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12 experiences of people who followed President Nelson’s invitation to end a personal conflict

In April 2022 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson invited listeners ‘to seek an end to a personal conflict that has weighed you down’

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the church’s 192nd Annual General Conference in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News


Josh Barrett initially couldn’t think of any personal conflicts he had with anyone and figured President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation during the April 2022 general conference “to seek an end to a personal conflict that has weighed you down” was accepted and completed.

However, that was tested days later as his pet dog disappeared and he realized he needed to let go of his anger toward those who took the dog.

President Nelson invited: “Could there be a more fitting act of gratitude to Jesus Christ for His Atonement? If forgiveness presently seems impossible, plead for power through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to help you. As you do so, I promise personal peace and a burst of spiritual momentum.”

Wrote Barrett of Queen Creek, Arizona: “So I began to pray, I prayed that my heart would be softened; … I prayed that I could forgive them, I prayed that they would find happiness and success in life … . As I closed my prayer and opened my eyes … where there once was anger, I felt peace, where there once was hopelessness, I felt love, and where there once was despair, I felt gratitude.”

He noticed a difference in the search as he “worked like it all depended on me and prayed like it all depended on Him” and the dog was eventually recovered.

The Church News asked readers to send in their experiences of following President Nelson’s invitation. Several shared about repairing relationships with family, friends and neighbors; others wrote about letting go of anger. The personal conflict to resolve was an internal one for other readers who worked to forgive themselves. 

And all shared the peace, joy and gratitude they felt as their feelings changed. 

Here are 11 additional experiences The Church News received. These have been edited for length and clarity. 

A prompting to call an estranged sister

“When I heard President Nelson’s invitation to end a personal conflict during general conference, it touched my heart. At that moment I had two conflicts that were dragging me down: one with my boss at work and another ‘old one’ with two of my sisters. …

“The one with my boss had been quite complicated ... and I was feeling full of anger and resentment. I just couldn’t let it go. After [President Nelson’s] invitation, I decided I should try [to end] my conflict with my boss. I prayed about it. I asked for help. I knew I needed to change my attitude and erase my anger and resentment. And it just happened; it did disappear. I cannot explain how it happened, but it did. Now I am able to talk and work with him with no problem, and my resentment and anger are gone. … I have just been able to let it go.

“The conflict with my sisters is an old one, which has led to a divided family ... . I have not had hardly any relationship with [two of my sisters] for at least three years now. In this conflict, I have forgiven them already, but I feel very vulnerable ... and my attitude towards them is more a protection mindset than anything else.

“I was traveling to my home province from where I currently live in Madrid, and we were getting close with our car to a city where one of my sisters lives. I felt prompted to call her, to try to meet and greet her. At the beginning I thought: ‘No, I am not going to do that. I don’t know how she will react; I don’t have the time to do this stop.’ But then I remembered President Nelson’s request and I realized the Spirit was guiding me [to] ...  follow our President’s invitation and so I did.

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Begoña Navas, left, felt a prompting to to call one of her sisters to help repair their relationship.

Provided by Begoña Navas

“It was so great. My sister was so happy that I called her. ... We spent a good time talking. We hugged. She actually took my hand so many times during our conversation, and although I know some issues might always be lingering there … we felt so good. She told me: ‘You know, the only thing I want is peace.’ I felt she really meant it, and I do want the same thing. I felt so blessed by this prompting that made us get together and be able to start the reconstruction of our sisterhood bond. 

“This invitation has helped me personally to be more happy and have more peace in my life.”

— Begoña Navas, Madrid, Spain 

Lunch and healing

“When I heard President Nelson’s invitation ..., I thought to myself, ‘I don’t have any conflicts.’ Then immediately the thought came to my mind to invite a specific person to lunch — someone close to me. I prayed about it and made it a goal to contact that person the next day. I did and she seemed excited so we set up to meet later that week for lunch at a place of her choosing. It was good for us to be together and be able to talk.  We hadn’t been able to do that in two years. 

“There was no major conflict, but there was some healing that needed to take place. I believe President Nelson was inspired to issue that invitation, and I felt the Spirit speak to me about what I should do.”

— Stacy Wursten, Lincoln, California 

‘I feel peace’

“I am delighted with the love and attachment to the message the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed last April in the general conference. It was very powerful and clear in a simple voice. I personally put it [into practice] after praying to the Lord asking for forgiveness and strength, regarding the five points President Nelson mentioned. 

