Stripped of Pride, Stripped of Envy

There are some things we need to acquire as we prepare to meet God. There are also things we need to abandon.

As Alma spoke to the people of Zarahemla, he specifically identified two things they needed to eliminate from their lives in order to be ready to be with God:

Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.

Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.

Alma 5:28-29, italics added

Sometimes it’s easier to acquire things than to let things go. That can be true of intangible things as well as tangible ones. Our lives can become cluttered with unnecessary worries, grudges, ambitions, and regrets. If we can’t set them aside, these burdens will slow our progress and reduce our joy. They can also harm our relationship with God.

In 1831, the Savior gave some guidance to a group of church leaders in Ohio. Like Alma, the Savior encouraged these men to let some things go:

Inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

Doctrine and Covenants 67:10, italics added

If we need to set things aside in order to stand in God’s presence, we also need to set some things aside in order to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Elder David A. Bednar has encouraged us to notice not only the presence of the Holy Ghost but also His absence, and to identify what causes it:

Precisely because the promised blessing is that we may always have His Spirit to be with us, we should attend to and learn from the choices and influences that separate us from the Holy Spirit….

If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing.

That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be With Us,” General Conference, April 2006

Today, I will let things go—things that create a distance between me and my Heavenly Father, things that reduce the influence of His Spirit in my life. I will strive to strip myself of pride, envy, jealousy, fear, and all other attitudes and behaviors which slow me down and prevent me from enjoying communion with God.

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