Saturday, July 5, 2014

Forgiveness and Repentance

I was just reading Talmage's "Articles of Faith." In the section on Repentance, it talks about how
FORGIVENESS is one of the necessary parts of repentance; forgiveness of ourselves, but also
forgiveness of others. Essentially, if we don't forgive others for their trespasses against us, God will not forgive us. I don't often think about that part, when I think about my own repentance. I usually just think about how I have to be better about this, or that; I think about how I need to feel contrition and sorrow for my sins. But I rarely consider whether or not I am forgiving of others. That is a VERY difficult thing sometimes.

Forgiving others isn't as simple as just telling the jackass who scratched your car, "That's OK; I forgive you."; it's much more than that. It's having a freely forgiving heart. It's allowing others to have their imperfections, as God allows you to have yours; it's allowing everyone to BE where they are in their journey, as you hope God will bless you and keep you in yours. That is one of the most difficult things in life for me; that allowance for others to simply BE. And so, I'm sort of an incomplete repenter, until I can arrive at a place in my heart where I'm not worried about someone else's sins, or their differences, or their opinions, or their politics, or their personal path, or their understanding of the world which differs from mine, etc...

And I'll add one of my favorite quotes (which I've probably quoted a hundred times): “Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive our brother on the first intimations of repentance, and asking forgiveness; and should we even forgive our brother, or even our enemy, before he repent or ask forgiveness, our heavenly Father would be equally as merciful unto us.”

--Spiritual teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith; Section 4; p. 155--


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