Beware of Pride

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You know when you are preparing to teach something and suddenly everything in your life is all about that principle? Preparing for Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 18: Beware of Pride has certainly given me quite a few lessons in pride. Whether it's because I'm more aware right now or because I'm being blessed with these opportunities, it's been an eye opener. Anyone else being blessed with experiences to help you teach this lesson better?

It's interesting that President Benson tells us that pride is the most misunderstood sin. How would you define pride? Remember pride isn't just from the top looking down; it is also from the bottom looking up. The key to pride is that opposition, hostility, and resistance we feel.  As I've been compelled to be humble recently I've examined the results and causes of my pride. When my pride was being attacked, I reacted in a couple of different ways: sometimes I lashed out, other times I retreated in self-pity. I've had to try really hard to let go and remember what is actually important. 

I love the scripture that President Benson mentioned above. Pride is why we have contention. Think about some of the bigger arguments you've had over the last few years. Take a really honest look at your role in them. Did your pride help fuel the fire or were you humble enough to help put it out? What a better life we would all lead if we could let go of pride. 

The question is then how in the world do you stay humble? It is hard! President Benson gave a few examples including forgiving others, going to the temple more, praying for help, and learning from those that have gone before us. I love the example of Pahoran as he responded to Moroni's letter. One of the best things we can do is to recognize our faults, repent, forgive others and ourselves, and keep trying. As we do the Lord's will and keep His commandments we'll have self-esteem and that's way better than pride.

Teaching Tips

  • Begin your lesson with a discussion of D&C 112:10 or a special musical number of Hymn #130
  • Use this great CS Lewis quote with your lesson.
  • Make your own Captain Moroni and Pahoran letters tailored to your class. Before reading Pahoran's response, ask for how this person should respond to the letter. After you read the response, ask what they think of the letter. Have they had similar experiences? How did they respond? Would they respond the same way today? Tie it into the scripture example then jump into pride.
  • Go over the pride cycle.  How do we get stuck in this cycle? Can we break it? How have you seen this cycle evident in the last dispensation?
  • Have everyone write on a slip of paper something awesome they did this week then put them in a jar and place it on the table. Did they write it because they are proud or humble? Go over some of the manifestations of pride and discuss.
  • You may also want to jump into a discussion of pride vs. self-esteem. How does poor self-esteem lead to pride? How does healthy self-esteem lead to humility?

Click here to print out the images above

Music Suggestions

"Be Thou Humble"- Hymn #130

"I Need Thee Every Hour"- Hymn #98 or the Men's Choir on #334 or listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. You can also queue up this one from David Archuleta.

"More Holiness Give Me"- Hymn #131 or listen to this MTC women's choir

"Before Thee, Lord, I Bow My Head"- Hymn #158

"Rock of Ages"- Hymn #111

"When Faith Endures"- Hymn #128

"Lord, I Would Follow Thee"- Hymn #220 or listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

"I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"- Hymn #270 or watch this musical video (about 6 minutes)

Questions to Ponder

  • How does pride destroy you? How will it destroy us as a people? 
  • How do you or others put your will above God's will?
  • What helps you submit your will to God's will? What blessings come as a result?
  • Why do you think we rank other people's opinions of us higher than God's opinion?
  • How can you change things so that God's opinion is what matters most?
  • How can you avoid some of the manifestations of pride?
  • How does pride impact your relationships including your relationship with God?
  • In what ways can you choose to be humble?

Suggested Study Guide

Head to the Market to grab the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 18 Study Journal. You'll get more handouts, more resources, and more questions to help you in planning your lesson.


Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 18: Beware of Pride


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Matthew 23:12

Luke 18:9-14

James 4:6

Alma 5:27-28

D&C 112:10

D&C 121:34-40

Watch: Pride Keeps Us from Choosing the Lord (about 45 seconds) and Pride is Enmity (about 1 1/2 minutes)


"Lord, Is It I?" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


"To Walk Humbly with Thy God" by President Marlin K. Jensen


"On Being Genuine" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 


"Put off the Natural Man, and Come off Conqueror" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell


"A Battle of Pride" by Brother Dale Smith

"Emily's Pride" by Brother William G. Hartley

"Putting My Marriage before My Pride" by Sister Irene Eubanks

Looking for the original address? You can read or watch it here.

Need more ideas and input? Come over to our Private Facebook Group (different than the fan page) and join the weekly discussion. You all have some of the best ideas!