Are you as sick and tired of all the discord and clamor as I am? Discontentment is a huge issue with folks everywhere these days. Many people do not seem at peace. Loud voices are screaming in our faces, “you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not rich enough, you don’t think like me”! People are getting mean with each other over it. The love for mankind, peace and respect has nearly disappeared among us.
On the flip side, the people in Bali, Indonesia are unadulterated and real. Their humble and caring nature seems to present a spirit of peace and contentment within~a true namaste. What attributes! I was inspired to discover what it is within their lifestyle that encapsulates these qualities . Gradually it dawned on me, it is because of their daily sacrifices and offerings. Living the Law of Sacrifice has helped these people have balance and equality among themselves and to be happy with what they have been given in this life and, for the most part, they work along side one another in harmony and fellowship. They are a humble people who do not put themselves above one another.
I believe in the law of sacrifice and know personally how by living it, I can clearly see His gifts laid before me. Gratitude swells within my heart as I recognize my nothingness before our Almighty God, the creator of both heaven and earth. How blessed we are by His almighty hand to have this earth whereupon to live, with all the food and raiment flowing in abundance for our sustenance. He has blessed us with strong and capable bodies to complete the tasks required of us for good.
Learning to be content in life with what we have and with who we are is a lifelong quest. Today we are bombarded with images of who we think we should look or be like, or who we most surely don’t want to be like to the point of being annoying. To me, this is a sad mark of pride among us. Instead of celebrating our unique gifts, talents and idiosyncrasies, we rush out and get some sort of surgery to change us into looking like someone else, or by our raucous behavior, we try and force others to be/think like us. I believe God has given us differences for a reason and with that, weaknesses to make us humble. 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
Beware of Pride is the talk for this generation. There are so many facets to pride that are nearly unfathomable for most of us comprehend; however, after reading this talk, these once enigmatic aspects of each of us become straightforward and clear. “Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance…Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing. The central feature of pride is enmity-enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means [hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition]. It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us….The scriptures abound with evidences of the severe consequences of the sin of pride to individuals, groups, cities, and nations [Pride goeth before destruction, Proverbs 16:18] It destroyed the Nephite nation and the city of Sodom [See Moro. 8:27; Ezek. 16:49-50]”. Beware of Pride April 1989 General Conference, Ezra Taft Benson
With all the hype about the “progressive” movement, we should be aware that “Pride is a damning sin in the true sense of the word. It limits or stops progression,[ see Alma 12:10-11]. The proud are not easily taught [1 Ne. 15:3, 7-11]. Pride results in secret combinations, contention, arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances. The proud are easily offended and hold grudges. They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings. The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. The are defensive. The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not….They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. it says, “if you succeed, I am a failure.” The proud are not easily taught [1 Ne. 15:3, 7-11]. They won’t change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong.” B.O.P. 1989, E.T.Benson
What is the antidote to pride? “Humility-meekness and submissiveness. Those of us who 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”. This formula will assist us in avoiding God’s compulsion in making us a humble people. Alma 32:16The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to humble ourselves as we take upon us the name of Christ and become disciples of His teachings. We learn how to listen and obey, repent and be born again with water and fire (baptism/gift of the Holy Ghost-sacrament each Sunday) and how to show our love to God as well as to our fellow travelers on earth as we follow and live the laws of tithing, sacrifice, obedience, chastity, forgiveness, long-suffering, temperance and patience. Articles of Faith 1:13
In short, if we humble ourselves before our Almighty maker just like I witnessed by the people of Bali, we can learn how to become content like them. If we will simplify our lifestyles, recognize we are nothing before the great power of God, give more than we receive and live to love one another, our spiritual selves will take hold over our natural man tendencies. We will celebrate our uniqueness, having oneness, peace and contentment!