Tarantulas and tracting: How this speaker learned 5 tools for conquering fear

PROVO — What is the scariest thing you've ever done?

For Kori L. Andrews, one frightening experience came when he hatched an elaborate scheme to ask a girl to the homecoming dance.

She responded with a dare.

"I will go to homecoming with you if you hold my pet tarantula," Andrews said.

That was relatively easy compared to another alarming experience Andrews had as a missionary in which he and a companion felt impressed to search for investigators in a neighborhood with a dangerous reputation. Although he initially tried to shake the feeling, the prompting persisted. Andrews ultimately obeyed and conquered his fear, which led to the first baptism of his mission.

"Brothers and sisters, when we overcome fear, especially when it's what God asks us to do, miracles will happen," Andrews said. "So be courageous."

Andrews shared his fear-busting experiences as part of his presentation, "Five Fear-Fighting Weapons from the Scriptures," for youth at BYU Education Week on Monday.

"Fear comes from the adversary," Andrews said. "He wants us to forfeit blessings that God has in store for us. So how are we going to fight it? ... These are the things that are going to help us fight evil, darkness and ultimately, fear."

1. Be prepared

The first weapon comes from Doctrine and Covenants 38:30-31: "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Andrews pointed out that earlier in verse 30, one qualifier for "being prepared" is "treasuring up wisdom," Andrews said.

"One of the best ways that we can prepare to overcome fear is by treasuring up wisdom in our life," Andrews said. "(Ask yourself) how could you be more effectively treasuring up wisdom in your life today so you can be prepared when scary things come."

2. Remember what you've learned

Andrews stated that the second weapon is remembering stories of courage because they give us strength.

"We can draw courage from the scriptures," Andrews said as he cited examples, including Nephi, Enoch, Moses, David, Esther and the 2,000 stripling warriors.

3. Exercise faith

The third weapon in combating fear is to exercise faith, Andrews said.

President Russell M. Nelson taught that "Faith is the antidote of fear," Andrews said, referring to President Nelson's April 2014 general conference address, "Let Your Faith Show."

"Act in faith, follow the commandments, do what God wants you to do, and He'll lead you safely," Andrews said.

4. Choose love

Perfect love is the fourth weapon, Andrews continued.

Andrews spoke of a young man who met with his stake president to discuss serving a mission. The Church leader asked why the young man was so willing to leave behind a good-paying job, a nice vehicle and an attractive girlfriend to serve a mission for two years?

Although the young man knew he would miss those things and didn't want to leave them, he loved his Savior Jesus Christ more.

"Sometimes God's going to ask you things that you might not want to do, that might scare you," Andrews said before quoting Moroni 8:16. "'Perfect love casteth out all fear.' ... Christ overcame death as one of the biggest fears in people's lives. He overcame that fear through love. When you face those things that are scary in life, choose love."

5. Keep Christ on your side

For the fifth weapon, "Look to Christ," Andrews said.

Andrews encouraged the young people to record the ways the Lord has manifested Himself in their lives each day in a journal. He also showed a video of his three young daughters cutely quoting Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, which reads: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

"You're going to face some unfair things in your life that might cause you to fear, wonder or doubt. Never forget that all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ," Andrews said. "If He is on your side, who can be against you?"

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