Thoughts on D&C 64:10

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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by mom3 » 01 Dec 2015, 12:43

I think that to understand forgiveness we need to understand sin. As I observe life, sin is a very conflicting word. FYI this answer will not be expressed well, just sayin'.

As a teen I had a rebellious, out of character year for me. By the standard of most rebellions, it was nothing, I skipped some school classes, got a lousy boyfriend, and forged my mom's signature and failed a crappy history class. The other half of my life was LDS picture perfect - I attended church and church related stuff willingly, was largely responsible in the other areas of life - but this breach at school caused terrific consternation in my home.

I remember thinking as my parents and I had endless hour discussion about my waywardness if this was how Alma the Younger or Laman and Lemuel felt. It was like listening to Charlie Brown's teacher.

Within the year I snapped out of my slump. At the time I couldn't contribute anything but teen-rebellion to it, yet as time went on I gained understanding. I was hurting inside. Deeply. I didn't know it, my parents didn't know it, no one did. Something just snapped. It wasn't depression. Looking back I was alone. My parents made a move that left me alone. Even though we were in the same ward, I had never fully connected in my ward. Just because I was always in a leadership position didn't mean I fit in. Infact leadership I believe, ostracized me more. The move put me in a new school district with my church peers. All my former friends were not just in a different school but different district. Everything was off I couldn't keep the connections. All of this added up like grains of sand, until I gave up trying. So I took some time off. Nothing premeditated, but it grew.

What does this have to do with forgiveness, sin, etc. Well - I could easily just course correct. Apologize to my parents, and get in line in life, but that wouldn't really have fixed the pain. My actions were a result of a deep hurt in me, one I couldn't articulate or comprehend at the time. If I had just gotten in line, I would have probably needed to exorcise my grief some other way. My actions, which could be called sins, were not directly applicable to anything. Only when I understood the why of my choices was I fully able to forgive myself.

Because of my own life experience I worry when we call things sins because those sins or grievances may be mixed up deep in someones heart and they can not see. This is where I think a God can only decide whose choices deserve forgiveness or not. Do I see and feel what I consider to be heinous acts, oh yeah, but I don't know enough history to make a final decision.

If you will indulge me one last example, my mom told me an interesting story recently. They have a friend whose daughter, many years ago, was raped and murdered as a child. (I knew this part of the story) The second part of the story is the capture of the young man who did it and his incarceration. The dad of young girl couldn't get over the grief, after months of praying, he felt that he needed to forgive this young man. He made an appointment with the young man and his family. He planned to simply say, "I forgive you". When he met the family face to face he realized they had no source of hope, so he taught them about Jesus and redemption, and the atonement ideas. To my knowledge it wasn't a missionary moment as much as a hope sharing and forgiveness session. The dad left much more at peace than he had been. A few months later part three took place. The death, the arrest and the trial had been a major news story. The family of the young man suffered greatly, no one wanted them nearby. The young man's Jr. High aged sister was getting hassled at school, so much so that the school didn't want her. When the dad of the slain girl found out about the sister of the offender being harrassed, he drove over to the families home, picked up the girl, and personally walked her into the school. Then settled the matter with the Principal and Staff.

Forgiveness is hard but I find power in it. Power in personal forgiveness of ourselves, forgiveness of others, even forgiveness of God. I also know some forgivenesses will take a lifetime before we can do them.
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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by university » 01 Dec 2015, 13:53

That all depends on how you define forgiveness.

I think every culture interprets it differently, and then you have individual interpretations within that context.
I’d be interested to find out more about the translations of the Bible and what “forgiveness” constituted in Hebrew during the time the First Testament was written and how that evolved. My understanding was that this scripture came in as a response to a Jewish religious culture at a time in which Old Testament Law had previously reigned supreme—eye for an eye, strict punishment, etc. We’re talking about “forgiveness” being the difference between a woman being stoned for having an extra-marital affair and being allowed to live.

In modern Anglo-Christian culture, our interpretation of forgiveness is obviously coming from a different place. Even with common cultural points, I still don’t think we all have the same understanding or definition of forgiveness. It highly varies.

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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by AmyJ » 15 Aug 2017, 07:53

My 2 cents..

"Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you because you hurt me." This quote from Father Tim of the Mitford book series has always been in my mind and has helped me to forgive others.

