Forgiveness: A commandment that brings personal peace

Have you ever been wronged by someone? Offended? Hurt so deeply you can’t get past the anger? Have you ever wondered if forgiveness is even possible?

God has always required His children to forgive one another. And Nephi, a young man in the Book of Mormon, knew it. He had been taught God’s commandments from the scriptures.

As a younger sibling, Nephi undoubtedly looked up to his two older brothers Laman and Lemuel. But when they blatantly disrespected their father, Lehi, and refused to obey his requests, Nephi didn’t hold back. He gave his brothers a piece of his mind—and it didn’t go over well.

Angry that a younger brother would try to tell them what to do, Laman and Lemuel ridiculed Nephi. When it happened again, they beat him severely. Time and again, Nephi defended his father and admonished his brothers to follow the Lord. At one point, tired of Nephi’s brazenness and in the heat of anger, Laman and Lemuel actually tied their brother up, planning to leave him helpless in the wilderness to be devoured by wild animals.

Other family members intervened and Nephi did not die. Some people might say he had no reason to pardon his brothers. But Nephi “did frankly forgive them.” (1 Nephi 7:21). He knew God had commanded it. Instead of prolonging a cycle of blame and resentment, Nephi cleared the way for peace. He refused to be consumed by anger. He could move on because he could forgive.

You can, too. If you ask for His help, God will bless you with the ability to forgive others. And while people may not always change or repent (Laman and Lemuel later continued their appalling actions toward Nephi), you are promised you can have peace in your soul now—and when you return to God.

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