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The Peace and Healing of Forgiveness

By Mormon.org
wheat field

The Parable of the Snake Bite

Two men laboring diligently in a field were bitten by a poisonous snake. In response, one man picked up a shovel, determined to find and seek revenge on the offending creature, which had disappeared into the tall grass. While the man searched, the venom worked deeper into his system, causing immense pain and threatening his life.

The other man, however, disregarded the snake and sought medical help to counteract the deadly venom. Because this man focused his efforts on a cure rather than seeking revenge on the snake, the venom was counteracted, the snake bite disappeared, and he was healed.

The Lord Asks Us to Forgive

Just like venom, the anger and hurt we harbor when we have been wronged by another threatens our personal peace and healing. While our natural tendency is to withhold forgiveness as an act of revenge, the Lord provides a different way. He has taught: “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” (D&C 64:9–10).

To our limited thinking, it might appear an unfair request. But the Lord requires our forgiveness not for the sake of those who have wronged us, but for our own well-being. Each individual will stand accountable before God. But the Savior reminds us that “judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay” (Mormon 8:20). Of us it is required to forgive so that we may feel the peace and healing of forgiveness. One man shares his story of healing in “Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light.”

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The Lord Will Forgive Us

Just like the peace and healing promised as we forgive others, we can and will find peace and healing for our souls when we repent of our wrongdoings and seek the forgiveness of the Master Healer. Perhaps the sweetest promise ever uttered is the one Jesus offers us about His forgiveness: “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me” (Mosiah 26:30). As we come to Jesus Christ in humility, we can draw on the power of His Atonement to heal us. Watch as one man testifies that the Savior wants to forgive

Forgiveness is among our greatest blessings. When we offer it, it heals us. When we seek it, we find peace. You can learn more about the healing power of forgiveness through the teachings of Jesus Christ.