Ep 257 – Pride and Humility

Written by on January 31, 2016

The infants are so humbled by the tremendous honor of being the chosen few able to discuss this great and important topic of humility.
John, Bob, Jake, Randy, and Heather tackle these magnanimous questions.  Can modesty apply to anything other than shoulder porn?  Is the Mormon concept of humility just code for low self-esteem? If humility isn’t a commandment, is it worth cultivating at all?  And of course, who is worse:  Hitler, Stalin, or Ezra Taft Benson?  Or possibly Colonel Sanders.  But definitely Benson.

  1. Swagavad Gita   On   January 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Listening to it so far. I always love it when you put down Heather’s gender as tongue-in-cheek humor. I sincerely mean it. I think it’s much better than getting up in Sacrament and extolling women for how awesome daughters of God they are.
    Heather is a boss, btw.

  2. Swagavad Gita   On   January 31, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I think Mormons try to fill in gaps in their theology by overdoing it on humility. All that we are that’s good comes from the Lord. Anything else that’s not good comes from Satan or our own imperfect humanity. Such bullshit.

  3. Krystal   On   January 31, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Senator’s wife? I had grand plans to be a Senator. You know…along with my prestigious career pursued as a single woman with no family. Ah life, you so funny.
    As a competitive person, learning to gracefully accept a compliment was a nearly ethereal concept. I did eventually learn to just say “thank you,” but there were excuses, disclaimers, explanations, etc. on the tip of my tongue every time.
    I remember dissecting that Benson talk on my mission and it really affected me. I tried to avoid the word even in the “good” sense like being proud of my kids. And like other things, it has been so liberating letting go of self-deprecating messages under the guise of godly wisdom. I really like being able to feel pride for accomplishments and achievements without feeling like I’m getting docked points on my spiritual report card.

    • Shadrak   On   February 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      I was also taught there was no such thing as good pride, not in your kids nor anything. You could be “well pleased” but that was it. This was always the missing part of Benson’s talk. He knew how to tear people down but not lift them up.
      Reading C.S. Lewis’s take, why didn’t ETB plagiarize more of it? Lewis certainly had a much fuller explanation of how to better incorporate humility in one’s life. ETB, I think, just took pressure in talking about negatives without any positives.

      • Thomas Moore   On   February 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        …but there is such a thing as good pride; and for that matter good vanity/smugness. How many times have we heard “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” or “With Pride and Honor” or We Proudly serve Coors Beer!”??? Also at the end of any NPR or PBS show, you always see, “Made possible by a grant from The Bob and Sally Smith Family and/or Foundation!” Vegetarians and Green Peace with all of their smugness really are helping stop animal cruelty and healthy eating habits; while ecologists really are working to get their carbon footprints down by turning to solar/wind and using other than fossil fuels for transportation. Many “Stars” (i.e. Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, etc…) use their FAME or vain name dropping to help out clean water projects, human trafficking awareness, etc… So there is Good Pride and Good Vanity that helps out humankind with services and futures that Governments and Businesses/Corporations don’t.

  4. Saint Ralph   On   January 31, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    “Graciousness” is a word I like. Similar to what Heather was saying about responding to praise with a simple “thank you,” I’ve finally learned to just say “you’re welcome” when someone thanks me for helping out with something. If you try to get too self-deprecating, you end up deprecating the person trying to thank you, “Oh it was nothing. A problem you couldn’t solve yourself was child’s play for me.” It backfires real quick.
    And . . . If you can make something better for someone, do it, even if it makes you feel good. Bear that warm feeling as a burden, if you must. Heavenly Father will still know what an ordeal it was.

  5. Scribbles   On   February 1, 2016 at 2:42 am

    I love you guys and gal, I really do! I look forward to the podcasts every week. And this was a truly magnanimous episode!
    Having said that, most of the time I was listening, I was bouncing up and down in my chair wanting to break in and say something. (I think that must be how John Hamer feels every single day of his life.) This might be interesting to you, or maybe not, I dunno.
    It wasn’t Ezra Taft Benson who came up with the the majority of the “Pride is enmity” talk. Most of the ideas were ripped off wholesale from C.S. Lewis, or at least his papers that were compiled into “Mere Christianity”.
    “Mere Christianity” was a collection of talks that became a widely known book of Christian apologetics. You can read some of the relevant portions of the book here:
    Ezra Taft Benson would have had access to these papers, as they were BBC radio talks that got published between 1942 and 1944. They were tremendously popular in Europe and America even during the fifties (and still to this day), and I have heard conjecture that he was first exposed to them during his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture.
    I used to love the Pride talk by Ezra Taft Benson. The concepts get me kind of choked up, I’ll admit it. That’s why when I discovered the plagiarism – my mom gave me a C.S. Lewis “best of” that she bought from Deseret Book, no joke – it hit me particularly hard.
    Then again, maybe at the time he wrote the talk, his mind was so far gone that he truly thought it was his original stuff. Or maybe he didn’t even write it, because he certainly didn’t give it. It was actually read by Gordon B. Hinckley. (See https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1989/04/beware-of-pride?lang=eng) Perhaps the prophets get a wee bit lazy and need to “borrow” prophecy – from other great seers and revelators like C.S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, etc.
    On a separate note, I was an AP on my mission, so neener neener!

