Forgiving My Father


Forgiving My Father

My father and I hadn’t always gotten along perfectly, but things were getting better. Then one day he confessed to our family that he’d been unfaithful to my mother for some time.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing—the words wouldn’t register in my mind. For the next several weeks I felt sick every time I thought about my dad. I was mad at him for doing such a horrible thing, for disrespecting my mom so completely. I often couldn’t even fall asleep at night, wondering how I could ever trust a person again after this.

Anger was all I could feel, and I realized that it was making me think of everything in my life negatively. I began to pray, asking Heavenly Father to help me deal with this situation. I knew my dad was wrong and that I deserved to be upset with him, but I also knew that I couldn’t keep obsessing about it.

An account early in the Book of Mormon came to me as I was thinking about how to handle the problems in my family. Nephi’s brothers Laman and Lemuel got angry with him and then tied him up and planned to kill him. Only a few verses later, Nephi says that he “did frankly forgive them all that they had done” (1 Nephi 7:21). Nephi was able to quickly forgive his brothers for treating him maliciously.

I also thought about the Savior, who said on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Both Nephi and Jesus didn’t hold on to anger over what had been done to them—instead they forgave.

It didn’t happen overnight, but as I wanted to forgive my dad and prayed for help doing it, I stopped thinking about his sins all the time. I felt sorry for him for making such a terrible decision, and I felt a desire to support my mom. Heavenly Father softened my heart and helped me forgive him instead of being torn up by anger and revenge.