“Be Strong, and of a Good Courage”

As the children of Israel prepared to enter the promised land, Moses admonished them to move forward and not let challenging circumstances intimidate them:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Note that this admonition consists of three pairs of statements:

  1. What should we do? Be strong and courageous
  2. What should we not do? Don’t panic or tremble (Hebrew: ta’artsu).
  3. Why? Because God is with you. You can count on Him to support you.

Immediately afterward, Moses gave the same charge to Joshua. (See Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23.)

After Moses’ departure, the Lord reiterated this admonition to Joshua (Joshua 1:6-7, 9), and the people agreed to follow it (Joshua 1:16-18). (See also Joshua 10:25.)

King David later promised his son Solomon that he would be successful if he followed the admonition of Moses:

Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

1 Chronicles 22:13, see also 1 Chronicles 28:20

As Nephi and his brothers faced a daunting challenge, Nephi referenced this admonition, with a reminder that Moses had also lived courageously:

Let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.

1 Nephi 4:2

All of these people—Moses, Joshua, the children of Israel, Solomon, and Nephi—were able to overcome their fears and move forward with courage because of their faith that God would be with them. “He it is that doth go with thee,” Moses said; “he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” President Thomas S. Monson testified that those words also apply to each of us:

He did not fail them. He will not fail us. He did not forsake them. He will not forsake us.

The Call for Courage,” General Conference, April 2004

Today, I will “be strong and of a good courage.” I will face the unknown with trust that God will be with me and that I can overcome every challenge with His help.

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