I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. I’ve faced a great deal of discouragement over the last several months, and fear seems to be one of discouragement’s dark companions. Fear has been hanging around me like a depressed younger brother. But I realize that it’s up to me to dismiss my fear and send him packing.
My wife found this scripture recently and shared it with me:
Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive. (D&C 67:3.)
Fear is a subtle foe and keeps us from receiving the blessings we seek. It thrives in the absence of faith, but I am reminded by the scriptures that:
Without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb. 11:6.)
So we have reason to hope if we continue to believe in God and diligently seek him in spite of our discouragement and challenges. There is hope. There is a way to overcome fear. Increasing our faith is like turning on the lights in a dark room, scattering vermin fears and helping us see and avoid obstacles. Just as darkness can’t exist in a darkened room, fear can’t endure the illumination of faith.
In addition, the apostle John taught this about love:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 Jn. 4:18.)
Like faith, love lightens our path and our load. How can we be filled with this love? We can pray for it. In the words of Mormon:
Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ… (Moro. 7:47-48.)
We are also promised by the Psalmist that if we seek the the Lord, we can expect this help:
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Ps. 34:4.)
So if we diligently seek the Lord, He will reward us and deliver us from all our fears. Not just a couple of them—all of them says David. (He overcame Goliath; he ought to know.) And if we pray to the Lord with all the energy of our hearts, He will fill us with the love of Christ, and that love will cast out fear. And if we cast out fear, we’ll cast out his companions, such as discouragement, too.
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. (D&C 68:6.)