Thursday, October 22, 2009


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Help Me, Dear Father" Children's Songbook pg. 99

3. Read D&C 64:10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

A spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those who may have wronged us is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us has need of this spirit. The whole world has need of it. The Lord taught it. He exemplified it as none other has exemplified it.

In the time of his agony on the cross of Calvary, with vile and hateful accusers before him, those who had brought him to this terrible crucifixion, he cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.)

None of us is called on to forgive so generously, but each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy. The Lord has declared in words of revelation: “My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened.

“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

“And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.” (D&C 64:8–11.)
I know of no more beautiful story in all literature than that found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is the story of a repentant son and a forgiving father. It is the story of a son who wasted his inheritance in riotous living, rejecting his father’s counsel, spurning those who loved him. When he had spent all, he was hungry and friendless, and “when he came to himself” (Luke 15:17), he turned back to his father, who, on seeing him afar off, “ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
I ask you to read that story. Every parent ought to read it again and again. It is large enough to encompass every household, and enough larger than that to encompass all mankind, for are we not all prodigal sons and daughters who need to repent and partake of the forgiving mercy of our Heavenly Father and then follow His example?

His Beloved Son, our Redeemer, reaches out to us in forgiveness and mercy, but in so doing he commands repentance. A true and magnanimous spirit of forgiveness will become an expression of that required repentance. Said the Lord—and I quote from a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph:

“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit . …

“Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.” (D&C 19:15–18, 23.)

Such is the commandment, and such is the promise of him who, in his great exemplary prayer, pleaded, “Father, … forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:9, 12.)

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Prodigal Son (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Forgiving (FHE Resource Book)

No comments: