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What does "forgiveness" mean to you?


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#1 LiterateParakeet

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

After a comment in Relief Society, I am sincerely wondering if I have the same definition of forgiveness that other people do and if other people can even agree on what it means. I admit up front this is a very sensitive subject for me, so I will try to limit further comments to "thanks for the replies" (believe me that is best for everyone, especially me). The comment yesterday was that a few years ago, a BYU student went home to Oregon to visit her family and during that time she was kidnapped and murdered. Later someone asked the mother how she was coping, she said she had forgiven the murderer. The comment was added that that is how we get peace. I don't understand that at all. I understand forgiving a drunk driver because that is an accident (still amazing and admirable), but to forgive someone who intentionally murdered your daughter in such a short time frame? I really do not get that. I looked up the definition of forgiveness (just a generic dictionary def.) 1.stop being angry about something: to stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody's behavior 2.pardon somebody: to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or inappropriate behavior 3.cancel obligation: to cancel an obligation such as a debt So (forgive my sarcasm, but it seems the best way to illustrate my confusion and frustration)...in the case of your child being murdered... 1. Stop being angry..."It's ok you killed my daughter, hey she wasn't done with school so you saved me a lot of money in college debt." I don't mean they have to live with a burning rage everyday, of course that would be distructive. But to essentially say, "it's ok." That is what I don't get. 2.Pardon/excuse.."Oh and the Savior said to turn the other cheek, so would you like to kill one of my other children too?" 3. cancel obligation..."Oh my no, you don't need to spend your life in prison, I forgive you." I just don't know how you could stop being angry within such a short time that someone took your child's life intentionally. Or why you would even want to. I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? Or Hitler? How about Sandusky? Forgiveness gives us peace??? So this family is no longer grieving? That doesn't make sense. Seriously none of it makes sense to me. I am familiar with the scriptures on forgiveness....especially my least favorite 'if you don't forgive you have the greater sin'....not forgiving is worse than murder or molesting a child? I don't get it seriously. Of course, you can quote scripture if you want. Oh...and just to be clear...I work on forgiving everyday...I work to forgive and let go of my angry feelings toward all the well-meaning people who tell me to forgive. ^_^

#2 anatess

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

After a comment in Relief Society, I am sincerely wondering if I have the same definition of forgiveness that other people do and if other people can even agree on what it means. I admit up front this is a very sensitive subject for me, so I will try to limit further comments to "thanks for the replies" (believe me that is best for everyone, especially me).

The comment yesterday was that a few years ago, a BYU student went home to Oregon to visit her family and during that time she was kidnapped and murdered. Later someone asked the mother how she was coping, she said she had forgiven the murderer. The comment was added that that is how we get peace.

I don't understand that at all. I understand forgiving a drunk driver because that is an accident (still amazing and admirable), but to forgive someone who intentionally murdered your daughter in such a short time frame? I really do not get that.

I looked up the definition of forgiveness (just a generic dictionary def.)

1.stop being angry about something: to stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody's behavior
2.pardon somebody: to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or inappropriate behavior
3.cancel obligation: to cancel an obligation such as a debt

So (forgive my sarcasm, but it seems the best way to illustrate my confusion and frustration)...in the case of your child being murdered...

1. Stop being angry..."It's ok you killed my daughter, hey she wasn't done with school so you saved me a lot of money in college debt." I don't mean they have to live with a burning rage everyday, of course that would be distructive. But to essentially say, "it's ok." That is what I don't get.

2.Pardon/excuse.."Oh and the Savior said to turn the other cheek, so would you like to kill one of my other children too?"

3. cancel obligation..."Oh my no, you don't need to spend your life in prison, I forgive you."

I just don't know how you could stop being angry within such a short time that someone took your child's life intentionally. Or why you would even want to. I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? Or Hitler? How about Sandusky?

Forgiveness gives us peace??? So this family is no longer grieving? That doesn't make sense. Seriously none of it makes sense to me.

I am familiar with the scriptures on forgiveness....especially my least favorite 'if you don't forgive you have the greater sin'....not forgiving is worse than murder or molesting a child? I don't get it seriously. Of course, you can quote scripture if you want.

Oh...and just to be clear...I work on forgiving everyday...I work to forgive and let go of my angry feelings toward all the well-meaning people who tell me to forgive. ^_^


I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? Or Hitler? How about Sandusky?

Yes. Yes, and yes.

