Putting Aside Fear

Sometimes the gospel message seems to be fear-based vs faith based. Let me give a few examples.

Elder David Bednar gave a talk in Oct 2019 GC where he described Topis and Cheetahs. Basically, the cheetah is always out to get the topi and is stealthy and will not stop. The moral of his story, we need to watch out because Satan is out to get us. That is fear-based.

If you search Fear of God on LDS site, you will see their description, “to fear God is to feel reverence and awe for Him and to obey His commandments.” I somewhat disagree.

The Psalmist implored, “Fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Ps. 111:10 KJV)

We are encouraged as saints to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:11)

In 2 Cor 5:10 We are warned that “…we must all appear before the Judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” NIV

In the next verse (2 Cor 11) it starts out, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord…” The fear comes from idea that we will be judged by God. That is the “Fear of the Lord”. We worry that He will be angry with us because of our imperfections and “sins” in the flesh and then judge us as “not worthy”.

The fear is used to control our behavior, and to make us want to share the message of fear to save others with ourselves.

In my opinion, that is not the best motivation for doing good. As you consider Paul’s treatise to the Corinthians, he describes the reconciliation to God through Christ. We understand it as the Atonement. We, then are compelled to do good not out of fear, but out of love. Christ first loved us. We no longer need to fear.

But what if you are no longer sure about God and Christ and the message that is taught through the various factions of Christianity? Fear still need not be present. We should still be compelled to do good, not out of an imposed love, but our own love of ourselves and humanity.

Whether we accept the Gospel message or not, we can put aside fear and live with love for all.

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