We all experience times when it seems that there is a constant downpour of discouragement and bad news at a personal and sometimes even a global level. But we must remember that we have reason for hope because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the April 2009 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson reminded us of the Lord’s commandment to “be of good cheer” (D&C 68:6) and gave us these words of encouragement: “Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.”
Even when things appear most grim, without even a glimmer of a break in the storm on the horizon, our understanding of the gospel can help us keep a positive attitude about the future. As President Monson said in that same talk: “The future is as bright as your faith” (“Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, May 2009, 92).
A few years ago, the Young Women general presidency gave us the 100 percent challenge: read the Book of Mormon every day, pray every day, and smile. I figured I would try it and keep at it for as long as I could. To my surprise, the challenge brought about a magnificent change in my life. I was happier, I had the Spirit with me, and I had a positive attitude. Even though I still had to face adversity, the strength of the Spirit helped me to endure happily.
Ariana G., 16, Virginia, USA
I think that the greatest thing we can do to keep a positive attitude is to smile and have hope! Hope has helped me throughout my life in countless ways. We must also think of how greatly blessed we are and know how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We can turn to Him for peace in any situation. His Son suffered for us, so He knows our pains. Through Him we can gain hope, be healed, and, of course, be happy.
Corey D., 18, Utah, USA
One of the things that gives me joy and hope in these troubling times is taking a moment to stop and think about my blessings and about my knowledge of the gospel. Something as simple as having a best friend or something as grand as the plan of salvation fills me with joy and makes me want to share the joy. This is what keeps my attitude positive.
Annette M., 15, Michigan, USA
Pondering our Savior’s Atonement will always give hope and will help us be optimistic. We are all experiencing trials in this life. But through the Atonement, all trials and problems, both temporal and spiritual, have solutions. The Atonement enables us to see these solutions. The Atonement is a great demonstration of God’s love for His children. It is infinite, and so is His love for us. This will give us courage and strength to face the future without fear.
Daryl A., 18, Laguna, Philippines
These troubling times are a part of the Lord’s plan and have been foretold since Old Testament times. All throughout the scriptures, the Lord promises that the righteous will be blessed and preserved. As you remain faithful, the Holy Ghost will be there to guide you throughout these tumultuous times, to comfort you, and to remind you that the Lord has a plan for you. If you have your patriarchal blessing, study it to see what the Lord has in store for you.
Rae B., 17, Washington, D.C., USA
When I am discouraged, I meditate on the words found at the end of the Young Women theme: “We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.” I can find comfort in these words, and I know they will be fulfilled in my life and in the lives of all virtuous young women. Without a doubt, I have hope in the sacred temple ordinances. The blessings of a righteous life are endless, and as I remember these things, my heart fills with joy, hope, love, and courage.
Nathalia M., 18, Mérida, Venezuela
To keep a positive attitude, you need to know this simple truth: the Lord’s team is the winner in the end. It’s that easy. Satan has no power over God. Because we already know the winner, we need to focus on staying on the Lord’s team. When we live worthy to enter the temple, we are wearing our uniform that shows the Lord we are on His team. By reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, and serving our brothers and sisters, we find true happiness that makes it easier to have a positive attitude.
Brayden F., 17, Utah, USA
Don’t focus on the troubling times. I keep a “Thankful Journal.” Every day I write at least one thing I was thankful for that day. No matter how terrible the day seemed, I can always find something to appreciate. Count your blessings. Developing a grateful attitude can help you focus on the positive things in your life.
Ashlee H., 18, Oklahoma, USA