The scriptures say “ If Ye are prepared, Ye shall not Fear.” Whenever I hear the news I experience anxiety and fear; but I also have an anxiety disorder. Up until I hear the latest headline, I usually feel like I’m doing well and the Lord is pleased. When I feel anxiety I start to think of all the things I’m not doing and obsess on things I normally feel silly for worrying about. Does this promise apply to those with OCD, Bipolar, and Anxiety disorder? Is fear a sign of being unprepared?
This verse of scripture is one of my favorite verses of scripture, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” A companion to this verse would be Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, “Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.” What then can we be prepared for that otherwise we might fear if we are unprepared? Let’s look at the verse before the Lord tells us to not fear as a result of our preparation. He tells us that we will hear of wars in far countries, and then provides a specific warning/counsel, “but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land,” which the Lord could have added, “BUT, I do.”
In that light the Lord then says, “treasure up wisdom in your bosoms.” What wisdom might we treasure that will help us to be prepared such that we do not fear? That really depends on what we are preparing for. Let me ask you a simple question, Who do you think will fear or be concerned more? 1) A teenager who is traveling and happens to experience a flat tire and has never been taught how to replace a flat tire. 2) Or, the teenager who is traveling and experiences a flat tire who has been taught where the spare tire is and how to change it.
I think we would both agree, the teenager who was taught will be less concerned than the teenager who hasn’t been taught. What about in reference of war and not knowing the minds (but God does) of those who are currently in our own land/country? What have we been counseled to do by the Lord’s servants? If a person is treasuring up the words of the Lord’s servants, then that individual/family will have 72 hour kits, they will have food storage, they will have money saved for emergencies, etc… If our country then takes a turn that is hard (even economically) who will have less concern/fear in their hearts?
In my younger years, as a young adult (twenties) I read a quote that made a lot of sense, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” As human beings we will experience “fear” no matter how prepared we are. We can’t come up and be prepared for all the possibilities that may or may not happen. The more we are prepared though, the less we will fear. With what little fear remains the companion scripture is very important to the verse you share, “Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.” We look to God who knows all, and rely upon his tender mercies to help us to get from where we are to where we need to be.
No matter who we are, or what weakness we have to endure we all can look to God, listen to his servants, and then act accordingly. If we do, we will more fully understand this verse of scripture. Let’s take the Book of Mormon wars for example. Captain Moroni continued, without stopping, to prepare the Nephites for battle against the Lamanites should they come again for war. Despite all their preparations, there were still things Captain Moroni could not foretell or forsee, but without the preparations they made there would have been worse situations for the Nephites against the Lamanites. Just like Captain Moroni we need to continually prepare ourselves. Learn what we can, and then look to God.
In closing, I will share with you the words of Mormon to his son Moroni during some very difficult times in their life, Moroni 9:25-26,
My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the aright hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.
Anthony, the Lord bless you to continue to be faithful to the testimony of Jesus Christ you have, and as with Moroni may you continue to allow Christ’s love to have full sway in your heart and mind that you may feel of his peace, forever. This promise is unto all, otherwise God would be a respecter of persons and we know he is not.