Acknowledge God

Antidote for the venom of pride is gratitude, humility

Antidotes are used to counteract or neutralize forms of poisoning. When a person is bitten by snakes, spiders and other venomous animals an antidote or antivenin is used to counter the effects of the poison.

Pride is one of the deadly poisons that can affect a person's spiritual wellbeing. When a person is stricken with the evil effects of pride, gratitude can be a very effective antidote. Elder James E. Talmage stated: "Gratitude is twin sister to humility; pride is a foe to both. The man who has come into close communion with God cannot fail to be thankful; for he feels, he knows, that for all he has and all he is, he is indebted to the Supreme Giver" ("Sunday Night Talks by Radio," published by The Deseret News Press, p. 483).

One of the great messages of the Book of Mormon is that man's natural tendency is to forget who is the source of all good things. It tells of great societies that prospered, only to fall because of pride. They failed to acknowledge God as the provider of all the good in their lives. In the first chapter of the Book of Mormon Nephi indicated that he was going to show the readers "that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." (See 1 Nephi 1:20.)

And then in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni urges the readers to "remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam" to the present day and to ponder it in their hearts. (See Moroni 10:3.)

Not only does the Book of Mormon begin and end with the reminder that we must be thankful for all that a loving Heavenly Father and His Son have done for us, this pointed message is also found throughout the book.

Gratitude is recognizing that we are nothing without God and others. Joseph Smith taught that "the greatest temporal and spiritual blessings which always come from faithfulness and concerted effort, never attended individual exertion or enterprise" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 183). The sum of who we are and what we have become is not a result of our individual effort alone but rather must include the countless efforts given by God and others in our behalf.

Genuine gratitude is to recognize that we are dependent on grace for our eternal progression. Grace is when someone willingly and without reward does something for us that we cannot do for ourselves. In the gospel there are two kinds of grace. The first and most important is the grace given us through the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

"It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts" (LDS edition of the Bible, Bible Dictionary, p. 697).

We must also acknowledge that divine grace is further reaching than just the effects of the Atonement. God works in our behalf on many occasions, helping us accomplish things we would not be able to do on our own.

The second kind of grace in the gospel is the kind acts that are extended by the graciousness of others. There are times in our lives when the charitable acts and good will of others enable us to do or have something that we could not do or have on our own. As we ponder and look around us we will realize that family members, friends and even people we don't know are exercising gracious efforts in our behalf.

As we acknowledge the wealth of these blessings in our lives, we can only stand in amazement. In gratitude and humility we should thank Heavenly Father daily for the abundant blessings that are ours because of our Savior, our Father in Heaven, and others.

— Max Molgard, a former stake president, is the associate director of the evaluation division of the Correlation Department.