Burdens Too Long Carried

“Burdens Too Long Carried,” Ensign, Mar. 1988, 56

Burdens Too Long Carried

An old illness was troubling me, and I did not feel like attending the temple that day in 1975. After all, my wife and I had been sealed in the Provo Temple just one week earlier, and we had been back to partake of the sacred ordinances a few days later. But I determined that I would attend again this week, and in the end I was grateful. We enjoyed a very uplifting session.

As I was getting ready to leave the temple, a man approached me and asked if I worked at the steel plant nearby. I said I did. He introduced himself and said he thought we had worked together about five or six years earlier in a certain section of the plant. We chatted a bit and spoke about the fine session we had just enjoyed.

Then he asked if I had lost a wallet about the time we worked together. I said I had. Someone had stolen it from my work locker. It had contained twenty dollars in cash, pictures, a driver’s license, and other personal items. The man told me that he had taken the wallet, spent the money, and thrown the rest away. He said he was terribly sorry and wished to make restitution. He had become active in the Church only recently and had been seeking forgiveness. He again asked if he could make restitution.

While this brother was speaking to me I was surprised that I felt no animosity toward him. Many times before I had wished for revenge against the person who had taken my wallet. For years I had carried as much ill will with me as he had guilt with him. But now we enjoyed the great feeling of forgiving and being forgiven. I was grateful he had come to me and confessed his wrongdoing. I told the man that as far as I was concerned he need not make restitution for the wallet or the money. At the time those worldly things seemed of no importance. We shook hands and departed with the best of feelings between us.

The chance of our meeting on any given day at the same place and time must have been slight. I feel the Lord meant for us to meet on this particular day so that he might confess and I might learn to forgive, relieving us both of burdens we had carried too long.

  • Dennis F. Holdaway, a pipe fitter, is second counselor in the elders quorum presidency of the Orem Second Ward, Orem Utah East Stake.