Monday, May 18, 2009

The Power of Forgiving

This weeks lesson at church was from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church-Joseph Smith book. I have mixed emotions (like most topics for me) when Forgiveness comes up. Mostly because I have had to really focus on this for the last four years. (Something I never really struggled with before)

Anyway, the lesson started with our teacher admitting that she had forgotten that this was the third week in the month and so had not prepared anything. (I felt mostly sorry for her cause now she had to throw something together without any prep time. And that really sucks.) But she reads a story from the beginning of the chapter and then asks the standard questions of "why do we need to show forgiveness?" "How does this story help you forgive others?" etc. etc. (Really not as terrible of a lesson as I would have expected with no prep time)

The comments were all about how important forgiving others is and how it will eat at your soul if you hold onto this "poison." How wonderful it was that (after relaying a couple of stories from the NEWS) that people immediately forgave the person who injured/killed them or the ones they loved. And of course, 10-15 minutes were spent on road-rage.

point #1
Okay this is all wonderful. I know that it's important to forgive. I do. I know we need the reminder to forgive, but do we need to spend over 30 minutes reminding each other in as many different ways as we can possibly express ourselves? Let's talk about how hard it is to forgive. What made it hard? What are some ways to overcome the heartache? How much time it can take. How we need to give ourselves time. How we need to be patient and loving with ourselves as well as the other person.

point #2
Where is the separation between when you should immediately forgive and when you should lovingly bring to attention the wrong doings of someone else? You would NEVER just forgive your child for doing something without bringing to their attention and teaching them the fault they have committed. Why do we step on eggshells around other adults?

At what point did we decide it was offensive to tell another adult about a problem between you and them? Especially if they did not know they did it and it would effect others later on. (if not already) We turn away and make up excuses for why they might be doing something or devise in our own minds a justification.

We, as adults, are NOT to old to be corrected. I hope I am corrected by a loving heart. How will I ever learn to better understand others if I am not called out on things sometimes? I also hope I correct with a loving heart. I truely don't want to hurt anyones feelings permanently. I just pray that I can have compassion when teaching.

Just so none of you misunderstand, I would have brought these things up in Relief Society yesterday, but under the lack of preparation circumstance I didn't want to totally ambush a lesson/teacher that was already overly stressed. So, I'm bringing them up now. What do you think? How do you feel about Forgiveness? What has worked for you? What hasn't? What things mend your heart the best?


Tali said...

I love that you recognise that it could be hard/painful. for me everytime I need to forgive I struggle to do so at first. I know it is my pride. but the only way for me to get over that is to give it time to sort out. I need to think about it.feel my feelings and come to the conclusion on my own that it is my pride that is now holding me back. once I realise that, I can truly forgive. It is often painful for me. I think too often people assume they should not hurt or it should not be painful once they have forgivin. But i disagree. weather physical or emotional pain is real. I think you can forgive, by leaving the judgment up to God, and still feel your feelings.

Destenee said...

No comment...i might offend you :)

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Sometimes I am really grateful I am in Primary and not Relief Society. It is crazy hard for me to sit through superficial gospel lesson after superficial gospel lesson and pretend it's doing some good.

I struggle with forgiving my parents for sucking. It's extra hard because my mom is living in my basement and has these lovely whitewashed memories of the past. I don't really know HOW to forgive my mom for letting me raise myself, for standing by as my father had repeated, open affairs and oodles of porn left all over the house.

I have a hard heart about it all and I don't know how to get over it; didn't they tell you how to forgive?? Even if I had been in the RS class, my mom would have been there, too, so I couldn't have discussed it.

PHannie said...

It's pretty hard to offend me.

Mrs. B,
I wish I knew how to forgive people for major events in life that go horribly wrong, but I don't. And at just the minute that I feel like I have forgiven something happens that brings up all my old emotions. It's an evil cycle that I haven't figured out how to break. I hope that we can find a way to do this together.

Oh, no they didn't tell us how to forgive=really fluffy lesson.

Roxie said...

I struggle with the fluffy lessons to. And the lessons where instead of talking about the gospel principle using scriptural references, everyone has to share their semi-related story.

As for forgiveness, I struggle with it. Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is myself, but I'm pretty sure I've never once heard a lesson on forgiving myself.

Destenee said...

Steph- I was totally kidding about offending you :)...i actually agree that we are always to concerned that other people might get offended that we don't really tell them the truth, when in actuallity the truth might really help them. In any case, my two cents on forgivness is this...
I think sometimes we think that forgivness lets the other person off the hook and is to make THEM feel better. But really that is not what it is about. Forgivness is for YOU! That burden of grudges or whatever is not easy to bear sometimes, the great thing about forgivness is that it makes YOU feel better! Now you don't have to worry or think about that problem anymore, it is the other person's problem. It also doesn't mean you need to be BFF's with the person you've forgiven. They will have to deal with the consequences of their actions at one point or another. But you can go on w/ your life and know that you have forgiven another so that someday, when it is really important you will be forgive that was long :)

Kristen said...

Wish you could have been in my ward for this lesson. It was fantastic. Our discussion covered each of the points you brought up. I learned a lot that day, but the main thing I have decided to work on is to have a forgiving heart and state of mind. Forgiveness is not a one time deal for me. It is a process, sometimes a very long one! Events have occurred in my life that will require me to forgive on a daily basis for the rest of my life. And I think I am okay with that now. I guess it finally hit me that the Savior forgives me daily, so who am I to not follow His example.
You know I love you and I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts.

PHannie said...

Thanks Kris


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