32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die. 33 And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another. 34 And now, when I the Lord had spoken these words unto my disciples, they were troubled. 35 And I said unto them: Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:32-35 emphasis added.)
The signs surrounding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will appear to many as if the world is spinning out of control, but to the saints who read of the signs in the scriptures, it will show that the Lord is in control. We can move forward with faith and have hope, rather than run around like Chicken Little, crying that the sky is falling.
Do not take counsel from your fears
Elder Packer said: “My counsel can be said in seven words: Do not take counsel from your fears.” He cited scriptures in which the Lord said: “Fear not, little flock” (D&C 6:34; see also D&C 35:27 and Luke 12:32), and “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Elder Packer related an experience he had when he asked one of his senior brethren to help him with a problem. “To my surprise, he said, `Do you know what’s wrong with you?'” Elder Packer recalled. “Then he continued, `You want to see the end from the beginning.’ And then he quoted from the Book of Mormon: `Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.’ (Ether 12:6.) Then he added, `You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness, and the light will appear.’ ”
Elder Packer then advised the graduates that as they go forward from BYU and move into a world of uncertainty, to “dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” He told the graduates, “If you walk to the edge of the light, and a few steps into the darkness, the light will appear before you. If you have studied the plan of redemption, you need not fear. Do not take counsel from your fears.” 1
The End of the World
Teenagers also sometimes think, “What’s the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end.” That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life.
One day you will cope with teenage children of your own. That will serve you right. Later, you will spoil your grandchildren, and they in turn spoil theirs. If an earlier end should happen to come to one, that is more reason to do things right. 2
This is great counsel to the youth of the church. Many high school students have fears about college, mission, marriage, and future employment. These fears can be overcome through faith in Christ and pressing forward, doing what we are to be doing and being where we are to be. As we move forward, the path ahead will be illuminated just enough for us to continue forward.
1. President Boyd K. Packer instructs BYU graduates: Don’t take counsel from your fears, LDS Church News, 1994, 04/30/94. See also: bit.ly/zBsZaL
2. President Boyd K. Packer, To Young Women and Men, Ensign, April 1989.