1. Stop being angry.
Does not mean it's okay that my daughter is dead. It means, I'm ok that she's in the hands of God now and I have made peace with how she got there.

2. Pardon/excuse..
Does not mean you're going to offer your other daughter too. It means, what is done is done and there's nothing I can do to change it... being angry, being hard-hearted, being vengeful is not going to change what is done. The only thing I can do is learn from the past.

3. cancel obligation..
Does not mean his obligation to society is cancelled. Only his obligation to me is cancelled. I forgive him. He doesn't need to tell me he is sorry. He doesn't need to die for me to feel "justice". Society has its laws but even if it didn't, I still wouldn't need "justice" to be done before I offer my forgiveness. I forgive him in the same manner that Jesus asked me to forgive those who trespass against us. My daughter is dead. Her murderer's salvation is for Jesus Christ to judge. Not me. My daughter's life did not end - only her mortal life did. This is just but one leg of her journey just like it is but one leg of mine as well as her murderer.

Edited by anatess, 31 December 2012 - 11:47 AM.


#3 Eowyn

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

To me it means letting go of a responsibility to carry out or need to see justice. It's letting go of what happened and moving forward. It's not necessarily letting the person back into your life or trusting them again. It's just handing the hurt and anger over to the Savior and not owning it anymore.

"Therefore, let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views. They “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” (2 Ne. 26:29). (Beware of False Prophets and Teachers, supra.)

Elder M Russell Ballard


#4 skalenfehl

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:00 PM

To me, forgiving someone, anyone, means to completely absolve anyone from any harm, pain and even death, which they have done to me, and to love them anyway completely and unconditionally. Jesus Christ walked out of Gethsemene to His cross, having already forgiven those who would hurt and kill him. If we cannot do the same, we have not put everything on the altar as He did and we will fall short of His kingdom and of His forgiveness for our own sins against Him.

#5 Anddenex

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

I don't understand that at all. I understand forgiving a drunk driver because that is an accident (still amazing and admirable), but to forgive someone who intentionally murdered your daughter in such a short time frame? I really do not get that.

I looked up the definition of forgiveness (just a generic dictionary def.)

1.stop being angry about something: to stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody's behavior
2.pardon somebody: to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or inappropriate behavior
3.cancel obligation: to cancel an obligation such as a debt

So (forgive my sarcasm, but it seems the best way to illustrate my confusion and frustration)...in the case of your child being murdered...

1. Stop being angry..."It's ok you killed my daughter, hey she wasn't done with school so you saved me a lot of money in college debt." I don't mean they have to live with a burning rage everyday, of course that would be distructive. But to essentially say, "it's ok." That is what I don't get.

2.Pardon/excuse.."Oh and the Savior said to turn the other cheek, so would you like to kill one of my other children too?"

3. cancel obligation..."Oh my no, you don't need to spend your life in prison, I forgive you."

I just don't know how you could stop being angry within such a short time that someone took your child's life intentionally. Or why you would even want to. I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? Or Hitler? How about Sandusky?

Forgiveness gives us peace??? So this family is no longer grieving? That doesn't make sense. Seriously none of it makes sense to me.

I am familiar with the scriptures on forgiveness....especially my least favorite 'if you don't forgive you have the greater sin'....not forgiving is worse than murder or molesting a child? I don't get it seriously. Of course, you can quote scripture if you want.

Oh...and just to be clear...I work on forgiving everyday...I work to forgive and let go of my angry feelings toward all the well-meaning people who tell me to forgive. ^_^


The ultimate question you provide is "Does forgiveness bring peace"? The answer is, yes, forgiveness brings peace.

How quickly a person forgives is truly up to the character of that individual. The time frame isn't important, and the time frame will vary from individual to individual.

The Lord forgave the Roman soldiers immediately on the cross while they were still torturing him, and crucifying him.

Thus time frame will depend on many variables in a person's life. Forgiveness, however, doesn't mean if someone murders your children the you put another child in front of them.

I believe, personally, there is a difference between forgiveness and trust, and sometimes people correlate the two.

If my child was physically abused by a teacher. I don't feel forgiveness implies that I would put my child or any other child in a position to be abused by the same teacher. I could forgive, move forward, and still protect my children.

Letting go our harbored anger, at least to me, is leaving the judgement unto the Lord.

President Spencer W. Kimball shared a story about a widow and how this widow was defrauded out of money and she exclaimed, "How I hate him!"

