The Art of Forgiveness

Lately I have found myself thinking, and in the situations, of learning how to forgive. Now, this is a journey that I have been undergoing since I was a child, but these past few years the gospel has really helped me put things, people, and events into perspective so I can better learn how to find the light of Christ and learn how to forgive.

First I find it important to give a slight amount of background. I grew up a very happy child with many struggles. When I was three years old my parents divorced, so I can only remember being thrown back and forth between homes throughout my entire life. These homes consisted with my father, my mother, my grandmother, my dads friends, my dads girlfriends family, and my school friends–I don’t know if I necessarily had a place that I called home. In addition to that, my relationship with family members were not always great.

Given the circumstances, I was a lot worse of a daughter than I should have been. Like any teenager, I treated my parents with disrespect, but it was not for the typical attitude reasons, but it was because I felt like not in a million years could I forgive them for some of the things that I had to go through at such a young age. Of course, I was wrong, but I think that I was wrong because I had not yet understood the atonement of Jesus Christ. I mean, I was not yet introduced to the church and when I was I still did not fully understand.

However, after years of study I think that I better understand Jesus Christ, and therefore I am better able to forgive. This last week I was reading about the atonement and I was reading about when Christ was crucified and then resurrected, from each of the gospels. Something that I cannot get out of my head is Luke 23:34
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they
parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
I almost cannot believe that someone who is being stoned and tattered by these people could have enough love to ask Heavenly Father to forgive and bless the people that are hurting them as they do it. But, that is why he is Jesus Christ.

When I think about this, I think about all the grudges I hold. Mad at a friend because of something they said, angry at a family member because they won’t listen, mad at my roommates because they won’t do the dishes–none of that matters.

When we are angry and refuse to forgive, we are only hurting ourselves–I have done this for years of my life. I resented my parents and some of my friends and all this did was keep me from having a positive relationship with them. When I finally got over myself and forgave the people that hurt me, I was able to love and be loved by these people and thus became much happier.

With that, I just want to say that I believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ, and I know that the more I strive to forgive people, the happier that I will be and I will better be able to see their potential. If I learn to forgive then that can also be a positive experience for the people that have hurt me and they will also better understand forgiveness. And I know that when I strive to be more forgiving, that I am striving to be like Christ, and Heavenly Father will bless me for that.

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