Covid-19 Offerings from Northern Nevada's Interfaith Community

April 9, 2020: Offering from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Look to God for Shelter

Today we face a pandemic that unites our Northern Nevada interfaith community. We come to God from all religions and pray in our own way to a Heavenly Father who loves us. Our prayers are prayers of hope, prayers of faith, prayers to overcome fear believing that we are not alone because we know He will not desert us. 

This morning I had a coworker share that she had great fear.  Her eyes were filled with tears as she explained her personal circumstance with a daughter in New York and the many things that she felt helpless to do anything about.  

I thought of Job in the Old Testament.  In his many trials, he turned to God and was given peace.  Job 22:21, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.”  Through prayer comfort is given, through prayer we receive peace, through prayer our relationship to God is strengthened so that we may find “shelter” from any storms that may come. 

As we all hunker down and do what our government officials ask us to do, we are told to “shelter in place.” As good Washoe County citizens, we physically stay at home. But there’s a spiritual component to “sheltering in place.”  

In Psalm 61:1-4 we read, look to God for “shelter.” 

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed

“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 

“For thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy.  

“I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.”

Peace comes as we trust in the “shelter of God’s protection.”

May God’s choicest blessings be yours and may joy and happiness fill your lives “thereby good shall come unto thee.” May we find “shelter” from our storm and peace in the only place where true peace is found.  

Submitted by Pamela Kellerstrass
Coordinator, Nevada Prayer Breakfast 2020
Public Affairs Interfaith Specialist,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Covid-19 Offerings from Northern Nevada's Interfaith Community

April 6, 2020: Offering from NIA

Mortal fear vs Godly fear 

In our daily lives, we are aware through the media of criminal activities, famine, wars, natural disasters , terrorist activities, corruption and disease which causes any of us to experience fear. Living in Reno, to a large extent, we have not been subjected to the calamities which we read about and see on TV in the overwhelming numbers that affect others in distant locations. Until now, that is , for today the global threat of Covid-19 has the capability of spreading far and wide and ultimately, it has come to our community. This threat is altering all of our lives and is producing great fear and anxiety. 

I recently read a talk by David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which I found to be helpful in putting my fears in perspective. I would like to share some of the main points that he made with you. 

Mortal fear creates alarm and anxiety. This distressing emotion of fear arises due to impending danger, uncertainty or pain through experiences a that are unexpected, sometimes sudden, and a negative outcome is produced. Fear and uncertainty is clearly visible to us as we see grocery shelves empty and hoarding takes place, see stores closing, see schools close, events being cancelled and measures being taken to try to social distance everyone to abate the eventual spread of the virus. 

Mortal fear has been with us from the Fall of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:9-10 we read that Adam answered God’s call by saying “I heard they voice…., and I was afraid.” Bednar asks, “…but can we hush our fears that so easily and frequently beset upon our world today? Yes, the basic principles are central to receiving that blessing in our lives: look to Christ, building upon the foundation of Christ, and press forward in faith in Christ.” 

The word fear in Godly fear has a totally different meaning: it is to respect, revere, and to trust with confidence in Christ. Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence. “When we fear God we have a reliance on His merits, mercy and grace which leads to hope, through his Atonement, and to Resurrection and eternal life. Hope such as this brings into our lives the sweet peace of conscience. The Atonement made repentance possible and strengthens us to see, do and become good in ways we could never recognize or accomplish with our Mortal capacity.” From Philippians 4:7 we read that the blessings of discipleship is “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”

Godly fear as the scriptures certify is “the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs1:7), “the instruction of wisdom” (Proverbs 15:33), “a strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26, and “a fountain of life”( Proverbs 14:27. Ecclesiastes 12:13-124 tells us to “Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” This Godly fear dispels mortal fears. For 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 Faith1:5). 

Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him. As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly. And “perfect love casteth out all fear.” “The bright light of godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears as we look to the Savior. He is our Redeemer and because of Him “our hearts need not be troubled or afraid (see John 14:27) and our fears will be hushed by His blessings.”

Submitted by Patricia Meidell
President, Nevada Interfaith Association
Public Affairs Director,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints