There are treasures of truth and profound insight in here. I have read this many times and never get tired of the amazing stories and reminders. Whether for your own life or you become inspired to share with someone you love--the truths are profound.
Forgiveness is a freeing enabling agent. Shackles are crumbled, bondage broken, and where darkness once consumed, the light of peace delivers.
I LOVE this!!! Enjoy!
Dissolving Resentments and Achieving Forgiveness(To Him That Believeth: Claiming Heaven’s Blessings. By: Frederick & June Babbel)Accumulated resentments are warping or destroying the lives of millions of people in this land and in other countries around the world. Resentments are insidious by nature. They generally create greater havoc with the one who harbors them than with the person or persons against whom such resentment is focused.As long as we cling to resentments, we short-circuit the glorious regenerating power of forgiveness in our own lives and delay its benign influence in the lives of those against whom resentment is focused.The Key to Well-BeingIn considering this vital subject, let us remember that love is the fulfilling of all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:40.) To overcome resentments requires Christlike love. Out of love grow gratitude, thanksgiving, kindness, tenderness, humility, meekness, joy, and, above all else, forgiveness. These are all godly virtues through which we can be lifted up. We can have increased light until there is not darkness in us. “… and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.” (D&C 88:67.) What a glorious promise!On the other hand, doubt, worry, anxiety, fear, hate, bickering, strife, disputation, contention, fault-finding, and resentments come from the evil one. They are on his side of the Line! They have no association with faith. They have no relevance with trust. They are the antithesis of love. Recall how the Apostle Paul emphasized this fact to Timothy: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7.)We cannot serve God and mammon! We cannot nurture seeds of distrust, seeds of suspicion, seeds of jealousy, and others, all of which stem from doubt. If we do, we deny ourselves the power of God athat can operate in and through us. We cannot serve two masters.Have you ever wondered why you did not receive a blessing you desired?Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold … there were fears in your hearts, and … this is the reason that ye did not receive. (D&C 67:3.)We must rid our minds, our thoughts, our feelings and our actions of all negative qualities. By entertaining or cultivating such negativity in our lives, we are opening the door to the adversary and relinquishing our diving strength and power to be used by him for his avowed purpose—our misery and ultimate destruction. (2 Nephi 2:27.)The Power of ForgivenessOne day at the Church offices, I was walking down the hall when President Levi Edgar Young motioned for me to come into his office. As I entered he invited me to be seated and said, “Brother Babbel, if you have a few minutes I would like to share with you a lovely experience I have just had.”As I sat down he said, “Did you happen to notice that elderly gentleman whom I just helped into the elevator?” I replied affirmatively.Then President Young related to me the following experience. That man, who appeared to be in his eighties, had approached him earlier that afternoon, and President Young had detected from the man’s broken English that he was of Germanic origin.“Are you President Young?” he queried. “Levi Edgar Young?” came his next question. President Young responded affirmatively to both inquiries. ““Were you ever a missionary for your Church?” President Young informed him that he had been engaged in several missions.“Were you ever a missionary in Germany?”“Yes, I served a mission in Germany,“ came the reply. “In fact, that was my first mission. I was about nineteen years old.”“Did you ever labor in a city of Leipzig?”“yes, that was my first field of labor.”Then this elderly man continued: “Do you remember a time when you were tracting on the third floor of an apartment building? As you attempted to give a man on of your tracts and a brief message, he became very angry. He struck you, threw you down the stairs, and continued to maul you until you reached the street, where he left you lying in the gutter bruised and bleeding. Do you remember that?”President Young said that he had to ponder this question for some time before he could remember it.With tears coursing down his aged cheeks, this man dropped to his knees and pleaded: “President Young. I am that man. I have waited over fifty years for this day that I might come here and ask your forgiveness for what I did to you at that time. I did accept your message later and became a member of the Church. Since then I have tried to do what is right. I have come here now to ask your forgiveness.”After gaining control of his own feelings, President young responded, “Of course, dear Brother. I forgave you. Don’t you remember that I turned and forgave you while I was lying in the gutter?”Then President Young continued: “Brother Babbel, because I honestly forgave that man as sincerely as Jesus Forgave those who maligned him while he hung on the cross, the memory of that even had been taken from me completely. Until this good Brother brought it to my attention, it had never crossed my mind.”Then he shared with me this sterling counsel: “This is one of the great lessons we have to learn in life. The Lord has said, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.’ (D&C 64:10.) It is pleasing to him if we forgive the moment that such an incident occurs.“When this is done,” he concluded, “the load is lifted from you and the healing influence can go from you to make the matter right. On the other hand, if that person who was guilty of the offense does not seek forgiveness, he will carry the burden that will weigh him down and become more distressing with each passing year. What compassion I feel for this elderly brother who has lived with his tormented conscience for over fifty years!”The Curse of ResentmentsLater when I was living in the Portland, Oregon, area, an urgent call came from a valued friend who had been bedfast for nearly a year. Now his condition was critical.When I reached his home, I found him resting on his front room couch. His wife was in the adjoining dining room, ironing his burial clothes.He told me that his family doctor had informed him earlier that afternoon that his life was nearing its end and that it was now only a matter of a day or two, or perhaps a week at the most, until he would expire. Then he remarked: “The strange thing about this whole matter is that the doctors still do not know what is wrong with me. They just know that I am dying. Tonight I just felt that I wanted to visit with you before I prepare to meet my Maker.”While continuing our conversation, I received a divine insight as to what his real problem was. “Brother,” I responded, “I believe I know what is wrong.”He seemed started, but genuinely interested, as he urged, “Please tell me.”“You’ve had a number of very serious hurts and disappointments in your life,” I said, “that have filled you with bitter resentment. Many of these have never been resolved.”He seemed incredulous and somewhat apprehensive as he inquired, “What do you know about them?”“Not a thing,” I replied, “unless you tell me about them. I only perceive that you have been deeply hurt many times. Yet you have never forgiven those who were responsible for these offenses.”“Well, I must admit,” he countered, “that I have had some pretty bitter experiences. But since I accepted the gospel, I believe that I could forgive those who were responsible if they asked for my forgiveness.”“But that is not how the principle of forgiveness works,” I said. “When any serious grievance takes place, the Lord requires us to forgive the guilty party the moment the infraction occurs, if possible.”I related to my friend the experience that President Levi Edgar Young had shared with me earlier. I could tell that he was beginning to get the message. I inquired whether or not he had ever visited the rattlesnake farm near Salem, Oregon, where they extract venom and process small cans of rattlesnake meat for venturesome gourmets. He said that he had heard of the farm but had not been there.“Recently I heard of an experience that was conducted there,” I said. “One of the caretakers took one of his large rattlesnakes and put a forked stick behind its head so it could not coil to strike. Then he began to tantalize it with small chicks and other food. The snake kept trying to coil unsuccessfully, and venom dripped quite freely form its fangs. Within minutes the snake stiffened and died.“The caretaker then commented that a rattlesnake can stand just about anything except its own venom. When it cannot discharge the venom as fast as it is produced, it dies of its own accumulated poison.”Then I suggested to my friend that his own condition somewhat paralleled that of the snake: “When you have any resentment, hurt, bitterness, or hatred in your heart, regardless of the cause, if you do not get rid of it at once through the spirit of forgiveness, the hatred will continue to fester and grow and increase, since that is the basic Law of the Harvest. Unless contained, these negative feelings will finally consume and destroy the person who harbors them. This is what has been troubling you and what, even now, has brought you to the point of death.”My friend began to sob unashamedly. In the process he removed his nightshirt and showed me his bare back. I had never seen a back like this, not even in the concentration camps in Europe. Across his back were large criss-crossed scars that were scabbed over with ugly flesh. Some of them were so deep a person could almost lay his arm in them.Then he related to me how his father used to come home occasionally in a mean, drunken stupor. His temper would flare up and he would take a heavy whip from the wall and flog whatever was within reach. This whip, a “cat o’ nine tails,” was leather with several strands. At the end of each strand was fastened a large brass ball with metal spikes that could tear the hide off an animal.On one occasion my friend was the victim. Just fourteen years old at the time, he was whipped into unconsciousness. How long he lay on the floor he did not know, but as he regained consciousness, he found himself lying in a pool of his own blood, with his back fairly torn to shreds. He managed somehow to crawl from his house, and he vowed he would never return.At this point I interrupted, “You’ve kept that promise, haven’t you?”“Yes,” he replied.“You’ve never forgiven your father for that flogging, have you?” I next inquired.“No, I guess not,” was his reply. “But if dad were to ask for my forgiveness, I think I could forgive him now.”