The other thing I have learned through the years to try to put myself in the other person's shoes and analyze what caused them to do that. For example, my husband has ADHD - which means that he is more likely to say things without thinking them through or how they impact others. It means I watch him do his best to speak lovingly and think about what he is really trying to say and ask helpful, supportive questions. It also means that he will say thoughtless things to me, and he is prone to swearing when frustrated. It means that I can love him and accept him where he is, and not get upset at the torrent of words. It means I can parse out my understanding of what he is probably trying to say, and ask questions to figure out what is going on. It means I can walk away when the words aren't checked or he needs to swear at the computers. I don't separate the consequences from his actions (I am not as loving when he is being unloving in his words, I will walk away when I deem it necessary), nor do I dwell on what he does not have the capacity to do.

In raising children (especially 1 with ADHD and probable Asperger's Autism), I am seeing what can happen when a person becomes dys-regulated - when the coping mechanisms do not work at the same level that a traditional person's coping mechanisms work at that age. We focus on consequences of behavior (good and bad), and how to re-regulate, get back into carrying on with life. If anything, our family views consequences as more neutral and transparent, not less.

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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by On Own Now » 15 Aug 2017, 08:34

nibbler wrote:
01 Dec 2015, 05:43
The first thing that jumps out at me with this verse is that it feels like the lord is holding people to a higher (or different) standard than he holds himself. Sort of a "do as I say, not as I do" approach to forgiveness. Orson touched on this:
Orson wrote:On the other hand there is something of following God's example that becomes a challenge here. The command to love shows the other side of the coin - God loves everyone and we are supposed to love everyone. If we have the idea that God doesn't forgive everyone we may feel that we don't really need to forgive some.
I get what you are saying. It does appear that way on the surface. But I think that's not the intent of the passage. The concept here is that ultimately we will all be judged, whether we repent or not, but the message in this passage is that God alone knows enough to fairly impart forgiveness; it's not up to us to either forgive or not forgive, that belongs to our one-and-only judge. Therefore, in order to avoid unfair treatment of others, we forgive them all.

As for the scope of forgiveness, I agree with the concept of a limited model. The first thing we have to recognize is that forgiveness is not the same as trust. We are told to give out forgiveness freely; but we all know trust is earned. An example should make this clear. If I have a flowerbed next to my 90-year-old neighbor's driveway and he accidentally and repeatedly runs over my flowerbed with his Buick, then I should forgive him. As annoying as it is, in a way, it's made easier, because I know he's not fully capable. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to replace the flowerbed with a sandbox for my grand-kids to play in.

And then, when it comes to earthly justice and punishments, obviously, we have to have rules and consequences for society to work. I note that the LDS Church will not baptize someone (at least not without FP approval) who is serving a sentence (incarceration, parole, or probation), because their sentence is part of their repentance.

And finally, I'm not sure forgiveness is required to be given when it is not at least sought. "Forgive" is a reaction. There is an implied prior act. It's like "catch". You can't catch a ball that is not thrown. The question is whether "forgive" is in reaction to a bad act alone or in reaction to an act of contrition regarding a bad act.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by SilentDawning » 15 Aug 2017, 20:41

It's a hard scripture for me to put into practice. I find that I have to rely on time to do the forgiving for me. In general people don't care about your hurt, your angst, or the fact that genetic makeup has a lot to do with how you handle offences from others. Their answer is to just "get past it". And they seem to expect you to forgive on the same timeline THEY DO. I find that kind of advice hard to take...

I find that the wrongs of others against me tend to define part of who I am. Their wrongs change me. Many of you know there is a woman in our ward who wrote a very nasty note -- 5 pages long, distributed to the entire Ward leadership, full of personal attacks. Our bishopric followed it up with a reprimand to me, adding major insult to injury. There was no censure for her behavior.

It plunged me into my first bout of clinical depression, led to days of lack of sleep, and eventually, pneumonia. It hurt my testimony and feeling of belonging in the Ward. She spoke in church when her husband was called as a Bishop recently. I felt sick when she was at the front smiling, and sharing gospel ideas (which sounded like platitudes to me) about her husband's call. Honestly, I felt physically sick. I left the meeting I was so incredibly uncomfortable with her smiling face, knowing what power to hurt and inflict pain on others exists in her Spirit....her offence happened at least five or six years ago, but the physiological reaction came to me uninvited and unencouraged by me.

Have I forgiven her? I am not sure, I just know that she created a terrible, bitter taste in my mouth about our Ward, our relationship, and even the ability of our Bishopric to deal with her behavior with an even hand. I know that she is an entity capable of doing great harm to my spirit and health. She is to be avoided as much as I can help it. The same way you would avoid a dangerous construction site or venomous creature.

I also read a fantastic book called "Healing Church Hurt", and there was a passage that made tremendous sense to me. The author indicated that Abe Lincoln and Winston Churchill both suffered from depression. Heavy, black depression, but went on to live highly productive lives in spite of it. That, the author said, is our challenge if we have a hard time forgiving -- to live a productive life in spite of it.

