Editors note: last week we placed the wrong Pastor’s Desk to go with Mr. Herring’’s essay.
This is the correct one. We apologized for any incovenience this may have caused.
“Corrie ten Boom, a devout Dutch Christian woman, found healing despite having been interned in concentration camps during World War II. She suffered greatly, but unlike her beloved sister Betsie, who perished in one of the camps, Corrie survived.After the war she often spoke publicly of her experiences and of healing and forgiveness. On one occasion a former Nazi guard who had been part of Corrie’s own grievous confinement in Ravensbrück, Germany, approached her, rejoicing at her message of Christ’s forgiveness and love. “‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,’ he said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’
“His hand was thrust out to shake mine,” Corrie recalled. “And I, who had preached so often … the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. … Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
“I tried to smile, [and] I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. “As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
“And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
Corrie ten Boom was made whole.
(Elder Timothy Dykstra October 2013 Ensign Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ).
Remember the old saying that says: “To err is human but to forgive is not?”
Most most of the time forgiving those who have wronged us is very hard. This is often because those that offend us are often trusted friends, family, co-workers or even people whom attend Church with us.
I recently saw a sign outside of church that said: “Forgive others it confuses them.”
I prefer to think of forgiveness as a commandment and an act of Christ-like love.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Does this mean that we keep a scorecard and when we reach 490 we’re not expected to forgive anyone anymore? I say no. We are commanded to forgive as many times as is necessary. If we do not forgive another their offenses against us, the Lord said:
“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.” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9-10).
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Several years back I had some work done on a vehicle. Because of an error of the mechanic, the motor locked up and subsequently the transmission failed costing me several thousand dollars in repairs. I approached the man at his business and he refused to admit the error or make amends. Years later I saw the man again, reminded him of what happened, and told him that I forgave him.
I realized my soul was troubled no more, and I felt a peace that only comes through Christ Jesus.
Whether or not someone realizes what they did to us, or or ask for, or even want forgiveness, is up to them. We must forgive all.
Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness when while in his greatest agony said to the Roman soldiers:
“ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…..” ( Luke 23:34).
For over 30 years I have worked in the medical field on ambulances and emergency rooms. And during that time I recall more times than I can number, instances where someone had suddenly died and the surviving family or friend had not had an opportunity to forgive or make amends.
Life is too short. Forgive while you can.
As you do so, you would be able to experience the love and peace that only comes through Christ Jesus and His forgiveness.