Forgive, And Ye Shall Be Forgiven!

father and son

TheDisicpleMD

“Throughout Jack’s life, he and his father had many serious arguments. One day, when he was 17, they had a particularly violent one. Jack said to his father, “This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I’m leaving home, and I shall never return.” So saying, he went to the house and packed his bag. His mother begged him to stay; he was too angry to listen. He left her crying at the doorway.

Leaving the yard, he was about to pass through the gate when he heard his father call to him, “Jack, I know that a large share of the blame for your leaving rests with me. For this I am truly sorry. I want you to know that if you should ever wish to return home, you’ll always be welcome. And I’ll try to be a better father to you. I want you to know that I’ll always love you.”

Jack said nothing but went to the bus station and bought a ticket to a distant point. As he sat on the bus, watching the miles go by, he commenced to think about the words of his father. He began to realize how much love it had required for him to do what he had done. Dad had apologized. He had invited him back and left the words ringing in the summer air: “I love you.”

It was then that Jack realized that the next move was up to him. He knew the only way he could ever find peace with himself was to demonstrate to his father the same kind of maturity, goodness, and love that Dad had shown toward him. Jack got off the bus. He bought a return ticket and went back.

He arrived shortly after midnight, entered the house, turned on the light. There in the rocking chair sat his father, his head in his hands. As he looked up and saw Jack, he arose from the chair and they rushed into each other’s arms. Jack often said, “Those last years that I was home were among the happiest of my life.” (“Bring Him Home”, Thomas Monson, GC Oct., 2003)

Let us take the time, now, to repair bridges that have been damaged and feelings that have been trampled upon. Let us reach out to those who have offended us in hopes of reconciliation. May we remember the words of the Savior when he said: “…forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”     (Luke 6:37)

 

 

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