Illustration by Robert Hunt
My sweet wife of 35 years was dying of cancer. From across the room I watched her as she sat in her recliner. I had settled her there after giving her some breakfast and helping her get ready for the day. It was a comforting morning routine we had established several weeks before, when our doctors told us there was nothing more they could do for her.
Part of this morning routine included scripture study. To help conserve her strength, I had placed her heavy set of scriptures on a board that reached across the armrests of her recliner. She opened her scriptures and grasped some of the pages in her hand as if to turn to the place where she had been reading the day before. However, she was so tired and frail that she dozed off before she got the pages turned. There she slept, not moving for 30 minutes, unable to shake the fatigue that overcame her.
As I watched her, I thought what a blessing she had been in my life. I loved her so! I began to wonder if I had any regrets about the way I may have treated her at any time in our life together. I knew I had done things I should have regretted, but at that moment I could not think of any. I asked myself, “How can this be? I am an imperfect man with weaknesses and foibles. Surely I should be able to remember something I did that offended or hurt her.”
Then the Spirit whispered to me that I felt no regrets because my wife loved me and had forgiven me long ago of anything I may have done. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I nestled into the warm comfort and glow of this peaceful thought. I loved her too and would continue to care for and serve her until she left mortality.
As I uttered a silent prayer of gratitude to my Father in Heaven for allowing me the blessing of receiving her into my life, the Spirit whispered to me again that this is the way of our Savior too. Jesus Christ loves us, and He forgives us as we sincerely repent and serve Him. Through His Atonement, He removes our regrets.
Peace flooded over me even more. I love my Savior. I know He loves me and forgives me as I receive His love and serve Him. His love “is the most desirable above all things” (1 Nephi 11:22). It gives peace to my soul (see John 14:27).
Willing to Forgive
“The Lord looks upon the light we have received, the desires of our hearts, and our actions, and when we repent and seek His forgiveness, He forgives. As we consider our own lives and the lives of our loved ones and acquaintances, we should be equally willing to forgive ourselves and others.”
Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy, “The Savior Wants to Forgive,” Ensign, May 2013, 16.
What can we do now to avoid regrets?
“To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
“It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today.”