r By Jesse FisherrAs members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are under covenant with God to establish Zion. We are also under divine direction to flee Babylon (D&C 133:12-15). If you need to journey from point A to point B, before you can successfully navigate between them you need to determine two things. First, you need to know where each point is located. Second, you need to know where you are currently standing in relation to points A and B.
One purpose of this column is to explore each of the two great types of society – Zion and Babylon. We hope to reason out the differences (and similarities) between the two that we might all see more clearly to successfully make the move from Babylon to Zion.
In the previous column, it was shown that by applying a bit of logic to two statements about Zion made by LDS General Authorities, we can deduce two additional concepts:r1) Pride is the stepping stone to Babylon,r2) Humility is the stepping stone to Zion.
If we’re interested in fleeing Babylon and establishing Zion, these two deductions suggest we need to cultivate true humility and rid ourselves of pride. Again, we need to understand the difference between the two if we are going to move from one to the other.
Pondering President Benson’s landmark talk, “Beware of Pride”, suggests that both pride and humility result from our attitudes about our two most important relationships: Our relationship to God and to our fellowman.
President Benson explained that part of pride is discounting God’s wisdom and elevating our own. We may choose not to believe in God, or, simply ignore His wisdom and rely on our own understanding. He explained that the other half of pride is manifested when we judge others to be either superior or inferior to ourselves. We think they are “better-than” or “less-than” us because they have more or less ______ than we do. Both of these positions are in direct violation of God’s law to love our neighbor as ourselves (see Mosiah 23:7; D&C 38:24-25; Luke 10:27). Belittling others or ourselves, for whatever reason, is a sure indicator of pride.
Humility also has two elements: valuing God’s wisdom enough to act on it, as well as “esteeming” our fellowman as being of equal value as ourselves and as equally worthy of love. This makes sense that if we are to become “one” with our neighbors, we can’t be looking down on them or thinking them as being above us, even if they do have more ______.
Next time we’ll explore how pride leads to Babylon and humility to Zion.