You can read 1 Nephi 11:32-36 here.
Context and General Information
- Nephi is seeing the vision of the tree of life.
- The Spirit tells Nephi to Look! Nephi looks.
- Nephi sees the Lamb of God judged of the world, lifted up on the cross, and slain for the sins of the world.
- Nephi saw multitudes of people gathered to fight agains the apostles of Christ.
- Nephi sees the multitude gathered in the great and spacious building.
- The Spirit explains to Nephi that the great and spacious building is the world and its wisdom. Nephi then saw that the great and spacious building, which was the pride of the world, fell.
The Pride of the World
If you like, you can read The Pride of the World – Part One here.
I was struck, by the following:
“…And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world;…” – 1 Nephi 11:32
I think that I usually read things like “by the people” and “of the world” and I think that this means others. I mean, I tend to think of “worldliness” as a way to describe the outsiders – those who don’t participate in Christianity. Maybe I think of them as secular people. I’m not sure.
I just know that I don’t think of “the world” as being covenant members of the House of Israel.
Yet, if we take a few minutes to ponder this scripture and the circumstances of Christ, then we know that “the people” and “the world” were in fact covenant members of the House of Israel. The Egyptians didn’t come in and kill the Savior, for example. His own people took Him and judged Him.
Another phrase that stands out to me:
“…behold the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” – 1 Nephi 11:35
Notice in this verse – it is The House of Israel that has gathered to fight against the twelve apostles. It wasn’t some “other” group – It wasn’t the Romans, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, or any other group that came and fought against the twelve apostles of the lamb and the Savior. It is the House of Israel that fights – against their God, against their apostles. I know that there were times when the apostles and the Christians were persecuted by other faiths. That is to be expected. What is interesting to me, is how the disciples of Christ were persecuted by those of their own faith.
The Problem with Pride
So – I’ve been pondering a lot about pride, but what’s the big deal, really? Maybe it’s annoying, but what’s the problem with it?
Well, first of all, pride can lead us to do some pretty stupid things. For example, it was pride that motivated the Pharisees to have the Savior crucified. Probably one of the dumbest things to happen in history. Pride makes us blind. Jacob taught:
“3 Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name—should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.
4 For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God.
5 But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified.” – 2 Nephi 10:3-5
The pride of the people in Jerusalem made them blind to the greatest gift our world has ever received. It made them blind to the fact that they lived among the Son of God, the Creator of this world. If the Savior had come to any other nation or group, they would have recognized Him as God, but the pride of the people blinded them to the extent that they killed Him.
It’s funny. They didn’t like Jesus’ message, so they killed Him. But the thing is – killing Christ doesn’t change the truth of the gospel or the precepts He taught.
The Romans could lock up Galileo, but it didn’t change the fact that the earth did indeed revolve around the sun.
If you hated gravity, you could have locked up and killed Newton, but killing Newton wouldn’t keep you from plunging to your death if you stepped off the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Pride is silly, and we see what happens to the pride of the world and the great and spacious building – even after they have “eliminated” their opponents:
“And the multitude of the earth was gathered together; and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Behold the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” – 1 Nephi 11:35-36
Despite their efforts in fighting against the Lamb of God and His apostles, despite the martyrdoms and wars, truth still stands, and the great and spacious building falls.
So – what’s the point of studying all of this? Is there a solution? YES!
First of all, let’s remember this little fact about the great and spacious building:
“26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.” – 1 Nephi 8:26
This great and spacious building had no integrity. It was just standing on…nothing.
Contrast this with what we are taught later in the Book of Mormon:
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” – Helaman 5:12
If the wise man built his house upon the rock, and the foolish man built his house upon the sand, what did the prideful man build his house on?…nothing? Silly!!!
We can be wise. Instead of letting pride into our hearts – (and remember WE, covenant members of the house of Israel ARE susceptible to this problem) – we can root out pride and build our foundation on the rock of Christ. Christ is the only sure thing. If we build upon Him, we cannot fall. It is simple. It’s not sexy or exciting like that great and spacious building, but it is sure.