Pride Is the Opposite of Humility
Unless we are careful to cultivate the characteristics of humility described above, it is easy to be distracted by humility’s opposite: pride. As author C. S. Lewis wrote, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.”4President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught, “The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others.”5 That is when we run into trouble. Delighting in being richer than our neighbors, more athletic than our friends, or better looking than others is being prideful. For example, when Saul heard Israelite women chant, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7), Saul compared himself to David, and his feelings of inferiority led him on to works of wickedness.6
President Benson also declared, “The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.”7 They believe they know better than God what is best for them, and they care more about what people think of them than about God’s judgment. The Book of Mormondescribes the Nephites’ tragic fall from greatness (see Moroni 8:27), and modern revelation confirms that pride helped bring about their fall (see D&C 38:39). God does not look for the richest, the most beautiful, or the cleverest person. He blesses the humble and meek who are willing to submit to His will.