It has always been interesting to me that when angels appear to men in the scriptures, they often begin with the words, “Fear not.” Perhaps seeing an angel is a frightening event, or, could it be that these heavenly beings notice that we live much of our lives in a state of fear and doubt? Because of the Savior’s infinite atonement, we do not have to live in fear. Joseph Smith taught, “where doubt and uncertainty are there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not there faith is weak (Lectures on Faith, 6:12.) Here’s another excerpt from “Sermons in a Sentence” which includes a couple of two-word sermons, “Fear Not” and “Infinite Atonement,” and a couple of powerful statements from President Boyd K. Packer:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. —Luke 2:10
Angels bringing messages from heavenly realms often begin with these two words,“Fear not.” Why would that be? Our fears are at war with our faith, and sometimes our fears appear to be winning the battle. President Boyd K. Packer taught: “This is a great time to live. When times are unsettled, when the dangers persist, the Lord pours out His blessings upon His church and kingdom. I have been associated now in the councils of the Church for upwards of thirty years. During that time I have seen, from the sidelines at least, many a crisis. Among the leaders I have at times seen great disappointment, some concern, maybe some anxiety. One thing I have never seen is fear. Fear is the antithesis of faith. In this Church and in this kingdom there is faith” (Things of the Soul , 195).
Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. —2 Nephi 9:7
We struggle to find words that can adequately describe the Atonement. Who can do it justice? Who can reduce something infinite into finite terms? Elder Tad R. Callister has written: “The word infinite, as used in this context, may refer to an atonement that simultaneously applies retroactively and prospectively, oblivious to constraints and measurements of time. It may refer to an atonement that applies to all God’s creations, past, present, and future, and thus is infinite in its application, duration and effect” (The Infinite Atonement , 59). President Boyd K. Packer also commented on the Atonement’s infinite application: “There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ” (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, November 1995, 20).
Thank you so much. I needed this today.
“Fear Not” has always meant to me that no matter what happens everything is going to be okay. Because having faith is the thing that keeps us safe even when everything falls apart.