As I learn about different religions and read different books of scripture, I’m often struck by similarities. Even though our spiritual practices may be very different, much of our beliefs seem to stem from a single source.
The similarities extend even beyond traditional religions. Many mythologies have stories of dying gods who sacrificed themselves upon trees to save their followers; creation stories and flood stories exist in almost every culture.
At once my mind went to this verse of Latter-Day Saint scripture, taken from the Doctrine and Covenants:
It does get a bit confusing, though, for as often as I find similarities, I also find differences, or at the very least, passages that require a bit of, shall we say, manipulating, to fit with other verses. Consider this from the Bible:
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. From Isaiah 55:7
Maybe forgiveness and a pardon aren’t exactly the same thing, and I guess those who forsake their wicked, unrighteous ways are probably directed to the forgiveness queue.
Of course, the real question isn’t about whether or not our chosen God will forgive us. If we have a sincere desire to make amends for things we’ve done, I feel fairly certain a loving creator will understand our hearts and give us the blessings we seek.
For me, the real question is how do we forgive those who have wronged us? How do we forgive the terrorists who took the lives of thousands of men and women on that fateful September morning? How do we forgive that crazy man who thought it was all right to open fire on a classroom of first-graders? How does a wife forgive an abusive husband?
Should she forgive?
We’re told we must forgive.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15
I have questions. I just don’t have any answers.
- “…Of All Persons We Had Harmed” (dailycontemplation.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness… (beardedhac.wordpress.com)
- Let’s talk about forgiveness (evolvingstreet.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness: the biggest issues living as close to the Scripture as I can (hebrewofyhwh.wordpress.com)
- To forgive or not to forgive (munnohouse.wordpress.com)
- Forgive (oricles.wordpress.com)
- A Little Help (robinclaire.wordpress.com)