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'We choose or we are compelled to be humble'

Those seeking a testimony and conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ are taught to be humble and banish pride. However, once conversion and baptism take place, the need for humility becomes even more important for one who is a member of the kingdom of God on earth.

In Del Parson's illustration, a prideful Zoramite stands atop Rameumpton as others had done before him to declare that his people are chosen and holy while all others are wicked.
In Del Parson's illustration, a prideful Zoramite stands atop Rameumpton as others had done before him to declare that his people are chosen and holy while all others are wicked. Photo: Courtesy LDS Church

The Zoramites, once in fellowship with a righteous people, declared themselves a "chosen and a holy people" who believed they were already saved while all others were wicked. (See Alma 31:17-18.) A grief-stricken Alma led a mission to these people to call them to repentance, but only those humble in their poverty would listen and receive counsel. (See Alma 32:2.) Alma rejoiced in the humility of these people and taught them to come unto Christ.

He also taught an important principle concerning humility, which President Ezra Taft Benson expounded on during the April 1989 general conference in his renowned "Beware of Pride" address: "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.'

"Let us choose to be humble," President Benson continued.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by going on missions and preaching the word that can humble others.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by getting to the temple more frequently.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God.

"We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.

"Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can."