Step It Up:
Keep It Simple:
GREEK PORK CHOPS
I fear that so many of you have come this morning to be edified and inspired, and now I have gone and frightened you! Well, I did not come here to frighten you, and you did not come here to be reminded of your fears. We all long for more of God’s peace and strength in the midst of the stresses and difficulties of life.
The Lord’s message to you today is the same message He sent through His angels so long ago: “Fear not.” He can say that because He knows more than we do. He sees what we cannot see. He knows what is coming, and, in the eternal scheme of things, it is not as bad as we may think. He knows that we can handle it with His help because He knows how to strengthen and succor us.10
Most of all, He tells us not to fear because He knows that fear will paralyze us. It will keep us from knowing and doing His will; accepting His blessings, His love, and His light; and fulfilling His purposes. President Howard W. Hunter said:
Fear . . . is a principal weapon in the arsenal that Satan uses to make mankind unhappy. He who fears loses strength for the combat of life in the fight against evil. Therefore, the power of the evil one always tries to generate fear in human hearts. . . .
. . . A timid, fearing people cannot do their work well, and they cannot do God’s work at all. Latter-day Saints have a divinely assigned mission to fulfill that simply must not be dissipated in fear and anxiety.
Satan wants us to give in to fear. God wants us to hold on to hope.
One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Timothy 1:7. It reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
First, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power.”
This “spirit of power” is not the world’s sort of power. The Lord and His covenant people do not work the way the world usually works. The world tells us that power comes of wealth or popularity and that life is a competition in which we advance ahead of others by acquiring more or by brandishing words or weapons of destruction.
The Lord’s way is deeper, higher, and holier. His power is governed “by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge.”12 Where worldly power depends on dramatic demonstrations, the Lord’s power distills upon us “as the dews from heaven”13—miraculously but quietly and humbly. Where worldly power is for the privileged few, the Lord’s power is available to all. It is manifest in the ordinances of the priesthood.14 We access it through making and keeping sacred covenants. We nurture it through sincere prayer, fasting, and feasting “upon the words of Christ.”15
Perhaps you know someone who has this kind of power and therefore seems fearless. It is probably someone who would not be judged powerful by worldly standards but whose spiritual power is undeniable.