Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Oh, to Forgive and be Free

Dear Family,

There is such a peace in moving forward, as Elder Robert Gay has said, in the Lord's way.

For as long as I've been able to understand the world, I have sought to forgive my father, who seemed to act in a way that hurt me at every turn. He died a little over a year ago, and the weight of the burden I've carried with me these many years has become apparent.

I've struggled with it.

Yesterday, Brian, a recent convert of the BYSA Elders, was in considerable distress. He was experiencing serious doubts and fears. His faith was struggling. As I heard his words of pain and confusion, my heart felt drawn out of me to comfort him. I testified concerning the mercy of our Savior - how he's always there for us.

As I begged him to give himself a chance to grow before giving up on himself, the words came from my lips seemingly of their own accord. I told of my struggle to forgive my Daddy and of the empowering effect of Christ's mercy in helping me to do so. I found myself telling him that after all of these years, I had finally been able to forgive my father. I was surprised by these words, but searched myself and found them to be true.

Oh, to be free of this burden after so long and to feel my full love for my Daddy - unblemished by my ugly grudge! I feel as if I could fly.

I exhorted Brian to please not give up on himself and to trust that he will someday recognize all the growth he's already made. He truly can do it, if he only puts his mind to it and believes.

Oh, to be free. What a wonderful gift.

Sending all of my love and a joyous declaration of our Savior's love,

Sister Naomi Rapier

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