(August 25, 2015)
The awareness of our nothingness is an interesting concept, but what is even more interesting is that the people (who were righteous enough that they were living the Gospel to the best of their knowledge and were prepared to be converted by King Benjamin’s words) did not recognize their nothingness. Not only didn’t they recognize it, they hadn’t considered it.
Each of us has an immense capacity for self-deception, and we focus so much of that self-deception on how important and meaningful we are. It is very difficult to recognize the truth about ourselves if we are in this state (and, personally, I always seem to be in this state to a greater or lesser degree). If I am lying to myself, I cannot find the truth by myself because I am hiding it from myself.
How are we to learn the truth, then? Exactly the way they learned it here. We compare the lies we tell ourselves with the truths expressed by the prophets. We allow the Spirit to teach us the ways our lies are clouding our perceptions. And we place ourselves and our lies upon the altar and sacrifice them to the Lord. Only by Divine intervention can we escape the trap of self-deception.