Forgiving - universal requirement of all

"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." (D&C 64:10.)

Forgiving others is a requirement the Lord makes of everyone. It is a topic addressed by His servants through the years.Under the title of "A Friendly Hint" in the Times and Seasons March 15, 1844, Joseph Smith wrote: "One of the most pleasing scenes that can transpire on earth is, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, to forgive that sin: and then, according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven, to forgive also."

On another occasion the Prophet counseled: "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." (History of the Church, 3:383.)

In The Miracle of Forgiveness, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then of the Council of the Twelve, wrote: "A common error is the idea that the offender must apologize and humble himself to the dust before forgiveness is required. Certainly, the one who does the injury should totally make his adjustment, but as for the offended one, he must forgive the offender regardless of the attitude of the other. Sometimes men get satisfactions from seeing the other party on his knees and groveling in the dust, but that is not the gospel way. . . .

"In this regard, the admonition of President Joseph F. Smith in 1902 is as applicable now as then:

" `We hope and pray that you will . . . forgive one another and never from this time forth . . . bear malice toward another fellow creature.

" . . . It is extremely hurtful for any man holding the gift of the Holy Ghost to harbor a spirit of envy, or malice, or retaliations, or intolerance toward or against his fellow man. We ought to say in our hearts,Let God judge between me and thee, but as for me, I will forgive.' I want to say to you that Latter-day Saints who harbor a feeling of unforgiveness in their souls are more censurable than the one who has sinned against them. Go home and dismiss envy and hatred from your hearts: dismiss the feeling of unforgiveness; and cultivate in your souls that spirit of Christ which cried out upon the cross, `Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' This is the spirit that Latter-day Saints ought to possess all the day long.'

"Yes, to be in the right we must forgive, and we must do so without regard to whether or not our antagonist repents, or how sincere is his transformation, or whether or not he asks our forgiveness. . . ."

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