Friday, September 27, 2013

Family and Forgiveness



by Bradly Baird (bio)


Yesterday, a thoughtless mistake resulted in my being excluded from an unbelievably important event in the life of my nephew (one that I anticipated for eleven years). I receive a shocking phone call at work to let me know that I had been excluded and, not surprisingly, feel extremely hurt by the whole thing; far more than I thought possible.

I express my feelings to my sister-in-law who apologized profusely and soon thereafter receive a phone call from my nephew who apologizes and then informs me that the event might be changed to include me. No phone call disclosing new arrangements ever arrives and so I reach out again to know about the new arrangements. Come to find out, the event takes place without me, despite the previous evening's statements.

I am bewildered and feel deep pain, which contains such a strange mix of suspicion, betrayal, confusion, and mistrust that I cannot understand any of it. The emotional side of my mind urges me to respond with punishment, in an angry and aggressive manner. Fortunately, though, the rational pushes the emotion aside and emphatically reminds me that I will get over this, I will be able to forgive, and I already know how it will come to pass.

I know that at the end of this evening I will kneel in front of my Heavenly Father, beg for his forgiveness, and beg with all my heart that He applies the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to my life. I know I will beg that the anger, confusion, and pain be carried away by the Atonement of the Savior so I may be free. I also know that I will beg for the gift of pure love in my heart because I desire to know true forgiveness, to let all of this go, and to not harbor a single piece of anger or resentment.

I have experienced this many times before, which is how I know it works and how I know the real love of our Heavenly Father. I mentally reference hundreds of past instances - great and small - where I partook of that precious gift. And, with each, my faith in the gift grew stronger, the reality of the gift became clearer, and the meaning of the sacrifice manifested with great clarity.

I proceed . . . and so it happens just as He promises.

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