Elder Steven E. Snow: ‘Be Thou Humble’

Humility is an essential characteristic for followers of Christ, Elder Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy and Church Historian and Recorder, taught during the Saturday morning session of general conference on April 2.

“Like all of the Church’s hymns, ‘Be Thou Humble’ teaches pure and simple truths,” he said. “It teaches us that if we humble ourselves our prayers are answered: we enjoy peace of mind; we serve more effectively in our callings; and if we continue to be faithful, we will ultimately return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.”

The Savior taught His followers to be humble, for it is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven.

“As we raise our own children we need to help them remain humble as they mature into adulthood,” he said. “We do not do this by breaking their spirit through unkindness or by being too harsh in our discipline. While nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem we need to teach them the qualities of selflessness, kindness, obedience, lack of pride, civility and unpretentiousness. We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends.”

But humility is not just for children, Elder Snow taught. All must strive to become more humble, for humility is essential to gaining the blessings of the gospel.

“Humility enables us to have broken hearts when we sin or make mistakes, and makes it possible for us to repent,” he said. “Humility enables us to be better parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends.”

Unnecessary pride can dissolve family relationships, break up marriages and destroy friendships.

“Simply living life can be and often is a humbling experience,” he taught. “Accident and illness, the death of loved ones, problems in relationships, even financial reversals can bring us to our knees. Whether these difficult experiences come through no fault of our own or through bad decisions and poor judgment, these trials all are humbling. If we choose to be spiritually attuned and remain humble and teachable, our prayers become more earnest and faith and testimony will grow as we overcome the tribulations of mortal existence. All of us look forward to exaltation, but before this can occur we must preserve what has been referred to as the ‘valley of humility.’”