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November 2010 Chaplain's message

SALT LAKE CITY -- The chaplain's theme from my recent deployment to Afghanistan was if you are prepared, you shall not fear. As I reflect upon my service in this war zone, I often reflect upon this theme. I have experienced many situations during my years of service as a chaplain and particularly in Afghanistan where this idea was foremost in my mind.

My experiences in Afghanistan taught me that if we are prepared we need not fear. Regardless of the challenges that we face, we can combat the adversary's siren call of doubt and fearfulness with the Lord's message of faith and hope. We can move forward with our lives and find peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come. We each need to develop within ourselves great conviction and a strong testimony to trust in God when we cannot fully see the future. As a service member in Afghanistan, I was working together to help the citizens of Afghanistan to have a better future through peace and security.

I have learned that by obeying, by believing, by praying and by pondering and feasting upon the words of scripture, we can receive that sweet assurance of the Lord, to fear not, to press forward and to serve to the best of my ability. As I study the Old Testament, and I reflect upon the subject of fear, the words of Isaiah come to mind "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:40) What comforting words to know that our Father in heaven "will help thee." My prayer for each us is that we will fear not, that we will never stand still while serving in the military, but that we will move on in faith and hope in serving our God, our country and the good people throughout the world. In so doing my prayer for each of us is that we will succeed, to help bring peace to troubled parts of the world and to always return home with honor.