Elder Cook’s message reminds us of the importance of striving to be humble in various ways. One way to discuss what he teaches is to divide members into two groups. Ask one group to look for suggestions in Elder Cook’s message that might help us develop humility, and the other group to look for ways that people manifest pride. Invite each group to share their description with the other group. Members could also share ways they can show more “everyday humility” in their lives and consider how this humility might help them prepare to meet God.
Sometimes humility is accepting callings when we do not feel adequate. Sometimes humility is serving faithfully when we feel capable of a more high-profile assignment. Humble leaders have verbally and by example established that it is not where we serve but how we faithfully serve. Sometimes humility is overcoming hurt feelings when we feel that leaders or others have mistreated us.
Why is humility an important attribute to develop?
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.’
In what ways is humility 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)
I like this differentiation by President Benson. Will understanding whether we are more concerned with who is right than what is right help us to develop humility?
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 Guide to the Scriptures define pride as:
‘A lack or absence of humility or teachableness. Pride sets people in opposition to each other and to God. A proud person sets himself above those around him and follows his own will rather than God’s will. Conceit, envy, hardheartedness, and haughtiness are also typical of a proud person.’
In today’s world, there is an increased emphasis on pride, self-aggrandizement, and so-called “authenticity,” which sometimes leads to a lack of true humility. Some suggest the moral values for happiness today include “be real, be strong, be productive—and most important, don’t rely on other people … because your fate is … in your own hands.”
Why does the world emphasise pride rather than humility?
Watch Pride Elder and Sister Bednar discuss pride and how to work through it. (3:10)
Pride led to the destruction of the Nephite people. CS Lewis observed: “It is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.”Why do you think pride has such destructive power?
Why do you think we sometimes ask “What will other people think of me?” rather than “What will God think of me?”
How can we avoid manifestations of pride in our lives?