Monday, February 20, 2012

Forgiving Ourselves

This lesson helped me a lot with the following post...

D&C 58:42Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

     Let's say that you commit a sin - any sin - and you feel bad and repent. Pretty straightforward right? If you honestly feel sorry, and you've done all that you can to repent... you are forgiven. It is promised in the scriptures.

But what happens when you can't forgive yourself?

     Here's a good story that I found, told by Elder Sterling W. Sill...
     “Sometime ago I talked with a woman 53 years of age who had committed a moral transgression at age 18. She understood that her sin was very serious, but because she had repented a thousand times we can depend on the Lord’s promise that he had forgiven her. But she had never forgiven herself. Because she felt unclean and inferior, she withdrew from her friends, refused to marry, and became a kind of social and spiritual recluse. For 35 years she downgraded herself with bitter regrets and accusations. Her life of looking back upon her sin has turned her into something far below the wonderful person that God intended her to be. Her sin at age 18 was very serious. But for 35 years she has been adding to her sin by wasting the most valuable thing in the world, which is a splendid human life” 


     This is sad, and happens to people too often. Maybe not in such a large way, but still... too often.
     Why is it that we can't let go? There are many different reasons... but if you have done all that you can... try to have faith and trust that everything will be okay. 

D&C 88:33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

     If you repent, God forgives you. Rejoice in that gift. 
This has been a pretty short post, but just a couple of quotes to end... and then a song... (For those of you who read my last post, this is NOT an entire post about a song. It just happened to contribute a lot to this message...)

“God’s forgiveness is often nullified because the sinner does not forgive himself. What good does it do for God to blot our evil from his mind, if we continue to let it dominate our thinking by rerunning it in our own?” 
- Sterling W. Sill

“Sometimes a guilt consciousness overpowers a person with such a heaviness that when a repentant one looks back and sees the ugliness, the loathsomeness of the transgression, he is almost overwhelmed and wonders, ‘Can the Lord ever forgive me? Can I ever forgive myself?’ But when one reaches the depths of despondency and feels the hopelessness of his position, and when he cries out to God for mercy in helplessness but in faith, there comes a still, small, but penetrating voice whispering to his soul, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee’”
- President Spencer W. Kimball

     Okay. This may have been a very boring post, since very little of it has been my actual words, but I think that this is a really good topic that may not often be brought up. I just want you to know that it has been addressed, and you can click the link at the very top of this post if you are interested in more stories and quotes...
     I think that forgiving yourself is a talent. If it is easy for you, that is great. I know that it isn't easy for me. The following song is not supposed to have anything to do with the gospel. It is by Rob Thomas... not exactly known as a gospel singer... :) The following song however, is very inspirational. I have had times in my own life when I've felt bad about decisions I've made. I'm not perfect, and I tend to be a little hard on myself sometimes.
     When I listen to this song, it reminds me that I need to give myself a break. Sometimes I just need to let things go...

(I actually shared this same exact song in this post. Remember?)

Okay... you ready to hear it?

Little Wonders by Rob Thomas on Grooveshark

Little Wonders - Rob Thomas

     Like I said, forgiving myself has been a huge problem for me in the past. I've known about and listened to this song for a long time, but on one occasion, when I was unnecessarily beating myself up about some things, I heard it again. I just soaked the words in, and they meant a lot to me this time. I realized that I just needed to move on. I just needed to put it behind me, because it didn't matter anymore.

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