President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said, “To forgive one who is mean and offensive is the act of one near to perfection, and especially if the offender is not repentant” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 204). Bring yourself a little closer to perfection by using some of the ideas in this list to help you forgive others.

  • Be slow to condemn others, and forgive them as quickly as possible, especially family members. Forgiving can bring you peace.

  • Repent of the grudges you hold, even if the person who has offended you is not repentant.

  • Avoid thinking of revenge or feeling bitter, and instead try to think of good things about the person who has offended you.

  • As you repent for your own sins, think of the Lord’s mercy to you and show this same mercy to others. Remember that to receive forgiveness for your sins, you need to be forgiving (see 3 Ne. 13:14–15).

  • Pray for the Lord’s help as you strive to forgive. Forgiving isn’t always easy or fast, especially for serious offenses, but you can do it with the Lord’s help. Read Luke 15:11–32 and Genesis 45:4–16 for good examples of forgiving others.

  • If you are trying to forgive and you still feel anger or resentment, keep praying for the strength to forgive. It takes time—and often the Lord’s help—to forgive serious offenses. The scriptures say that not forgiving someone is a greater sin than what the other person did to offend you (see D&C 64:8–11).

  • Try to forget about the offense and build a positive future instead of reliving the past. Telling the story repeatedly or gossiping about what someone has done to offend you or someone else only keeps you experiencing the pain you felt.

  • Take steps to prevent future abuse or other kinds of intentional injury. Also, tell your parents or someone else you trust. Forgiving does not mean allowing others to harm you again or approving of their wrongdoings. But while you need to protect yourself, try to do it without hatred or anger.

Prodigal Son, by Clark Kelley Price