“It was not easy … . Most of the time I repent, but this time I did the introspection to see what are the things always make me angry, pushed me to distance myself to other people and blocked my way of going forward? After that I prayed God to guard me during the process. 

“As a result, I feel peace within my body and happy mind; having the spirit of service …; always accepting the outcome at the end of the daily life and say thanks to the Creator our God; increasing my weekly attendance to the temple activities, praying for others …; serving the Lord in the Church by abiding to the covenants made …; never be angry because of other judgment toward matters; reading daily the scriptures and meditating to the quotes.” 

— Rousserolle Kalombo Tshibanda, Johannesburg, South Africa

Conferencegoers stand as general authorities enter the Conference Center for general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Conferencegoers stand as general authorities enter the Conference Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 192nd Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

‘I have felt so free’

“Before my mission, [I experienced the sudden end of a friendship]. Obviously this deeply hurt me, because this was one of the people I loved and trusted more than almost anyone.

“Flash forward several months to the start of my mission. I begin hearing the word ‘forgiveness’ everywhere. And then came general conference, where President Nelson gave the invitation to end personal conflicts. Needing no further prompting, I sent an email to this friend, seeking to make amends and see what could be done. When she responded, I found out that I, too, had done some things to unintentionally hurt her. As we both forgave each other, we agreed to work together to rebuild our friendship, now that we understood we were both at fault. Now, bit by bit, we are rebuilding our relationship, and I have felt so free as I have ended this conflict.”

 — Elder Kenneth Mears, Midvale, Utah, serving a mission in Italy

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints waves to attendees during the church’s Sunday morning session of the 192nd Annual General Conference in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

‘Healing my life, heart and mind’

“I pondered the words of our Prophet when He encouraged us to ‘end the conflict’ and could see the value in a variety of levels in our lives. Reviewing the relationships, past and present, I couldn’t find any substantial situations that needed my attention. I seek to live a peaceful life.  

“My conflict is in the quiet chambers of my heart and soul. [As a youth] I internalized a lot of negative attitudes and feelings about myself and life. It has been a struggle to change those thoughts and feelings. Sometimes our greatest enemy lives within us, and we war on a daily basis. ... 

“This timely counsel was a chance for me to take these leftover struggles to the Lord and ask Him to heal my life, heart and mind and to ask for help to end the conflict once and for all. The signature blessings and answers to prayer in specific ways tells me that by obeying this counsel the Lord is hearing my plea and is aware of my struggle, and I know He will help us overcome all things.”

— Diana Mortensen, Astoria, Oregon

Changes within

“I would love to share the blessings of following the Prophet’s words and his April general conference invitation to ‘end personal conflict.’ I have experienced a lot of change in me each time I say no to contention, quarrel or conversation which will lead to misunderstanding. I feel the Spirit of the Lord with me, His peace and love that comes only when focused upon the Savior Jesus Christ and to His servants whom we sustain as our Prophet, Seer and Revelator. 

“I certainly know that President Nelson is a prophet of God, and that peace and love and joy truly comes when we resolve our personal conflict and with others.”

— Moses Mukonda, Lusaka, Zambia 

Making peace with a neighbor

“I thought long and hard about our Prophet’s challenge to end a personal conflict, and as I did, the name and face of a neighbor kept coming to mind. I prayed about it, and again it was before me, so I grabbed the bull by the horns and did it. I told him why I had been angry and asked if we could be friends and we shook hands on it. I had that wonderful peace that told me I had done the right thing.”

— Jacki Sloan, Conway, Arkansas 

Leitores compartilharam como aceitaram o convite de Presidente Russell M. Nelson para encerrarem um conflito pessoal quando isso incluía perdoar e estender a graça a si mesmos.

Readers shared how they accepted President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to end a personal conflict when that including forgiving and extending grace to themselves.

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Learning to forgive myself

“As I have gotten older, I have become more and more aware of my imperfections. After this last general conference, my personal list of areas to improve only grew. Instead of feeling uplifted and inspired by the words of the Prophet and apostles, I only felt depressed. I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the things I needed to do better. 

“Soon enough, I noticed that my spirituality started to decline. What used to be daily scripture study shortly became a hurried glance at a verse or two. Weekly church attendance became an annoyance and my thoughts often went to my students and all the papers I needed to grade. …

“I was eventually prompted to dig out my conference notes. As I was reading, I was struck by President Nelson’s challenge to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to end a personal conflict in our lives. 

