Summary: Jacob denounces the love of riches, pride, and unchastity--Men should seek riches to help their fellow men--Jacob condemns the unauthorized practice of plural marriage--The Lord delights in the chastity of women.
This chapter talks a lot about the people's desire for riches due to--what else--pride! I think pride is one of those things, that, by its very nature, gives us reason to automatically think, "oh, that is a problem other people have". Do you ever feel yourself begin to think this? I do! But remembering to keep our pride in check is so, so important. N. Eldon Tanner pointed out that Satan's great sin was pride. He also says:
"... If individuals are more concerned with pleasing men than pleasing God, then they suffer from the same virus Satan had, for there are many situations where seeking the praise of men will clearly result in their hurting, not helping, mankind for they will do expedient and temporary things instead of those which are lasting and beneficial.
"How much more satisfying it is when we receive the praise of God, knowing that it is fully justified and that his love and respect for us will persist, when usually the praise of men is fleeting and most disappointing” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1975, p.115; or Ensign Nov. 1975, 76)."
Now, I don't think we need to go comparing ourselves to Satan, but we can take notice of how far his pride made him fall. It is very sobering to me to think of it this way.
The Institute manual points out something interesting with regard to pride and riches. It says:Two basic relationships help determine our attitude toward spiritual and material things—
I heard a talk a while ago in Sacrament meeting where the speaker addressed the problem of pride. He pointed out that pride is not taking pleasure in having something--it is taking pleasure in having more of something than others, whether money, beauty, intelligence, or talent. That really rang true with me. Isn't that the root cause of so many problems we have in this world?
a. Our relationship with God. If we turn our hearts away from God, the things of the world become our top priority. This is why Paul called covetousness “idolatry” (see Ephesians 5:5 , Colossians 3:5 ).
b. Our relationship with our fellowmen. If we lose sight of the brotherhood of men, our desire for material wealth can lead us to such sins as dishonesty, covetousness, and neglect of the poor.
Verse 13 says, ". . .because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they."
So how does this apply to me? Well, it is easy to feel a different kind of pride--the pride from the bottom--when I see someone who might be doing something I know is not in accordance with her beliefs. For instance, Joel and I were at the Temple on Saturday, and we saw someone walk out in a dress that was a few inches above her knee. He commented on it, and I wanted to. Suddenly I was struck with how wrong that was. We were showing (perhaps) the most common form of pride!
Natalie, I remember you writing about texting during the end of Stake Conference and leaving during the closing song because of your sick children. If you have the time, could you post that here? That was such a great post, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it.