pride & humility

today on the way to work i felt impressed to listen to the talk "beware of pride," written for a conference of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints by a prophet named ezra taft benson in 1989. i've been impacted by this text previously in my life, particularly as a missionary, and it had been a while since i had read it. it really kicked my butt this morning by helping me to emerge from a wedding-planning-self-absorbed bubble of pride i've realized i'm in.

since these words were very impactful for me, i thought it a good idea to share. 

the proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. in the words of c. s. lewis: “pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … it is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”

the proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of god’s judgment.“what will men think of me?” weighs heavier than “what will god think of me?” fear of men’s judgment manifests itself in competition for men’s approval. the proud love “the praise of men more than the praise of god.” ...would we not do well to have the pleasing of god as our motive rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and outdo another?

selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “how everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.

the scriptures testify that the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. they withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings. the proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. defensiveness is used by them to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures. 

god will have a humble people. either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. [the book of mormon prophet] alma said, “blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” let us choose to be humble.

i am committed to choosing to be humble and being superior to my former self. 

{beautiful artwork by lisa congdon}


  1. thanks for sharing this! i am not mormon, but i truly love reading talks, articles, and quotes from leaders in your church. i don't know why a girl from a traditional roman catholic family finds such joy in LDS words, but i am glad i do - there is so much wisdom and goodness. i am not sure what message god is trying to send me, but regardless, i find them so inspiring and uplifting.

    i love that god doesn't expect perfection, but rather he accepts us as we are - imperfections and all. i love that i can repent and try again. and when i fail, repent, and try AGAIN, i know i am still loved. it is something quite exhilarating to be human and have these challenging, wonderful lives. what a gift!

  2. I love that you love this talk! "As a woman thinketh so is she." So moved that you continue to think about pride and humility and continually work on choosing humility. Love you!

  3. My sister shared with me an experience she had in RS yesterday that pertains to this talk perfectly. I know she will appreciate and find peace in the words of the Prophet. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Could you please show us your wedding invitations? It would be fun for us readers.

  5. anonymous #2 -

    thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. i have immediately corrected my mistake on this post and will make an effort to go back in previous posts and give credit where it is due. completely recognize my mistake in this. it's true that we just throw images around the internet (especially with pinterest) and it's a shame that they often don't get linked to their creator. i am embarrassed by my mistake and pledge to do better in the future!

    again, thank you!

  6. so i just went on lisa congdon's website and i'm in LOVE with her art! i will definitely be buying some pieces when her etsy shop is back up and i'm prob not the only one given the hundreds (thousands?) that read your blog. thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi charity,

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for taking my suggestion in kindness and adding a link to Lisa's site at the end of your post. I really appreciate you being open to the suggestion and to you're understanding of how frustrating it can be for those us whose work is continually shared without credit. Thanks!!


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