“Humble to Accept and Follow”

Elder Joni L. Koch.

2023 October General Conference

“In the fifth chapter of Alma, an introspective question is posed: “Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?”That question implies that humility is a mandatory requirement for us to be ready to return to the presence of God. We all like to think we are sufficiently humble, but some experiences in life make us realize that the natural, prideful man or woman often is very much alive within us.

…when we choose not to be humble, we end up being humiliated. In Proverbs we find, “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” In order to develop humility, we must understand what it really means in the context of the gospel. …There are certainly many opportunities for us all to improve in this Christlike attribute. I would like to explore first how humble we’ve been, or should be, in following the counsel of our prophet. … 

-Are we letting God prevail in our lives by accepting our prophet’s very specific invitation? “Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice.”

-Are we overcoming the world, trusting the doctrine of Christ more than the philosophies of men, as our prophet taught?

-Have we become peacemakers, saying positive things to and about people? President Nelson taught us last general conference the following: “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy that we can say about another person—whether to his face or behind her back—that should be our standard of communication.”

These are simple but powerful instructions. Remember, all the people of Moses had to do to be healed was to look at the brass serpent which he had lifted up. But “because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.” During this conference we’ve heard and will yet hear the unfailing counsel of our prophets and apostles. It’s a perfect occasion to develop humility and let our strong opinions be swallowed by an even stronger conviction that the Lord does speak through these chosen leaders. 

Above all, in developing humility, we must also understand and accept that we are not able to overcome our challenges or to achieve our full potential through our own efforts only. …Brothers and sisters, the command, invitation, and promise from the Lord is clear and comforting: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.” May we be humble to follow the counsel of our prophets and accept that only God and Jesus Christ can transform us—through ordinances and covenants received in His Church—into the best version of ourselves in this life and, one day, make us perfect in Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”