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Be of Good Cheer

image via MeganKnorrp
I had the opportunity to speak in church this last week, and was instructed to base my comments on the article "You Are Free" by D. Todd Christoffersen, from the March 2013 Ensign.

The gospel, said President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “is a plan of freedom that gives discipline to appetite and direction to behavior.” This plan puts us on a path of increasing knowledge and capacity, increasing grace and light. It is the freedom to become what you can and ought to be.

I have always loved that in this gospel, we have clear instructions and guidelines to follow, and that when we keep the Lord's commandments, we are promised blessings in return. All of the choices we make have eternal consequences. 

But what stood out to me the most is the challenge to always be of good cheer. 

A lot of times in life, the only choice that we can make is to have a good attitude. In John 16:33 we read “Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world”.

Then again in D&C 68: 6 “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you”.

Acts 23: 11 , D&C 78:18, and D&C 61:36 also instruct us to "Be of good cheer".

We are always responsible for the decisions we make, and we cannot blame circumstance, or family, or the weather, should we choose to disobey God’s commandments.

We are on this earth to gain experience, and it is through trials and tribulations that we experience growth.

In my own life, I have spent the last 10 years learning how to be of good cheer in all things. I have dealt with very difficult medical issues, and my attitude about these trials has made all the difference in the world. 

Instead of being angry about having a non-curable disease, I am happy that I have insurance to pay for the medications. 

Instead of being annoyed that my legs aren't working right on any given day, I'll declare a pajama day, and spend some time with a good book. 

Yes, there are good days, and there are bad days. And yes, my life now revolves around injections and medications. But I have gained a stronger testimony through these trials, and it’s through my obedience to the Lord and his commandments that I am able to feel peace.

I know that as we strive to live the commandments of God, our prayers will be answered, and we will experience personal miracles. Follow the counsel of the prophets, to choose the right and to be of good cheer, and your lives will be blessed in unexpected ways. 

READER CHALLENGE: Count the Blessings if you life this week. Grab a notebook, and jot down every good thing that happens.

FHE IDEA/OBJECT LESSON: Start the lesson by holding up a blank sheet of paper. Tell the group that it represents our lives. We do all have many problems and disappointments in our lives; (ex. having a flat tire in the middle of the desert, having to care for a sick relative, missing an airplane or bus, or losing a father or mother). Be specific with these problems. As you name each problem, tear a small piece of paper off. Do this until the entire sheet has been torn into pieces. Some might look at this pile of paper and say, "Look at this. My whole life has been nothing but problems." Yet others would look at this pile of paper, pick up the paper, and toss it in the air as confetti to celebrate the gift of their lives and the problems they have overcome. (If you'd like, you can actually throw the confetti in the air.) Share your desire for them that they might find joy among the trials, for these trials strengthen you and bring blessings. (idea from Mormon Share)


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