Living Prophets Lesson 13: Ezra Taft Benson

by | Aug. 19, 2013



Get the entire FHE lesson series on "Living Prophets."

Purpose: To help family members understand the sin of pride and the importance of striving to be humble

Gospel Principles: Pride, enmity, humility

Scripture: Mormon 8:34–37

Music: “Be Thou Humble” (Hymns, no. 252), “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” (Hymns, no. 220)


“Pride is the universal sin, the great vice . . . the great stumbling block of Zion,” taught President Ezra Taft Benson in one of his most famous conference talks. President Benson felt the sin of pride was misunderstood and taught “there is no such thing as righteous pride. . . . 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.’” He also taught that disobedience, contention, and taking offense are all characteristic of those with pride.

President Benson explained the way to overcome pride is by learning to be humble. He stated, “The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. It is the broken heart and contrite spirit.” He then went on to provide eight different ways we can be humble: “We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward [others]. “We can choose to humble ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement. “We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us.

“We can choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service. “We can choose to humble ourselves by [doing missionary work]. “We can choose to humble ourselves by getting to the temple more frequently. “We can choose to humble ourselves by confessing and forsaking our sins. “We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.”


1. Print a copy of “Ottendorf Pride Cipher.” Work together to find the hidden message taken from President Benson’s address on pride.

2. Before reading the lesson above, play a game of limbo. Use a broom or mop handle for the bar and gradually move it lower to see who can bend the lowest to get under without falling over. After playing the game, discuss pride and its remedy, humility. Tell family members sometimes being humble can be difficult. Ask how the game of limbo is like being prideful or humble.

3. Teach family members the story of the Tower of Babel (see Gen. 10 and 11:1–9), including the brother of Jared’s prayerfulness and humility (see Ether 1:33–37). Emphasize that most of the people were so prideful of their own capabilities they thought they could build their tower tall enough to reach heaven. It was only humility that allowed Jared’s people to be able to communicate with each other. Use blocks or Legos® to build towers; see who can build the tallest tower before it collapses.

Additional Resources:

1. Love God, love your brothers and sisters, give selfless service, forgive, confess and repent of our sins, and be open to counsel are some practical applications the New Era published to help individuals be more humble.

2. The Book of Mormon seminary teacher resource manual has a picture of the Tower of Babel story; it is available online at www.seminary.lds.org.

3. A helpful coloring and quiz sheet about the Tower of Babel story was published in the January 1990 Friend magazine.

Get the entire FHE lesson series on "Living Prophets."

11127All lessons are excerpted fromthe new book Follow the Prophets: 52 FHE Lessons from Latter-day Prophets.

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com