Pride is really the bottom line here. President Bensen captured so many facets of pride in his classic address: 
Beware of Pride,” Unless otherwise noted, all the quotes below come from this talk. 
Think of what pride has cost us in the past and what it is now costing us in our own lives, our families, and the Church.
Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion. I repeat: Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.
We must cleanse the inner vessel by conquering pride. (See Alma 6:2–4Matt. 23:25–26.)
Examine your own behavior!
Cleansing the inner vessel is my intent in writing this polemic. We must look to correct ourselves. Using this blog series to attack others is the wrong intent.

In further guidance, Elder Benson states: 
The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the Book of Mormon is the “record of a fallen people.” (D&C 20:9.) Why did they fall? This is one of the major messages of the Book of Mormon. Mormon gives the answer in the closing chapters of the book in these words: “Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.” (Moro. 8:27.) And then, lest we miss that momentous Book of Mormon message from that fallen people, the Lord warns us in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39.)
Facets of pride
Pride caused the Book of Mormon people to fall. It can cause us to fall as well. Let’s look at the various facets of pride and compare them to the points I have brought up. 
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.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us. 

Enmity toward God and our fellow beings means we are hostile or in opposition to them in some manner. Corrupt Church leaders can be hostile or in opposition to those directing their actions, or hostile or in opposition to those who receive their actions. 
When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)
Without enmity, we would be scrupulous about following the scriptures, modern prophets and their directions. We would never want to be at odds with them in any way. We would seek to know and follow all relevant instructions. Personal decision making would not come into play, unless one is simply trying to apply divine guidance in something where some ambiguity exists. Where ambiguity does exist, we would seek His Will rather than our own. 
Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17D&C 58:41.)
Recognition as a leader
In the July 2010 Ensign, Elder Paul E. Koelliker, “Recognizing Righteous Leadership,” Ensign, Jul 2010, 30–32 expands on this idea. 
One of the most oft-observed failures of leadership comes when we place too much emphasis on being recognized as a leader. Thinking that we are more important than others can be perilous to us and to those we lead. It is vital that we not become trapped by the enticement of recognition or adulation.
Leadership titles

Leadership titles in the Church are generally only temporary and we will yield them up regularly to others. Having the title does not make us righteous leaders any more than Eli’s did. Our actions while holding the title do. Our concerns should center in being worthy and acting worthy of the title. Seeking and valuing any praise or acclaim can derail us and the success of our otherwise worthy efforts.

In the words of C. S. Lewis:
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.
Emphasizing one’s title, seeking acclaim for oneself, using position to acquire resources and privileges in order to make comments like, “It was such a privilege to attend [insert event name], be in [insert person’s name]’s presence, experience this event etc., is simply emphasizing that you have had access to something than someone else did not. You should not be advertising to other members what you received or experienced and they did not, especially when your motive is simply to engender jealousy because of your favored position or privileges.

Lucifer's pride
In the pre-earthly council, Lucifer placed his proposal in competition with the Father’s plan as advocated by Jesus Christ. (See Moses 4:1–3.) He wished to be honored above all others. (See 2 Ne. 24:13.) In short, his prideful desire was to dethrone God. (See D&C 29:36D&C 76:28.)
Seeking glory

Satan’s plan called for him to receive all the glory. Christ’s plan would give all the glory to Heavenly Father. It is interesting that Satan was jockeying for the glory before the deed was even done. It suggests he valued the glory more than the deed. 

People now seek glory and give the deed short shrift, sometimes even masking over the failure of their effort, because the glory is most important to them, not the deed intended to have produced it. 
It was through pride that Christ was crucified. The Pharisees were wroth because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, which was a threat to their position, and so they plotted His death. (See John 11:53.)
Pharisaical pride

For the Pharisees to have embraced Jesus as the true Christ, it would have upended their world badly. They would no longer have had their exalted position in the Jewish religion or the Jewish society.

When Christ found fault with what they had done, it was even more of an affront. His teachings criticized, minimized, and declared corrupted the very practices they had sought so hard to set up. To abandon them would be an admission they had been wrong. Admitting wrongdoing is not something easy for the proud.

Saul and David
Saul became an enemy to David through pride. He was jealous because the crowds of Israelite women were singing that “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (1 Sam. 18:6–8.)
Here is an out-right competition between two military leaders. When the people seemed to elevate David over Saul, in Saul’s mind at least, he exerted effort to tear down his rival. It is plausible that both men’s military successes served God’s purposes.Once Saul made David his target then God’s purposes suffered.

