We are taught in our Church lessons the steps to repentance, but we are not taught forgiveness in steps. We are instructed that forgiveness is a commandment, but we are not guided through the process. When we are children, we find it easier to forgive friends who do things that hurt us. As adults, it is harder partly because it seems it is not socially acceptable for mature adults to apologize or verbalize forgiveness, especially in the workplace. Our world teaches us that apologies and forgiving are not only unnecessary, but are weaknesses that need to be hidden or denied.
However, apologies and forgiveness are difficult but necessary ways to grow closer to God and closer to each other. Forgiveness is a feeling of the heart and can develop in the heart through the following:
- Having meekness, humility and trust in an omnipotent Father in Heaven.
- Praying, sometimes daily, for God to help us forgive and forget in our hearts.
- Examining our hearts to find the 'beam' in our eye and realize that all people make mistakes. Mistakes must be forgiven for our spiritual health. And some mistakes are harder and take longer to forgive.
But with God's help through daily prayer, study of the scriptures and the life of Christ, faith in the Atonement, a realization of our responsibility in the cycle of wrongdoing, and patience, we can forgive. Kathy Bruner, Highland, Utah