President Kimball shares, "Then I told her [a] story, where a man forgave the murderer of his father. She listened intently. I saw she was impressed. At the conclusion there were tears in her eyes, and she whispered: 'Thank you. Thank you sincerely. Surely I, too, must forgive my enemy. I will now cleanse my heart of its bitterness... I leave my offender in the hands of the Lord."

He then states after meeting this widow weeks later, "She saw me again and confessed that those intervening weeks had been the happiest of her life. A new peace had overshadowed her and and she was able to pray for the offender and forgive him, even though she never received back a single dollar."

President Kimball further states, "In the midst of discordant sounds of hate, bitterness and revenge expressed so often today, the soft note of forgiveness comes as a healing balm."

Although I share these comments forgiveness in some aspects of my life is difficult, especially when it appears the offender is "highly" blessed of the Lord.

#6 Dravin

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden?


Sure, why not?

Or Hitler?


What exactly did Hitler do to me? So once again, why not?

How about Sandusky?


Once again, what did Sandusky do to me? Oh sure, he did some horrible things, but he hasn't done anything to me specifically. Unless I'm supposed to be forgiving him for violating the laws of the society I'm a part of or something. I bear him, nor any of the others on the list, any ill will.

Or are we going to become embroiled in a debate over, "I found a definition that says these things so unless you're willing to release Sandusky, and rewrite history to excuse the behaviors of the other two, you aren't forgiving them!"? Honestly, I think the better gospel definition of forgiveness is to stop bearing ill will towards someone. And before we go there not bearing ill will/forgiving someone, does not mean you have to trust someone and place them back within easy striking distance. I don't bear him any ill will, but I'm not hiring a convicted pedophile to watch my hypothetical children. At least that's the more pragmatic, and immediate, side of things, ultimately we need to learn to not just have an ill will, but love the people who have hurt us.

Edited by Dravin, 31 December 2012 - 01:22 PM.

Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#7 MrShorty

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

I saw this on a blog today. Forgiveness | Spice & Love The blogger is Christian but doesn't appear to be LDS. She doesn't say where this description of forgiveness comes from.

As Christ-followers, when we say “I forgive you”, what we are saying (in reality) is this:

“You have created a gap in my heart with your words and actions. That gap must be filled in order for me to be whole, and I so desperately need and want to be whole. So I recognize that your sin leaves you in debt to me. You rightly owe me – you rightly must fill the gap you created. I also recognize, however, that this tear in my heart, this hole you created, can never be filled by you. You owe me a debt you cannot pay. And so when I say that I forgive you, I am telling you that I am taking that hole you created, that debt you so rightfully owe me, and I am giving it to Christ. I am choosing to release you of the responsibility for repairing my heart, and I am offering it up instead to the Healer of all wounds.


Another note:

Forgiveness gives us peace??? So this family is no longer grieving? That doesn't make sense.

I sometimes think that we confuse the process of forgiving someone with the process of grieving. I'm not entirely certain how they are related. In some ways, forgiving those who have trespassed against us might be part of the process of grieving a loss. But I don't think it is the whole process or even the culminating step in the grieving process. Examples like these "so and so is responsible (intentionally or accidentally) for the death of my son/daughter/mother/father/husband/wife/etc)" illustrate that we can't afford to get bogged down with bitterness and resentment towards our fellowman (or even towards God when we want to blame Him) when these kind of things happen to us. Somewhere along the way, we need to learn how to release something (not exactly sure what this exactly is that we need to let go of) so that the experience doesn't poison our souls.

#8 james12

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:47 AM

While I generally dislike LDS fiction I did read The Peacegiver. In it the author shared the story of David, Nabal, and Abigail. It seems to have hit a chord, spoken and truth, and stuck in my heart.

David with a small army had guarded the land and kept the people safe. One day he and his men were in need of food. They went to Nabal a rich man with many sheep, goats, etc. whom they had protected and asked him to spare some of his substance with them. He utterly refused and sent them away. When David heard of the incident he was angry with Nabal and told 400 of his men to put on their swords that they might attack Nabal. Abigail, Nabal's wife, heard that David's men were coming. So she took a large amount of food and drink from her husbands store, without him knowing, to give to David and his men. She meets them on the road and falls before David to plead for her husband. She in this instance prefigures Christ. Carefully note the words she uses:

- Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be. (1 Sam 25:24)
- I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid. (1 Sam 25:28)
- That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offense of heart unto my lord. (1 Sam 25:31)

Because of Abigail David does not attack Nabal. David says, "blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood" (v. 33).

