Monday, April 23, 2018

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the blessings of being humble

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"Be humble. Don't be arrogant. The world is full of arrogant people. How obnoxious they are! There is no place for arrogance in our lives. There is no place for conceit. There is no place for egotism. I believe that if we are without conceit and pride and arrogance, then we can ask God to lead us by the hand. What greater thing could we ask for?
"I believe that you—yes, you—can make a difference in the world. It may be ever so small, but it will count for the greater good....
"It is precisely because we understand our divine heritage and potential that we ought to be humble about who we are. Being humble does not mean being weak. It means being teachable. It does not require us to be trampled upon. It means acknowledging where our strengths and abilities come from. It also means recognizing that we are not here on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, Way to Be!: 9 Ways to Be Happy and Make Something of Your Life [2002], pp. 92-95

President Hinckley makes several very wise points about humility. In a world where that quality seems to be diminishing ("The world is full of arrogant people") it's almost a forgotten trait. But one of the primary benefits that comes to humble people is their relationship to God—only the truly humble will, or can, ask Him to "lead us by the hand."

We sometimes equate being "important" with the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. But President Hinckley testifies that any individual has the capacity to make a difference in the world:

Like the parallel attribute of meekness, humility is often misunderstood by the world, where it is viewed as a weakness. But President Hinckley testifies that it really means being teachable, and recognizing the importance of our relationship to God. When we understand that connection, we will have the ability to do more good in His hands than the proud and self-important.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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