When the angel Gabriel visited Mary to let her know she was chosen to be the mother of the Son of God, he told her “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God…” (Luke 1:30)
The angel told Joseph “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife…” (Matthew 1:20)
When the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds on that holy night, he “said unto them, Fear not: for I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people…” (Luke 2:10)
There are many examples when the Lord, his angels or his prophets share the message: “fear not”:
- Genesis 26:24 the Lord appeared to Isaac and said “fear not, for I am with thee…”
- 2 Kings 6:16 Elisha told the young man: “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
- Matthew 28:5 at the empty tomb, the angel “said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here for he is risen…”
- Doctrine and Covenants 6:33 “Fear not to do good…”
Doctrine and Covenants 98:1 “…fear not, let your hearts be comforted.”
- Joshua 1:9 “…be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord God is with thee…”
- Isaiah 40:9 “lift up thy voice…be not afraid.”
There may be times when we feel stressed, homesick, depressed, discouraged, self-critical, anxious or inadequate, exhausted or unmotivated, worried or lonely. Prophets and apostles have counseled us to “Fear not; only believe.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen has taught “As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” (General Conference, October 2008.)
In the January 2000 Ensign President Gordon B. Hinckley taught us to “Fear not; only believe.”
Believe in God, the Father of us all. We are His children and He loves us. He is interested in us. He is concerned about us… If we live our lives in such a way as to be worthy of His blessings, He will bless us and we will not be troubled by the evil of the world.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God who condescended to come into the world to save mankind… We have the assurance of the Resurrection, and if we walk in His ways after His pattern, we will have the opportunity of exaltation.
Believe in yourselves and in your capacity to do something worthwhile. God has given you a mind and a spirit and a body with which to do your work. You have tremendous capacity. You do not have to be a genius to do something worthwhile in the world. The major work of the world is done by ordinary people who have learned to work in an extraordinary way.
Believe in the power and majesty of prayer. The Lord answers our prayers… Prayer brings us into partnership with God.
President Russell M. Nelson has reminded us that “faith supplants fear. Hope displaces despair. The Lord said, “Fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.” (D&C 101:36.) He bestowed this gift: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) (General Conference, April 1992)
May we all feel comfort and joy, peace and good will as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!
And please accept our sincerest best wishes for this Christmas and the New Year!
[Note: The ideas and suggestions contained in these articles are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a qualified mental health professional. In addition, if you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek medical or mental health assistance immediately. In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or use the Lifeline Chat at 988lifeline.org/chat/. Services are free and confidential.]