Here then is the point of this scripture:
1. Christ has assumed the sins of the person who caused the offense. Christ is the great intercessor. For you who need to forgive, it is Christ with whom you deal, not the offender. For you the offended, it does not matter if the other person repents or suffers.
2. Christ pleads that the offenders sin be forgiven because the sin is now His. In essence, Christ pleads that you forgive Him. Since he has interceded and has assumed the offense, you in essence deal with Christ.
3. Christ pleads the you forgive, that the evil feelings in your heart may be lifted. Christ does not plead that you forgive to heal the other person. That is between the person and the Lord. But he pleads that you forgive that your own sorrows may be healed.

He leaves us no cause for our hatred, our anger, or perhaps even our pain. He has interceded between us and the person who has given offense. It is squarely between us and the Lord. Letting go of our just accusation will let us out of our own prison.

Edited by james12, 01 January 2013 - 09:30 AM.


#9 Dove

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:31 AM

Hello, LiterateParakeet; I hear anger in your opening post. Which I relate to. I've been praying for quite awhile to forgive anybody and everybody who has offended me in my life. This is a long list, lol and sorry to say. I have soo much anger, frustration, resentment and more that so easily turns to revenge in my thoughts. I realize that my anger is my own problem and my own thing to overcome. I can't blame others for it, or at least, for those times I choose to indulge myself in it in a carnal way.... However, I don't believe that the primal emotion of anger is necessarily evil. I believe that if someone is attacking me and attempting to destroy me, that anger is a natural and protective response. How I deal with those feelings is what is either good or bad. If anger leads me to step away from a destructive interchange, I think that is positive. But, if anger leads me to lash out and try to destroy the other out of anything other then self defense, that is where it becomes detrimental and evil. I'm still trying to figure out the "forget" part of forgiving. In this sense; if a person is exhibiting patterns/behaviors of being abusive or destructive towards me, without any intention of repenting, I can forgive him/her (not hold hard, bitter feelings of hatred or revenge) but walk away from the abuse/destruction. Meaning, not be an accessory to my own abuse. Actually, there have been many people I've held quite a grudge towards for many years. I have prayed quite a bit to forgive. And, at times, with sorrow, to pray for their well being. One time when I was praying for this, a beautiful realization came over me. That it really wasn't about those people; but, my relationship to God. My sense of His caring concern and whether or not I could trust Him to be fair and just in any given situation. This has given me a lot of strength to let go of the control and leave these people in His hands. There are plenty of evil people in this world. I believe I have had contact with some of them. Not being angry because of their choice to pursue that which is evil has more to do with trusting God and going to Him for protection and to follow His will then it has anything to do with the person I happen to come across who is threatening to destroy me. I say "threatening" because in an eternal sense, only I have the choice to be destroyed or saved through choosing to follow Christ. Hope this helps Dove

#10 applepansy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

When we refuse to forgive, or require more from the person who has wronged us, then we are saying The Atonement means nothing... that the Saviors sacrifice isn't enough.

Its really hard to let go, to place the burden of our grief at the feet of the Savior. But...it is possible and it is necessary.

Whatever you are struggling with will always stay with you until you can let it go. Truly forgiveness isn't for the other person, its for ourselves. It heals our hearts.

You might have seen this story but its worth seeing again, and maybe again....until what forgiveness really means: Chris Williams on forgiveness

On November 11, 1999 my oldest son died when a Coachman Motorhome ran over the small hatchback car he was in. He died almost immediately (declared dead at the hospital after a brain scan). His friend died the next day. My son's girlfriend had to have extensive surgery. The return missionary who picked them up when the car they were in was thrown clear, yet remembers closing the door. We forgave. My son's friend's parents didn't and still haven't to my knowledge. The bitterness in their lives is heartbreaking. Because they were hurting so badly they hurt others.

There are still times when I miss my son terribly. At those times I watch Chris Williams story again.

Edited by applepansy, 02 January 2013 - 01:02 AM.


#11 anan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:48 AM

When we refuse to forgive, or require more from the person who has wronged us, then we are saying The Atonement means nothing... that the Saviors sacrifice isn't enough.


Please elaborate.

#12 applepansy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:12 AM

Please elaborate.


