Part 2: Fear Not

13 Mar

When I was a brand new missionary about to leave the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, I had a little breakdown. For 3 weeks, I had been reviewing everything I’d be teaching. I had felt the Spirit testify so strongly that the message I would be sharing is true. But in my fourth week I began to fear. I was afraid to talk to people. I was afraid I wouldn’t ever learn everything and that I’d be a bad missionary.

We’d been taught from the scriptures that if we were worthy and did all we could, we could open our mouths and have them be filled by the Spirit with what God needed his children to hear (see Doctrine and Covenants 33: 8-10, 84: 85). But I was afraid to open my mouth. And I was miserable.

But then one day, as I was seeking comfort from the scriptures, the Lord answered my prayers. I’ve heard stories of people who opened the scriptures at random and found just what they needed to read, but that had never worked for me before. On this day, though, I said a prayer and opened them, hoping for a miracle. I turned directly to Doctrine and Covenants 67 and read verse 3:

Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

I suddenly remembered the story of Peter walking on the water. While in a boat, Peter saw the Lord and wanted to go to him. The Lord promised him that he could, and Peter stepped out of the boat. But when he saw the storm around him, he began to fear, and that’s when he fell into the water. Christ pulled him back up, chiding “O thou of little faith”.

I realized that day that faith and fear are like opposite sides of the same coin. When fear is up, faith is down; and when faith is up, fear is down. I began that day to work on drowning my fear in faith that God would help me. I opened my mouth. And I have experienced the miracle of having the Lord work through me to help his children here again and again. I have been extremely blessed.

Now my faith is strengthened and my fear decreased. I’ve learned that there is no storm so terrible that the Lord can’t calm, and no missionary so weak that the Lord can’t strengthen.

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”  –Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

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