Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEK 101: Behold, Are Ye Stripped of Pride?

June 22, 2015


This week have been great! Downtown Salt Lake has been exciting, to say the least! Lots of people to find and teach. We are working with a few individuals that hopefully will enter into baptism within the next few weeks! We were able to speak in 2 wards yesterday. Here are some of my notes from one of them!

In the beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi states:

"Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred." (1 Nephi 19:6)

The first thing he then proceeds write, speaking of the Savior, is:

"And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men." (1 Nephi 19:9)

Multiple Christlike attributes may be shown through this verse, but I wish to highlight only 1. The attribute of Humility. Humility is the ability to seek correction. It's the power to suffer through trials, relying on the Lord for support. It's realizing that we alone cannot conquer the trials and tribulations of this mortal life. Although we should keep in  mind that we are all sons and daughters of God, and have His divine potential within us, we still acknowledge that we are "lower than the dust of the earth".

Alma asks us to ponder:

"Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life." (Alma 5:28)

Eternal life is the greatest of all of Gods gifts for his children. There are many characteristics we must gain and obtain in order to live as our Divine Father does. We must strive day by day to achieve them. Ultimately, they are blessings from God, but we must put in our required effort.

Pride is the opposition to humility. The danger of pride is one of the major messages of the Book of Mormon. The Ancient Nephites proved their destruction through their pride.

President Ezra Taft Benson helps us to focus in on the central roots of all pride. He tells us that:

"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.

Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us. It can be a parent, a priesthood leader, a teacher, or ultimately God. A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position.

Selfishness is [also] one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters--self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking."

The sin of Pride can be found all across the history of the earth, both in our time, and in all times past.

The author of proverbs informs that “Pride goeth before destruction.” (Prov. 16:18.)

C. S. Lewis stated: “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.)

The proud fear mortal man's judgement more than their Divine Creator's judgment. The proud love “the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42–43.)

President Benson warns us that:

"Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. 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. (See 2 Ne.
 9:42.) There is, however, a far more common ailment among us--and that is pride from the bottom looking up. 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."

President Uchtdorf once shared:

The Parable of the Dandelions

"Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn.

But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed.

It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds?

This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.

These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard--which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions."

Too often, we are so concerned with the mote in our neighbors eye, that we allow our own beam of enmity to overrule our thoughts, words, and actions. (Matt. 7:1-5)

Christ warns:

"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matt. 6:2)

If our motivation of doing righteous actions is to be seen of men, we will then have the reward of men, while forfeiting our eternal reward. We would be seeking glory to be given to us.

Pride is what caused Lucifer, even a son of the morning, to fall. His unrighteous desire was to obtain all honor (Moses 4:1) and to dethrone the Father. He wished to "rebel against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ". (D&C 76:28) He felt threatened that someone was higher in authority than he was.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the 70 recounts:

"Pilate was merciful till it became risky. King Herod was sorrowful at the request to behead John the Baptist but wanted to please “them which sat with him at meat” (Matthew 14:9). King Noah was ready to free Abinadi until peer pressure from his wicked priests caused him to waver (see Mosiah 17:11–12). King Saul disobeyed the word of the Lord by keeping the spoils of war because he “feared the people, and obeyed their voice” (1 Samuel 15:24). Many of the New Testament chief rulers “believed on [the Lord]; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42–43). The scriptures are full of such examples."

The now the question is: how do we and how can we avoid the root of all sin? The answer: Humility. We must either humble ourselves, or be compelled to be humble.

President Hansen once told me, "It's a great blessing to be humbled." 

"Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you--

Wherefore, ye must needs be chastened and stand rebuked before my face;" (D&C 95:1-2)

Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel is entitled, "How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?". Under the section of humility, we learn:

"Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished. It includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgment of your constant need for His divine help. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is [actually] a sign of spiritual strength. You are also willing to trust His chosen servants and follow their counsel. Humility will help you as you strive to be obedient, to work hard, and serve selflessly." (PMG pg. 120)

Christlike attributes are gifts from God. They come as we use your agency righteously. We must ask our Heavenly Father to bless us with these attributes; we cannot develop them without His help. With a desire to please God, we must recognize our weaknesses and be willing and anxious to improve. We must study the life of Christ, and apply what we learn. The power of the scriptures is incredible.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. The graceful power that enables us to improve is real, and stems from that Atonement. As we seek His divine help, we will be able to repent and humble ourselves. We can be stripped of our pride. We must assess ourselves, reevaluate, admit our faults, and be willing to put in the effort to improve.

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah

As we are stripped of pride, we will be able to obtain the same Glory of the Father. We'll be happy. As we use The Atonement, we will eventually be perfected in Christ.

The Gospel is the truth.

Stay close to him.

~Elder Carroll

"When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: My God, how great Thou art!" -How Great Thou Art, Hymn #83, V.4

Elder Boyles stole my camera and Danny stole my jacket and tag!

Downtown SLC

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