“Almost immediately, I thought of my need to be perfect and how it has weighed me down. It suddenly became clear to me that the ‘forgiveness that I needed to offer’ was to myself. By re-reading President Nelson’s talk, I realized that Heavenly Father knew that I could never be perfect. In fact, that is exactly why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for all of us.

“The Atonement makes up for my imperfections. It is also the reason why I can return to live with Him someday. By expecting myself to be perfect, I was not acknowledging the beautiful blessings that the Atonement can offer. It was almost like I was saying the Atonement is good enough for everyone but myself. 

“I have learned that the Lord is aware of my effort to do better, and as long as I keep trying, He will provide me with the ‘spiritual momentum’ I need to keep going. President Nelson’s challenge has lifted a burden that was physically and spiritually weighing me down.

 “Although I still have to fight against the tendency to be perfect, by forgiving myself, I have a renewed hope in His gospel. Instead of a burden, it is a beautiful blessing in my life.”

 — Shelby Scoffield, Modesto, California

‘A true blessing … to let those go’

“While serving a mission, I have had periods of times when I have not gotten along with a couple of my previous companions. There was one particular companion [who] I was having difficulty forgiving for some of the things he said to me. After hearing President Nelson’s invitation to end personal conflicts, I sent an email to both of the companions [who] I have had some issues getting along with, and apologized for some of the things that I had done. 

“I realized as I humbled myself, that I was not completely in the right in some of the contentious situations, and the conflict sprouted largely out of a misunderstanding of each other’s feelings and thoughts. I received forgiveness from both of these companions, and I feel better about them as well. What a true blessing it is to not harbor contentious feelings and being able to let those go. It made me think of Doctrine and Covenants 64:9-10.

“‘Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

“‘I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.’” 

— Cole Carlile, Fremont, California 

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One reader shared how she accepted President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to “end a personal conflict” and sought forgiveness from someone she’d had heated words with on social media.

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A heated social media interaction

“During a recent election, a member of our ward and I posted comments on Facebook Messenger. We disagreed, even to the point that he completely stopped communicating with me. I felt bad about posting some of my comments to him, but couldn’t see a way to apologize with our pandemic closure. It stayed in the back of my mind, troubling my heart. 

“When President [Russell M.] Nelson asked us to forgive or seek forgiveness for offenses, this brother immediately came to mind, but there was no way to fix things. Finally I asked the Lord for help to find a way to follow our Prophet, and honor President Nelson’s request.

“The very next Sunday that brother was seated in the overflow. I spotted him and immediately hurried over. I told him how happy I was to see him and apologized for my heated comments before the election. When he told me there was no need to apologize, I shared my feelings about the challenge from our Prophet and how his name immediately came to mind. …

“Partaking of the sacrament that day was joyful and  tearful, with the lifting of a burden I didn’t realize was that heavy and following the Prophet.”

— Susi Woolfenden, Phoenix, Arizona 

‘Forgive that man’

“I started that Saturday morning as I start every morning — in prayer. But it was conference Saturday, and I asked for help in knowing how this conference should change me, that I would know what changes I needed to make and what I should do because of conference. I was surprised that I had an immediate thought: ‘Forgive that man.’

“I knew immediately what the thought meant. I wrote it down, the first item on the list in my study journal of ‘Things I must do because of Conference.’ Then when President Nelson gave such a direct challenge to forgive another, the thought came again, with greater force to my mind.  And I knew it was time. I had to act.

“The incident occurred over 30 years ago. I no longer even remember his name. But I remember the hurt I felt because of what he did, and how it affected my family and me personally. I had carried that hurt and animosity toward him for a long time. He probably no longer even remembers it or knows how much it affected me. And now I knew the time had come that I must find a way to forgive. 

“I struggled in prayer for the ability to give up the hatred and the hurt, to allow the Savior to take the feelings I had carried for so many years away. I knew He could. I knew His Atonement covered the sins of this man as well as my own, and I knew He loved this man as much as He loved me. But it was hard to let go. The Prophet gave me only three weeks to do this. I prayed and prayed.

“Then, one morning I awoke and the feelings were gone. The facts of what he had done to me and to my family remained. I remembered them all.  But my soul was no longer ‘harrowed up’ (see Alma 36:19) by those memories. The hurt and the pain were gone. It was as though a heavy weight was lifted off my soul. … 

“It seems like a miracle to me that all that animosity, all those hateful feelings are just gone.  I am grateful that the Savior allows us the ability to move on unencumbered by negative experiences. I am grateful to Him for His atoning sacrifice. Truly, we can find peace in Christ.”

— Thomas M Matthews, Brigham City, Utah

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