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Why do I need to forgive others?

In order to receive forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive others. Forgiving others allows us to overcome feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. Forgiveness can heal spiritual wounds and bring the peace and love that only God can give.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Which scriptures will help the young men recognize the blessings that will come into their lives as they forgive others?

Matthew 5:44; D&C 64:9–11 (We are commanded to forgive everyone)

Matthew 6:14–15; 18:21–35 or the video “Forgive 70 Times 7” (To receive forgiveness, we must forgive others)

Luke 23:34 (Jesus Christ forgave those who crucified Him)

Kevin R. Duncan, “The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 33–35

Gordon B. Hinckley, “Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 81–84

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Merciful Obtain Mercy,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 70–76

Videos: “Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review the doctrine from last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • What do the young men remember from the previous lesson? What were they invited to do? What experiences have they had applying what they learned?
  • Ask the young men to think about a time when they have had to forgive someone. Invite them to share their experience, if they feel comfortable doing so. What happened as a result? How might things have been different if they hadn’t forgiven?

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the importance of forgiving others. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Divide the quorum into groups, and invite each group to read selections from the talks provided in this outline or another talk of your choice. Ask the young men to mark parts of the talk that impress them. Invite them to share what they marked and explain why it is meaningful to them.
  • Read together the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23–35 (or show the video “Forgive 70 Times 7”), and help the young men calculate and compare the debts of the servant and his fellowservant (see “Weights and Measures” in the Bible Dictionary). What do the young men learn from this parable about forgiveness? Invite the young men to find and share other scriptures that teach the importance of forgiving others (such as the scriptures suggested in this outline). 
  • Ask the young men to compare examples in the scriptures of people forgiving others. You could review the examples of Joseph in Egypt (see Genesis 45:1–7), Nephi and his brothers (see 1 Nephi 7:21), Jesus Christ on the cross (see Luke 23:34), or others. Why is it especially important to forgive family members? Show one of the videos suggested in this outline, and ask the young men to share their impressions. What other examples of forgiveness could they share?
  • Ask the young men to find something in the scriptures that the Savior taught about forgiving others and share what they find with the class (for examples, see Matthew 5:44; 6:14–15; 18:22–23). Ask them to share experiences of the peace that comes from forgiving others.
  • Write the following questions on separate slips of paper, and hand one to each quorum member: Why do we need to forgive everyone, including ourselves? Why is the Lord the only one who can decide whether or not a person should be forgiven? Why is failure to forgive such a great sin? Invite each young man to ponder his question as he reads Doctrine and Covenants 64:9–11. Then invite the young men to share their thoughts and insights.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the importance of forgiving others? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine? 

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Encourage quorum members to think of someone they need to forgive and to make a commitment to forgive that person.
  • Invite quorum members to share what they’ve learned with their families.