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Videos of Jesus Christ – Whosoever Shall Be a Doormat

If you were sitting in a small group, talking to Christ (can you even imagine?) what would you ask? I’d probably ask something like:

  1. Is it worth the trouble? Do I even have a shot at this exaltation thing?
  2. What are the most important things for me to fix? (Listed by priority, please!)
  3. How can I make sure my whole family and I (and all my other favorite people) are together in the celestial kingdom?
  4. What should my life mission be?
  5. What about that polygamy thing?

Whosoever Shall Be a Doormat

When the disciples had the fireside chat with Christ (to be fair, they had lots of them, so this wasn’t their one and only Q&A), one of them asked:

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

I’ve always wondered at that. I’ve never really wondered who was greatest. I just want to be somewhere in the hierarchy. I don’t really care where it is. Greatest, least, fair to middling. Just let me in the door and I’m a happy camper.

Christ answered the question, but not until he’d given a one-sentence sermonette:

Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

At all. Forget who’s on first. If you want to get in the door, become as a child. Then he answers:

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

There it is. Be humble like a child.

But becoming humble is an exercise in incongruity! I once asked my dad why he never ended a prayer with the common: “We say these things, humbly, in the name…” He answered, “I always figured if I claiming to be humble, I probably wasn’t.”

As Marlin K. Jensen pointed out:

Consciously trying to acquire humility is also problematic. I remember once hearing one of my colleagues in the Seventy say about humility that “if you think you have it, you don’t.” He suggested we should try to develop humility and be sure we didn’t know when we got it, and then we would have it. But if we ever thought we had it, we wouldn’t.

King Benjamin teaches the gradual process that leads us to many “childlike” attributes, that can lead us to God:

  • submissive
  • meek
  • humble
  • patient
  • full of love
  • willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him

Still a fuzzy character trait to seek, but it seems to me that working toward the other things on that list can lead one to humility overall.

Having spent years feeling so beat up and insecure, the idea of becoming “humble” on a Christlike scale feels like I’m being required to put myself at the mercy of those who would treat me (or my children) unfairly. But Elder Jensesn clarifies:

Some may wonder if those seeking to become humble must forever defer to the strongly held opinions and positions of others. Certainly the Savior’s life evidences that true humility is anything but subservience, weakness, or servility.

Christlike humility isn’t about human insecurity or vulnerability. It’s about your relationship with God, in whom we can put our complete trust.

What has helped you develop humility? What behaviors have you seen displayed in those who seem to live this Christlike characteristic?

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Jonnie March 27, 2014, 10:33 am

    Determining that you are humble is about as exquisitely difficult as determining if you have faith, selflessness, charity.

    Some of these are really hard things to figure out and act on. I like your idea that humility comes as a byproduct of doing other Christlike things. More to ponder today.

    Postscript: I’ve read here for a couple of years, but never posted. Thank you for the courage to share personal things and to explore your faith. It has helped me (and my wife, who pointed me here) more than you know.

  • Shelly March 27, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Sometimes I read your posts and think, “Thank God I am not alone in this!”

    Today was another one of those times.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 27, 2014, 1:58 pm

    Shelly, thank you so much for the kind words. Made my day. :)
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Simple FHE Ideas: FastingMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner March 27, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Welcome Jonnie and I agree.

    Alison, I like your questions but I think I’m bumping #5 up to #1 on my personal question list. Depending on the answer to that, the others may not matter. :)

  • rj March 27, 2014, 9:59 pm

    My first comment. It is somewhat long. :)

    I recently gave a talk in church where I suggested this entire line of thought is the wrong approach. I KNOW i’m not worthy (Mosiah 2:21-22,25) because i am an unprofitable servant and less than the dust of the earth. Therefore I rely wholly on the Atonement of Christ for salvation.

    Judgement is up to the Lord. Let’s assume there is actually a judgment bar where we appear before Christ to be be judged worthy or not. That’s an easy answer. “Jesus, I will go to whatever kingdom where I can best serve you.” Now I have no stress about it. It’s up to Christ since I turned my will over to Him.

    I can say without pride that i am humble. I don’t believe humility is some self-deprecating, somber faced person walking with their head down. It’s easy to know if I am humble. I ask for nothing! My prayers are only of gratitude where I can pray of 1000 things that are a miracle in my life – Basic needs met, beautiful flowers, the temple, etc. Everything is a gift and not earned. Joseph Smith said:

    “Some of the company thought I was not a very meek Prophet; so I told them: “I am meek and lowly in heart,” and will personify Jesus for a moment, to illustrate the principle, and cried out with a loud voice, “Woe unto you, ye doctors; woe unto you, ye lawyers; woe unto you, ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!”. But you cannot find the place where I ever went that I found fault with their food, their drink, their house, their lodgings; no, never; and this is what is meant by the meekness and lowliness of Jesus.” (Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 270)

    Jesus said “Come unto me… and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). Because of the Atonement, I have no guilt, shame or regret about the past; no worry, anxiety or fear about the future and no stress in the present. Like the lilies of the field, everything I need is given to me. Of course, I don’t confuse “wants” with needs. I don’t need a house, car, job, material possessions, husband/wife/kids, etc. I seem to have sufficient money each month for my true needs – water/food (but only basic staples to preserve life), some form of shelter (doesn’t have to be large or fancy), and some clothes (given if necessary by the church through the D.I.). Everything else is a want. Thinking they are needs is what causes stress. I love my life. It’s free to experience everything God offers in this mortal experience. Let me note that I have much more than my needs. Many non-needs are given to me by a gracious Lord – wonderful wife, three beautiful daughters, great friends, really good smartphone and even cable TV. But I don’t need them so every time I see them, I am overcome with joy at such a gift. My kids are turning out exactly how the Lord intended. My role is to love them fiercely. Tell them directly everyday. Be there for them. Then, however their life goes, I support it. I share their troubles and difficulties and smile and laugh at their successes.

    I truly experience a perfect life 24/7. But not to give the wrong impression, I suffer physical problems, neural-chemical imbalances, job transience, insomnia and other great experiences. None of that matters because I’m alive and I got to hang out on earth again today. Life is a miracle.

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