Learning To Forgive

One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to struggle with is learning how to forgive. I have much I need to be forgiven for, and many I need to forgive. I didn’t know how to go about it. Then I read Kathryn Marshall’s book, Something More. She learned through her trials that if she didn’t forgive her brethren their trespasses, then she stood between them and God’s changing that person. When she withdrew from between them, the—" let God judge between me and thee principle"—by her forgiveness of them, then God could work a change in them for good.1  Something clicked when I read that.

However, before I had read that book, I was struggling with this problem and almost drowned. I had been offended by a woman in our church congregation. Edie had gone to the pastor with gossip about me, and I was hurt. She had either misunderstood what I said or twisted it in her mind (which is easy for all of us to do). I didn't know which and it upset me, so when the pastor called me in that day, I knew I couldn’t take sacrament until it was straightened out between us.2

I had been really making a effort to stretch spiritually and this was a punch in the stomach. I knew I had to forgive her, but how? It hurt too badly, and that kind of hurt always turns to anger. I got mad!

Going to the Lord when I am sad or lonely always helps, and as I knelt beside the bed I prayed, “Lord, do you really love me?” Immediately I remembered the love I had felt as I sat at the feet of my Savior and Creator, Jesus Christ. He cared so much that He had appeared to me to show me so, almost twenty-three years before. He reminded me that down through the years He had not only guided me daily, watched over my children, healed our illness and saved our marriage, but had even spoken to me by His audible voice.

His Spirit clothed me at that moment in gentle admonition saying, “How could you even doubt? Have I not already shown you?” I cried because of my childishness and asked Him to forgive me for asking such a thing. At that moment I was bathed in His forgiving love and I saw Edie with my arms enfolding her in the pure love of Christ. He loves Edie just as much as He loves me and wanted us united in Him. From that day on, I felt such peace about it in my heart that it was as if it never happened.

“And there shall be no schism in the body of Christ,
for ye are all Mine and when one member suffers, all will suffer.”
3

We must be united, one in spirit, one in mind and one in the unity of purpose to assist in the building of the kingdom of our Christ and His Father on earth. I learned how to forgive and to praise. When I could forgive, my joy increased.

Forgiveness is like the fragrance
the flower sheds forth upon the
foot that crushed it.

Rex Shoel

 

 


The Greatest Gift
Melissa Knew How To Forgive

 

 I believe the greatest joy I could receive is to see my children strong in the faith of Christ, with honorable morals and charity for their fellow man. The most important job a mother has is to raise her children up to serve the Lord. It can only be accomplished with much prayer, love and discipline. Her example, what she believes about her relationship with Christ, makes the difference. It’s not what you say, but how you live every day.

Sometimes we adults forget how to forgive. We become hard-hearted and have need to be retaught by our children just how Jesus wants us to react when offended. It seems children know how to forgive by nature. One day when 11 year old Melissa brought home a note from one of her teachers, it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I knew God was ministering to Melissa in her deaf world and teaching her in her heart. He dwelt with and in her. Where I couldn’t reach in to teach her, He did, and then reached back out of her heart to teach me! I grew from it and I praise the name of Jesus. The letter follows.

December, 1970, Merry Christmas!

Mrs. Harrington, I want to let you know what has been happening in the class the past few days. Last Monday a girl in the class gave presents to each classmate. The pupils were thrilled to have the presents (a small box of candy).

Yesterday in the morning, Melissa was brokenhearted that someone stole her candy from the desk. I asked who did that. Nobody admitted. So I told my pupils that there would be no Christmas party in the class room unless someone made an apology to Melissa for doing wrong. A guy admitted he did, and I made him give his box of candy to Melissa for punishment. In the afternoon, he did what I wanted him to do.

What bothers me to tell you? It is that today Melissa gave a present to the guy who stole candy from her. It seems that she felt sorry for him. Well, the guy surprised me by not accepting the present from Melissa. He knew he was wrong in the first place. Mrs. Marsh

Footnotes
1.  Let God Judge Between Me and Thee
“My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another, and forgave not one another in their hearts, and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened; wherefore I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another, for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses, standeth condemned before the Lord, for there remaineth in him the greater sin..I the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men; and ye ought to say in your hearts, Let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.” (D&C 64:2c-d)

2. Couldn’t take Sacrament unless problems were straightened out

3. (I Cor. 12:25-26)