Can You Overcome Your Fears?

(This post is from a letter written home and is presented here in an edited form by Elder Todd's father in hopes that this will offer some degree of comfort to others.)

In the middle of my own troubling circumstances, I write to you in full manner of happiness, expressing my own comfort from the Lord.

. . . I often wrote, I believe, about my past which has been a great sorrow to me. I often felt as if I had failed in my past (as a teenager). I did not share the gospel of Jesus Christ as I should have. I did not speak kind words. I did many gospel duties halfheartedly. I was not as valiant as I could have been. Often those thoughts filled my head . . . I too often remembered the bad times rather than the good.

I know that the Lord has forgiven me of my grievances. I have felt His mercy and I enjoy His presence once more. As a flower grows with sunlight, my soul has grown in His presence. I recognize now that I, in the end of my adolescence, had both a testimony - which has been strengthened - and a knowledge of the scriptures - which has grown. . . God has shown me what I did not see.

I recognize now two incidents in my life that would place great importance in turning my life around. Remember in, I believe 6th grade, when I read a scary story that stated I was going to die, causing me to fear greatly? I cried myself to sleep twice that night, Bria (his sister) shared a scripture that influenced me: Alma 37:37. I learned to turn to God in prayer and to seek the scriptures. It would later form a testimony. I pray that she remembers that night.

The other is the youth activity where we caroled at an elderly home. When we ended the caroling, the leaders encouraged us to talk to the elderly. I didn't want to talk to anybody, so I joined another youth, listening to their conversation. A leader pulled me a way to an elderly woman, who nobody presently was talking with her. Though I have forgotten her name, she was a member of the church and she bore her testimony. I remember, because it still lingers with these words: "I know. I know. I know." I learned the power of testimony.

I am grateful . . . My past is not as dark as I see it and my future is bright. By the grace of God I have mastered the past and future. The present is to prepare; to build upon the talents, attributes and the testimony that I have. . . I am a son of God . . . I will go forward in the service of the Lord, magnifying my callings.


Elder Todd

Elder Todd with his Sister prior to leaving for Virginia.

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