12 Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them.
(3 Nephi 3:12)
Lachoneus was built upon a solid foundation and so inappropriate threats and demands did not weaken his commitment to righteousness and to integrity. He “could not be frightened” in that sense. But notice the effect of his warning words: “they did cause fear to come upon all the people.” This is clearly not the same kind of fear. The effect of this fear was to motivate them to righteous action: “they did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus.”
So I need to be wise in my assessment of fear. If I am built upon a solid foundation, I need not allow the circumstances around me to fill me with that panic which would discourage and even incapacitate me. However, there is a kind of fear which is beneficial, a realistic recognition that I must do something to address the dangers I face. I’m not sure whether this good fear is a qualitatively different emotion from the other fear which Lachoneus was able to avoid or whether it merely differs in intensity. However, it seems clear that the best test of fear is to observe whether or not it results in righteous action.