Be of Good Cheer

When a paralyzed man was brought to Jesus, the first words He spoke were a message of encouragement: “Son,” He said, “be of good cheer” (Matthew 9:2). He said the same words when His stunned disciples saw Him walking on the water on a stormy night: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27, Mark 6:50). And just before enduring unfathomable pain in Gethsemane and on the cross, He provided the same assurance: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Years earlier, on the day before He was born, Jesus delivered a similar message to the prophet Nephi in response to a desperate prayer:

Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world,

3 Nephi 1:13

These are words of comfort and encouragement, to be sure. But they are also instructions, an invitation to manage our emotional state. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has suggested that it may be the commandment we break most often! (See “The Tongue of Angels,” General Conference, April 2007.)

Recently, Elder Holland encouraged young church members to follow the Savior’s guidance and “face the future as cheerfully as possible.” He reminded them that men, women, and children “are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and that God’s plan for us is called “the plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8, 16). Then, he said:

Think about it. How could Jesus speak of cheerfulness in the midst of all the anguish that He faced moving toward the crucifixion? Even in the fateful atmosphere that must have prevailed at the Last Supper, in the middle of Passion Week, Christ is still reminding His disciples of the reason for and their duty to “be of good cheer.”

I’ve wondered, with the pain that lay ahead of Him, how could He speak so positively and expect His brethren to view all of this buoyantly. Surely, this manifestation of His faith, of His hope, and charity comes because He knows the end of the story….

A victory makes everyone cheerful, and Christ was the victor in the great contest with death and with hell.

January 2023 Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults with Elder and Sister Holland

Today, I will strive to follow the Savior’s instruction to “be of good cheer.” I will strive to keep the events of the day in perspective and to look to the future with hope, remembering that the Savior has overcome the largest challenges we will ever face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: