Friday, October 09, 2009

Thoughts on Forgiveness

In July I posted about a method I use to study the scriptures. I finished reading all of the scripture references under Forgiveness on my Topical Guide sheet in mid-September. I had a lot of notes of thoughts, impressions, and scriptures that struck me as I was reading. I tentatively allocated ten minutes of my scripture study time to type up these notes. I'm almost done transcribing my notes and am excited to compile everything into the themes and answers to questions I started to notice as I read.

Here is something I rediscovered as I was typing up my notes:

I read 1 Nephi 7:21 in which Nephi forgives his brothers for trying to kill him:
And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father.
Pondering on the phrase "I did frankly forgive them" reminded me of a story I heard when I was living in Humboldt. I really looked up to the older girls at church (I was 19, they were 23-ish) and one day Megan Schlutsmeyer told about an experience she had on her mission. She hurt her companion's feelings (not intentionally) and felt she needed forgiveness. Upon being told "it's okay" she insisted that it wasn't. The details of the story are all very fuzzy (it's been ten years...) but the concept of forgiveness she illustrated with her experience has stuck with me ever since.

Saying "it's okay" is like sweeping dust under the carpet. Forgiving someone is like putting Neosporin and a Bandaid on a cut. You can leave a cut alone and it might heal eventually, but if you tend it properly it will heal faster and cleaner.

When it's not okay, frankly forgive.

Forgiveness, like faith, is a choice*.

The more I write, the more ideas I have. I expect myself to write about the larger themes I've noticed in the scriptures. Maybe I will learn more, or evaluate what I think compared to what the scriptures say as I write.

*(Sometimes a hard choice, or one that needs to be made every two minutes.)

Megan - if I've got the details of the story wrong (or spelled your name wrong) please let me know! ♥


  1. I've thought a lot about forgiveness as well. I have some thoughts, but will have to write them out a little later. I'll post more later, I promise.

  2. Ryann, I am in the midst of making the choice of forgiveness. I appreciate your thoughtful post — and agree with about the every two minutes! Especially since there are days that is about all I can handle. ;-)