By Utah National Parks Council
Dec 20, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 5 – A Scout is Cheerful

The eighth attribute in the Scout Law is cheerful.

A Scout is cheerful. He is enthusiastic. He is optimistic.

Okay, a reality check. Being cheerful does not imply that you go around with a permanent grin on your face and are never sad. If you were never sad, how would you know what cheerful feels like?

I like the synonym of being optimistic. Optimism implies hope. A Scout is hopeful.

donkeyOne day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! MORAL : Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up. Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive. 2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens. 3. Live simply and appreciate what you have. 4. Give more. 5. Expect less from people but more from yourself. [1]

Hope requires action, some movement on our part. We hope for things but recognize that we have to work for it; nothing is for free.

I like how President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained hope:

Hope is critical to both faith and charity. When disobedience, disappointment, and procrastination erode faith, hope is there to uphold our faith. When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward. The brighter our hope, the greater our faith. The stronger our hope, the purer our charity.

The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead us to charity. The three qualities—faith, hope, and charity 35 —working together, grounded on the truth and light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, lead us to abound in good works. [2]

This is a great little commercial about optimism.


Boy: I’m the greatest hitter in the world!
Strike One.
I’m the greatest hitter in the world!
Strike Two.
I’m the greatest hitter in the world!
Strike Three.
I’m the greatest pitcher in the world! Yes! [3]

On the fifth day of Christmas a Scout abounds in good works because he is hopeful which leads to good cheer.

Merry Christmas!

Author: Heidi Sanders | Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Parks Council



1. See Spirit Hoods on Facebook.

2. See President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Infinite Power of Hope.” (2008, October). General Conference,

3. See

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One thought on “Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 5 – A Scout is Cheerful

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    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this
    post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always
    kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


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