it was during the time when I was struggling,” she wrote. “I was currently dating a nonmember friend, and I could see my life changing—and not for the better. As I took the dear prophet’s advice, I got down on my knees and humbly prayed to my Father in Heaven. A few weeks later my Sunday School teacher gave me the answer I needed as we were talking about our choices and consequences that follow. I knew right then that I was going to stop dating this good friend.

“I know with all my heart that the Lord humbled me enough so I could receive the answer I needed. Through this powerful experience I have been able to give this great young man a copy of the Book of Mormon, and within a few short weeks he is going to be baptized.”

The greatest example

The Savior was a man without conceit, pride, or arrogance. Because of this He can be our example as we strive to be humble.

William Linares from Los Angeles, California, uses the example of Jesus when he is striving to be more humble. “I’m trying to be humble just like Jesus was,” he wrote.

President Hinckley described a humble person as one who looks to the Lord for guidance in his life. “I believe the meek and the humble are those who are teachable,” he said. “They are willing to learn. They are willing to listen to the whisperings of the still, small voice for guidance in their lives. They place the wisdom of the Lord above their own wisdom.”

The prophet promised the youth great blessings if they follow his counsel to be humble.

“If we are humble and obedient, then the Lord will lead us by the hand and answer our prayers,” said President Hinckley. “What greater things could we ask for? There is nothing to compare with this.”

A prophet’s promise

As many young men and women have found, there is great peace in listening to and following the counsel of the prophet. This peace may come to all of us if we follow the commandments of the Lord.

“I make you a promise,” said President Hinckley, “that God will not forsake you if you will walk in His paths with the guidance of His commandments.”

Coretta Neugebauer found this promise to be true: “The six B’s have helped my life. They aren’t some huge thing, but rather a reassurance, a gentle, guiding hand that reminds us. I think how simple life can be when we follow God and His counsel.”

President Hinckley ended his address to the youth with a prayer in their behalf. In this prayer he asked the Lord to “Please smile with favor upon them. Please listen to them as they lift their voices in prayer unto Thee. Please lead them gently by the hand in the direction they should follow.”

As Rebecca Pingree stated, “The prophet said that if we stay on the right path and keep the commandments, God will not forsake us. He recognized how the times have changed and how we have challenges, but we are Zion’s youth of latter days, and we need to stand strong and tall.”

With the Lord’s help each of us can learn to stand strong and tall as we are more grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful. By following these guidelines we may attain those “dreams and hopes and longings to find that which will bring [us] peace and happiness”—peace and happiness in this life as well as the life to come.

[photos] Photography by Craig W. Dimond and Steve Bunderson