If we are truly interested in fleeing Babylon and then building Zion, we need to thoroughly understand the similarities and differences between pride, which moves society towards Babylon, and humility, which leads us to Zion. Pondering President Benson’s landmark talk, “Beware of Pride“, it becomes clear that both pride and humility have two main components: how we relate to God, and how we relate to our fellowmen. Let’s look at pride first and then humility next time.

Pride Pits Us Against God

We can’t keep the First Great Commandment if we are proud.
Those who suffer with pride discount or openly reject God and/or His wisdom, thinking they know better how to run their lives.
President Benson, describing our relationship to God when we suffer from pride, said, “We pit our will against God’s…. in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done….’ The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.”
Even as active LDS, we should ask ourselves whether we honestly seek the Lord’s current will for us and follow it. Or, do we go about our daily lives working towards goals we set for ourselves (or worse, goals society sets for us) with no thought for God’s desires for us?

Pride Pits Us Against Our Neighbor

We can’t keep the Second Great Commandment if we are proud.
If we suffer from the universal sin of pride, we set ourselves in opposition to our fellowman as well. We judge everyone as being either above or beneath us — not of equal worth. Because we believe our value in the hierarchy must be earned, we compete with our neighbors for the approval of those “above” us and the admiration of those “beneath”.

President Benson described it this way:

“We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.) The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)”

A summarizing chart:

Two Faces of Pride and Humility

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