From Fear to Feasting
    Footnotes

    “From Fear to Feasting,” Liahona, January 2019

    From Fear to Feasting

    By Matt Maxwell

    Utah, USA

    study desk

    Illustration by Greg Newbold

    I have been active in the Church all my life. I served a full-time mission, married in the temple, and helped raise four wonderful daughters. As the years passed, however, I noticed that some of my friends had given up their Church membership. Some family members were using social media to question and criticize Church leaders. And I was beginning to have my own doubts about the Church for the first time in my life. My doubts caused me to fear the future. At times, I felt overcome with hopelessness.

    During this difficult time, I forced myself to attend stake conference. As my stake president spoke, he said, “If we are to survive the difficult times ahead, we need to move from casual feasting to urgent feasting upon the word of God. We need to make regular and focused scripture study a priority in our lives. If we do, I promise that we will not fear.”

    The word “fear” caught my attention. I realized that I had allowed my gospel study to become casual. As a result, fear took hold of my life. I decided to give my stake president’s counsel a try.

    I went home and created a space for gospel study. In the corner of a room, I set up a small desk with a comfortable chair. I put a few pictures of the Savior on the wall. I gathered my scriptures, some pencils, and a notepad. I began my study with a prayer.

    After a week or two, I developed a daily routine. I would first listen to a general conference talk and then study a particular gospel topic. Then I would read a few chapters of the Book of Mormon and finish my study with heartfelt prayer to my Heavenly Father.

    Despite various distractions, I rarely missed a day of gospel study for six months. I gained a greater understanding of many gospel topics and strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father through regular and sincere prayer.

    My testimony was again becoming something I could lean on. My doubts faded because of the new witnesses I had received of the restored gospel. I found myself worrying less because I was trusting God more. I felt fear and despair leaving me. I also lost interest in time-wasting activities and noticed that I was becoming more generous and gentle to others.

    As I heeded my stake president’s counsel, God was able to transform me. I was healed and restored by the Master Himself as I feasted upon His word.