BYU–Hawaii Students Told to Believe, Not Fear

Contributed By By Marianne Holman, Church News staff writer

  • 2 October 2013

At a BYU–Hawaii devotional Elder Gong of the Seventy taught students that crucial life decisions such as marriage, education, and career are opportunities to exercise faith and not be afraid.   Photo by Carla Johnson.

Article Highlights

  • Making key life decisions gives young adults the opportunity to set a course early in life of believing and not being afraid.
  • Elder Gong encouraged the students to share the gospel via social media and to answer gospel-related questions when asked.
  • He taught the importance of faith in priesthood blessings and asked the brethren to always be worthy to use the priesthood.

“Fear and faith do not exist at the same time, just as light and darkness do not. Believe our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’”—Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Seventy


“Be not afraid, only believe,” Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Seventy and Asia Area President told students during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University–Hawaii on September 24.

“There are many ways and many reasons we feel uncertainty, doubt, or fear or are lonely or afraid,” Elder Gong said. “But each is an opportunity to grow: fear and faith do not exist at the same time, just as light and darkness do not. Believe our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’”

Elder Gong shared three ways heeding the Savior’s invitation helps individuals in their daily lives.

“First, His invitation … can help us make important life decisions regarding faith, spouse, education, and career. Second, His invitation can help us see marvelous modern-day patterns of deepening conversion and establishing the restored Church through real growth across the world, including through online missionary service. And third, our Savior’s invitation to ‘be not afraid, only believe’ can help us understand the precious scriptural accounts where our Savior teaches He can, and will, make us whole and clean.

It is in making crucial life decisions—faith, spouse, education, and career—that individuals are able to set a course early where they can choose to be not afraid, only believe. After sharing the experience he had in courting his wife, Sister Susan Gong, Elder Gong said that it is an act of faith to move forward and choose someone to marry.

“We are to be wise, meet and become acquainted with possible marriage partners, and learn to share openly and deeply things which matter most,” he said. “Then we make a choice. We commit. We covenant with each other and with Heavenly Father. Life’s circumstances can and will change. But our sacred commitments and covenants only grow stronger. We will never meet someone we like better tomorrow because we choose to like, and love, our eternal companion best each day.”

In making a decision about education and a future career, Elder Gong told students that life is too short to choose a path simply because of prestige or pay. The world needs men and women of integrity, character, experience, and skill in every field, especially in homes, neighborhoods, communities, and countries.

Deepening Conversion

“Prophecy is being fulfilled as the stone cut out from the mountain without hands fills the earth,” Elder Gong said. “As you may know, there are now congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 189 of the world’s 224 nations and territories.”

The establishment and strengthening of Latter-day Saints in many areas around the world comes as members deepen their conversion and share the gospel with others. Prophecy is being fulfilled as the gospel goes forth across the world and as nations, kindreds, tongues, and people come together.

Members can be good examples to others—especially by sharing gospel-centered messages on social pages and answering questions when asked.

Becoming Whole and Clean

Sharing an example of the Savior healing a young girl at the point of death, Elder Gong told listeners to “please have faith in priesthood blessings” and encouraged priesthood brethren to be worthy at any moment to administer to the sick if called upon.

“Our Savior wants to make us whole. Our Savior wants to make us clean. He can and will mend our bodies and spirits. In due course He will remove every sickness and infirmity. In due course He will cleanse every repented sin and misdeed. As we repent, He will help us forgive others, including ourselves. ... Believe in the mercy, merits, and grace of God,” he said. “Believe also the law of the harvest—today’s decisions and actions bring tomorrow’s blessings.”