Priesthood/Relief Society Lesson 18: “Beware of Pride”
Approximately scheduled teaching date: Sunday, September 20,2015
This lesson contains the following statements:
“In the scriptures, there is no such thing as righteous pride—it is always considered a sin.
Therefore, no matter how the world uses the term, we must understand how God uses the term so
we can understand the language of holy writ and profit thereby.” (p. 232)
“Think of the many who are less active members of the Church because they were offended and
their pride will not allow them to forgive or fully sup at the Lord’s table.” (p. 237)
“We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters,
esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are.” (p. 238)
Pride has always been seen as one of the greatest sins, because it leads to so many other sins. The Book of Mormon is replete with examples of sins committed by those whose downward trail began with pride. However, this word has gotten such a “bum rap” in the church that any connotation has almost become taboo. Hence, President Dieter Uchtdorf gave a classic general conference talk (Pride and the Priesthood, Ensign, 11/2012, p.55) to help members understand not all pride is considered sinful. Such a development may be another example of the importance of context, as well as semantics and how the meaning of words change and evolve over time.
The statement regarding less active members whose pride would not allow them to forgive others should be balanced by the intentional or unintentional message from the sender. Many LGBT members and their families have experienced such offensive comments or behavior by others that have led them to be less active, in heart if not in deed. Ideally, offended members should take the initiative to reconcile the matter (D&C 42:88) but if they feel too shamed or offended to do so, humility and love for one’s fellow man should cause the active member to take the initiative to resolve the matter with love tenfold. Many of us can recall a time when we held a grudge but finally went to the offending party with a desire to leave everything behind, and felt he weight of the grudge taken from ourselves as the two of us reconciled in love. Waiting for the other person to take the first step is simply another form of pride that has no place in heaven, the church, or one’s heart.
The final quote regarding humbling ourselves by lifting others up to our level may also be pride in sheep’s clothing. We should be humble enough to consider that, all things considered, we may have need to be lifted up to the level of the other, that we can learn something valuable from the other person by being more teachable and less judgmental.