01 October 2008

Pride, Part 2

The most-quoted prophet by Book of Mormon prophets is Isaiah. He wrote much about pride. When describing the wicked he stated that "they worship the work of their own hands.... And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not.... And it shall come to pass that the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down.... The proud and lofty, and...every one who is lifted up...shall be brought low" (2 Ne. 12:8-12). I don't believe it's a coincidence that one of the first complete chapters of Isaiah that Nephi includes is about pride and the fate of the prideful in the last days. Isaiah further reveals the insidiousness of pride when he writes about Lucifer's fall from heaven and some of Satan's thoughts: "For thou hast said in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High" (2 Ne. 24: 13-14). His ultimate fate is to be "brought down to hell, to the sides [or depth] of the pit" (2 Ne. 24: 15). Many will stare at him in that day and say with astonishment: "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?" (2 Ne. 24: 16). All of Satan's pride, all of his self-made glory, will be gone, leaving behind merely a shattered shell of his former self.

Pride puffs up the wicked; they seek to exalt themselves by whatever means they deem necessary. The Lord described the proud: "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall" (D&C 1:16). Lehi and Nephi saw in vision the dwelling-place of the wicked - the great and spacious building. Lehi saw that the building "stood as it were in the air, high above the earth" (1 Ne. 8: 26); this sounds very similar to the Tower of Babel. Lehi also noted that those in the building were wearing exceedingly fine clothes, which the wicked and prideful commonly wore throughout the Book of Mormon. That building that Lehi and Nephi saw in vision represents the pride of the world: "I saw...that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great" (1 Ne. 11: 36). Those who are puffed up with pride will fall, leaving them dejected and defeated, not exalted.

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