Quotes on Discouragement

Years ago there was a popular music group formed at Brigham Young University named the Three D’s.  They took that name from their three singers’ first names.  My fear is that if in the nineties our young people were to form a popular singing group, they might still call themselves the Three D’s, but that could be for Despair, Doom, and Discouragement.

Despair, Doom, and Discouragement are not acceptable views of life for a Latter-day Saint.  However high on the charts they are on the hit parade of contemporary news, we must not walk on our lower lip every time a few difficult moments happen to confront us.

I am just a couple of years older than most of you, and in those few extra months I have seen a bit more of life than you have.  I want you to know that there have always been some difficulties in mortal life, and there always will be.  But knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, there really is no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair. . . .

I reassure you that things have been worse and they will always get better.  They always do – especially when we live and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give it a chance to flourish in our lives. — President Howard W. Hunter, address to a BYU 19-Stake/Church Educational System fireside on February 7, 1993; see That We Might Have Joy p. 89-90, The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 199.  It was during this assembly that President Hunter was threatened by a man, Cody Judy, who claimed to have a bomb

“Trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement – discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is different from a stiff joint” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up, 1945).  Troubles we all have, but the “germ” of discouragement, to use Fitzgerald’s word, is not in the trouble, it is in us.  Or to be more precise, I believe it is in Satan, the prince of darkness, the father of lies.  And he would have it be in us.  It’s frequently a small germ, hardly worth going to the Health Center for, but it will work and it will grow an dit will spread.  In fact, it can become almost a habit, a way of living and thinking, and there the greatest damage is done.  Then it takes an increasingly severe toll on our spirit, for it erodes the deepest religious commitments we can make – those of faith, and hope, and charity.  We turn inward and look downward, and these greatest of Christlike virtues are damaged or at the very least impaired.  We become unhappy and soon make others unhappy, and before long Lucifer laughs. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “For Times of Trouble,” Classic Speeches, Vol. 1, pp. 108-9

The scriptures teach that preparation, if you will, is perhaps the major weapon in your arsenal against discouragement and self-defeat. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “For Times of Trouble,” Classic Speeches, Vol. 1, p. 109

In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that.  When disappointment and discouragement strike – and they will – you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection.  They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.

Elisha’s promise:

“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.  And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”  [2 Kings 6:16-17] — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “For Times of Trouble,” Classic Speeches, Vol. 1, pp. 122-23

Don’t be discouraged at seemingly overwhelming odds in your desire to live and to help others live God’s commandments.  At times it may seem like David trying to fight Goliath.  But remember, David did win. — Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, November 1977