Church Members Become More Prideful and Wicked Than Those Who Are Not Members

Alma 4:9–14  

9 And thus, in this eighth year of the reign of the judges, there began to be great contentions among the people of the church; yea, there were envyings, and strife, and malice, and persecutions, and pride, even to exceed the pride of those who did not belong to the church of God.
10 And thus ended the eighth year of the reign of the judges; and the wickedness of the church was a great stumbling–block to those who did not belong to the church; and thus the church began to fail in its progress.
11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“Pride is the universal sin, the great vice, . . . the great stumbling block to Zion. . . . The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and . . . our fellowman. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us. Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. . . . The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. . . . God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.”

(“Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4, 6, 7.)

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