What’s happening? We have a pride cycle encapsulated in a single chapter.
Why does it matter? Even with repentance, there are consequences for actions.
Between the lines: Change must be internal for it to stick and outlast outside influences.
Quote of the day: “Once rooted in a person’s heart, pride sets the stage for spiritual downfall: unrighteous thoughts that spring up from within can lead to an unwillingness to be submissive or to follow counsel. For some, personal prosperity reinforces the notion that they are doing fine on their own. Others begin to feel that rules can be tailored a little to meet their personal desires. Sound teachings become old-fashioned, and leaders start to seem out of touch, unfeeling, or too old. None of these thoughts happen overnight but come gradually as humility and meekness are eroded by possessions, status, and prosperity. Pride causes a hardened heart and spiritual deafness, both of which can ultimately lead to a host of more serious sins. In the worst case, a person may go beyond self-destructive behavior and become an enemy to God, desiring to fight openly against His teachings.” ~ SD Nadauld, 1996, Pride: A Challenge from Within
4:1-5 Why did the Nephites fail?
4:6-10 What do we know about Moronihah?
4:11-12 What can these verses teach us about actions having consequences?
“Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions.” ~ DT Chrisofferson, 2014, Free Forever, To Act for Themselves
4:13 What’s the danger in trusting in our “own strength”?
4:19-20 What can we learn from Nephites not being able to recover their lands?
4:23-25 What behaviors cause a downward slide away from righteousness?
“There are those within the Church who are disturbed when changes are made with which they disagree or when changes they propose are not made. They point to these as evidence that the leaders are not inspired. They write and speak to convince others that the doctrines and decisions of the Brethren are not given through inspiration. Two things characterize them: they are always irritated by the word obedience, and always they question revelation. It has always been so. Helaman described those who ‘began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.’ (Hel. 4:23.) ‘They were left in their own strength’ (Hel. 4:13), and ‘the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them’ (Hel. 4:24). Changes in organization or procedures are a testimony that revelation is ongoing. While doctrines remain fixed, the methods or procedures do not.” ~ BK Packer, 1989, Revelation in a Changing World