Despite the miraculous signs given at the birth of Christ, within thirty years many members of the church had apostatized. Apparently the beginning cause of this apostasy was the pride of the people. Because of this pride "the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning. . . . And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up." (3 Nephi 6:12, 14.) Apparently pride is the first slope down on the "roller coaster" so far as both apostasy and war are concerned. When people start to believe they are better than others, then they start ridiculing and persecuting other people, and apostasy and war are the inevitable results.