Though life can have many challenges, President Thomas S. Monson says that with faith we can rise above them.
“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,” he encourages. “There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
The Light That Shineth
There will be times when it appears there is no light at the end of our tunnel or no dawn to a night of darkness, President Monson says. “We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’ We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.”
To those in despair, President Monson reminds that the Savior can lift us up.
“Yes, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is our Exemplar and our strength. He is the light that shineth in darkness. He is the Good Shepherd. Though engaged in His majestic ministry, He embraced the opportunity to lift burdens, provide hope, mend bodies, and restore life.”
Find Joy in the Journey
President Monson acknowledges that life will have its stresses, regardless of our circumstances. However he admonishes that the stresses of life should not get in the way of what is most important, saying, “What is most important almost always involves the people around us.”
“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows,” President Monson said.
“Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.”
Quoting a well-known author, President Monson says, “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
Be of Good Cheer
“It would be easy to become discouraged and cynical about the future—or even fearful of what might come—if we allowed ourselves to dwell only on that which is wrong in the world and in our lives,” President Monson says. “Today, however, I’d like us to turn our thoughts and our attitudes away from the troubles around us and to focus instead on our blessings as members of the Church. The Apostle Paul declared, ‘God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’” (2 Timothy 1:7).