Fear of failing in many things is a very powerful motivator. Fear of being wrong and making the wrong choice comes from having the idea that your choices can (and just might) have irrevocable consequences of a dire and eternal nature. Knowing that making the wrong choice could lead to another explosion from your Mother because you as a small child of less than 6 years of age wanted to play or have something to eat can cause you to be paralyzed with fear of choosing anything, let alone making the wrong decision.
Despite the assurances of many leaders, I have often let fear rule my life. Fear of trying and failing. Fear of hurting someone else. Fear of having Them lock me up because They found out I am a bad person. Fear of having anyone find out just how corrupt and irredeemably wrong I am inside. I live with fear of failing to be a good father for my children. I live with the fear of knowing that all of the sins I have committed repeatedly, even though I try to overcome them, knowing that God is just and will not be mocked, will ALL be held against me someday and that at that day I will have failed the ultimate and final test, leaving my children and wife to be alone with no father and no husband for the eternities. I guess that while I understand the idea or concept of the atonement, I have not yet found a way to reckon that with my human nature that dooms me to repeat my crimes, both big and small, against God’s commandments. It is these repeated failures on my part that make me feel completely unworthy and that I have failed my earthly tests already. The scriptures repeatedly state that God will not be mocked. I see how when the Nephites were good, they were blessed but they kept falling into their habits of evil and finally God destroyed them for this. …but wait, a thought just hit me while thinking about that.
When, and sometimes it took them a while and with much persecution from the Lamanites, the Nephites would repent and obey God’s commandments, God would bless the Nephites, sometimes with wealth and success, sometimes just with the strength to enduer their burdens. Maybe that is what I need to focus on is the repent and truly do my best to keep the commandments and then God can show His love for me. When I fail to do even this much then He can’t bless me at all because His hands are tied, figuratively speaking. He knows I am not going to be perfect. He knows that I am weak in the face of many temptations. This does not excuse me for failures but does allow for me to try harder to resist those temptations and repent. Each I time I resist them is like getting further along the trail before falling down and sliding back down the mountain. Hopefully I catch myself quickly and only need to make back a little bit of ground and then move past that point. …hmmmm….This is something that bears focus and centering in my thoughts so I don’t feel so hopeless.