Tuesday, October 27, 2020

President Dallin H. Oaks on being of good cheer

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"Tribulation and challenges are the common experiences of mortality. Opposition is an essential part of the divine plan for helping us grow, and in the midst of that process, we have God’s assurance that, in the long view of eternity, opposition will not be allowed to overcome us. With His help and our faithfulness and endurance, we will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, all tribulations are temporary....

"On a personal basis, each of us struggles individually with some of the many adversities of mortality, such as poverty, racism, ill health, job losses or disappointments, wayward children, bad marriages or no marriages, and the effects of sin—our own or others’.

"Yet, in the midst of all of this, we have that heavenly counsel to be of good cheer and to find joy in the principles and promises of the gospel and the fruits of our labors. (See D&C 6:31.) That counsel has always been so, for prophets and for all of us. We know this from the experiences of our predecessors and what the Lord said to them....

"There is boundless power in the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Our unshakable faith in that doctrine guides our steps and gives us joy. It enlightens our minds and gives strength and confidence to our actions. This guidance and enlightenment and power are promised gifts we have received from our Heavenly Father. By understanding and conforming our lives to that doctrine, including the divine gift of repentance, we can be of good cheer as we keep ourselves on the path toward our eternal destiny—reunion and exaltation with our loving heavenly parents."

- Dallin H. Oaks, "Be of Good Cheer," General Conference October 2020, Women's Session

In the midst of tribulation—disappointments, challenges, loneliness, concerns—one of the hardest things we are asked to do certainly must be to "be of good cheer." Keeping the perspective of our place in eternity can make all the difference. The Savior's invitation to be cheerful in a world of hardship because "I have overcome the world" is a great key.

Maintaining a focus on the Savior and His doctrine brings power to our lives:
As we develop the "unshakable faith" in the Savior and His doctrine, power and blessings come to our lives as promised gifts. His guidance and help are the great key to bringing peace and good cheer.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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