Just Forgive

         I was recently watching President Nelson’s Easter message. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb6UGnSEDi4). President Nelson’s said, “He practiced what he preached; he taught us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and even to pray for those who despitefully use us.”

These words touched my heart and reminded me of an experience with this. At the same time, I was on my trek of 40 temple visits by my 40th birthday. I used to have a person in my life who, by no fault of my own, decided after 17 years of friendship to end it without warning. I was heartbroken at first, and then came the anger and all the other emotions attached to those actions. I ultimately prayed to my Heavenly Father that I could forgive that person and no longer hold the hurt and resentment in my heart. Each time I would go to the temple during my temple trek before leaving, I would put this person’s name on the temple rolls. As the months passed, I noticed my previous feelings slowly faded. Now years later, I hold no ill will or animosity towards this person, and I genuinely hope they are happy.

President Nelson also said in his message, “When we choose to forgive others, we allow the Lord to remove the poison from our souls. We permit Him to soothe and soften our hearts, so we can see others, especially those who have wronged us, as children of God and as our brothers and sisters. I promise that the Savior will relieve your anger, resentment, and pain as you forgive. The Prince of Peace will bring you peace. Because of Him, you can experience the joy and miracle of forgiveness. “

I watched this happen in my own life. I could feel the poison in my heart and soul leave as I placed my hurt feelings at the Savior’s feet. All the anger and resentment I had previously felt disappeared. When this happened, I remember being so angry and hurt that I thought I would never be able to forgive that person. When I look back at that time and think of that person, instead of feeling hurt, I feel gratitude for the lesson I learned from that experience. I know I don’t need to run away from life when life gets tough. I just need to run to the temple. While it can’t solve all of life’s problems, it can make things feel less burdensome. 

I’m so grateful for our Savior’s perfect example of forgiveness and His Atonement. It blesses my life daily. His Atonement is for all of us, but we must do our part and forgive regardless of the chance of reciprocity. The Savior loves us all, and His arms are always open to us for comfort. Going to the temple is one way we can feel His love when the outside world tries to make us believe otherwise.  

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