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Gramps,

I grew up being great friends with a neighbor. We dated a bit in high school, and then I moved away. After I moved a way, she started dating a guy who was a really bad influence, and got into trouble with morality and started smoking. She has since repented and returned to the church. I still have feelings for her, and she for me. However, I can’t seem to move past the fact that she messed up. I know I should forgive her and that she’s not any less of a daughter of God because of it, but I just… can’t get over it. What should I do?

Jerry

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Jerry,

Having been there myself some time ago, let me give a brief answer, then explain myself.

Forgive her now. All you are doing is harming yourself and the potential for a wonderful eternal companion.

She made mistakes and has learned from them. Are you free from sin yourself that you can sit in judgement against her? She is a humble, repentant, and now a far stronger and wiser daughter of God for her experiences. Is none of her return to righteousness a mark of true character in your eyes?

All of us, in some way or another, decide to strike out on our own against the wishes of Heavenly Father. Yet he still loves us and is yet waiting for us to return to him when we realize we’ve gotten in over our heads.

the-prodigal-son mormonBy withholding forgiveness, you only wound your own soul and risk losing forgiveness for your own sins. You still have feelings for her, explore them and realize they are just as valid as they ever were. Pray to Heavenly Father for help on this. Other tools include fasting and a priesthood blessing. Make use of what we have been given to deal with matters such as this.

A prayerful consideration of the parable of the Prodigal Son will also give you guidance in this. I pray and hope for your success in getting past this matter. The blessings ahead for you will overwhelm you with joy when you do succeed.

-Gramps

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