- My message has two purposes today: The first is to urge us to contemplate and consider the extent to which we use fear to motivate others—including ourselves. The second is to suggest a better way.
Speaking about fear, President Uchtdorf shares that fear seldom changes our hearts but instead gives us short bursts of compliance but isn't long-lasting.
- Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts, and 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.
President Uchtdorf says there is a better way to help people and lead people in all aspects of our lives. He shares that God is concerned with who we are in our hearts and if our hearts are changed, our behaviors will follow closely behind.
- But 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.
- God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned. God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.
In our efforts to become more Christlike, President Uchtdorf shares that we need to love, be humble, and not look down on others.
- Therefore, let us serve God and love our fellowmen. Let us do this with a natural confidence, with humility, never looking down on any other religion or group of people.
He concludes with some of the characteristics of God that we can emulate to become better leaders of others and better disciples of the Savior
- 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.
- Loving God and our fellowmen will turn our obedience to God’s commandments into a blessing rather than a burden. Christ’s love will help us become a little kinder, more forgiving, more caring, and more dedicated to His work.
How grateful I am that we are moving away from motivating with fear rather than the love of Christ. Several years ago there was a talk about there being no room in Christlike service for motivating with guilt. Since that talk, I have tried to express the need to reach out to others, not as a guilt factor because of home teaching numbers are due next week, or it's the end of the month and I haven't checked on my families. Rather, I have tried to encourage people to have stewardship over the families assigned to them. I have encouraged them to want to do what the Lord would do. I have encouraged one on one motivation to reach out to people that the Lord needs to be reached out to. Guilt and fear are Satan's tools combated with the pure love of the Savior. I hope we can look at our personal lives and find ways to bring people to Christ through love rather than fear.