- The scriptures are clear that our precious mortal existence is a very short time. It could be said that from an eternal perspective, our time on earth is as fleeting as a British summer.
He talks about the need for us not to feel better than anyone else. All of God's children are equal in God's eyes.
- Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex, nationality, language, or economic circumstances is morally wrong and does not understand the Lord’s true purpose for all of our Father’s children.
Humility is needed for us to come closer to God and to take on His characteristics. The Savior is the ultimate example of humility for what He did when coming to earth.
- The Savior’s example of humility and sacrifice for all mankind is the most profound event in history. The Savior, even as a member of the Godhead, was willing to come to earth as a lowly infant and begin an existence that included teaching and healing His brothers and sisters and ultimately suffering indescribable pain in Gethsemane and on the cross in order to perfect His Atonement. This act of love and humility on the part of Christ is known as His condescension. He did this for every man and woman God has created or will create.
- When we really contemplate God the Father and Christ the Son, who They are, and what They have accomplished on our behalf, it fills us with reverence, awe, gratitude, and humility.
In our time, Elder Cook talks about accepting church callings as a way to demonstrating our humility. Some assignments come with a high profile and some do not. We are reminded that is doesn't matter where we serve but how we serve.
- Sometimes humility is accepting callings when we do not feel adequate. Sometimes humility is serving faithfully when we feel capable of a more high-profile assignment. Humble leaders have verbally and by example established that it is not where we serve but how we faithfully serve. Sometimes humility is overcoming hurt feelings when we feel that leaders or others have mistreated us.
Elder Cook uses the word "authenticity" as an example of the trouble he sees in the world today. Sometimes being authentic makes us feel that we don't have to be compassionate or gives us liberty to be rude. The Savior again is our example.
- In today’s world, there is an increased emphasis on pride, self-aggrandizement, and so-called “authenticity,” which sometimes leads to a lack of true humility. Some suggest the moral values for happiness today include “be real, be strong, be productive—and most important, don’t rely on other people … because your fate is … in your own hands.”
- The scriptures advocate a different approach. They suggest that we should be true disciples of Jesus Christ. This entails establishing a powerful feeling of accountability to God and a humble approach to life. King Benjamin taught that the natural man is an enemy to God and advocated that we need to yield ourselves “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit.” He explained, among other things, that this requires becoming “submissive, meek, humble, patient, [and] full of love.”
- Some misuse authenticity as a celebration of the natural man and qualities that are the opposite of humility, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and civility. We can celebrate our individual uniqueness as children of God without using authenticity as an excuse for un-Christlike behavior.
Finally, Elder Cook talks about the necessity to forgive others as we are seeking forgiveness for ourselves.
- When we are truly humble, we pray for forgiveness and forgive others.
- Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through repentance our sins are forgiven. When we do not forgive those who trespass against us, we are in effect rejecting the Savior’s Atonement. Holding a grudge and refusing to forgive and refusing to humbly approach our relationships in a Christlike manner truly brings us under condemnation. Holding a grudge is poisonous to our souls.
Humility is required for us to take on the characteristics of the Savior. We cannot come unto Christ if we are proud and feel we are better than those we associate with. Demonstrating our humility by serving in the church, forgiving our fellow man, and accepting the things that God gives us in life, are all ways to take on characteristics that the Savior has. If we can work on being humble and to seek to do what the Lord would have us do, we will be able to find peace in our daily lives and be on track to eternal blessings from Heaven.