Come unto the Savior by forgiving others. This can be a hard thing to do, but as we seek the Lord’s help, He will help us to change our hearts, and turn the sorrow into peace and joy.
Brothers and Sisters, I’m president Valencia from the Riverside Stake Presidency, and it’s my pleasure to address you today and talk a little bit about
How we can come unto the Savior by forgiving others.
We are human beings and we will hurt other people and other people will hurt us. It’s just part of life as long as there are two humans in close proximity. There will be conflicts from time to time.
The trick is to learn how to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. The Savior, He addressed this at least three times during His famous Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:7
“Blessed are the merciful for they will obtain mercy”, and then when He was teaching the multitude to pray, He taught them to say “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12), and then later, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Then, in this dispensation He said “I the Lord, will forgive whom I will, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). We tend to agree with this Doctrine, right? When we heard it, we nod our heads and we agreed that others should forgive and that we recognize that they will find peace and joy as they do that, but we’re not so accepting when it comes to our own contention and our resentment and bitterness. Sometimes we justify holding on to those toxic emotions because we reason that the offense done against us is just too grievous and we feel that justice is on our side.
Brothers and Sisters, this is simply not true and the Lord actually warns us that if we are unwilling to forgive, that in the end we can be worse off than those who offended us. in Doctrine and Covenants 64, verse 9, it says “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one and other; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin”.
How Can we approach our Father in Heaven and ask to be forgiven when we ourselves are unwilling to forgive?
As we extend mercy and forgiveness towards others, we come unto Christ because that’s what He did. This can be a hard thing to do, but as we seek the Lord’s help, He can heal us and change our hearts, and turn the sorrow, and the pain and the bitterness into peace and joy.
We need the Savior’s help and it may take time but the reward is a freedom from bondage, a softening of the heart and the ability to more fully feel the Lord’s love for us and for our fellow men.
The scriptures talk about experiencing a change of heart. What a perfect example of this principle and action. I know it is possible. We don’t need to go through life with the heavy burden of anger and bitterness in our hearts. We can experience the incredible joy of reconciling with those who have hurt us many times. There is forgiveness that needs to be extended on both sides, but this joyous possibility is beset by pride because both are unwilling or are waiting rather for the other to first say “I’m sorry, please forgive me”.
The miracle of the Atonement is not just for the sinner, but for those who have sinned against.
God can actually give us a change of heart. He can make the feelings in our hearts change.
Brothers and Sisters, I know that this principle is true. And I know that as we forgive others and as we ask Heavenly Father to change our hearts and to make possible for us to forgive, and be reconcile that we will find peace and we will find joy, and we will be able to go through life without having to carry those things in our hearts and most importantly, as we approach our Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness for our own sins and our own shortcomings, I know that we will find forgiveness.
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