Be of Good Cheer
The promise is that the Lord will be with us and lead us, presumably through the Comforter (Jn. 14:16, 26; 15:26). But we often misunderstand what comforter means. We take it to mean one who consoles us and, of course, in modern English that is its primary meaning. But the older meaning of the word is more closely associated with its roots, which mean "strength with." A comforter is someone who gives you strength. That's why comforter is a good translation of the Greek word used in John, parakletos, for the latter means "one who comes to the aid of another." We are promised that God will be with us through the Holy Spirit, and we are told that we should have courage in the face of trials because we are assured of his divine presence with us in those trials.
In that context the last use of the phrase "good cheer" in the Doctrine and Covenants takes on added significance: "Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face" (D&C 112:4). Each week Latter-day Saints covenant "that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him" (Moroni 4:3).
We keep that covenant by doing the things that he has commanded us as evidence of our love and commitment. The Lord promises that he will give his Spirit to be with us and give us strength so that we can have the courage—and happiness—that we will need in the face of tribulation, whether the tribulation of the world or the tribulations of our spirits.
James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.