Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Way back in 1985 I wrote an article for the Ensign entitled “A Difficult Kind of Forgiveness.”  After it appeared the editors told me that it had generated more mail than most of their articles do. My experience has also been that any lesson on forgiveness generates more questions and comments than most other subjects because forgiveness is difficult and at the same time something we need to do almost every day of our lives.

Today I taught on forgiveness and used this quote from Joseph Smith which I wanted to share.  “One of the most pleasing scenes that can transpire on earth, is, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, to forgive that sin: and then, according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive also.” (“A Friendly Hint to Missouri” Times and Seasons,  March 15, 1844, p. 473. TLDP: 206).

There are two things that strike me about this quote. First, is that we not only need to forgive, but that we need to pray that God will forgive the person. Second, when you notice when and where this statement was first published you realize that it came during the Missouri persecution of the saints. If Joseph is asking the saints to forgive and pray for their enemies for the atrocious crimes being perpetrated then, certainly we can do the same with those who have trespassed against us.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this message. We know we should forgive, but often only think of it with the big things. Thanks for reminding us that it's an important part of our everyday lives too. It really is the little things that can trip us up. I think it is probably easier to find the strength to forgive the egregious events in our lives if we continually remember to be forgiving in our everyday dealings.

Anonymous said...

I struggle most with forgiving people who are close to me. It seems much easier when it's someone I don't have big ties with and I hate that! :(