The Opposite of Faith is Fear

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

In an April 2004 General Conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer, then acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave a talk where he stated clearly, “Fear is the opposite of faith.” Thus, because fear is the opposite of faith, in the great battle between good and evil, we can see people making choices that will lead them to one or the other. I think no where is such polarity illustrated better than in the Book of Mormon and specifically in the stories of Nephi and his brethren. Given the story of Nephi and his brethren going back to Jerusalem to recover the plates from Laban as an example, we can see a striking contrast in the attitudes, thoughts, words and actions of each of the individuals involved.
 

Nephi was a man of faith. “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7), he stated. His brothers, Laman and Lemuel were not. Listen to the comments they made after an angel declared to them that the Lord would deliver Laban into their hands, “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (1 Nephi 3:31).
 

Laman and Lemuel’s words dripped with fear. It was obvious, they did not know God. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ stated, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. If faith is a tremendous principle of power, should it not follow that it’s opposite, fear, should be a principle of weakness?
 

Laman and Lemuel could never appropriate power into their lives because they rejected the very principle to which power is attached. As a result, they lived lives filled with and motivated by fear. Why did Laman and Lemuel not want Nephi to be their leader? Because they feared that Nephi would take advantage of the situation to abuse them. Without faith, fear reigns. It is unfortunate to see people follow in similar paths as Laman and Lemuel today. Such individuals will never know the joy serving the Lord by faith brings to those that follow Him. In order to find joy in this life, we must let go of all fear, and replace that fear with trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 

It is my prayer that we all learn to do so, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
 

– Craig Fujisue