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Question

 

Gramps,

I was abandoned by my father at age 2, abused by my step-father, then abandoned by my mother at age 10. I was sent to live with my widowed grandmother. who resented every day I lived with her. I have been sealed for 45 years to my love, who has encouraged me to be sealed, if not to my parents, then at least to my grandparents. I love the Lord and want to do what’s right.  I just can’t be sealed to people who didn’t want me. What do you think? I’d love to have your advice! Thanks,

Bonnie

 

Answer

 

Bonnie,

Forgiveness can be hard.  Sometimes it can be harder then repentance.  The scriptural command for us to forgive can be found many places in the scriptures. The one that I think is most clear is D&C 64:9-10:

9 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.

 

10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

From these verses it is clear that the Lord requires us to forgive everyone. If that wasn’t hard enough, it also says that if we don’t then we have the greater sin.  I can’t think of many harder commandments that the Lord has given us than this one. That is to forgive those who have hurt us, abused us, and done us wrong in some fashion.  The mere idea that we might be the greater sinner if we don’t forgive goes against our inherent sense of justice and fairness and sense of what is right.  This leaves us struggling to grasp what the Lord is telling us because we have a hard time understanding it and accepting it.

I think the very next verse was intended to help with this

11 And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.

In this verse the Lord is telling us exactly what He means by forgiveness.  He means that we need to have and exercise faith in turning it all over to Him.  All our hurt, all our pain, all or desire for justice, for fairness.  All of it needs to be turned to Him, while trusting that He can and will handle it all in His time and in His way.  Thus the ‘greater sin’ we have when we refuse to forgive is one of lack of faith or lack of trust in the Lord and His power and promises.

Now to your particular case.  You don’t want to be sealed for eternity to people that did not want you.  This is totally understandable.  However, while understandable it also means you are rendering an eternal judgement, instead of leaving that to Christ.  Everything about Christ and his Atonement is about giving people the chance to change, to repent, to become better then they were, no matter what mistakes or missteps they may have made along the way.

We want this for ourselves and we need to allow others to have the same chances.

The simple fact is no matter what earthly ordinances are done, Christ has the final say on who is sealed together for eternity.  And we can be assured that it will be to people that “want us.”  Our task is to work on developing our faith to the level Christ would have it be and seek to have all the ordinances that He asks of us done.

 

Gramps

 

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