The Power of Forgiving

    “The Power of Forgiving,” New Era, June 2009, 23

    What Joseph Smith Taught

    The Power of Forgiving

    The Prophet Joseph Smith knew the healing that comes through forgiving others.

    Throughout his ministry the Prophet Joseph Smith was frequently persecuted by his enemies, and sometimes he was even betrayed by his friends. Though he was attacked and maligned, the Prophet consistently preached that we should follow the Savior’s admonition to forgive others (see, for example, Matthew 6:12; 18:21–22). Here are some of Joseph Smith’s teachings on the power of forgiving.*

    The Quality of Mercy

    “One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is, to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive [the sinner] also.”

    “Be merciful and you shall find mercy. Seek to help save souls, not to destroy them.”

    “Suppose that Jesus Christ and holy angels should object to us on frivolous things, what would become of us? We must be merciful to one another, and overlook small things.”

    Unity through Forgiveness

    “It grieves me that there is no fuller fellowship; if one member suffer all feel it; by union of feeling we obtain power with God. … If [sinners] repent, we are bound to take them, and by kindness sanctify and cleanse them from all unrighteousness by our influence in watching over them. … Nothing is so calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness.”

    Illustration by Paul Mann