Loftiness, Haughtiness (2 Nephi 12:11, 17, 2 Nephi 15:15-16)

lofty – proud, aloof, or self-important
haughty – arrogantly superior and disdainful
(Oxford English Dictionary)

A recurrent theme in the writings of Isaiah is the impermanence of worldly power. Physical strength, wealth, and positions of authority are all transitory—any control or influence we derive from them will evaporate over time. Only God’s power is permanent.

Here is how Isaiah teaches this principle:

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
(2 Nephi 12:11, Isaiah 2:11)

And later in the same chapter he says:

The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
and the haughtiness of men shall be made low;
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
(2 Nephi 12:17, Isaiah 2:17)

A couple of chapters later, he teaches the same principle again:

And the mean man shall be brought down,
and the mighty man shall be humbled,
and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.
But the Lord of Hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
(2 Nephi 15:15-16, Isaiah 5:15-16)

The words “lofty” and “haughty” both identify how we see ourselves in relation to other people. When you think of yourself as more important than other people because of your superior talent, wealth, or education, you are guilty of loftiness. When you look down on other people and see them as inferior, you have become haughty.

Ezra Taft Benson said, “We can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble” (“Beware of Pride,” General Conference, April 1989).

Today, I will choose to humble myself. I will watch for signs of loftiness and haughtiness in my thinking and in my attitudes. I will remember that worldly sources of power are temporary and that only God’s power is permanent.

 

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