Living by the scriptures

I the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. - D&C 65:10.

In reviewing my scripture list for seminary one morning, I was impressed more deeply than at any time before by this verse in the Doctrine & Covenants on forgiveness. Several days later, I received a letter from my son who had just arrived in his mission. Unfortunately, while he was waiting three days to travel to his first city of service, someone broke into the apartment and stole over half of his belongings. I was puzzled yet comforted by his letter showing his forgiving attitude and teaching me how to apply this scripture in my own life.

He said he immediately "forgave in advance." He did not waste any time wondering who the thief was, nor did he waste any time waiting for someone to confess so he could forgive him. My son felt he must forgive right away, even though he did not know who the person was. He did not want to let this incident bother him for one minute, to captivate his heart or destroy his spirit.

He knew only the Lord can choose to forgive. But we, including my son, should not ever choose who or when to forgive. Instead, we must forgive everyone, every time, everywhere. What a wonderful feeling.

He said he pleaded with the Lord not only to forgive the thief, but that the stolen goods would be useful to the thief's family. What a positive attitude. My son taught me a powerful lesson. Consequently, I secretly cried to the Lord and thanked Him for letting my son re-teach me about forgiveness.

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