Tag Archives: forgiveness

Satan’s Lies

150px-Mormon_Jesus_Christ_and_Satan

Punishing Ourselves

I think many of us, myself included, in our lives like to or tend to punish ourselves.   We make a mistake and then we feel we must be punished for it, that we must punish ourselves for that mistake.

Recently, I have done this as I had made a mistake in my life (returning to old habits), so I proceeded to punish myself.  I did this even knowing that it would be what Satan would want me to do.  I couldn’t allow myself to be wrapped up in the arms and the love of the Savior.

The Savior’s atonement covers this for us.  We do not need to beat ourselves up for doing something wrong, we just need to turn to the Savior.  He will lift our burdens.  He will make what was wrong right.  He is the Savior of the world.  He is the Savior of you.

Since I have beat myself up for making a mistake, I have turned to the Savior to repent of my original mistake and for beating myself up afterwards.  His love feels so good.  It is like a warmth and peace that overcomes you.  You can have this in your life as well.  He loves you.  Stop beating yourself up, and turn to Him.

Remember, God always allows U-turns.

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Pictures

Today, I decided to share some of my favorite pictures with you.

I love how the little girl in this picture is touching the scar on Christ's hand. He has repeatedly shown His love to us. He knows us personally and has gone through all that we have gone through because of the atonement. I am so grateful for my Savior.

 

I like this picture because it reminds me that Christ is the one who lifts us up. He is the one who helps us to become more than we are. He is our true source of help and comfort.

 

This picture reminds me of the primary song, "When I am baptized." Part of the lyrics are: "I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain."

 

Sunsets help remind me of the majesty and power of the Lord and how He blesses us so greatly.

 

The Way

Do you ever wonder which way to turn?  Do you ever wonder if you will ever turn the right way?  Do you want your life to change?  Jesus Christ is the way.

Who Made You?

Sometimes we may feel broken or downtrodden.  We may feel like we never should have existed or like we never should live now because of things we have done.

At these moments in our lives we need to remember who our creator is.  He can heal us.  He can make us stronger than we were before we were broken.

Continuing through Challenges

Many times in life we are given difficult circumstances to deal with.  We often do not expect the hard things that we are faced up against.  We find ourselves dealing with problems or situations that we never thought we would have to deal with.

How we react to these things says much about who we are.  Do we turn to curse God and hold grudges and fill ourselves with bitterness or do we turn to the scriptures and fall to our knees pleading for help?

I understand that it is a very natural thing for humans to experience anger, bitterness, or hatred.  I also know that when we decide to let go of these feelings that are characteristic of Satan, not of Christ, we become happier.  We feel lighter and more able to live our lives.

It is through the Savior’s atonement that we are able to truly let go of these feelings.  He transforms us into better people.  He is our redeemer.  He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.  He is ever ready to help us.

The Miracle of Forgiveness Story

I would like to relate a story that I read in The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball.  It is a story of the son of one of the men killed during the shooting at Kilburn Canyon.  His name is Glenn Kempton.  He says:

“It happened on the tenth of February, 1918, high in the fastnesses of the Galiuro Mountains in southern Arizona.  It was a cold, grey dawn, sky overcast, snow gently falling, when Father was shot down from behind.  Two other law officers also lost their lives in the withering blast that emitted forth from the little log-cabin fortress in which the draft evaders had taken refuge.

After a cautious ten or fifteen minutes waiting, they came outside to view the remains of their grisly work.  Having satisfied themselves that they had killed the entire party, they bore their father, who had received a mortal wound, into a nearby tunnel, covered him with an old blanket, sent word to a nearby rancher to look after him, saddled their horses and headed south.  Destination–Old Mexico!

There followed one of the greatest man-hunts in the southwest history.  The draft evaders were finally run down and caught near the Mexican border.  They were tried and found guilty of murder, for which they received sentences of life imprisonment.

As a young boy in my early teens, there grew in my heart a bitterness and a hatred toward the confessed slayer of my Father, for Tom Powers had admitted killing my Dad.

The years swept by, I grew up, but still that heavy feeling stayed inside me.  high school ended, and then I received a call to go to the Eastern States Mission.  There my knowledge and testimony of the gospel grew rapidly, as all of my time was spent studying and preaching it.  One day while reading the New Testament, I came to Matthew, fifth chapter, verses 43 to 45, wherein Jesus said:

‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…’

Here it was, the words of the Savior saying we should forgive.  This applied to me.  I read those verses again and again and it still meant forgiveness.  not very long after this, I found in the 64th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 9 and 10, more of the Savior’s words:

‘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.’

And then there were these timely words of President John Taylor:

‘Forgiveness is in advance of Justice where repentance is concerned.’

I didn’t know whether or not Tom Powers had repented but I did know that I had an appointment to make after I returned home, and I resolved before I left the mission field to do just that.

