Friday, December 17, 2010

fear not

D&C 6:36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
It's easy to begin to fear when we live in a time where natural disasters, political corruption, social injustice, and moral disintegration are a part of not just the daily news but even mundane day to day life.

When Enoch saw the wickedness of the people of the earth "he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted" so it stands to reason that we too would feel such bitterness and despair at the things we see and hear going on all around us and all over the world. However, "the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look" (Moses 7:44) and when Enoch looked he "saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me" (Moses 7:47). He found comfort.

Like Enoch, we will see much that will leave us feeling as though there could be no hope of comfort, and yet we will be "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8) because we DO have a hope in Christ and what he has accomplished in behalf of those who follow him. "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise" (Moroni 7:41).

Even though the righteous should be troubled at the wickedness of the world, we are told, time and time again, that we "need not fear" the things that will go on in the last days: "Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil—yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center"  (D&C 10:55-56)

We live in a day when the future looms unsteady and darkly before us -- but we have no need to fear what is coming. This has been reaffirmed to me strongly this past week. As I have seen how the world is going to pieces I have felt more and more how important it truly is not only to be a steadfast follower of Christ, but to belong to His church and to be making EVERY effort to gain understanding of the FULLNESS of His gospel, to strive to obey, and to REPENT.

I wanted to share these impressions for the same reason the Lord does, over and over, in the scriptures:

  • D&C 38:30 - "I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
  • Hebrews 3:13-14 - "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"

We cannot let the wickedness of the world overwhelm us nor let the calamities of our day "speak" and overpower the plain truth of what the Lord has spoken. We must reassure each other and work to steady testimonies and boost faith in our Heavenly Father's promises. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

  • He has promised His protection: "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:7). 
  • He has promised that through our righteousness we will avoid much of the destruction that the wicked will bring upon themselves: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues (Revelation 18:4).
  • And he has promised a perfect way to peace: "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20).

It isn't our part to overcome the troubles of the world "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). Our battle is to stay true to the faith in an increasingly chaotic and evil world until the day when the Lord comes again and the earth is finally "cleansed from all sin" (JST Luke 17:40). Then we will live in peace in a peaceful world.
Revelation 21:4 - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

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