General Conference Study Schedule Week 20: Perfect Love Casteth out Fear by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk titled, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear.” I love Uchtdorf’s talks a lot!!! He is one of my favorite speakers. He has such a tender heart and wants the best for all of us. I also loved that he mentioned our dear, sweet prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

He started his talk with this quote:

Quote #1 (pdf)

And of course President Uchtdorf has to have a joke…

“Isn’t it terrible?” she said. “There must have been four or five people sound asleep during your talk!”

I thought for a moment and answered, “I am pretty sure that church sleep is among the healthiest of all sleeps.”

He always has a great attitude on life and his wife is one lucky lady.

I. The Great Awakening

Question:

What is the “Great Awakening?”

A movement to awaken the people who appeared to be asleep regarding spiritual matters.

Young Joseph Smith was influenced by the things he heard from preachers who were part of this religious awakening. It is one of the reasons he decided to seek earnestly the will of the Lord in private prayer.

These preachers had a dramatic, emotional preaching style, with sermons that were known for their heavy emphasis on the fiery terrors of hell that await the sinner.1 Their speeches didn’t put people to sleep—but they may have caused a few nightmares. Their purpose and pattern seemed to be to frighten people into church.

II. Fear as Manipulation

Fear has often been used as a means to get people to take action.

President Uchtdorf has two purposes in his talk…

  1. Urge us to contemplate and consider the extent to which we use fear to motivate others-including ourselves.
  2. Suggest a better way.

III. The Problem with Fear

Fear can have a powerful influence over our actions and behavior. Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts. It will never transform us into people who love what is right and who want to obey Heavenly Father. People who are fearful may say and do the right things, but they do not feel the right things. They often feel helpless and resentful, even angry. Over time these feelings lead to mistrust, defiance, even rebellion.

Question:

What does the Lord say about it?

The Lord has said that “when we … exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, … the heavens withdraw themselves [and] the Spirit of the Lord is grieved.”

We need the Spirit all the time. Why would we want to control or have dominion over anyone? The Lord has made it clear that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.”

IV. A Better Way

Heavenly Father inspires and leads His children. He is not angry, vengeful, or retaliatory. He is our mentor, and will exalt us, and lead us to His fullness. He wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change our very natures. He wants to change our hearts. He wants us to reach out and take firm hold of the iron rod, confront our fears, and bravely step forward and upward along the strait and narrow path. He wants this for us because He loves us and because this is the way to happiness.

How does he motivate His children to follow Him in our day?

He sent His son. Jesus has shown us the right way.

God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.8 God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.

He is our mentor.

He is our great and cherished hope.

He desires to stimulate us with faith.

He trusts us to learn from our missteps and make correct choices.

V. What of the Evils of the World?

Satan wants to manipulate others.

But, I love what President Uchtdorf said, “But in spite of all this, I wouldn’t trade living in this time with any other time in the history of the world. We are blessed beyond measure to live in a day of unparalleled prosperity, enlightenment, and advantage. Most of all, we are blessed to have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives us a unique perspective on the world’s dangers and shows us how to either avoid these dangers or deal with them.”

This has changed the way I think of this crazy life we are living. It really is crazy but Uchtdorf has a point. We live in a time where we are blessed to have the fulness of the gospel at our fingertips. It can help us with the worlds dangers. We just need to let the gospel dwell in our hearts and minds and let it go.

We need to study the word of God, heed the voice of the Spirit so we can know the signs of the times and the signs of the coming of the Son of man. We need to move forward with faith, courage, determination, and trust in God as we approach the challenges and opportunities ahead.

God has promised, “All things shall work together for your good, if [you] walk uprightly.” Therefore, let us set aside our fears and live instead with joy, humility, hope, and a bold confidence that the Lord is with us.

Christ’s perfect love overcomes temptations to harm, coerce, bully, or oppress.

Christ’s perfect love allows us to walk with humility, dignity, and a bold confidence as followers of our beloved Savior. Christ’s perfect love gives us the confidence to press through our fears and place our complete trust in the power and goodness of our Heavenly Father and of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Replace fear with Christ’s perfect love. Christ’s love will…

  1. Replace fear with faith
  2. Help us become a little kinder, more forgiving, more caring, and more dedicated to his work.
  3. We will awaken with a renewed spiritual freshness and we will walk joyfully, confidently, awake and alive in the light and glory of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.

Testimony:

I testify, with the Apostle John, “There is no fear in [Christ’s] love.”22 Brothers and sisters, dear friends, God knows you perfectly. He loves you perfectly. He knows what your future holds. He wants you to “be not afraid, only believe”23 and “abide in his [perfect] love.”

Next Week: The Voice of Warning by Elder D. Todd Christofferson found {HERE}

***The purpose of the 25 weeks of General Conference talks came from our ebook called, Growing up with Conference. In our book, we share an FHE lesson titled: Favorite talk. The purpose is to teach your family to use the general conference talks as part of their personal scripture study. This FHE lesson is found in our “Live it” section of our ebook. You can find our ebook HERE. ***

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