Pride leads to downfall of nation

Nephi saw the destruction of his people, a destruction that came because their pride prohibited them from following the counsel of the prophets:

" . . . for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; . . ." In their pride, they chose to "yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light." (2 Ne. 26:10.)In his April 1989 general conference address, President Ezra Taft Benson addressed the topic of pride: "The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the Book of Mormon is the record of a fallen people.' (D&C 20:9.) Why did they fall? This is one of the major messages of the Book of Mormon. Mormon gives the answer in the closing chapters of the book in these words:Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.' (Moroni 8:27.) And then, lest we miss that momentous Book of Mormon message from that fallen people, the Lord warns us in the Doctrine and Covenants, `Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.' (38:39.)

"In the premortal council, it was pride that felled Lucifer, `a son of the morning.' (2 Ne. 24:12-15; see also D&C 76:25-27; Moses 4:3.) At the end of this world, when God cleanses the earth by fire, the proud will be burned as stubble and the meek shall inherit the earth. . . .

"The central feature of pride is enmity - enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means `hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.' It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us. . . .

"Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren't interested in changing their opinions to agree with God's. . . .

"The antidote for pride is humility - meekness, submissiveness. (See Alma 7:23.) It is the broken heart and the contrite spirit. . . .

"God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. Alma said, `Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.' " (Alma 32:16.)

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