“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)
“…becoming like a child is a gradual process of spiritual development in which we are aided by the Holy Ghost and our reliance on Christ’s Atonement. Through this process, we will eventually acquire the childlike attributes of meekness, humility, patience, love, and spiritual submissiveness. True humility will inevitably lead us to say to God, “Thy will be done.” And because what we are does affect what we do, our submissiveness will be reflected in our reverence, gratitude, and willingness to accept callings, counsel, and correction.”
Although it’s late, I wanted to study a bit about humility and how to develop it. I searched on LDS.org for “developing humility” and found a talk by Elder Marlin K. Jensen titled “To Walk Humbly with God“.
When I think about the characteristics of my children, I mostly think of vim and vigor 🙂 But as I really think about them, I realize they are so quick to forgive, so eager to learn, so happy with life, so needful of our direction and example. What I get then, out of this scripture, is I can develop those same characteristics by seeking God’s guidance just as my kids seek mine.
“…the greatest act of courage and love in the history of mankind—Christ’s atoning sacrifice—was also the greatest act of humility and submissiveness…
“Another helpful perspective on humility can be obtained by examining its antithesis—pride. Just as humility leads to other virtues such as modesty, teachableness, and unpretentiousness, pride leads to many other vices.”
C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. 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.”
…English author John Ruskin’s memorable statement that “the first test of a truly great man is his humility.” He continued: “I do not mean, by humility, doubt of his own power. … [But really] great men … have a curious … feeling that … greatness is not in them, but through them. … And they see something Divine … in every other man … , and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.”
So I feel, in some ways, that I’m still left with the question of “What are the best ways to develop humility?”
I feel I’m “looking beyond the mark a little; but I’d like to find a talk that says, “Here are some specific things the Savior did…” although, as I type this, I am reminded that in this very talk it said that “…the greatest act of courage and love in the history of mankind – Christ’s atoning sacrifice – was also the greatest act of humility and submissiveness…”
I found a few other quotes about humility too:
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Humility is all about keeping one’s balance. For example, when you receive a compliment, receive it graciously, but don’t let it go to your head. … A person who is humble is teachable. Indeed, the Lord has promised, ‘For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite’ [D&C 136:33]” (“The Virtues of Righteous Daughters of God,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2003, 109).
Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “Our weaknesses can direct our hearts toward Heavenly Father and His will for us. This can be a hard thing! It’s painful! It’s daunting! But it’s humbling, and when we are humble enough to acknowledge our dependence on the Lord in overcoming those weaknesses, He fills our hearts with His everlasting love, turning our weaknesses into strengths. It takes humility to seek further direction in learning His will for us. One powerful way to do so is through a patriarchal blessing, which gives a deeper understanding of His love for us as it tells us of our gifts, His admonitions, and His promises for each of us.”
“My beloved brothers and sisters, as we cleanse the inner vessel, there will have to be changes made in our own personal lives, in our families, and in the Church. The proud do not change to improve, but defend their position by rationalizing. Repentance means change, and it takes a humble person to change. But we can do it.” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 7.)
As I read this last quote, it made me think a lot about work and my feelings towards Dane.
Today was a good day overall, but I felt a little resentment towards Dane when he basically said, “We don’t really need you in the meeting [that HE had invited me to].”
My pride got the best of me and I feel I indirectly (or directly) complained a bit to some of my colleagues about his reasoning and management style. Again, a “my way is better than his way” approach (ie. PRIDE in its perfect form).
President Benson says that as I cleanse my inner vessel, there will have to be changes that I make in my personal life, in my family life, and in my Church life. I can’t continue to argue my position on matters I don’t really have control of and then rationalize those arguments to make me look right. True repentance means CHANGE, and I must be humble if I really want to change. But I can do it!
I love this quote:
President Heber J. Grant wrote, “I do not believe that any man lives up to his ideals, but if we are striving, if we are working, if we are trying, to the best of our ability, to improve day by day, then we are in the line of our duty. If we are seeking to remedy our own defects, if we are so living that we can ask God for light, for knowledge, for intelligence, and above all, for His Spirit, that we may overcome our weaknesses, then, I can tell you, we are in the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal. Then we need have no fear.” (Gospel Standards, Salt Lake City: The Improvement Era, 1943, pp. 184–85.)
I really feel this is something I needed to read. I feel some of my attitude lately has been because I’m disappointed in my weaknesses and am lacking the patience to not have them “fixed” yet.
President Grant’s quote helps me feel a lot more optimistic about things!
It’s also interesting that Brother Tippets talks about one of the first ways to develop humility is to be Honest with ourselves and others (also known as Step 1 of the Addiction Recovery Manual – “Using the Atonement 101”)
I’m grateful for my weaknesses.
I know they are there to make me humble.
I feel weak often.
But I know that if and when I turn to Heavenly Father and the Savior, my weaknesses will become strengths and I will be an ongoing representative of the Lord.
I feel really good about my study tonight and feel that I received answers I was looking for!