“Offended by My Friend,” Liahona, Feb. 2011, 39
I had a friend in my branch of the Church in Russia with whom I socialized at all Church activities. We had a lot in common, I had a lot of fun with him, and I was glad to have such a good friend.
But then something strange happened. For no reason that I could determine, he offended me badly. He did not ask for forgiveness, and I stopped associating with him. I did not even greet him on Sundays. That went on for two months. I was hurt and unhappy, but he said nothing.
Then I found out he was leaving our city. I didn’t think our relationship should stay the way it was; I thought we should reconcile. About then I remembered a scripture from the Book of Mormon: “Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you” (3 Nephi 12:24).
It was difficult for me to humble myself and take the first step, but I prayed and then called him. I didn’t know what his reaction would be, and I was ready for the worst. What I heard shocked me.
He sincerely asked me for forgiveness, and I could tell by his voice that he had suffered a lot because of his action—just as I had. Most of all, I remember one sentence that he repeated three times: “Natal’ya, thanks for calling!”
I was so happy! He moved a short time later, but we separated the best of friends.
Learning to love and forgive each other is one of our most difficult tasks. Forgiveness—especially when we are not at fault—requires that we be humble and overcome our pride. I learned that taking the first step to forgive and reconcile is worth it.