    • Thomas Moore   On   February 2, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Well, if you “Google” or “Bing” the word Ponderize, you mostly come up with blogs and the scandal of Durant trying to set up merchandising and swag sales without going through proper channels. However, the whole process of “Ponderize” and ponderizing on a certain scripture per day or per week was suggested by an Evangelical pastor years before. So they even stole idea and thought processes from another gentile religion. http://www.amazon.com/Think-These-Things-Ponderize-Joyful/dp/1494808781

  6. carabellie   On   February 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Great episode all! Just wanted to point out something you probably already knew with regard to Ezra’s talk on pride. In all humility, Ezzy pilfered several phrases from CS Lewis without giving attribution. From Mere Christianity, chapter 8 entitled The Great Sin: “The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity-it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God”
    As I recall, no mention of Lewis appears in Ezzy’s talk, yet chapter 8 of Mere Christianity has many parallels. Perhaps Ezzy channeled Lewis as Joey did Isaiah and Matthew and Jesus himself. Thanks for another fun podcast.

    • DontSpamMeBro   On   February 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

      I listened to Mere Christianity audio book last year and was struck by how much ETB’s talk ripped off CS Lewis.

    • Sara   On   February 3, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Yeah, if I were the English teacher grading Ezra’s talk as an essay, I would have given it a 0 and reported the plagiarism up the chain.

  7. Ryan Gregson   On   February 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    So I looked into ETB’s history, wondering why Randy despised him so much. That guy was really something else. All the passive aggressive infighting hidden in the conference talks was particularly amusing.

  8. Lance   On   February 1, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    “Liquor Store.” To Randy’s defense, in SoCal before convenient stores dotted every corner and gas stations turned into mini marts, there was the grocery store or the Liquor Store. Regardless of the private owners store name, there was usually a big sign in the window that said, “Liquor Store.” We all called it the “Liquor Store.” You didn’t go to the grocery store to buy a single soda or snacks, you went to the Liquor Store to buy those things, and yes liquor was sold there as well.

      • Brother Jake   On   February 2, 2016 at 1:42 pm

        Got it! This makes more sense to me now. Did liquor stores occupy the same role culturally in Phoenix/Tempe as they did in SoCal? I don’t remember them being that common, but I didn’t live in the city.

      • Randy_Snyder   On   February 2, 2016 at 11:31 pm

        I didn’t live in AZ until after convenience stores took the liquor store market away for soda, sweets, and salty snacks. My High Hill Liquor went out of business my senior year of high school. Me saying liquor store on this podcast was a relic from my childhood. But that’s where I bought my first Jolt Cola. All the sugar and twice the caffeine. Like taking crack for a 10 year old.

    • Saint Ralph   On   February 2, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I didn’t know that. I grew up in Salt Lake where Liquor Stores were state-run shrines that kids could not even approach out of the company of their parents. We had “corner stores” that were little grocery stores that you could duck into for a Coke and a candy bar without standing in line for half an hour. They were distinct from supermarkets and were the precursors to convenience stores. By the time I was twelve or thirteen, 7-11 and Circle-K were driving all of the corner stores out of business.

      • Lance   On   February 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        I always caught grief from my companions that were from Utah. One small town we were in had one grocery store way cross town and one liquor store a block from our apartment. Obviously, more convenient to go to the liquor store. Going there and coming back you would have thought my comp. went to an Adult Porn Shop. Hilarious.

  9. Tim   On   February 2, 2016 at 12:36 am

    The people who claim the ability to speak in behalf of an omniscient God to overrule the consciences of others are the quintessential example of pride. In contrast, I revere the great scientists of the world for their ability to quantify their uncertainty. It’s the humble confidence of data and conclusions tempered by uncertainty, welcoming of criticism, and eager for revision that has produced the scientific advances to this day.

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