Good Cheer in Hard Times

Reading: “Be of Good Cheer,” President Thomas S. Monson, April 2009 General Conference, Sunday Morning Session

In this talk President Monson shares three stories of people who suffered incredible hardship.  One story was of a family who lost a child while crossing the ocean to join the Saints in Nauvoo.  Another story was of a man who lost his sight and sought a blessing, but also saying that whether or not he received his sight back he was still grateful.  The last story was of a woman forced to walk from her home in East Prussia to West Germany and who buried each of her four children along the way.

All of these stories President Monson shared do not have a traditional happy ending.  We don’t know if the man ever received his sight back.  We don’t know what happened to the woman after she arrived in West Germany.  Instead each story ends with the person or family being of good cheer despite their hardship because of their faith in God.

When I first heard this talk I was deeply touched and realized on a deeper level that the most important things in life are our families and the gospel.  Sometimes I get discouraged too easily because I am focused on fleeting things that don’t matter so much, like possessions, comfort, or pride.  I can learn from these stories to focus on the important things and to trust in God more readily.

Today I am going to watch what disappoints me or stresses me and see if maybe I can be more focused on family and the gospel in those areas.

When you read or heard these stories, what did it bring to your mind?  Have you ever felt joy through the gospel at a time when you would have expected to be sad?

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