Portion of an email message from Dave Salisbury, Sage Ward High Priests Group Leader:
I have been reading in Mosiah, the final address of king Benjamin. In Chapter four, verses 5-10, a pattern of belief and living is established. Verse 11 makes a powerful statement regarding belief turning into knowledge and what happens after this knowledge becomes cognizant. Verse 12 provides a promise based upon verses five through eleven. Verse 13 is a capstone for where I feel we are in the Sage Ward High Priests Group, “… [Y]e will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.” Brethren, I have a request of you, please consider Mosiah 4:5-13 and report back to me, privately, your thoughts about an application of these principles in the High Priest Group specifically and the Sage Ward generally.
Thank you for your request for our thoughts about the principles found in Mosiah 4. In those verses, we’re told to be humble and admit our own nothingness. Obviously that means the elimination of pride. Pride is very destructive. I’ve seen it’s devastating effect on family relationships, but of course, it affects all of our relationships. I believe it’s at the root of most problems in the world.It’s not all bad, however. Some types of pride are good. Pride is built into our nature and is necessary for our survival and success in life. We cross the line, in my opinion, when our pride hurts others in some way. There are many examples of this. It basically includes anything that causes us to feel superior or makes others feel inferior, but it also includes the opposite — anything that makes ourselves feel inferior. We often don’t realize we are exhibiting pride in a way that hurts others or ourselves. We have to constantly evaluate our actions. It helps to try to view ourselves as others do because it’s easier to see pride in others than in ourselves. This is a skill that can be learned. Of course, the very best way to view ourselves is through God’s eyes which no one can do perfectly, but we can work toward that goal.Once we eliminate our “bad pride”, we automatically eliminate other destructive behavior, including criticism of others, demeaning behavior, and even feelings of inadequacy. That’s when we can really catch the vision, and find that it is possible to be optimistic and experience joy in this life. I’m not there yet, but at least I think I understand the process.
“Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
“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 3:19
We often speak about the innocence, faith, and humility of little children, and of the necessity of becoming like them in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
What is the difference between us adults and little children? If I had to pick one word. It would be pride. As we gain pride, we lose all the attributes of little children. We lose the ability to love unconditionally. We become critical of others. We become fearful of losing respect, influence, and power. We reject people who offend or intimidate us. We develop our own ideas of how the world should be and reject people who don’t agree with us. We hold grudges and are unwilling to forgive. We become clever and manipulative. We withhold love.
If you ever find yourself not liking someone, try to look at the person as a little child would. Would a little child find the person offensive? Would they reject him or her? Would they show disrespect? If not, then you probably have the wrong attitude.
I am not a little child anymore. I have lost my childhood innocence and am now full of pride. Yet, I understand the importance of losing that pride, of accepting people and loving them unconditionally as a little child — and as the Savior.
To all whom I may have offended, know that I am sorry and welcome you back into my life.