• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

The Other Part of Forgiveness

In this month’s Ensign you’ll find a short account of how one woman found the key to forgiving those who had hurt her. In “The Other Part of Forgiveness,” the author, Becky Dastrup, tells how she received the answer she sought after speaking to a Christian friend of another faith about her struggle to forgive. Her friend reminded her of one of the Savior’s teachings on this subject, which led her to the peace she desired.

The author then notes, “I am grateful to have had this gospel-centered conversation with my friend of a different faith. It increased my desire to openly speak about my beliefs so that I could have more enlightening experiences like this one.”

We should all remember that it is possible for us to receive this kind of enlightenment if we will open up to those who sincerely love and strive to follow Jesus Christ, no matter what denomination they belong to. This sort of sharing goes both ways.

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Hope and Healing in Recovering from Abuse

In something of a follow-up to Elder Richard G. Scott’s last general conference address, the Ensign has published an article called “Hope and Healing in Recovering from Abuse.”

Written by Sister Sarah E. Miller, a psychotherapist in the United Kingdom, this article centers around the hope and healing to be found in the Savior’s Atonement. However, it also casts an unflinching eye on the hurt and suffering that result from abuse, and it offers some practical suggestions for overcoming them. Sister Miller has advice for both the abused and those who care about them. For instance, she says:

“To help the abused person forgive, leaders, friends, and family members can acknowledge the gravity of the offense, allowing the innocent person to work through his or her anger and pain. Much abuse involves the denial of feelings and truth, so people who have been abused need to be heard and have their feelings validated if they are to truly recover and regain self-worth. When the person who has been abused is pressured to forgive, he or she may feel an added measure of guilt, taking the blame not only for the abuse itself but also for being unable to forgive. Allowing the person time to forgive can be a lengthy process, but it is critical to healing.”

The article presents a realistic but hopeful outlook on the situation faced by victims of abuse. For them, it offers ways of understanding how they can see God’s love and be healed through Christ’s Atonement. For those who know a victim of abuse, it offers ways of understanding their difficulties and giving them the support they need in order to eventually be healed.

Come unto Christ

In this month’s special issue of the Ensign on the Savior, President Henry B. Eyring discusses a pattern he has observed among those who accept the invitation to come unto Christ. In “Come unto Christ” (also available on the new Web site JesusChrist.lds.org) President Eyring mentions three truths the Holy Ghost has manifested to people he knew who came unto the Savior. President Eyring is a man who is very close to the Spirit, and the pattern he describes shows how the Spirit works on us to helps us become perfected in Christ. Basically, it leads from belief to action to total conversion. It is in that last step that he speaks of retention of converts. He gives what I believe to be an important insight:

“We sometimes speak of retaining members as if we held them in. We can and we must be a friend to those who have made the choice to come unto Him. They can become discouraged when trials come, as trials always do. Yet we must remember that the best and surest friends they have are the Savior and His Father, who is also their Father. Heavenly Father and the Savior will send them the Holy Ghost to comfort them and confirm their faith if they are humbly obedient.”

I believe that this is true of all who have come unto Christ, whether they were baptized last week or 80 years ago, whether they are converts or lifelong members.

He Lives!

In this month’s special issue of the Ensign on the Lord Jesus Christ is an article that compiles testimonies of the modern prophets regarding the Savior. “He Lives! The Witness of Latter-day Prophets” (also available on JesusChrist.lds.org) contains statements from 15 Presidents of the Church about the reality of Jesus Christ and His central role in the salvation of mankind. One remarkable thing about these quotes is the consistently bold manner of their declaration of Christ’s divinity. Another thing I find remarkable is the focus on the witness of the Spirit in the statements by Joseph F. Smith and Lorenzo Snow. After they made these statements, these men had visions, and through his granddaughter we know that Lorenzo Snow saw the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple. Yet it was the Holy Ghost bearing witness to their hearts that really gave them a testimony. And so it shall always be.

Ensign Promotional Video

The Church magazines have posted this promotional video on their Web site at SpecialMagazine.lds.org. It gives a good overview of the March 2008 special issue of the Ensign. The voiceover simply reads quotes from some of the articles in the issue, but it hangs together so well that it could stand on its own as a statement of our beliefs about the Savior. Check it out. You can download it in a couple of different formats and sizes. 

Was I Saved?

Another good article from this month’s special issue of the Ensign is one that describes a situation that many Church members may find themselves in at some time or other. “Was I Saved” is one young woman’s account of her visit to a friend’s church meeting and her subsequent confusion about whether she really needed to publicly accept Jesus in the manner prescribed there. This article teaches us two things: (1) we should prepare people we invite to our meetings for the things that might be unfamiliar to them, and (2) we Mormons have no reason to doubt whether we’ve been “saved” or have done everything necessary to accept Christ. The article also refers to a good talk by Elder Oaks on this subject.

Plain and Precious Truths

In this month’s Ensign, which is a special issue on the Lord Jesus Christ, is another article noteworthy for its clarity, brevity, and insight. “Plain and Precious Truths” simply lists 25 truths regarding our beliefs about the Savior and then gives statements supporting those truths from the Bible as well as latter-day scripture and prophets. The statements range from “Jesus Christ was in the beginning with the Father and is the Firstborn” to “The Savior can change human nature” to “The Lord will judge the world in righteousness.” The supporting statements show both the continuity of Christian teaching and the added insight gained through the Restoration.