I am also reading a book called The How of Happiness by an academic scholar in happiness research. She said that 50% of our happiness is genetic, 10% is due to our life circumstances, and the rest is up to us. So, I accept that part of the speed at which we forgive is likely genetic, just like depression and being unhappy is genetic.

That absolves me of SOME of the responsibility of forgiving really fast, although I think I am still 40% responsible.

The good news is that time does tend to blunt sharp emotions, and grudges are one of those sharp emotions. I had a guy who was responsible for breaking my engagement years ago. I too felt sick whenever I saw him afterwards for a little while, even after I was married.

But years later, we worked together in a Ward together and I was fine with him. I could hold conversation, etcetera and we actually worked on a couple projects together. At that time we were both married, and not to the woman to whom I was engaged (either of us). So I know that I can forgive, it just takes time. I need to accept that in myself and love myself in spite of it.

So, that's what the scripture means to me. I am not going to let that scripture beat me up about the fact it takes me a long time to forgive other people. I will not let that scripture expose me to further damage from toxic people.
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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by nibbler » 16 Aug 2017, 05:38

Wow. Blast from the past.

It's interesting to read my thoughts from nearly two years ago. What's missing from my post is the context. That would help things make more sense.

I still don't know how to dance around the issue but I'm reminded of Heber13's snake story. The guy that reaches into the fire only to get bit by the snake again and again until they wise up and use a stick.

Maybe it's the forgiveness that allows the person to reach out to help the snake again and again but over time the person wises up and uses a stick. Develops boundaries. They still try to help but the help has to take on a different form in order to protect oneself.
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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by Reuben » 14 Sep 2017, 17:19

DarkJedi mentioned that he doesn't forgive as easily since his FC. I find the same thing, sort of. It's complicated.

I had already been developing a view of mind and agency that automatically absolved most people of most offenses. (In fact, I had begun to wonder whether the atonement wasn't necessary in part to punish the creator for making us this way. I now don't think much of that kind of justice, but to my believing mind it made some sense.) I've gone further in that direction, so I sometimes forgive more easily.

But I also no longer have "forgive and you'll be forgiven" and "judge not and you won't be judged" as motivating principles. When I forgive someone, it's all about making this life better, not the next one. Basically, without the weight of eternal consequences, I'm less motivated to forgive.

If someone raped and killed my child, I'd demand blood. I'd feel for his family, not blame them, and maybe try to help them. But the perpetrator? I'd want to remove him from the gene pool.

I wonder how much of this less forgiving attitude comes from just having less emotional energy. I already spend hours each week forgiving the Church for teaching me false hope, forcing me to pretend to believe, making me keep potential friends at arm's length, and abusing my lesbian/bi daughter. It's not much compared to what some people have to deal with, but it's a persistent drain.

If there's a god, I hope he/she/it forgives the entire idiotic human race, and is sufficiently contrite that I can reciprocate.
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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by AmyJ » 15 Sep 2017, 05:46

I am coming to learn that part of a FC/FT is changes in concepts of repentance and forgiveness. A very important part of this process is accepting what you still believe/value, and re-prioritizing or rejecting what no longer works. Becoming more nuanced in my choices has increased my tolerance and acceptance of others, which has decreased my need to "forgive" them - by re-defining and re-prioritizing the choices I make, it makes it easier for them not to "offend" me. Granted, the flip side is that it introduces other ways to be "offended". It seems that it is always a work in progress...

I think it is part of moving from a Fowler's stage 3 to stage 4 or stage 5.

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Re: Thoughts on D&C 64:10

Post by DancingCarrot » 15 Sep 2017, 06:12

Roy wrote:
01 Dec 2015, 10:45
I hope that people do not understand this to be a required precedence - that to be forgiven they must forgive or to be loved they must love. I prefer to interpret it that we have been loved and forgiven and because of this example we, ourselves, can dare to love and forgive.
This is mostly where I land. I think the idea of a transactional god that demands that we do something before he/she will do something is limited in its scope. Frankly, it sounds awfully human.

To me, it's empowering to think that someone, whether it was God/Jesus/regular Hebrew Joe, was visionary and idealistic enough to transcend tribal boundaries to the extent that love and forgiveness were top precepts. That other people also believed in the power of these ideals and our capabilities as people to live them enough that an entire Christian movement was created. If you believe that someone can love and forgive you, despite all of your true and untrue negative thoughts about yourself, then it becomes a possibility for you to extend that liberation to others. You can't give anything to anyone else that you don't already have, therefore the necessity to be loved and forgiven to be able to love and forgive.
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