My dear friend, Karen, was somehow prompted to say exactly the right thing to me today, via email. She first asked permission to send me a quote, apparently worried it might offend. But it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have no doubt someone [Mom, are you up there?] prompted her to know this message was what I needed. You decide:
“Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same . . . In this we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ…We don’t want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember others’ sins…It is one of those ironies of godhood that in order to find peace, the offended as well as the offender must engage the principle of forgiveness.”Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom”, Ensign, Nov. 1996, 82
The moment I read it I remembered how many sins I had repented of and hoped no one was still remembering. I realized how many times I had hurt my kids with words and actions. One argument in particular, stuck in my mind. Mikelle and I were in Stephen’s room and I was unduly cruel to her. I think I thought if I said something terrible and mean enough she would snap out of it and get her life figured out. But it was absolutely the worse thing I could have ever said. She needed my arms around her and assurance that I loved her. She needed patience and direction and acceptance and unconditional love. I gave her everything but. I still ache with remorse when I think of those words that spewed out of my mouth.
I can’t believe she ever forgave me for them.
And now, I have been angy at someone for saying something to me. The least, the very least, I can do is follow this council and recognize the folly of hanging onto it a moment longer.
“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.””>–James E Faust, “The Healing Power of Forgiveness”, May 2007 Ensign
Thank you Karen. Thanks Mom.