What more is there to say?

Christ himself has said that his sacrifice is enough. We are also commanded to forgive.

If we don't accept that the atonement is there for the person who hurts us and forgive them, isn't that saying we don't think Christ's sacrifice is enough?

#13 anan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:44 AM

What more is there to say?

Christ himself has said that his sacrifice is enough. We are also commanded to forgive.

If we don't accept that the atonement is there for the person who hurts us and forgive them, isn't that saying we don't think Christ's sacrifice is enough?


I never thought of it that way. I just stayed angry at those who offended me, because secretly I wanted karma to pay them back. I even prayed to god to take vengeance on them. I never thought that by not forgiving I was also denying the thing I was supposed to value most.


....Interesring.

#14 MormonMama

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:43 AM

Forgiveness gives us peace??? So this family is no longer grieving? That doesn't make sense. Seriously none of it makes sense to me.


Everyone else has already said what I would have said, so I'll just address this one part.

If this family's child had died in an accident where no one was at fault, would the family not grieve just because there is no one to blame? Grief does not equal blame. Peace does not equal a lack of grief.

I am reminded of a family in our old ward who lost their 15-year-old son to a tragic accident (he was a friend of my older two daughters as well). It was clear to me at the funeral that the family was grieving his loss, but I could also tell that they were at peace. They knew that their son was in the Lord's hands and they knew they would see him again. They were still sad to be parted from their son and brother, but at peace because they knew it was only temporary.

In a similar, yet not nearly as dramatic, vein: when I moved to another state my mother bawled her eyes out. She was sad to see me go, yet at peace knowing that it was the best decision at the time for me. She was "grieving", in a way, yet still at peace, even happy for me.

So I have no problem with someone being able to forgive a person who caused them horrible pain and being at peace even while still grieving over that pain. Being at peace does not mean a lack of grief or pain.

Now putting forgiveness into actual practice? Yes, I admit that I don't always succeed well at that either.

#15 Guest_Thinker_*

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

I mean have any of you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? Or Hitler? How about Sandusky?

Yes. Yes, and yes.

1. Stop being angry.
Does not mean it's okay that my daughter is dead. It means, I'm ok that she's in the hands of God now and I have made peace with how she got there.

2. Pardon/excuse..
Does not mean you're going to offer your other daughter too. It means, what is done is done and there's nothing I can do to change it... being angry, being hard-hearted, being vengeful is not going to change what is done. The only thing I can do is learn from the past.

3. cancel obligation..
Does not mean his obligation to society is cancelled. Only his obligation to me is cancelled. I forgive him. He doesn't need to tell me he is sorry. He doesn't need to die for me to feel "justice". Society has its laws but even if it didn't, I still wouldn't need "justice" to be done before I offer my forgiveness. I forgive him in the same manner that Jesus asked me to forgive those who trespass against us. My daughter is dead. Her murderer's salvation is for Jesus Christ to judge. Not me. My daughter's life did not end - only her mortal life did. This is just but one leg of her journey just like it is but one leg of mine as well as her murderer.

Well put, Anatess.

For-give is being "given" to go "for"ward... and as explained well above, it is an internal, personal process. It's not necessarily letting another person off the hook, or even giving them the ability to go forward - because it's not something you can give - it's personal for them too. Forgiveness, I think, is refusing to carry around anger - because there's the realization that it's like carrying around acid, knowing it hurts the container more than anything else.

Still, it is not easy to just let go of emotion.
And sometimes, anger plays a role in initiating positive change.
But too often, anger is allowed permenant residence & becomes harmful.
So, the grieving process should not be denied, but it also shouldn't be allowed to warp into something that causes even more grief.

Edited by Thinker, 02 January 2013 - 01:52 PM.


