[H]ow do we conquer this sin of pride that is so prevalent and so damaging? How do we become more humble?It is almost impossible to be lifted up in pride when our hearts are filled with charity. “No one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love.” When we see the world around us through the lens of the pure love of Christ, we begin to understand humility.
Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.
Humility directs our attention and love toward others and to Heavenly Father’s purposes. Pride does the opposite. Pride draws its energy and strength from the deep wells of selfishness. The moment we stop obsessing with ourselves and lose ourselves in service, our pride diminishes and begins to die.
My dear brethren, there are so many people in need whom we could be thinking about instead of ourselves. And please don’t ever forget your own family, your own wife. There are so many ways we could be serving. We have no time to become absorbed in ourselves.
I once owned a pen that I loved to use during my career as an airline captain. By simply turning the shaft, I could choose one of four colors. The pen did not complain when I wanted to use red ink instead of blue. It did not say to me, “I would rather not write after 10:00 p.m., in heavy fog, or at high altitudes.” The pen did not say, “Use me only for important documents, not for the daily mundane tasks.” With greatest reliability it performed every task I needed, no matter how important or insignificant. It was always ready to serve.
In a similar way we are tools in the hands of God. When our heart is in the right place, we do not complain that our assigned task is unworthy of our abilities. We gladly serve wherever we are asked. When we do this, the Lord can use us in ways beyond our understanding to accomplish His work.
Let me conclude with words from President Ezra Taft Benson’s inspired message of 21 years ago:
“Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.
“We must cleanse the inner vessel by conquering pride. . . .
“We must yield ‘to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,’ put off the prideful ‘natural man,’ become ‘a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord,’ and become ‘as a child, submissive, meek, humble.’ . . .
“God will have a humble people. . . . ‘Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.’ . . .
“Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can.”
My beloved brethren, let us follow the example of our Savior and reach out to serve rather than seeking the praise and honor of men. It is my prayer that we will recognize and root out unrighteous pride in our hearts and that we will replace it with “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] meekness.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2010 General Conference (emphasis added)