First was that of an experience I had with my Grandma. My grandma was a very nice person, very
well loved among her friends, but she was very bitter towards her children and men in general, especially "Milligan", as she bitterly referred to her ex-husband (my grandpa). I was often very uncomfortable visiting with her. One because I was a man, even though she said her remarks were not directed at me. I had to figure out what she meant by that. Am I not a man? Or does she just still see me as a child, not yet reaching the maturity that deserved such brutal remarks? And two, my father was one of her children that she was unhappy with. My father was my hero.
sealed eternally in the temple. She brought it up at a family event and there was some skepticism in her proposal, but everyone agreed to partake in the ceremony. So, as soon as were able to do so, we went to the temple to perform the ordinances to have my grandma and grandpa sealed to each other and to their children. I got to be proxy for my grandpa with my aunt Linda proxy for my grandma...When the sealing was done and we were walking out there were some that were still very skeptical about the whole thing, but I was not. I had it confirmed to me that the sealing was accepted. It was at that moment I realized that many of the things that were important in this life, just wont be important in the next life. And if they are not important in the eternal scheme of things then why make them important in this life? Why be offended by things that wont matter? What if all of us were not so easily offended by the words that others spoke to us, sometimes in anger, sometimes in love? Offense only poisons our soul, and makes us miserable. Be Less Offended.
The second experience that came to my mind was one I had with my mother-in-law. She was a wonderful woman and we had the opportunity to care for her in our home for the final month of her life. In her final days of mortality I recognized that she was living in three different realms. The first, was the morphine realm, where little dogs ran across the ceiling and she would name them. There were also shelves that didn't exist, but needed dusting so she would proceed to do so while in the comfort of her bed. That was the morphine realm. The second realm was her coherent realm where we could talk to her and she could share here thoughts and feelings with some effort. The third realm was spiritual. This realm is where I happened to walk in on her as she was listening to someone talk and she was nodding in acknowledgement muttering a yes here and there, then she finally said, "I forgive you."... I don't know who she was talking to for sure, but I suspect it was her mother. Her mother was not very kind to her in this life. She was married, I believe, eight times. Some of those husbands and abused my mother-in-law and scarred her for life. She never really said much about it, but it was pretty obvious as we looked back on it. Anyways, when I heard her utter those words, I felt and overwhelming peace enter the room. This was only days before she passed away. It was then that I realized that we need to be More Forgiving.
The third experience that I had was visiting with Sister Ann Dibbs, President Monson's daughter. She occasionally stops in at the clock shop to have us work on her dad's watch. Anyways, we got into a conversation and I asked her how her dad was doing, and she said that it was hard seeing him get old. Somehow I felt impressed to share with her my experience with my mother-law. She said, "that is interesting, I had a friend that came up to me the other day and told me that I needed to forgive my father so he could progress." It made me realize that even our beloved prophet has need for forgiveness to progress.
How much better would we be if we would just learn to be less offended and more forgiving? How much easier would it be for us to learn and to progress in our understanding if we could have people say hard things to us and we didn't take offense. What if we could shake off the bitterness now, and forgive those who have delivered us and injustice as we see it? Don't get me wrong there are things that do matter in this life. There are things that must be dealt with in this life that can not be ignored. But what if we just simply recognized those things dealt with them and forgave the person for offending us? Forgiving someone does not exempt them from justice. In forgiving someone it simply acknowledges that you do not have the authority to inflict justice and so you hand the matter over to those one who has the authority and ability to see that justice is served.
Be Less offended. Be more forgiving. It is a challenge we would all be better off accepting. Can you imagine the peace we would feel inside as we released all the burdens that we could do nothing about anyways? Imagine the darkness that we carry being lifted from our hearts and minds as we accepted those truths? Imagine the weight being lifted from our shoulders, and the burden of justice being placed upon the shoulders of the only one who already bore that burden in an eternal effort to free us of the burden of guilt, whether that is our own, or that is the guilt of another. Jesus Christ made it possible for us to place those burden upon his shoulders. It is a cross that even He shuddered at. There is no mortal man who could possibly bare that weight which caused even God to bleed from every pore. Accept his gift and be less offended and more forgiving.