Our Fears Are Dangerous (Maxwell)

Our "fears,"...are dangerous, because they can cause us to worry too much about what might happen to our bodies and not enough about what could happen to our spirits. Our fears can cause us to wonder whether, after all, God will really protect us. These fears reflect a lack of faith in both God's capacity and character, including His love for us. We worry, for example, that we might be hurt or put down because He is inattentive to our needs. Oh, how familiar we all are with such worries!

The surging adrenaline of our "fears" of the flesh can blot out our spiritual memories. Laman and Lemuel feared what Laban could do. Yet they knew how marvelously God had delivered Moses and his hundreds of thousands of people from Pharaoh and his thousands in the remarkable passage through the Red Sea!
Similarly, our fears can cause us to question God's plan of salvation, even when we know beforehand that there are some things we must either die from, live with, or pass through. Developing sufficient faith enables us to say and to mean, "Let [God] do what seemeth Him good" (1 Samuel 3:18; see also 2:12; D&C 40:3; 100:1). Such submission is a sure sign that the fears of the flesh have been put in their place.
In Lehi's vision of the rod of iron, a most interesting outcome was described. Some Church members, "after they had tasted of the fruit were ashamed" (1 Nephi 8:28). Why? For some objective reason? No. Simply "because of those that were scoffing at them." We see a few around us who simply can't stand to be separated from the "politically correct" multitudes in the great and spacious building. These multitudes are "in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit" (1 Nephi 8:26-27). The "finger of scorn" has its own way of separating the faithful from those who have little or no faith (see 1 Nephi 8:33).
Like Lehi, the faithful in our time will endure the pointing fingers of scorn from the world and "[heed] them not," even when the ironical fact is that some of those pointing fingers of scorn once grasped the iron rod.
Lord, Increase Our Faith, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1994, 98-99.


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