President, High Prairie Branch,
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In May, I wrote about having discontent for ourselves. [Page 8, May 12] Another focus of our discontent can be toward others.
Some common motivators for discontent toward others may include: being envious of the success or circumstances of others, being offended by someone, refusing to forgive someone or resenting those we are accountable to.
As I reflect upon scenarios that lead us to feel discontent for others, there are a few characteristics that are prevalent: jealousy, envy, low personal worth, lack of charity, but most prevalent is pride.
Ezra Taft Benson taught, “Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. In the Scriptures there is no such thing as righteous pride – it is always considered a sin. 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.
“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.” [Beware of Pride, Ezra Taft Benson]
When we are envious of the successes of others, find offence where none is intended, become resentful for those who were accountable to, we are showing enmity towards our fellow man, but we are also showing enmity towards God. He is the author of our successes, talents and characteristics. He blesses us and others in the ways He sees fit.
When we refuse to forgive others we are denying an essential principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a key element of the atonement. We do not want to deny Christ the power that is His.
“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” [Doctrine and Covenants 64:10]
If we strive to have God help us see others as He does we will be able to develop the charity required to forgive others.