“Why do I need to forgive someone if I know I’m right?”09241_000_010
Although you may be right, don’t let your pride get in the way of your own happiness. By forgiving and letting go, you won’t have to carry the burden of a grudge around. You will feel happier and be able to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Missionaries often are ridiculed or have doors slammed in their faces, and although they are right, they still forgive people. Friends preserve their friendships by choosing not to be offended. Many youth raised in less-than-ideal homes choose to love and forgive family members.
If you are struggling to forgive, pray for help. Read examples of forgiveness from the scriptures, such as Nephi, who forgave Laman and Lemuel after they bound him (see 1 Nephi 7:16–21), or Joseph of Egypt, who forgave his brothers after they sold him into slavery (see Genesis 45:3–15). Reflect on the Savior’s Atonement and how freely God forgives you.
When you forgive, you follow the Savior’s example and bring peace into your life.
The Lord said: “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds” (D&C 64:10–11). Even though we have done the right thing and the other person is wrong, we should still do as the Lord advises and “forgive all men.” We are rewarded for doing what is right.
Erika F., 16, Texas
Pride is one of the biggest instigators to fighting and getting into debates over silly things. Odds are that both sides think of themselves as right. What most people don’t realize is the winner is the person who is a peacemaker. Humility and forgiveness are much more important than “winning the argument.” Do you really want to be the reason your friendship is ruined? Swallow your pride and be the bigger person.
Emma S., 17, Arizona
Lighten Your Load
Sometimes forgiveness is as much about you as it is about the other person or people involved. My Young Women leader put it this way: “The sooner you forgive, the sooner your spirit can become light again.” When you hold a grudge, you have almost physically added weight to your heart. Forgiving is a way to shed those extra pounds.
Becca S., 13, Utah
Let the Lord Judge
The Church teaches us to be Christlike. We are commanded to forgive everyone. The Lord has the right to judge and decide whom to forgive. But if we do not forgive—even when we know we are right—there could be a bigger consequence. I have experience with this and can say that forgiving does not harm us; rather, it brings good feelings as we stand for truth and righteousness.
Genelle C., 18, Philippines
Let Go of the Burden
We should forgive not only because our Savior did, but also because He commanded it. If we do not forgive those who have trespassed against us, our Father in Heaven will not forgive us our trespasses. I don’t think I could lead any sort of life holding on to every wrong that has been done against me and carrying the weight of all my sins. The burden would be too much for me to carry.
Katy M., 18, Florida
Forgiveness Strengthens Relationships
One of my friends has this problem with her twin sister. She asked me this exact question. I told her that even if we know we are right, forgiving not only helps us avoid a fight, but it also teaches us to be humble. We learn that we must be an example to others, and by showing that we are willing to compromise and that we don’t want to argue, other people will notice that, and our relationships with them will be strengthened.
Tyler M., 18, Colorado
See It from Their Point of View
Even though it’s hard, step back and look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. You wouldn’t want others to hold grudges against you, so why do it to them? Do your best to forgive and forget. You will feel better, and so will the other person.
Madison D., 14, Utah
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Forgiveness Brings Peace
“We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. …
“Some hold grudges for a lifetime, unaware that courageously forgiving those who have wronged us is wholesome and therapeutic. …
“… The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through His Atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite, or revenge. For all of us who forgive ‘those who trespass against us’ (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:13), … the Atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort.”
President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Healing Power of Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 2007, 68, 69.
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