Journey through the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 17 (Fear Not, Neither be Faint-Hearted)

“And say unto him: Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted”

I was struck by what the Lord told Isaiah to tell the king. These four commands fit together harmoniously into an formula for discipleship.

First, the king was told to take heed. Heeding seems to be focused on listening carefully to the will of the Lord. When we heed, we are quick to act rather than resist. Heeding God is a necessary first step on the road towards obedience.

Next, be quiet. This the most unorthodox of these commands. But if we consider quiet to be the opposite of murmuring, it makes sense. We cannot listen to God when our head and heart is so full of our own thoughts and desires. We cannot listen, when we are quick to anger or to complain. Being still and truly listening to God is necessary for receiving direction from the divine.

Fearing not follows logically from heeding and truly listening. When we fear, we naturally doubt the promises of God. We vacillate. We refuse to act because we are paralyzed. In order to become disciples of God and to receive his guidance, we must cast our any fear of the unknown and rely steadfastly on the promises of God.

Finally, we must not be faint-hearted. Discipleship requires great courage and faith in promises that are far off. It is not hard to have faith for a short time. But it his harder to have enduring faith despite the trials and difficulties of life. It is hard to firmly believe that promises will come when storm clouds darken the horizon. It is hard to remain firm when opposition arises. But it is that kind of faithfulness that is needed in order to truly be a disciple of Christ.

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