Who Art Thou, That Thou Shouldst Be Afraid of Man? – 2 Nephi 8:12-13

12 I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass?
13 And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
(2 Nephi 8:12-13, Isaiah 51:12-13)

I love the way Isaiah asks the question in the passage above: Who do you think you are, that you can ignore the most powerful Being in the universe and be intimidated by the mere mortals around you? Every person you interact with today, no matter how wealthy, talented, or influential they appear to be, will die one day. Why are you so afraid of them? Why do you care so much what they think, and forget the opinion of the One who will never die, the One who created the earth, the One who has genuine, sustainable power?

As Elder Lynn G. Robbins reminded us, when our fear of other people overcomes our desire to please God, we are in danger of breaking the first commandment:

When people try to save face with men, they can unwittingly lose face with God. Thinking one can please God and at the same time condone the disobedience of men isn’t neutrality but duplicity, or being two-faced or trying to “serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24; 3 Nephi 13:24) (“Which Way Do You Face?” General Conference, October 2014).

Today, I will remember that my first loyalty must be to God. I will not allow my fear of other people or my desire to please them to stand in the way of my desire to please my Heavenly Father and to do His will. I will humble myself before Him, choose to be obedient to Him, and place my trust in Him.

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