I awoke very early one morning pondering over the things I had not been able to forgive. I mentally recounted some of them. There was the teacher who terrified and bullied me when I was a little child. That was most difficult to forgive, for I remembered the tears it brought to my gentle mother. There were later the hurtful words from a school administrator. And there was the beating I received from two male teachers in a dark room long after school was out, under the guise of corporal punishment. When I grew to young manhood and was more than able, I longed for the day I might meet the two together in a dark alley, for I wanted to extract revenge.
There came to me that early morning the words of the Savior, “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.” (1)
Ought I not to forgive finally? There had been so many wonderful and loving teachers and benefactors in my life, so why should I let these stand out? Yes, for the word of the Lord is clear: “ But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (2) Mine were so many, grievously vexing the Lord!
As I considered my life and reviewed each of my own grievous failings, I discovered that for each of these minor acts against me, I could find a much greater flaw in mine own life! There was a counter balance, and more! I was in deficit, for the Lord had been surpassing merciful unto me! Who was I not to forgive? Who was I to hold out?
“Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted that I may heal you?” (3)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy; and my burden is light.” (4)
O Beloved and Divine Redeemer, Thou, the Savior of my soul, shall I not love Thee forever? Yea, I shall love Thee forever, and yet it shall not be enough!
(1) Doctrine & Covenants 64: 9-10 (2) Matthew 6:15 (3) 3 Nephi 9: 13 (4) Matthew 11: 28-30