Neither Fear Nor Heed

In the April 2022 General Conference, Elder David A. Bednar discussed how the hymn “Let Us All Press On” led him to ponder on heeding not detractors’ words. He focused on the line “We will heed not what the wicked may say, but the Lord alone we will obey.” That is the melody lyric. The harmony lyric adds to this “We’ll not fear the wicked, nor give heed to what they say, but the Lord, our Heavenly Father, Him alone we will obey.” The harmony lyric is what I want to focus on.

Sources that Affect Us

The internet is a neutral construct that can be used for good or evil. We see this in the various sites that exist. Social Media is probably the most prominent example of this currently. It’s interesting to see how the algorithms can play out.

For instance, I began following Latter-day Saint accounts on Tik Tok. The next thing I know, my FYP (For You Page) started showing all kinds of anti-LDS accounts. These accounts go to great lengths to either call out what the current leadership of the church says as harming and offensive or try to show, whether scientifically or through stories in the Church’s history, that the Church can’t be God’s on the earth. While some of these accounts make interesting arguments, the real test of our faith comes from the testimonies we have cultivated.

When we have a strong testimony of God’s existence, Jesus is The Christ, Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration, and The Book of Mormon is the word of God, then these accounts have little to no effect on us. However, a constant bombardment of these things can wear us down if we are not careful. For me, being on Tik Tok wasn’t worth seeing account after account trying to discredit my faith and testimony, so I stopped using it.

Faith in Christ

There are times in our lives when we can be fearful of being followers of Jesus Christ. There was a time in the ministry of Christ in Jerusalem when several of His disciples “went back and walked no more with him.” Jesus then asked the Twelve Apostles if they would leave also. Peter provided their answer “Lord to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:66-69).

I feel the same as Peter. I have seen many friends go back and no longer walk in the church. If asked, I would provide the same answer as Peter. Where would I go? I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the words of eternal life. This is not something that has been battered in me. I have not been brainwashed. I have taken the time to study, ponder and then pray to know where the truth lies. That truth has been revealed to me personally and I cannot deny it.

Having faith in Jesus Christ helps us to have peace and to “Let not [our hearts] be troubled, neither let [them] be afraid.” (John 14:27). This allows us to be confident and not fear when those who would distract us from the gospel and try to lead us astray come into our lives. Faith gives us the ability to discern truth from error and helps us not heed words that will take us off the covenant path.

What is the “Word of God”

In 1 Nephi chapter 8, we read Lehi’s Vision of the Tree of Life. In that vision, Lehi sees people trying to make their way to the Tree of Life and notes the following conditions:

  1. The path leading to the tree has a rod of iron running alongside it
  2. There are mists of darkness that come upon those on the path
  3. Those that cling to the rod of iron arrive at the tree and partake of the fruit

In a later chapter, Nephi explains to his brothers that the rod of iron is the word of God. Elder Bednar explains what the phrase “word of God” means. After his explanation he states that holding fast (clinging) to the word of God means:

(1) remembering, honoring, and strengthening the personal connection we have with the Savior and His Father through the covenants and ordinances of the restored gospel and (2) prayerfully, earnestly, and consistently using the holy scriptures and the teachings of living prophets and apostles as sure sources of revealed truth.

Elder David A. Bednar, General Conference April 2022

One thing that stands out in this explanation is that the “teachings of living prophets and apostles” are “sure sources of revealed truth”. There are those out there who profess God’s work is done and that He doesn’t talk to His children, nor provides guidance in our day. That is not true! God cares about us just as much as he has cared for our ancestors, for those we find in scripture, and all those that will come after us. Holding fast to the word of God cannot be done without following the teachings of the living prophets and apostles.

As we remember, honor, and strengthen our connection to God and Christ and use the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets, we will be able to stand unafraid of detractors and not heed what they say.


In conclusion, I want to share the harmony lyrics to the chorus of “Let Us All Press On”. They state

Fear not, courage, though the enemy deride; We must be victorious, for the Lord is on our side. We’ll not fear the wicked nor give heed to what they say, but the Lord, our Heavenly Father, him alone we will obey.

Let Us All Press On, Hymn 243

If we remain on the Lord’s side, heed not the detractors, nor fear them, we will be victorious and stay on the covenant path.

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