Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be cheerful. I have a great deal of admiration for those who choose to be cheerful. I’m referring to the optimist whose disposition is positive, full of hope, happy and grateful in all things.
Traumatic events have a tendency to zap cheer out of our lives. I’m pretty sure I know what this feels like, but without discrediting the real pains of any trial, it’s possible to feel the balm of true joy amidst the deep sorrow. I have experienced the discouragement and despair that are often common companions of adversity, but I’ve also found that when I am filled with the Spirit of God, I feel peace and happiness in the darkest of days.
The words to one of my favorite hymns conveys my feelings - “I believe in Christ, so come what may!” I am grateful for my trials and the opportunity they allow me to prove my faith in His plan for my family. The adversary knows that when my thoughts allow anger, pity, and gloom to dominate, my whole demeanor reflects bitterness, and with a savor like that, how effective am I? Unfortunately, the germ of discouragement is much more powerful than any of us realize, and it’s important to treat it just as quickly as we would treat even the tiniest identifiable cell of cancer.
Fake it until we make it? Perhaps. Give more hours of service? Maybe. But I think the real trick to being sincerely cheerful lies in constantly recognizing the true purpose of mortality...with faith in every footstep and a bold acceptance of His will in all things.
Maybe it should be faith it until we make it.
“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.”
The prophet of the world, President Thomas S. Monson