“Be Not Afraid—Believe Our Lord Jesus Christ,” New Era, July 2019, page–page.
Years ago, when I was a very young boy, I visited my relatives in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Everyone was kind, but one night I became homesick. I hid under the bed and would not come out until my aunt coaxed me out to go get french fries.
Perhaps you have felt so homesick you wanted to cry and hide under your bed. At times, we feel alone, unsure, apprehensive. We may feel ill or wish we could do something over. In such moments, which we each feel, our Savior says, “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
There are many ways and many reasons we feel uncertainty, doubt, or fear or are lonely or afraid. But each is an opportunity to grow: fear and faith do not exist at the same time, just as light and darkness do not. Believe our Lord Jesus Christ: Be not afraid, only believe.
I would like to share how our Savior’s invitation to “be not afraid, only believe” can help us in our daily lives.
As a young Honolulu teenager, my mother, Jean Char Gong, met missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recognized gospel truth, and was baptized, the only member of her family to join at the time.
She later married in the temple, raised and nurtured three children, 11 grandchildren, and now 11 great-grandchildren. She has served faithfully in Church callings, including arranging flowers for the chapel and typing patriarchal blessings for her husband, who served many years as a patriarch.
My mother’s lifelong faith, hope, and charity make her a pioneer in our now four-generation gospel family. She has walked with faith in every footstep throughout her life.
When we embark on life’s journey, we do not know where it will take us. Nor may we know exactly where we will want to go. But if we will not be afraid, only believe, we can spiritually create a future where we become a true and strong link in our eternal family chain. We can leave aside that which entices but brings no lasting satisfaction.
Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can keep every good feeling, every good relationship, every good deed, and leave behind every sorrow, worry, and care.
In a priesthood leadership meeting with Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I learned the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 90:24 reflects two conditions. The verse reads, “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.” For this verse to be true, the person making the promise must know how all things work together and the person must know how they work together for our good.
There is such a person. God, our loving Heavenly Father, and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, can promise all things can work together for our good because They know how all things can work together, and They know what is good for us.
In fact, They know us better, and love us more, than we know or love ourselves.
In decisions relating to a sometimes uncertain future, we can be certain of God’s love for us and of our love for each other. We can thus not be afraid, only believe.
Our Savior first declared His ministry, fulfilling prophecy, with these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18–19; emphasis added).
Our Savior desires to heal us physically and spiritually—and physical and spiritual are closely connected. Whole and clean are the terms the scriptures often use to describe Jesus’s healing. The Atonement of Jesus Christ heals us from the “awful monster” of death and hell—death (the physical death of the body) and hell (the spiritual death which separates us from Heavenly Father [see 2 Nephi 9:10]). Our Savior wants to make us whole. Our Savior wants to make us clean. He can and will mend our bodies and spirits. In due course, He will remove every sickness and infirmity. In due course, He will cleanse every repented sin and misdeed. As we repent, He will help us forgive others, including ourselves.
Brothers and sisters, be not afraid, only believe. Believe God is our loving Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.
Believe the family is the most important unit in time and eternity. Act with faith and commitment to become the eternal companion you want to marry someday, and please remember that in this mortality, eternity comes a day at a time. Make your family a happy, forever family, not simply a happy family or simply a forever family.
Believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I am a witness that those who ponder in their hearts the message the Book of Mormon contains and then ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true will gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon’s truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Believe the mercy, merits, and grace of God. Believe also the law of the harvest—today’s decisions and actions bring tomorrow’s blessings. “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:21).
Finally, when you are uncertain, lonely, undecided, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, or otherwise afraid, as we may each feel at times, please remember our Savior. He is always here with us, inviting gently, powerfully, lovingly, be not afraid, only believe.