Well-chosen words are like a balm to the soul. The following quote has been that kind of help to me. This excerpt comes from an address given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons):
“There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment. We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way. Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.”
I want to needle-point that on a pillow, or my forehead.
I like the straight-forward, practical approach of acknowledging that no matter the circumstances, WE are always better-off when we forgive. I have this saying that I’m not sure makes sense, but I continue to use it. It’s that not all truth is created equal. So, it’s true that people are awful sometimes. It’s also true that NONE of the energy we spend being angry is useful. They’re both correct statements. But one is much more valuable than the other.
But I have to confess, that thought only gets me half way to a forgiving mood. From there at least I’m listening instead of venting, though.
So, the thing that brings me the rest of the way around is the other half of the quote: “Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.”
When I remember that life is a test, I want to meet the challenge. I start feeling like I WANT to forgive. I’m not willing to let my faith die on the hill of whatever awful thing someone else has done. I have better hills of my own. (Higher, with more to see and cushier accommodations.) And, when I remember that forgiveness is the Lord’s way, I am humbled. He forgives us. All of us. More specifically, He forgives Me. That is when I know I too can forgive. Then, the FEELING of forgiveness comes and replaces the hope of forgiving another. And then, I feel peace.
What helps you to forgive others? We’d love to hear about it.