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Dear Gramps,

I’m wounded deeply by my niece whom I lent $5,000.00 to after she agreed to pay it back in January. Now, she says she can’t and won’t talk to me. I’m in need of that money.I can’t see myself forcing her to repay it. I forgive always and decline to hurt anyone justified or not. I feel betrayed and angry that I helped someone once more as I always do and, to be blunt, got shafted. I would be mortified not to forgive but how far do i carry forgiveness? Just wondering.

Frank

 

Answer

 

Hello Frank,

Our scriptures appear to answer your last question of “how far do I carry forgiveness?” with at least two witnesses,

“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.” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9-10)

The other witness we can read in the New Testament,

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

In light of these two scriptures, our responsibility is always to lean towards forgiveness; however, let us remember other counsel from our Father in Heaven, “O be wise, what can I say more.” (Jacob 6:12)

Although we are given command, counsel, from our Heavenly Father to forgive, we still need to be wise. This means that when contemplating our needs and others, we need to be aware of our personal financial situation as well. It is wonderful that you helped your niece. I am sorry this niece appears to have taken advantage of your generosity. At this moment, if you don’t feel you can force the hand of your niece, which I would say is wise, then you need to move on, and not place yourself in the same situation. If you know you can help, then help, but if you know helping will cause financial distress if they don’t pay back, then don’t move forward with assisting. If we can’t help, we can’t help, and the Lord understands.

Allow the Lord’s atonement to help with the betrayal, anger, and frustration.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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