Forsake Wrath
August 2003

“Forsake Wrath,” Liahona, Aug. 2003, 43

Forsake Wrath

Although the scriptures are meant for all of Heavenly Father’s children, they can speak to each of us in a very personal way when we ponder them and apply them to our particular challenges. I found this to be the case several years ago when I faced a painful situation.

My husband and I were experiencing a challenging time in our lives. He had recently lost his employment, so we were struggling financially as we tried to survive on my meager salary. Fortunately, our difficulties were tempered by the love we had for each other and by the love of some special friends in our ward.

Then things took a turn for the worse.

One day at work a coworker phoned for me to come to his office. I went, assuming he wanted to see me about some of the projects we were working on jointly. To my surprise, he proceeded to express strong disapproval for an action I had taken. Although I apologized, he continued to berate me, pointing out some of my personal characteristics he said he couldn’t tolerate. I was dumbfounded; I had great respect for this man’s abilities and had thought we had a cordial working relationship. Moreover, I could not understand why he felt he had the authority to chastise me when I was a couple of steps above him in the company structure.

His ranting continued until I was reduced to tears. After the whole experience, I still couldn’t understand what had made him so upset. Apparently his own life had become filled with misery, and I was the unlucky person on whom he unloaded his feelings.

When I reported this to my supervisor, I received little satisfaction. The whole experience left me feeling discouraged, alone, and vulnerable. My husband and I were already worried about his not being employed, and now I wondered what would happen to us if I lost my job.

When I arrived home that evening and explained to my husband what had happened, he opened the scriptures and read from Psalm 37, commenting that he now understood why he had felt impressed to read it that day during his scripture study.

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath,” the psalm states. “Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. …

“The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow. …

“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

“And the Lord shall help them” (Ps. 37:8, 14, 39–40).

Although I had read this psalm many times before, I was amazed at how much it seemed to apply to my circumstances. Had my husband not read this passage of scripture to me, I would likely have become angry and bitter because of my experience at work. However, the message Heavenly Father conveyed through the scriptures healed my heart as it taught me that I should be calm and free of bitterness. It gave me great hope to realize the many blessings I would receive if I heeded that message.

I returned to work the next day with joy and forgiveness in my heart and was better able to overlook the shortcomings of coworkers.

The spiritual growth that resulted from this experience has proven to be a valuable source of strength that I have drawn upon many times since. How grateful I am for both the universal and the personal nature of the scriptures!

  • Wanda Jo Cooke is a member of the Hixson Ward, Chattanooga Tennessee Stake.