As a people interested in fleeing Babylon and building Zion, we need to thoroughly understand the similarities and differences between pride, the foundation of Babylon, and humility, which leads society to Zion. Pondering President Benson’s landmark talk, “Beware of Pride”, it became clear that both pride and humility have two faces: how we relate to God, and how we relate to our fellowmen. Last time we pondered pride’s two faces. Let’s take a look at those of humility.
1. Humility Unites Us with God.
Since humility is the opposite of pride, based on President Benson’s statements on pride, we can conclude the following about humility: 1) Humility before God is when we value His great knowledge and wisdom, 2) The humble seek out God’s will and unite theirs with His, 3) The humble accept the authority of God giving direction in their lives, and 4) The humble appreciate and model His mighty works.
Humility before God allows us to keep the First Great Commandment – to love God with all our heart.
2. Humility Unites us with Our Fellowman.
In regards to our neighbors, humility is when we esteem our brethren as ourselves (D&C 38:24-25). Their needs are our needs, their challenges our challenges, their joys are our joys. Their rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness are just as worthy of being defended as are our rights. The humble do not see others as above or beneath them.
Since humility is the opposite of pride, we can adapt C.S. Lewis’ quote from President Benson’s talk as follows: “Humility gets great pleasure out of having things, but never out of having more of it than the next man….”
When we realize that we have more of something than our neighbor who is in need, because we get great pleasure out of having it, and because we esteem our neighbor’s happiness as our own, we naturally share out of our abundance and we joy in their joy. I believe this is what the Lord meant when he described Zion as a place where “Every man seek[s] the interest of his neighbor” (D&C 82:19).
Humility allows us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
In summary, humility allows us to keep God’s first and second great commandments and is the gateway to a happy, peaceful, and productive society (Zion). Breaking those two commandments through pride leads to societal decay (Babylon) and inevitable destruction. See the summarizing chart at BuildingZion.org/two-faces/.