Fear is dispelled through a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Speaking during the Saturday morning session, Elder Bednar offered an address titled, “Therefore They Hushed Their Fears" (Mosiah 23:28).
“In our daily lives, endless reports of criminal violence, famine, wars, corruption, terrorism, declining values, disease, and the destructive forces of nature can engender fear and apprehension,” he said. “Surely we live in the season foretold by the Lord, 'And in that day … the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them’” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:26).
Elder Bednar said correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord “empower us to hush our fears because Jesus Christ is the only source of enduring peace.”
Trust and confidence in Christ and a ready reliance on His merits, mercy and grace lead to hope through His Atonement in the Resurrection and eternal life (Moroni 7:41), said Elder Bednar. “Such faith and hope invite into our lives the sweet peace of conscience for which we all yearn,” he said. “The power of the Atonement makes repentance possible and quells the despair caused by sin; it also strengthens us to see, do and become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity.”
The peace Christ gives allows Latter-day Saints to view mortality through the perspective of eternity, he said. “Thus, we can be blessed to hush our fears because His doctrine provides purpose and direction in all aspects of our lives. His ordinances and covenants fortify and comfort in times both good and bad. And His priesthood authority gives assurance that the things that matter most can endure both in time and eternity.”
Elder Bednar told the worldwide congregation that three principles are central to hushing fears in a contemporary world: “Look to Christ, build upon the foundation of Christ, and press forward with faith in Christ.”
Elder Bednar said different from, but related to, the fears people often experience is what the scriptures describe as “godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28) or “the fear of the Lord” (Job 28:28).
“Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, Godly fear is a source of peace, assurance and confidence,” he said.
Righteous fear encompasses a deep feeling of reverence, respect and awe for the Lord Jesus Christ, obedience to His commandments, and anticipation of the final judgment and justice at His hand. “Thus, Godly fear grows out of a correct understanding of the divine nature and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, a willingness to submit our will to His will, and a knowledge that every man and woman will be accountable for his or her own sins in the day of judgment” (Article of Faith: 1:2; Doctrine and Covenant 101:78).
“Godly fear dispels mortal fears,” Elder Bednar said. “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. … I promise the bright light of Godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears (Doctrine and Covenants 50:25) as we look to the Savior, build upon Him as our foundation, and press forward on His covenant path with consecrated commitment.”