"Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world."
3 Nephi 6:15
I think this verse struck me today because it seems like a verse that could easily have been written about our day, rather than almost 2000 years ago. And kind of cool in a way to feel that connection to people in the past... that even though the world changes a lot, human frailties remain remarkably similar. This verse talks about one of the downfalls of an amazing society, and in order to prevent a similar downfall in our personal lives, this is a great warning. It is so easy to get prideful, to think that we're better than the next person... smarter, more talented, more funny, better looking, or better educated. Or maybe just more wealthy and powerful. Maybe we have more social influence, or maybe we're WAY better at Scrabble. :) And you know what... maybe we are better at some things than other people. But pride isn't really the ideal mental place to go when thinking about things like that. The fact that we all have different strengths and weaknesses gives us an amazing opportunity to share burdens in a better way, and also to help and teach each other. It is also good to remember that power, authority, and riches shouldn't be the focus of our lives. If we have those things more than other people, again, probably not an ideal pride situation. Better to take those things as an opportunity to help other people, to support them, and lift them, and protect them... rather than thinking that any of the differences in our lives are our due, or that we're naturally better than anyone else. Good to remember that we all have different weaknesses as well. Maybe we don't have as strong of a testimony, or maybe its hard to pay tithing or to fulfill our callings. Maybe we are really bad in social situations, or maybe we have addictions or desires that pull us away from the church. Perhaps we need those same people that we can beat at Scrabble to balance out some of our weaknesses with their strengths... to help us see where to step when our own weaknesses are blinding us. Today, let's work on being humble, and on learning together as a society, and avoiding stratification, exclusion, and pride.