Perhaps I still had the image of those single mothers surrounded by children-- not just alone for the bulk of the day in the connivence of a modren day home murmuring that daddy's late for dinner again-- but alone indefinitely. Alone, on a journey of physical, and surely, emotional challenge we can't even begin to comprehend. Everyday pressing forward with their little ones clinging to their petticoats. I think how whiny my kids are when their due for a snack or a nap. Maybe those pioneer children sang a bit while they walked but I'm sure those mothers tired ears also heard the exhaustion of their little ones, their little limbs and minds as worn as their mamma's.
Camilla Fronk Olsen's explainsTo the paralytic man lying helpless on a bed, Jesus proclaimed, “Be of good cheer”(Matthew 9:2). To the frightened Apostles battling the tempestuous sea, Jesus appeared on the water, declaring, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 14:27). To Nephi the son of Nephi, who was subject to an arbitrary law threatening his life and the lives of other righteous Nephites if the signs prophesied by Samuel the Lamanitedidn’t occur, the Lord said, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer” (3 Nephi 1:13). As Joseph Smith met with ten elders about to be sent out, two by two, to missions fraught with trouble and danger, the Lord announced, “Be of goodcheer” (D&C 61:36). In each instance the people had every reason to be anxious, fearful, and hopeless, yet the Lord directed them toward a reason to rejoice."