Preach My Gospel says that ‘Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honour 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 a sign of spiritual strength.’
Humility is the opposite of pride. President Benson explained: “Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” (Ensign, Nov. 1993, p.16)
Humility is what is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons, to dissipate anger and heal old wounds. Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the one who seeks unrighteous dominion. Self-righteousness is one aspect of pride that is hard to avoid because for most of us it is so much easier to see other people’s faults than to see our own. Rather than look for faults in others, we should look for the good in others and try to correct the faults within ourselves. Jesus’ humorous parable of a person with a beam (or plank) in his eye trying to see to remove a speck from another’s eye reminds us that we probably have bigger faults within ourselves than the faults we would criticize in others. Consciousness of our own failings can help to keep us humble.
The search for humility is a difficult one as humility is a very evasive quality – as soon as you think you have mastered it you are guilty of pride! President Kimball said:
“When one becomes conscious of his great humility, he has already lost it. When one begins boasting of his humility, it has already become pride-the antithesis of humility… Somebody asked me this morning, ‘How do you keep humble? Sometimes I am humble and sometimes I am unhumble.’ I think there is a formula that will never fail. First, you evaluate yourself…I would be nothing without the Lord. My breath, my brains, my hearing, my sight, my locomotion, my everything depends upon the Lord. That is the first step and then we pray, and pray often, and we will not get up from our knees until we have communicated. The line may be down; we may have let it fall to pieces, but I will not get up from my knees until I have established communication-if it is twenty minutes, if it is all night like Enos…If it takes all day long, you stay on your knees until your unhumbleness has dissipated, until you feel the humble spirit and realize, ‘I could die this minute if it were not for the Lord’s good grace. I am dependent upon him-totally dependent upon him,’ and then you read the scriptures.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball)
As with all virtues, Jesus is our model. He did not come to be served, but to serve and we must we commit ourselves to serving others in humility. Jesus was not ashamed to humble Himself as a servant. In his humility, he was always obedient to the Father and so should we be willing to put aside all selfishness and submit in obedience to God.