BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Mormonism: The Pride Cycle
Letter to My Grandparents
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
Last week in our Book of Mormon class, we discussed the Pride Cycle in detail. It went into more depth than the usual Sunday school lesson, and goes like this:
Prosperity → Pride → Sin → Destruction → Sorrow → Humility → Repentance → Blessings → Prosperity
My professor, Brother Griffin, explained that we as people shouldn’t get into a cycle, because when we do, we can’t progress. If your life were constantly a pride cycle, it means you’re neither on God’s side or on Satan’s side; you’re stuck in the middle. The pride cycle is considered the Terrestrial state of living; there are also two other structures to live life within the pride cycle, such as the Telestrial spiral:
Pride → Sin → Destruction → Sorrow → Pride
This is often seen in the Book of Mormon concerning the Lamanites, or any other wicked people. Not only do they not progress, but they completely reject God and are therefore doomed to a spiral of pain, sorrow, and destruction.
There is also the Celestial Staircase (or upward spiral):
Prosperity → Humility → Repentance → Blessings → Prosperity
The progressive aspect of the staircase is that when you prosper, you shouldn’t be prideful but instead humble and thankful to God for the blessings you have received. It is obviously possible to switch between these three spirals in life, but as long as we try our very best with help from God, we can be living a Celestial life.
I know these things to be true, that our Father in Heaven is there for each of us every step of the way and if we turn to Him, He can make our lives so much better than we could ever make them by ourselves.
I love you,
[Celestial refers to God’s kind of life; terrestrial is one step below; telestial is the lowest, where only minimal light and truth are accepted.]