"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36).
I was reading to my sons tonight from Prince Caspian, the second book published in the series The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. At that point of the book, Aslan, the Lion, a symbol for Jesus Christ, is leading the Pevensie children through the woods in the middle of the night. At first, only Lucy can see Aslan. One by one, each of the children begin to see him. It is Susan, last of all, that sees him. She says to Lucy:
"... I've been far worse than you know. I really believed it was him–he, I mean–yesterday. When he warned us not to go down into the fir wood. And I really believed it was him tonight, when you woke us up. I mean, deep down inside. Or I could have, if I'd let myself. But I just wanted to get out of the woods–and–oh, I don't know. And what ever am I to say to him?"
A moment later, Aslan greets each of the children for the first time, Susan last:
"... after an awful pause, the deep voice said, 'Susan.' Susan made no answer but the others thought she was crying. 'You have listened to fears, child,' said Aslan. 'Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?
"'A little, Aslan,' said Susan."
Susan's difficulty in seeing Aslan was not that she was doing something overtly wrong, but rather that she was letting her fears, her desires for results in the moment backed up by clear reaons, overcome her deep feelings encouraging her to trust and follow.
When I read those words to my son, I realized I often do the same thing. I allow my fears or my desires for things to just be comfortable to take over. Whenever that happens, I can't see Him. I become crippled. I'm not overtly sinning, but yet I lose sight of Him. Why? Because I listen to my fears, and then doubt creeps in.
Jesus Christ, our advocate before the Father, commands us to "doubt not, fear not" (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). It's interesting that he ties the ideas of doubt and fear so tightly, and that he not only encourages us to be courageous, but that it is a direct, clear command.
I have found that the more I allow my fears to overtake me, the harder it is for me to see Him–to hear His voice–and my doubts begin to grow. But when I trust, when I thrust aside my fears about things over which I have no control, and then continue to take steps forward, keeping my covenants and putting my faith in Him, that's when I see Him again–when I hear His voice and have confidence and hope.
It is then, and only then, that I can see all people clearly as children of God, treat everyone well, and have courage to live and love.
We can put all our faith in Him and push aside our fears because He has already purchased us with His blood. He has kept and will keep His promises.
"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isaiah 43:1)