Lift up your head and be of good cheer.
In 3 Nephi 1: 13 we read,
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, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
In this part of the Book of Mormon, five years had passed since Samuel the Lamanite had prophesied of Christ’s coming and the unbelievers began saying, “the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been in vain.” (3 Nephi 1:6)
They set apart a day to kill those who believed Samuel’s prophecy and were waiting for the coming of their Savior. Death and destruction were imminent but they continued to have faith and hope in His coming. It was a time of darkness for them in every way.
Nephi, being “exceedingly sorrowful … bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people.”
He prayed all throughout that day and then a voice of hope, even the voice of the Lord, spoke to him, saying to him, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer.” The Lord told him that the prophecy was about to be fulfilled.
The sign was given, there was no darkness when the night came, and a new star appeared. The Savior of the world had been born. Light had come into the world. The people found rescue, relief, and hope in that light.
Lift up your head and be of good cheer. Sometimes it is hard to be of good cheer when the trials of life are weighing us down. It can be hard to see light when we are in darkness.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton has said,
All of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World. (Choose to Believe)
When I have times of darkness or trial, I’ve learned to do three things that help me find light: Pray, seek peace through the Savior and His Atonement, and believe.
Seek peace through the Savior and His Atonement
Knowing that all of the sorrow, suffering, pain, trials, or hard times in my life are covered by the Savior’s atonement brings me great peace. Through the atonement, I know I can endure, overcome, and have my heart and my spirit healed and made whole. There is no greater peace than knowing I don’t have to go through the hard times alone, knowing my Savior loves me, that He understands what I am feeling, and that He is with me.
Praying and seeking the Lord requires faith to believe that He will help me during times of darkness and trial. I know that as I have chosen to believe in these things, my faith in the Lord and my testimony of the Savior have grown.
“… believing in Him and in His redemptive power is the true path to “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” – L. Whitney Clayton
Lift up your head and be of good cheer. The Savior has come and He has brought light and hope. He will dispel our darkness with His light as we seek Him and believe in Him.
How can the Savior’s atonement bring light into your life?