Hushing Fears (FHE plans and quotes from Elder Bednar)

Lesson Plan

Share and discuss the following quotes from Elder David A. Bednar, “Therefore They Hushed Their Fears”. April 2015 General Conference.

Elder Bednar shared an experience when he was very afraid when he was a young boy:

I remember vividly an experience I had as a small boy. One day while playing with my friends, I accidentally broke a window in a store near our home. As the glass shattered and the security alarm blared, a paralyzing fear filled my heart and mind. I realized immediately I was doomed to spend the remainder of my life in prison. My parents eventually coaxed me out from a hiding place under my bed and helped me to make amends with the store owner. Fortunately, my jail sentence was commuted.

Do you remember a time that you were really afraid? Share stories.

In our world today there are lots of things that can cause fear: criminal violence, famine, wars, disease, destructive weather, etc.

Elder Bednar taught that “fear is dispelled through a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Share the story of Alma and his people.

In the land of Helam, Alma’s people were frightened by an advancing Lamanite army.

“But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but … should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.

“Therefore they hushed their fears” (Mosiah 23:27–28).

Notice Alma did not hush the people’s fears. Rather, Alma counseled the believers to remember the Lord and the deliverance only He could bestow (see 2 Nephi 2:8). And knowledge of the Savior’s protecting watchcare enabled the people to hush their own fears.

Introduce scripture of the week.

“Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

Elder Bednar taught three basic principles that central to receiving the blessing of hushed fears.

1) Look to Christ: story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter walking to him (Matt 14:27-31). Show the Bible Video: Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?

2) Build upon the Foundation of Christ: firmly establish our desires and deeds upon the sure foundation of the Savior through our ordinances and covenants. (Helaman 5:12)

3) Press Forward with Faith in Christ: learn and live gospel principles and press forward on the covenant pathway. 2 Ne 31:20

Further Study: The Fear of the Lord

“As the scriptures certify, godly fear “is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), “the instruction of wisdom” (Proverbs 15:33), a “strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26), and “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:27).”

“If our desires have been for righteousness and our works good, then the judgment bar will be pleasing.”

“Godly fear dispels mortal fears. It even subdues the haunting concern that we never can be good enough spiritually and never will measure up to the Lord’s requirements and expectations. In truth, we cannot be good enough or measure up relying solely upon our own capacity and performance. Our works and desires alone do not and cannot save us. “After all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23), we are made whole only through the mercy and grace available through the Savior’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice (see Alma 34:10, 14). Certainly, “we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).

“Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him.”

The Atonement helps us to bear the load (Highlights from Elder Bednar-April 2014)

Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load: “Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction that will enable me to press forward with faith in Christ on the strait and narrow path and avoid getting stuck? Is the load I am carrying creating sufficient spiritual traction so I ultimately can return home to Heavenly Father?”

“Bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness.”

Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.”

As we are yoked with Him through sacred covenants and receive the enabling power of His Atonement in our lives, we increasingly will seek to understand and live according to His will. We also will pray for the strength to learn from, change, or accept our circumstances rather than praying relentlessly for God to change our circumstances according to our will. We will become agents who act rather than objects that are acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:14). We will be blessed with spiritual traction.”

Elder David A. Bednar, “Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease”. April 2014 General Conference.

The “significant but subtle” blessings of tithing

When I listened to Elder Bednar’s talk at the October 2013 General Conference, I was immediately struck with the thought “this talk is an answer to one of your prayers”.  Our family has spent many long years in graduate school, where I have to say our income has definitely been on the leaner side. I have spent many hours on our family budget, at often times wondering how everything is going to work out. But I am forever thankful and humbled for the “tithing blessings” that have come to our family in so many ways. I loved Elder Bednar’s phrase “significant but subtle” blessings–that is the perfect description of the blessings of tithing I have seen in my own life. The statements below especially stood out to me.

“We might want and expect a job offer, but the blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to act and change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.”

“Eyes and ears of faith are required, however, to notice in us an increased spiritual and temporal capacity (see Luke 2:52) to do more with less, a keener ability to prioritize and simplify, and an enhanced ability to take proper care of the material possessions we already have acquired. We might want and expect a larger paycheck, but the blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.

“The honest payment of tithing is much more thanks duty; it is an important step in the process of personal sanctification.”