Fear of secular judgment
The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment. (See D&C 3:6–7D&C 30:1–2D&C 60:2.) “What will men think of me?” weighs heavier than “What will God think of me?”
Fear of men’s judgment manifests itself in competition for men’s approval. The proud love “the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42–43.)
Efforts to cook the books or skew statistics in their favor suggest that people's judgment weighs heavier than God’s. 

Heavenly Father knows the truth, even though distortions can muddle people’s knowledge. All the elaborate food, decoration, music, and other money excesses discussed cannot possibly be for Heavenly Father’s benefit. The objective is obviously people's approval, not Heavenly Father's. 

When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod. (See 1 Ne. 8:19–281 Ne. 11:251 Ne. 15:23–24.)

Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. (See 2 Ne. 9:42.) There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.

Bottom-up pride is also insidious

This bottom-up pride is largely what tears stakes and units apart. Of all the ways I have discussed how local leadership corruption can manifest itself and cause discord, discord often exists because of the temporarily non-called leaders who murmur, find fault, gossip, and otherwise undermine a leader – whether the leader is good or bad. 
Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us. It can be a parent, a priesthood leader, a teacher, or ultimately God. A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position.

Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.
Pride is pre-occupation with self

People primarily concerned with self care little if others are being oppressed, forgotten, minimized or otherwise marginalized; as long as they themselves are happy with things. They care little if others are not fully informed of activities or given the opportunity to participate. 
Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride.
It is interesting that “generation gaps” are mentioned. Young Single Adults and especially children are often forgotten or rendered second-class members. Christ’s behavior on this earth, his teachings, his visit to the Nephites in the new world all stand as a witness that he did not consider them of secondary importance. In fact, the opposite is true.

In the pre-earth or post-earth life, there is no reason to consider them secondary. Our cultural mores that still hold children to be less important than adults should be set aside.

The proud always take offense

The scriptures testify that the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. (See 1 Ne. 16:1–3.) They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings.

The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. (See Prov. 15:10; Amos 5:10.) Defensiveness is used by them to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures. (See Matt. 3:9; John 6:30–59.)

The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.”
I almost despair in trying to appeal to proud leaders. The tendency is to discount what I say, condemn me for saying it, and cling even tighter to what they have been doing. The proud dig in and stay put. I have learned over the years that this is a dangerous mindset.

How you should react to correction

An excellent scriptural example of how to react to correction is Alma when he heard the words of Abinadi. (See Mosiah 17). Alma listened, changed his own behavior, and encouraged others to do the same. Whatever pride he had as one of King Noah’s priests, he swallowed it. His transformation became complete. As a result, he lost his religious and secular positions and titles. He almost lost his life. We should be guided by his example. 
The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.”
If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem. 
Let us work to ensure that our self-esteem has the proper foundation. 

Pride affects our relationships
Pride adversely affects all our relationships—our relationship with God and His servants, between husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee, teacher and student, and all mankind. Our degree of pride determines how we treat our God and our brothers and sisters. Christ wants to lift us to where He is. Do we desire to do the same for others?

Pride fades our feelings of sonship to God and brotherhood to man. It separates and divides us by “ranks,” according to our “riches” and our “chances for learning.” (3 Ne. 6:12.) Unity is impossible for a proud people, and unless we are one we are not the Lord’s. (See Mosiah 18:21; D&C 38:27; D&C 105:2–4; Moses 7:18.)
Conflicts can lead to apostasy
In a talk by Elder Claudio D. Zivic, he remarked, “Conflicts between Church members can also lead to apostasy.”

In the Teachings of Joseph Smith manual there are several quotes that are a bit different from what usually gets referred to: 
Orson Hyde, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, reported: “Joseph the Prophet … said, ‘Brethren, remember that the majority of this people will never go astray; and as long as you keep with the majority you are sure to enter the celestial kingdom.’ ”16
William G. Nelson reported: “I have heard the Prophet speak in public on many occasions. In one meeting I heard him say: ‘I will give you a key that will never rust,—if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.’ The history of the Church has proven this to be true.”17
Ezra T. Clark remembered: “I heard the Prophet Joseph say that he would give the Saints a key whereby they would never be led away or deceived, and that was: The Lord would never suffer a majority of this people to be led away or deceived by imposters, nor would He allow the records of this Church to fall into the hands of the enemy.”18 “Chapter 27: Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),324–26.
No reason to go astray
We have the fullness of the gospel. We have extensive and thorough guidelines from modern prophets. There is no reason for us to go astray, except for pride.

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