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Dear Gramps,

I am absolutely mortified and I really need some advice. Yesterday I took my two young children to the 10am General Conference session at the Mormon Church here in New Mexico–my husband being too ill to attend. My three year old had been having tantrums all weekend and I was a little worried about her, but she did really well. She did well that is, until half way through President Hinckley’s talk.  My daughter started to cry, and I tried to calm her quickly. It didn’t work. I ended up picking her up to take her out of the chapel, screaming. I took her to the first room I had, and I basically let her have it. I had been on edge with her all weekend, and I let my anger get the better of me, I yelled at her. A few minutes later, I took her (still yelling) out of that room and walked her down the hall to another room that I knew she would be safe in, while I went to collect my son and our items from the pew. It wasn’t until this point that I realized that the rooms are NOT SOUND PROOF! I was so embarrassed. No one would look at me. I feel just awful. I didn’t say anything terrible to my daughter, and I didn’t strike her, but I feel like I may as well have. I’m sure I ruined the spirit that was present and the rest of the Prophet’s talk. I’m known for being calm and very kind to the children in the ward. Now I feel like a monster. Any suggestions?

Jennifer

 

Answer

Dear Jennifer,

You may be somewhat consoled by the fact that there has been only one perfect person who ever walked the earth. What we do when we have truly repented from some unwanted behavior, is we forget it. Part of the repentance process allows us to feel completely forgiven by the Lord. There is, however, no guarantee of forgiveness by others. But that, however, it their problem not yours. No matter how dark the sin, those who do not forgive the person are worse off than the sinner. The Lord has said—

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 (D&C 64:9).

So, if you continue to act in an appropriate way, showing kindness, tolerance, patience and love toward your children, and especially toward those who seem to condemn you, you will regain the understanding and friendship of all those who are worthy to be your friends.

By the way, your repentance in such a circumstance is between you and the Lord. I would not suggest that some public confession or asking forgiveness of others whom you think may have been offended would be of much value. Such matters are best forgotten about and allowed to die from neglect of attention.

 

Gramps

 

P.S. The fact that you removed an unruly child from the scene may plant a seed of understanding in those stalwart mothers who seem to be trying to prove their imperturbability by letting their unruly children completely disrupt a meeting with their loudly voiced discomfort, rather than giving the rest of the congregation a break by removing them from earshot until they calm down

 

 

 

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