I think it is significant that Heavenly Father won’t always bless us with a higher paying job. Instead we may be blessed to be a really good at finding really good deals, or we will be blessed to receive wonderful hand-me-down clothes for our children, or the meals we prepare stretch to contribute to another meal of leftovers. Heavenly Father blesses us to work well with what we have been given, and I know that tithing blessings are real and are a part of my life.

Elder David A. Bednar, “The Windows of Heaven”. October 2013 General Conference.

Being like Christ

“This is the call of Christ to every Christian today: “Feed my lambs. … Feed my sheep”—share my gospel with young and old, lifting, blessing, comforting, encouraging, and building them, especially those who think and believe differently than we do. We feed His lambs in our homes by how we live the gospel: keeping the commandments, praying, studying the scriptures, and emulating His love. We feed His sheep in the Church as we serve in priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations. And we feed His sheep throughout the world by being good Christian neighbors, practicing the pure religion of visiting and serving the widows, the fatherless, the poor, and all who are in need.

For many, the call to be a Christian can seem demanding, even overwhelming. But we need not be afraid or feel inadequate. The Savior has promised that He will make us equal to His work. “Follow me,” He said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”As we follow Him, He blesses us with gifts, talents, and the strength to do His will, allowing us to go beyond our comfort zones and do things we’ve never before thought possible. This may mean sharing the gospel with neighbors, rescuing those who are spiritually lost, serving a full-time mission, working in the temple, raising a child with special needs, loving the prodigal, serving an ailing companion, enduring misunderstandings, or suffering affliction. It means preparing ourselves to answer His call by saying, “I’ll go where you want me to go; I’ll say what you want me to say; I’ll do what you want me to do; I’ll be what you want me to be.”

Study his list of Christlike qualities. How am I developing the following: love, faith, sacrifice, caring, service, patience, peace, forgiveness, conversion, endurance to the end.

Elder Robert D. Hales, “Being a More Christian Christian”. October 2012 General Conference. 


“Making the covenant to be a disciple of Christ is the beginning of a lifelong process, and the path is not always easy. As we repent of our sins and strive to do what He would have us do and serve our fellowmen as He would serve them, we will inevitably become more like Him. Becoming like Him and being one with Him is the ultimate goal and objective—and essentially the very definition of true discipleship.”

Elder Daniel L. Johnson, “Becoming a True Disciple”. October 2012 General Conference.


“The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior’s Atonement. True conversion brings a change in one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (see Acts 3:193 Nephi 9:20) and includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.”

“Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion. Testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination. Strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established.”

“A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.”

Elder David A. Bednar, “Converted unto the Lord.” October 2012 General Conference.

FHE: Revelation (General Conference 2011, Elder Bednar)

After viewing the most recent General Conference session last April, I felt impressed that I needed to review the messages that were shared with my children. What better time and place to do that then during Family Home Evening?

This week I am sharing the lessons that we have done in the last few months which were related to the April 2011 General Conference. In most cases I focused on one or two quotes from the talk, and then had a coloring page or activity for the children to do. The highlighted quote and activity page are displayed on our wall throughout the week as a reminder of the lesson. In addition, I make sure to show a picture of the General Authority whose words we are studying, so my children can connect a face with the words.

“Revelation is communication from God to His children on the earth and one of the great blessings associated with the gift and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.”

“Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.”

“A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once.”

“The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation.”

David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation”, April 2011 General Conference

Lesson Plan and Demonstration

Explain revelation, using the above quotes. Then go into a completely dark room (no windows), and turn on the light. Talk about how some revelation comes instantly, like flipping a light switch. Turn the light off, then turn on a light gradually (I used a dimmer switch on a camping lantern). Discuss how some revelation comes a piece at a time, just like the light came on a bit at a time.

Coloring Page

the spirit of revelation


I was really happy with how well this lesson went over with my children. The visual demonstration of the light turning on, using the switch and then the adjustable light on the lantern was a great hands on way to demonstrate the various forms of revelation.

Additional quotes from the talk that stood out to me

“In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best, to act and not be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26), and to trust in Him. We may not see angels, hear heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions. We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps. And we can speak with the assurance that God will inspire our utterances. This is in part the meaning of the scripture that declares, “Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).”

“As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you and your family” (Bednar, source).

Consistency in the small things

“Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.”

David A. Bednar, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home”, October 2009 General Conference