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Forgiveness

Quotes from L.D.S. Publications

Gordon B. Hinckley: A spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those who may have wronged us is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us has need of this spirit. The whole world has need of it. The Lord taught it. He exemplified it as none other has exemplified it. . . . How much we need application of this God-given principle and its companion principle, repentance! We see the need for it in the homes of the people, where tiny molehills of misunderstanding are fanned into mountains of argument. We see it among neighbors, where insignificant differences lead to undying bitterness. We see it in business associates who quarrel and refuse to compromise and forgive when, in most instances, if there were a willingness to sit down together and speak quietly one to another, the matter could be resolved to the blessing of all. Rather, they spend their days nurturing grudges and planning retribution. (“Of You It Is Required to Forgive,” Ensign, June 1991)
Gordon B. Hinckley: How difficult it is for any of us to forgive those who have injured us. We are all prone to brood on the evil done us. That brooding becomes as a gnawing and destructive canker. Is there a virtue more in need of application in our time than the virtue of forgiving and forgetting? There are those who would look upon this as a sign of weakness. Is it? I submit that it takes neither strength nor intelligence to brood in anger over wrongs suffered, to go through life with a spirit of vindictiveness, to dissipate one’s abilities in planning retribution. There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can ‘get even’. (“Of You It Is Required to Forgive,” Ensign, June 1991)
Thomas S. Monson: Sometimes we can take offense so easily. On other occasions we are too stubborn to accept a sincere apology. Who will subordinate ego, pride, and hurt—then step forward with, “I am truly sorry! Let’s be as we once were: friends. Let’s not pass to future generations the grievances, the anger of our time.” Let’s remove any hidden wedges that can do nothing but destroy. Where do hidden wedges originate? Some come from unresolved disputes, which lead to ill feelings, followed by remorse and regret. Others find their beginnings in disappointments, jealousies, arguments, and imagined hurts. We must solve them—lay them to rest and not leave them to canker, fester, and ultimately destroy. (“Hidden Wedges,” Ensign, April 2002)
Boyd K. Packer: If you have a festering grudge, if you are involved in an acrimonious dispute, “Behold what the scripture says [and it says it fifty times and more]—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay” (Morm. 8:20). I say therefore, “John, leave it alone. Mary, leave it alone.” If you need a transfusion of spiritual strength, then just ask for it. We call that prayer. Prayer is powerful spiritual medicine. The instructions for its use are found in the scriptures. Some frustrations we must endure without really solving the problem. Some things that ought to be put in order are not put in order because we cannot control them. Things we cannot solve, we must survive. If you resent someone for something he has done—or failed to do—forget it. Too often the things we carry are petty, even stupid. If you are still upset after all these years because Aunt Clara didn’t come to your wedding reception, why don’t you grow up and forget it? If you brood constantly over a loss or a past mistake, look ahead—settle it. We call that forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful spiritual medicine. To extend forgiveness, that soothing balm, to those who have offended you is to heal. And, more difficult yet, when the need is there, forgive yourself! I repeat, “John, leave it alone. Mary, leave it alone.” Purge and cleanse and soothe your soul and your heart and your mind and that of others. A cloud will then be lifted, a beam cast from your eye. There will come that peace which surpasseth understanding. The Lord said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) (“Balm of Gilead,” Ensign, Nov 1987)
Boyd K. Packer: When an offense is minor, so simple a thing as an apology will satisfy the law. Most mistakes can be settled between us and the Lord, and that should be done speedily. It requires a confession to Him, and whatever obvious repairs need to be made. (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 18)
Cecil O. Samuelson Jr.: The blessings that flow from the gift of forgiveness are many. Chief among them is peace. (Words of Jesus: Forgiveness,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 48)
David E. Sorensen: It can be very difficult to forgive someone the harm they’ve done us, but when we do, we open ourselves up to a better future. No longer does someone else’s wrongdoing control our course. When we forgive others, it frees us to choose how we will live our own lives. Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts. (Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love,” Ensign, May 2003, 10
H. Burke Peterson: I want to speak of a weakness that has thwarted the spiritual growth of men through the ages. It has affected young and old, rich and poor. Its onward roll is not limited by national boundaries, or race, or creed, or social standing. It affects some who appear to be strong. It affects many who are weak. It poisons the spirit of a person to the point that one is hobbled by its debilitating power. It has the power to drag people to the depths of hell; yet, when released from its hold, they may soar to celestial heights. It has kept many from rising to their full potential. It has been a roadblock to the talented and to the favored. It is one of the most effective tools of Satan. We are speaking of an unforgiving and unforgetting spirit. (Removing the Poison of an Unforgiving Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 59)
H. Burke Peterson: As long as we blame others for our condition or circumstance and build a wall of self-justification around ourselves, our strength will diminish and our power and ability to rise above our situation will fade away. The poison of revenge, or of unforgiving thoughts or attitudes, unless removed, will destroy the soul in which it is harbored. Henry Home said, “No man ever did a designed injury to another, but at the same time he did a greater to himself.” (in The New Dictionary of Thoughts, n. p., p. 309.) (Removing the Poison of an Unforgiving Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 59)