6 Now, my son, I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself, but it is the Spirit of God which is in me which maketh these things known unto me; for if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things.
The prophet Jacob taught that people tend to become arrogant when they gain knowledge: “When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves” (2 Nephi 9:28). In the passage above, Alma emphasizes to his son Shiblon that the spiritual knowledge he has gained is a gift from God and that he cannot claim credit for it. “I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself,” he says. “If I had not been born of God, I should not have known these things.”
It is both healthy and reasonable to remember the source of our knowledge. We might have learned some things on our own, through trial and error, and we might have deduced some principles through observation and logic, but in our modern world, we owe nearly everything we know to someone else. The world is too complicated for us to learn everything we need to know by direct experience, and so we rely on other people to provide the information we need to navigate the challenges of each day.
The same is even more true of spiritual knowledge. Paraphrasing Isaiah, the Apostle Paul said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Then, he added, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Isaiah 64:4).
Today I will avoid being proud of my knowledge. I will remember and be grateful for the people who have been willing to share their knowledge with me. I will also remember that some of my knowledge has come directly from God, through His Spirit. I will remember that this knowledge doesn’t belong to me, doesn’t make me better than other people, and doesn’t confer upon me any special privileges. Instead, I will strive to use the knowledge which I have been given to bless the lives of other people and to help them be happy.