Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why we can be of good cheer (part 2)

Continuing on with this series of posts on what reasons the scriptures tell us we have for being of good cheer... 

Next there is the story of Ammon when the king’s flocks are scattered and the servants are scared:

And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us. (Alma 17:31, emphasis added)

I think this is a good example for us at times when things go haywire at work and we face the prospect of great displeasure/punishment from superiors.  It shows us that if we get to work trying to fix the situation early on and do our best, we may succeed in fixing it and we may avoid the consequences we fear.  It teaches that lamenting will not solve anything, but taking immediate action may do much.  

Looking at it from a wider perspective, Ammon's words also show us that as long as we are alive, we still have time to act (to change, to repent, to do all we can to prepare to meet God).  Having time in our probationary state is a reason to be of good cheer.

Next we have the words of Jacob to the Nephites:

Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. (2 Nephi 10:23, emphasis added)

Sometimes we get discouraged when we watch the news or read about the terrible things going on in the world and we wonder how anything is ever going to get sorted out, or we wonder how we’ll ever survive (or how our children will ever survive) in such a world.  The news can make small movements look big, and it can even ignore big movements and thereby make them look small.  And when everyone seems bent on making the wrong choices, you wonder how you could ever make a difference and you wonder what is the point of trying. Jacob’s words in the above verse are cheering because he reminds us that we are free to choose and act for ourselves.  We can refuse to do the wrong that others do.  We have the power to make our own choices.  We can choose to do good even when others do evil.  And we never know what positive influence our good choices can have on others.

So, to review.  We can be of good cheer because:
6.  We still have time to act, repent, and prepare to meet God.
7.  We are free to choose and act for ourselves.