Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Be Not Afraid

Gordon B. Hinckley
From “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe,” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 2–5.

Be Not Afraid

When President Hinckley left for a mission, his good father handed him a card on which were written five words: “Be not afraid, only believe.”

I am optimistic concerning the work of the Lord. I realize, of course, that we are beset in the world with many tragic problems. I have been in areas where war rages and hate smolders in the hearts of people. I have watched with alarm the crumbling morals of our society. And yet I am optimistic. I have a simple and solemn faith that right will triumph and that truth will prevail.

When I left for a mission years ago, my good father handed me a card on which were written five words: “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).

I believe in the triumph of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the triumph of the Church and kingdom of God on the earth. The Lord declared that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached … for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). Can it possibly be accomplished? I remember an insight that suggested how it can happen.

I met a woman in South America who had just joined the Church. Fired by a great love for that which she had found, she had gone about enthusiastically telling others. During a period of only seven months since her baptism, she had referred 300 acquaintances to the missionaries. At one point, 60 had come into the Church.

Yes, this work requires sacrifice, it requires effort, it requires courage to speak out and faith to try. As Paul wrote to Timothy: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:7–8).

I wish that every member of this Church would put those words where he might see them every morning as he begins his day. They would give us the courage to speak up; they would give us the faith to try; they would strengthen our conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that more miracles would happen over the earth.

I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that this is Their holy work.

[illustration] Illustrated by Michael T. Malm