Beware of Pride
President Ezra Taft Benson
Saturday Morning Session, 1 April, 1989
My beloved brethren and sisters, I rejoice
to be with you in another glorious general
conference of the Church.
How grateful I am for
the love, prayers, and service of the devoted
members of the Church throughout the world.
May I commend you faithful Saints who
are striving to flood the earth and your lives with
the Book of Mormon.
Not only must we move
forward in a monumental manner more copies of
the Book of Mormon, but we must move boldly
forward into our own lives and throughout the
earth more of its marvelous messages.
This sacred volume was written for us–for
Its scriptures are to be likened unto
ourselves. (See 1 Ne. 19:23.)
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?
one of the major messages of the Book of
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.”
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.” (D&C 38:39.)
I earnestly seek an interest in your faith
and prayers as I strive to bring forth light on this
Book of Mormon message–the sin of pride.
message has been weighing heavily on my soul
for some time.
I know the Lord wants this
message delivered now.
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. (See 3 Ne.
12:5, 25:1; D&C 29:9; JS-H 1:37; Mal. 4:1.)
Three times in the Doctrine and
Covenants the Lord uses the phrase “beware of
pride,” including a warning to the second elder of
the Church, Oliver Cowdery, and to Emma Smith,
the wife of the Prophet. (D&C 23:1; see also
Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and
many are sinning in ignorance. (See Mosiah 3:11;
3 Ne. 6:18.)
In the scriptures there is no such
thing as righteous pride–it is always considered a
Therefore, no matter how the world uses the
term, we must understand how God uses the term
so we can understand the language of holy writ
and profit thereby. (See 2 Ne. 4:15; Mosiah 1:3-7;
Most of us think of pride as self-
centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or
All of these are elements of the sin,
but the heart, or core, is still missing.
The central feature of pride is enmity–