By Utah National Parks Council
Dec 14, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 11 – A Scout is Loyal

The second attribute in the Scout Law is to be loyal.

A Scout is loyal. He is dependable. He is true. He is faithful. He is patriotic.

NephiNephi was an example of being loyal. He proclaimed, “…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.” [1] The Lord could depend on Nephi. He knew that Nephi would do whatever was asked of him.

The Book of Mormon tells about a fallen people. “Why did they fall?”… “Mormon gives the answer in the closing chapters of the book in these words: “Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.” [2]

A prideful person is not loyal but seeks his or her own will.

President Ezra Taft Benson described pride thus:

Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.

The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)

Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled. (See Alma 38:123 Ne. 12:30.)

The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. (See Hel. 12:6.) They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works.

Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s. [3]

I was taught a powerful lesson about pride while serving a mission in Frankfurt, Germany; a lesson that has helped me often throughout my life both professionally and personally.

I had a companion who was difficult to get along with (every missionary has one). She struggled getting along well with others. I ended up serving with her twice on my mission. I had been out about 4-5 months when I served with her the first time, and I thought that was difficult. I was so glad to be transferred because I did not know how to endure another month with her. The second time was at the end of my mission and things had not improved.

During the second time, I was fasting one morning about the situation and felt impressed to read President Benson’s talk on pride, which I had a copy of in my scriptures. A scripture in Proverbs 28:25 that reads, ” only by pride cometh contention” [4] struck me.

I had learned during the first time we worked together to apply the counsel of the Lord found in Matthew 5:44 which says to pray for those who despitefully use you. I realized that praying for someone else does not change that person because they still have their agency. What it did was help me to change my heart. It is not an easy thing to do – to pray for someone and wish good will toward someone who has hurt you.

President Benson goes on to explain:

Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17D&C 58:41.)

Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking. [5]

On the eleventh day of Christmas, a Scout learns to be loyal. He learns to put away his own desires and to lift up others. He internalizes the meaning of loyalty. As you do so, you will discover that greater blessings are reserved for you.

Merry Christmas!

Author: Heidi Sanders | Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Parks Council

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References

1. See Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 3:7.

2. See President Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride.” (1989, May) Ensign, LDS.org.

3. See President Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride.” (1989, May) Ensign, LDS.org.

4. See President Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride.” (1989, May) Ensign, LDS.org

5. See President Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride.” (1989, May) Ensign, LDS.org

 

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