President Monson gave an excellent talk during the April 2009 General Conference. The High Council in the Cheyenne Wyoming Stake used President Monson's talk as the basis for our June talks. His talk inspired me to write the poem below, which I used in my High Council talk to the Young Single Adult Branch.
Be of Good Cheer
(from President Thomas S. Monson’s conference talk, Ensign, May 2009, pp. 89-92)
For us to be truly cheerful, we must lift our heads high,
shun the notions of misfortunes and utterlessness,
and sing Hosannas even during the most difficult times.
We must rise from our beds of affliction,
knowing full well that God is with us—
For He has said time and time again,
“Be of good cheer, and I will lead you along.”
With a promise of that magnitude,
why we do still sit idly by, often wrapped
in tattered blankets, slumped in armchairs
or buried deep in our beds, singing
“Woe is me, woe is me?”
Cannot we not be like the German widow
of whom President Monson spoke—
When her children had died,
she dug graves with only a tablespoon.
“Her despair was all consuming….” Yet
the spirit prompted her to get on her knees.
With a fervent “Dear Heavenly Father”
and with more despairing words and heavy, heavy heart,
she knew that she must trudge forward,
ever forward, ever faithful, even on moonless nights,
knowing, finally, some day, that she would be reunited
with those whom she loved
and “return— together—“to her Heavenly Father.
For the Lord has said, “They who have endured
the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it,
they shall inherit the kingdom of God….
and their joy shall be full forever.”
Darrel L. Hammon