They Did Fear Their God – 3 Nephi 4:8-10

8 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
9 And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies.
10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites did not fear them; but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for protection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them.

It is so easy to confuse spiritual strength with worldly weakness. When the armies of Giddianhi approached the Nephites, they were delighted to find them lying on the ground pleading with God to deliver them. They looked vulnerable and faint-hearted. They looked like easy targets. Unfortunately for the attacking army, as Mormon tells us, the Nephites weren’t afraid of them. They knew that they needed God’s help to win this battle, and they were determined to seek for His help so that they could fight “in the strength of the Lord.”
As David A. Bednar explained, the fear of the Lord is very different from, and even incompatible with mortal fear:

Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him. As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly. And “perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moroni 8:16). I promise the bright light of godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears (see D&C 50:25) as we look to the Savior, build upon Him as our foundation, and press forward on His covenant path with consecrated commitment (“Therefore They Hushed Their Fears,” General Conference, April 2015).

Today, I will follow the example of the Nephites in the passage above. As I face intimidating experiences, I will turn to the Lord for the strength to face those challenges without mortal fear. I will love and fear God so that I can overcome the mortal fears which I might otherwise experience.

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