Have you heard the saying, “Not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Although forgiveness is good for us, it isn’t always easy and is something most people have to practice and learn. Paragraph 7 of the family proclamation lists forgiveness as one of the elements of a successful family. And many of us find, family life can offer plenty of opportunities to learn the importance of it.
As the early saints tried to practice the new law of consecration, they were given similar opportunities to learn the important skill, and principle of forgiveness. In particular when a group of saints were given land to settle on, only to have one of their own go back on the promise and force them out. It was indeed a bitter pill to swallow. Elder Uchtdorf teaches timeless wisdom that would be applicable for them, and for us:
“Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another. There is a great need for this Christlike attribute in our families, in our marriages, in our wards and stakes, in our communities, and in our nations. We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience.” (Point of Safe Return, Ensign, May 2007).
That promise sounds so beautiful. Seemingly not easier, but ultimately so much better than poison.