Freedom and joy on the inside.
There once was a darling little girl. Because she was cute and sociable with other people, she was the center of attention and adored by her family and their friends.
Her two older brothers resented this. They would make fun of her, taunt her, trip her, and physically assault her. Often, they would get in trouble for their bullying, but they continued to do it, because it gave them a little pleasure to hurt her. One day, their cruelty even went so far as to hang her beloved kitty from the tree in the backyard. They laughed as he flailed and kicked, and then saved him at the last minute. She hated them and the way they made her feel.
As the siblings got older, one of them left home. He felt so bad about the way he had treated his sister, he wrote home to ask her forgiveness. She could see his repentance was real, and forgave him. The other brother, without the elder one to spur him on, began, on occasion, to be kind to his little sister.
By then, she was studying the Doctrine and Covenants that year in her seminary class, and memorized these 2 scripture in the D&C:
“I will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” D&C 64:10;
“Inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.” D&C 82:1;
She realized that whether her other brother asked forgiveness or not (which he never did), she was required to forgive him. She prayed for help and worked hard to forgive him also. She felt freedom and felt her testimony increase. She learned that hating someone gave them power over her. She knew the only way to have true free agency was to not be hindered by resentment and anger.
I was that little girl. Because I was able to forgive my older brothers, I have enjoyed many good memories with them and with their families. I am grateful for the blessing of forgiveness in my life. The Balm of Gilead soothed my bitterness and my anger, so that it wouldn’t poison me.
Do you have someone that you detest and despise? Have you buried hate or anger, or let them boil over frequently? Choose now to let them go!
Someday, when you stand in front of the judgement seat, the conversation may go something like this. Christ would say, “Wow, that was a challenging life down there. I gave you emotional and physical challenges to overcome. I let you feel the pain of rejection and loss. I allowed you to feel pain, just as I did, hoping in the process, that you could humble yourself and come to know me better. That you could believe in me and in my power to heal you and to judge righteously. Instead, you allowed it to canker and drive a wedge between who you are now and who you could have become.”
Can’t you see how this bitterness and hate is poisoning you? Is it poisoning your relationships, your health, and your spirituality? Anger and hate are exhausting. They suck energy from your spirit and your body. Are you exhausted? Wouldn’t you love to feel the energy and strength that flows from forgiveness and love?
The prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, said, “the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings…we can choose to be humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us.” You can choose to give the hurt and the rejection to Christ and allow Him to heal you. Feel freedom and joy on the inside.