12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
13 Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
(2 Nephi 18:12-13, Isaiah 8:12-13)
The Hebrew word which is translated as “confederacy” in this passage (קֶ֔שֶׁר, pronounced “qe-sher”) appears in other passages as “conspiracy” or “treason.” (See http://biblehub.com/hebrew/kesher_7195.htm.) I particularly like the way this passage is rendered in the New International Version:
Do not call conspiracy
everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
and do not dread it.
The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread (Isaiah 8:12-13, NIV).
Don’t be afraid of everything the people around you are afraid of. That’s the message I get out of this passage. People around you will be anxious. They will get nervous. They will make assumptions about things they don’t know, and sometimes they will exaggerate the probability of catastrophic outcomes. Don’t let them unsettle you. Trust God and let Him be your anchor.
It’s important to remember that the fear of God is not the same as worldly fear. As Elder David A. Bednar explained, “Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence…. Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him” (“Therefore They Hushed Their Fears,” General Conference, April 2015).
Today, I will avoid becoming unsettled by the anxieties of other people. I will remember that many fears are based on speculation, exaggeration, or misperceptions. I will trust in God and let my faith and confidence in Him overcome any worldly fears I may feel.