Are You “Stripped of Envy?”

Alma 5:29

29 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:

“Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies (see 2 Ne. 2:18). It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, ‘Give me thine honor’ (Moses 4:1). . . . It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readily confesses, but just how widespread that tendency can be is suggested in the old Danish proverb, ‘If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.’ The parson in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales laments it because it is so far-reaching—it can resent anything, including any virtue and talent, and it can be offended by everything, including every goodness and joy (see Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. Walter W. Skeat [1929], 534–35). As others seem to grow larger in our sight, we think we must therefore be smaller. So, unfortunately, we occasionally act that way. . . . Most ‘thou shalt not’ commandments are meant to keep us from hurting others, but I am convinced the commandment not to covet is meant to keep us from hurting ourselves.”

(“The Other Prodigal,” Ensign, May 2002, 63–64.)