“The Fear of Man” Can Discourage Us from Sharing the Gospel

Doctrine and Covenants 60:2

2 But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“In the early days of the Church the elders were human also, and the Lord was not always pleased with them, as He made very clear in some of the revelations. But great teacher that He is, He would often commend them for the work they had done and then correct them. That is good psychology. My wife uses it on our children and sometimes on her husband. The Lord used it with the early elders of the Church and one time was pretty severe on some of them, and I am sure it must have caused them to have very serious reflections. Speaking to the elders, those who are the men who were called to bear His name, He said: ‘But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of men. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them’ (D&C 60:2).

“That is pretty plain, isn’t it? Sometimes we have among our missionaries those who are afraid because of the fear of man, and if you permit yourselves to get that spirit of fear, the adversary will back you up. He will support you. He will encourage you in it until you get to the point where you are afraid to exercise your authority and to bear testimony regarding this message. Remember the promise made: ‘And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them’ (D&C 1:5). There is no place for fear. There is no place for discouragement, because you can’t fail in this work if you do your part. There is no place for timidity or hesitancy. Humility, yes, but you can be humble and courageous and fearless and effective.”

(The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 199.)

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