2. Be of Good Cheer
Our late prophet Thomas S. Monson was known for saying, "Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." But have you ever stopped to ponder that "being of good cheer" is a commandment?
A quick scriptural search of the phrase on churchofjesuschrist.org pulls up many, many results. In fact, I was surprised to see how often the phrase is used throughout the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. Why do Christ and His prophets use this phrase so often, and why is it so important?
Although much of the time we can and should be cheerful and full of optimism, I don't believe that in saying "be of good cheer" God is commanding us to always exhibit a happy and jubilant countenance. After all, He has also commanded us to "mourn with those that mourn" (Mosiah 18:9).
In the scriptures, the phrase "be of good cheer" is often used in context with admonitions to trust God and not fear, or with reminders of Christ's Atonement and the promise that God is always with us. Since this is the case, I believe that the phrase "be of good cheer" is encouraging us to look beyond our current circumstance with an eternal understanding and perspective. Heavenly Father is, in essence, asking us to remember Him and His plan and to feel joy, gratitude, and reassurance because of it.
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When we strive to "be of good cheer," we know that trials and hardships are temporary and that God will make everything right in the end. Speaking of the phrase "be of good cheer," President Monson said:
"This attitude is what will pull us through watever comes our way. It will not remove our troubles from us but rather will enable us to face our challenges, to meet them head on, and to emerge victorious."
Being of good cheer is also important because it is an attitude that is visible and contagious. The Savior said, "I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid" (3 Nephi 12:14). And in Proverbs 17:22 we read, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." When we strive to "be of good cheer," we are serving others, sharing the gospel, and following in Christ's footsteps.