Will He Forgive?

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.

As I came to the end of the first sura in the Koran, I noticed these words about forgiveness…and the lack thereof:

He will forgive whom He pleases and chastise whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things.   From: Koran, Sura 2:284

At once my mind went to this verse of Latter-Day Saint scripture, taken from the Doctrine and Covenants:

 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.  From: Doctrine and Covenants 64:10

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.

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

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

But how?

I have questions. I just don’t have any answers.

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4 thoughts on “Will He Forgive?

  1. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. If you don’t find a way to forgive it will cause you more harm than it does the person that hurt you. I have substituted my anger for pity. I truly pity the man that hurt me. I now see him as a miserable soul that tried to spread his misery to me. He can’t hurt me anymore but he still has to live with himself. His punishment is much worse than the hurt he caused me.

    • On a personal level, I think you’re right. Actually, I know you are. Where I have problems is with those bigger issues, the Adam Lanzas of the world who cause so much senseless pain and suffering. Forgiveness isn’t easy.

      • forgiveness is not a side issue. It is foundational. the way you forgive your enemy YHWH will forgive you. If you hold it YHWH will hold all your sin against you. Matthew chapter 18: 21 to 35.

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