Do Not Fear What Man Can Do

Empty TP roll says “Don’t panic.”
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

We are afraid of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting us or our loved ones at this time. The newspapers report daily counts of COVID-19 deaths. It increases our anxiety. We also cannot connect in person with more than those that we live with currently. We maintain six feet separation from others. As our fear increases, we need ways to combat that fear.

Personally, I have found that counseling, writing, and religious observance has eased my fears. I believe that my faith in God has helped me the most through this time. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and are aware of our pain.

My greatest fear, and any parent’s fear, is losing a child. I almost lost my son a year ago when he accidentally strangled himself with a jump rope. He was unresponsive and blue. My husband revived him, but then we feared what bodily or brain damage he would have. My son fully recovered with no damage except some ligature marks on his neck. I don’t believe they are even visible now.

My fears continued as I struggled to let my sons play outside. My husband and I had frequent night terrors of my son’s lifeless body. Through counseling, prayer, and priesthood blessings, my fear has greatly lessened. I still have some night terrors. I can handle letting my sons play in the backyard. I remind myself that they most likely won’t die. My son’s accident was a random accident.

As many parents feel, I feared what others would think of me if I was a careless parent, or worse. I had seen people rip into the Utah family of the boy who lost his arm to the neighbor dogs only weeks before. Animal activists cared more for the dogs than the boy’s fate or the family’s well-being. Would others attack me like they had that family? Would I have my children taken away?

Statue of Jesus Christ
Photo by Zachary Olson on Unsplash

I reminded myself that it matters more what God thinks of me more than other people. People are flawed; our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ are perfect.

Only God’s opinion matters. And only He heals.

In high school, I read Doctrine and Covenants 122:9 where God comforts Joseph Smith while he is incarcerated in Liberty Jail:

“Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”

I wrote a poem because of how strongly the verse spoke to me. I remembered Corrie ten Boom who had survived Ravensbruck concentration camp during World War 2 as I wrote the poem. I repeat these lines when I need to calm my fears:

Do not fear what man can do
For I am with you.

I am your Guard
When the times get hard.

I am your Hiding Place
When you can’t face.

I am your Rock
To whom you can knock.

I am your Friend
Beyond this life’s end.

I am the One who died
So death could be defied.

I am the One:
Only Begotten Son.

What fears do you currently face? Do you have a way to cope with them?

I employed the different metaphors and quotes of Jesus Christ while writing this poem. Here is a list of verses that match:

“fear not…” Doctrine and Covenants 122:9; Psalm 27:1

Guard or shield- Psalm 3:3

Hiding Place or hid in Christ- Psalm 27:5; Colossians 3:3; D&C 86:9

Rock- Helaman 5:12 (Book of Mormon); Matthew 7:24

Only Begotten- John 3:16

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I love language and believe every word is a poem. I majored in English language from BYU. I am a mom to four rambunctious boys. I have bipolar disorder too.

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