“We Believe in Being Positive,” Liahona, January 2016, 10–11
We often find counsel in the scriptures to “rejoice” and “be of good cheer.” The Lord tells us in 2 Nephi 2:25, “Men are, that they might have joy.” The purpose of this life is to lead us to the joy the Lord ultimately promises.
Being of good cheer does not mean being ignorant or naive to life’s challenges. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described cheerfulness as “a deep trust in God’s unfolding purposes—not only for all of mankind, but for each of us as individuals.”1 Challenges will certainly come, for they are a natural part of mortality, but we don’t have to be weighed down by discouragement and sadness. We can put our trust in the Lord and be positive.
Jesus Christ promised us we would experience tribulation, but He also urged, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught that because we have the gospel, “we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic.”2
We all feel sorrow and discouragement from time to time, but we can still be of good cheer. Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “I witness that with faith in the Savior and obedience to His teachings, happiness never ends, but sadness does.”3 We can live with joy knowing that our “afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7).
As we put our trust in God’s plan for us and choose to live with a positive attitude, our ability to deal with life’s challenges will be strengthened. Our worries and fears will affect us less, and we will experience the joy He wants for us.