After returning home, I met and married a fine Latter-day Saint girl, and the Lord blessed our home with five lovely children.  The years were passing rapidly and the Lord had been good to us, yet guilt arose within me every time I thought of the appointment I had not kept.

A few years ago, just shortly before Christmas, a season when the love of Christ abounds and the spirit of giving and forgiving gets inside of us, my wife and I were in Phoenix on a short trip.  Having concluded our business in the middle of the second afternoon, we started home.  As we rode along, I expressed the desire to detour and return home via Florence, for that is where the state prison is located.  My wife readily assented.

It was after visiting hours when we arrived but I went on inside and asked for the warden.  I was directed to his office.

After I had introduced myself and expressed a desire to meet and talk with Tom Powers, a puzzled expression came over the warden’s face, but after only a slight hesitation, he said, ‘I’m sure that can be arranged.’  Whereupon he dispatched a guard down into the compound who soon returned with Tom.  We were introduced, and led into the parole room where we had a long talk.  We went back to that cold, gray February morning thirty years before, re-enacting that whole terrible tragedy.  We talked for perhaps an hour and a half.  Finally, I said, ‘Tom, you made a mistake for which you owe a debt to society for which I feel you must continue to pay, just the same as I must continue to pay the price for having been reared without a father.’

Then I stood and extended my hand.  He stood and took it.  I continued, ‘With all my heart, I forgive you for this awful thing that has come into our lives.’

He bowed his head and I left him there.  I don’t know how he felt then, and I don’t know how he feels now, but my witness to you is that it is a glorious thing when bitterness and hatred go out of your heart and forgiveness comes in.

I thanked the warden for his kindness, and as I walked out the door and down that long flight of steps I knew that forgiveness was better than revenge, for I had experienced it.

As we drove toward home in the gathering twilight, a sweet and peaceful calm came over me.  Out of pure gratitude I placed my arm around my wife, who understood, for I know that we had now found a broader, richer and more abundant life.

 

If Only

If Only I were better...

If Only…

Do you ever catch yourself saying ‘if only…’ You can fill in the blank.  If only I had done this or if only I hadn’t been so frustrated, etc.

We could all fill our lives up with if only’s.  But it is important to recognize that we cannot change the past, we can only change our future by the actions that we take in the present.

So instead of beating ourselves up with if only, let us allow ourselves to forgive ourselves and others and move on with our lives.  Let us strive to be better people so we are not crushing and beating ourselves down with ‘if only’s.’

None of us are perfect.  Each of us have a need for the Savior.  He will help us to forgive ourselves and move on with our lives with faith.

We each have a future ahead of us.  Sometimes we need to remember to look up and forward rather than looking down or back.  Thomas S. Monson has said that

“Your future is as bright as your faith.”

Carl B. Cook has also said in his talk entitled “It is Better to Look Up:”

“If we exercise our faith and look to God for help, we will not be overwhelmed with the burdens of life.”

I know that the previous statements are true.  I know that the Savior is real and that He is there to help us.  I love the hymn “The Lord is my Light:”

“The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near. …
He is my joy and my song.
By day and by night he leads … me along.”

Reflecting on the year

This is your day and you can change for the better.

Today is my Birthday

So, today is my birthday.  It seems that when we have birthdays, they are the perfect time to reflect on the past year.  As I reflect on this past year of my life I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for the way the Lord has sustained and protected me.

I was hit with many challenges this year, including being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.  As I was struggling with depression, I was admitted to mental hospitals four to five times and got put on numerous different medications.

But, I am extremely grateful for these experiences in my life.  The Lord truly helped me through my challenges and helped me to find light and hope.

Studying

As I was studying today I came across these verses in the Doctrine and Covenants.  I love them.  They are found in Doctrine and Covenants 1:31-32:

“For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”

How beautiful is that!  The Lord provides a way back to Him!  He loves us so much.  I am extremely grateful for the love and guidance of the Lord in my life.  I know that it is though keeping the commandments that we can have continual peace in our lives, even among hard challenges.

A New Year

I am grateful also to move forward with a new year.  Honestly, each day can be the start of a new year.  We do not have to wait until our birthdays or until January 1 to change our lives for the better.  We can do it now.  The Lord will help us and he will also help us to know what needs to be changed in our lives.

Some things that I have found helpful this past year during my times of struggle, I will continue to do.  These things include such things as praying to my Father in Heaven morning and night, studying His word each day, recording His tender mercies that I see in my life daily, and striving to choose that which is virtuous, lovely, and of good report.

When I think of the Lord’s love I think of a quote I heard that goes:

“Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that the things that are important to us become important to Him, simply because He loves us.”

Think of that!  He loves you.  He loves you perfectly and infinitely.  He let you come down to earth to experience mortality so that you can return to Him.  His plan for you is truly a plan of happiness!