#16 LiterateParakeet

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

Thank you so much everyone! This thread has really been helpful to me. I don't want to comment on any specific posts, because I don't want anyone to feel left out. Maybe I'm showing more of my own weakness here, but I hate it when I take the time to write what I think is a thoughtful, and hopefully helpful reply to someone and they come back and comment on several other posts and "ignore" me. Each of your posts was valuable to me. I admit some helped me more than others because they addresses something I specifically needed to hear, but even the ones that were not specific to me, I believe were specifically helpful to someone else (maybe a lurker) who needed to hear that. So each post was very valuable and appreciated. So without going into specifics...this thread gave me a real epiphany. I have spent a lot of time thinking about forgiveness...more than I want to, LOL! All these concepts, and ideas swirling in my head, but I was missing something to bring it all together. How can I explain such a tremendous change that has occured in my thinking about forgiveness? I think an analogy would be good, my mental block (a misunderstanding really), was like a clot in my spiritual heart. We all know that a blood clot in your physical heart can limit your abilities or even kill you if it causes total blockage. Reading all your kind and thoughtful comments, helped me understand a misunderstanding that I had had. I was not previously aware of it. Now, that I understand better, the clot, the blockage is removed and I feel so much stronger spiritually speaking. I used the story of the murdered young woman, because it is a huge thing to forgive, and because talking about what I really need to forgive could be too painful. If you have read any of my other posts around the board, you will know I am talking about forgiving years of childhood sexual abuse. I am still not ready to forgive about that. Don't misunderstand me, it's not that I don't want to, simply that emotional and spiritual healing takes time in the same way that physical healing does. What has changed from the thread then is that I now see more clearly how forgiveness can eventually happen for me, even for this. And even more importantly, I understand more clearly now than I ever have about how the Atonement, in other words how the Savior, can help that healing/forgiveness to happen. If you will forgive me for breaking my own rule and commenting on one post...I love the story of Abigail. I, too, have found great comfort in that scripture---but I now understand that better. You see, I was waiting for the Savior to--like Abigail--make up the difference. I thought that was something He would do AFTER I forgave. I see now it works the other way...if I allow Him in He can help me with the healing process...repairing what I lost...and then healing, and in time forgiving can happen. That is tremendously oversimplified....but this is already too long. I'm going to organize my thoughts on this and write an article or maybe something longer...if I post it on line, I will share a link later. Mostly for now though, I just want to say thank you to EACH ONE of you. I took something helpful from you all and blended it with my own thoughts and resolved the block. Thank you so much!

#17 Dove

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

LP: I really appreciate you honesty about your past abuse. It's comforting because I relate to it. I was once told in a priesthood blessing that until I forgave the person who molested me, I would not be able to forgive myself....I'm not so sure about that. Like you, I sometimes construe forgiving as condoning....Saying that I forgive is akin to saying it was okay, when it really wasn't. The person who molested me is now deceased. While I don't wish revenge on him, I do wish for no further contact with him eternally....I don't ever want to be forced or coerced into seeing him or associating with him again. I'm working on "forgiving," and this is my best. I don't have all the answers. Again, for me, forgiving is so much about letting go and letting God. Letting Him take care of the justice part. While I work on my own repentance and salvation and being kind to others, etc. Thanks again Dove

#18 Gramajane

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:42 AM

I have found that I am still needing to continue working on myself to forgive those who have caused me pain and loss. I work and work on it when ever it comes up and think it is done, just to have another bit surface again, so I work again to dig out the offending bit and go forward again. At least the pain which brings anger, comes up less and less :) This is certainly more peaceful. :) (kind of like the time I fell and slid in an area of stickers ((goat-heads)) which were driven into my open hands I had thrown out to catch myself, my mother worked with my to remove all the barbs we could find, but still days and weeks later more bits would surface))

#19 Gramajane

Gramajane

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:50 AM

One thing that has helped me to "let Go and let God" is to work putting in place some protection that at least that same person or situation will not be able to impact me in the same negative way in the future. :) Also, seeking to find out what the other persons situations were that caused them to think doing what they did to hurt me, was a good idea has helped. Often that alone, has been the easiest way to get distance on the forgiveness path. Understanding my Father-in-laws terrible childhood as an abused orphan who ran away from relatives who beat him etc, and that he thought of me as competition for his only childs love and attention, helped me have compassion and hope that he would finally come to know and accept me. Even when I discovered that he was STILL, (as he had for years) working to get my dear husband to divorce me (even when we had five kids!!!) I could see him as the scared little kid. It was sad really. :(

#20 Gramajane

Gramajane

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:54 AM

I should say, that there are more than Grandpa, that I have had to work to forgive. Him I have forgiven, and at least the LAST thing he said to me (just before he shot himself) was an acknowledgment that I was trying to watch out for his needs :) Though he still said it SLIGHTLY sarcastically, it was so LESS sarcastic than his usual self, that it felt good! I figure, that now that he is on the other side, he will (if he wants?) be able to see my heart and intentions have always been good towards him (ok, a little upset at times ;) in response to his actions.




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