Monday, April 27, 2015

David A. Bednar on worldly fear and Godly fear

Elder David A. Bednar (1952- ) was sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2004.
"Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence.
"But how can anything associated with fear be edifying or spiritually helpful?
"The righteous fear I am attempting to describe encompasses a deep feeling of reverence, respect, and awe for the Lord Jesus Christ (see Psalm 33:8; 96:4), obedience to His commandments (see Deuteronomy 5:29; 8:6; 10:12; 13:4; Psalm 112:1), and anticipation of the Final Judgment and justice at His hand....
"[G]odly fear dispels mortal fears. It even subdues the haunting concern that we never can be good enough spiritually and never will measure up to the Lord’s requirements and expectations....
"Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him. As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly. And 'perfect love casteth out all fear' (Moroni 8:16). I promise the bright light of godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears (see D&C 50:25) as we look to the Savior, build upon Him as our foundation, and press forward on His covenant path with consecrated commitment."
- David A. Bednar, "Therefore They Hushed Their Fears," General Conference, April 2015
Click here to read the full talk

The world can be a pretty scary place. Elder Bednar identified things that often bring fear: health challenges, family members in danger or difficulty, problems in the world around us ("criminal violence, famine, wars, corruption, terrorism, declining values, disease, and the destructive forces of nature"). I've always appreciated the Lord's warning to Joseph Smith: “And in that day... the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 45:26). That description is more and more accurate in our time.

But it's the difference between "mortal fear" and "godly fear" that is the key to Elder Bednar's remarks. We learn to control and conquer the fears of the world as we understand what it means to fear God, since "godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence." It's a beautiful concept, and Elder Bednar counsels wisely about how to let the true and valuable fear of the Lord dominate and replace the worldly fears.

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15