“I’m concerned,” I said, “that you still don’t understand the underlying principle. You have had the divine responsibility of forgiving your father from the moment that you regained consciousness, so that the healing power of forgiveness could come into your own life and relieve you of this terrible burden. In doing so, you might also have started the process of healing for your father as well. But because you have continued to nurture this resentment, it has festered and grown until it is literally consuming you. In addition, I feel you still have a number of other resentments against others that likewise have never been resolved. These are adding to your burden and hastening your untimely death.”My friend then recalled numerous other cases throughout Canada, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest, none of which had been resolved.“Where does your father live?” I asked next.“The last I knew, he was living in North Dakota,” my friend responded. “I haven’t see him or been in touch with him for over forty years.”When we finished talking I invited him to sit upon a chair so I could give him a special blessing and outline for him what must be done. In the blessing he was instructed to get out of bed the following morning, take his wife, and drive to his father’s home in North Dakota, with the assurance that his father was still alive. He was also to drive to the homes of all the other people against whom he had resentments, no matter where they lived.”In each case he was to ask for their forgiveness for having harbored resentments against them. “Don’t go there and try to persuade them to beg for your forgiveness,” I admonished. “Rather, your assignment is to ask their forgiveness for your having failed to make a reconciliation these many years.” The blessing outlined how he was to ask for such forgiveness. In addition, I blessed him with the necessary strength to accomplish this task successfully.About four or five weeks later my friend stopped his car in our driveway. As he stepped out of his car, I greeted him with, “Brother, you’re a well man now, aren’t you?”“Yes,” he responded, “I haven’t felt this good in many years.”He then began to relate to me his experiences. He told me about meeting his aged father, who was now in his eighties and nearly blind. When his father came to the door, he inquired in his usual gruff manner, “Who are you?”My friend informed him that he was his son. Still rather brusquely, his father responded, “Well, what do you want now?”My friend answered: “Dad, I have come home to ask for your forgiveness. For years I have held a bitter resentment against you for what you did to me when I was a young man. I had no right to feel resentment toward you. Can you forgive me for holding a grudge all these years?”He said that his father looked stunned for a moment. Then he broke down and cried, threw his arms around his son, and sobbed, “Son, I’m the one who should have asked for your forgiveness, but I didn’t have the courage. Can you forgive me?”Then my friend added: “You know, we made a complete reconciliation. The spirit of peace and forgiveness flooded both of our lives. I had a similar experience in every home I visited, as you directed me to do in my blessing. Today I am a happy, healthy man. I am at peace with myself and with my Lord.”Within six months my friend was the third-highest sales producer for the large life insurance company he represented. Just before Christmas he and his wife were called to go on a special mission to New Zealand. More than thirty years later, as far as I am aware, he is still very much alive, enjoying life and serving his fellowmen—this man who was doomed to die in 1951!Challenges and BenefitsThese events have had a profound influence in my own life and in the lives of many others. This principle of forgiveness is so vital that we should be overjoyed to put it into daily use.When we really understand and practice the principle of forgiveness as the Lord outlined it, we will be doubly blessed. First, we will be freed from the burden of accumulated resentments that continually multiply and fester when harbored in our hearts. Second, we will activate the principle of forgiveness in our own lives. Unless and until we forgive others, the divine law specifies that there is no forgiveness for us, for we must be measured by the precedent we have established in our forgiveness of others or in our own lack of forgiveness. Third, we will hasten the principle’s purifying influence in the lives oft those against whom our resentment is focused.This, then, is the standard by which we shall be measured:… ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother has trespassed standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the great sin.I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. (D&C 64:9-109.)As in most matters in life, we set the standard for our own forgiveness. Since we all need forgiveness in abundance, we should welcome the opportunity to lavish it upon every living soul with whom we come in contact, including our bitterest enemies!No one can have a happier life unless this principle is practiced daily to open the doors for our own forgiveness and to bring about the healing needed in those who have been guilty of the offense in the first place. Unless and until we do, the greater sin remains with us since we are deliberately shortchanging both parties involved.In a very real sense, harboring resentments can contribute to our own untimely death as well as the misery of those against whom such resentments are focused.…
|(Mr. Dashing took this shot. I quite love it!)|