"I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and had received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that not only had their troubles not ended, but that some of them had only begun....
"Paul pled with those new members about the way President Hinckley is pleading with new members today. The reminder is that we cannot sign on for a moment of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Paul said to those who thought a new testimony, a personal conversion, or a spiritual baptismal experience would put them beyond trouble, 'Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions' (Hebrews 10:32; emphasis added).
"Then came this tremendous counsel, which is at the heart of my counsel to you and the title of my remarks this morning:
"'Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
"'For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise....
"'...If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. . . .
"'...We are not of them who draw back unto perdition.' [Hebrews 10:35-36, 38-39; emphasis added]...
"I acknowledge the reality of opposition and adversity, but I bear witness of the God of Glory, of the redeeming Son of God, of light and hope and a bright future. I promise you that God lives and loves you, each one of you, and that he has set bounds and limits to the opposing powers of darkness. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the victor over death and hell and the fallen one who schemes there. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has been restored, just as we have sung and testified this morning.
"'Fear ye not.' And when the second and the third and the fourth blows come, 'fear ye not.... The Lord shall fight for you.' 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.'"
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," BYU Devotional, March 2, 1999
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Elder Holland seems always to be sensitive to the struggles and challenges faced by Church members and others in the journey of mortality. In this excerpt, he reassures us all that even though we see challenges and opposition after having made important commitments or choices in our lives, we should not hesitate or question God. While there are blessings and rewards for those good actions, it does not mean that opposition ceases—perhaps just the opposite.
So we must keep our faith and hope strong; we must trust in God and in the blessings of the Savior in our lives, come what may, and not lose our confidence in them.
The admonition "Fear ye not" rings down through the ages and echoes loudly today. "The Lord shall fight for you." (Exodus 14:13-15.)