Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Thing!


For many of us, admitting a mistake is hard, but learning to say “I’m Sorry” is even harder. While this may not seem to be a very serious flaw, in reality it’s root is found in pride. In fact it can contribute to our inability to repent of sins. After all, both repentance and learning to say “I’m Sorry” are a recognition of a mistake or sin, and then being humble enough to admit it.

Throughout the scriptures we find numerous example’s of individuals and civilizations that never learned to say “I’m Sorry, I was wrong.” And throughout history is the sad tale of the demise of such cultures and people. Perhaps you remember the story of Zeezrom from the Book of Alma. Zeezrom went about teaching false doctrine and perverting the ways of the Lord. He challenged Alma and Amulek and the scriptures say, “Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good…” (Alma 11:21). Most of us automatically associate his name with that of an Antichrist. However, perhaps we have forgotten that;

“Zeezrom lay sick…with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness…therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat. Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom…he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him. And it came to pass that they went immediately…and they found him upon his bed, sick,… exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him. And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation? And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught. And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed. And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words. And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ. And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout…And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people.” (Alma 15: 3-12).

Zeezrom learned to say “I’m Sorry” and the Lord rewarded him accordingly.  Being sorry and then being able to express it is very close  to being repentant.  Sometimes we have not really sinned when an,  “I’m sorry!” is needed.  However,  I think if we examine each situation where hurt exists between us and others we will discover that our lack of humility is often the root of our unwillingness to admit our mistakes.  And that lack of humility is often found in sin. Once when I was serving as a priesthood leader I had words with a set of the full-time elders. I should have known better. Later, upon reflection, I knew that an apology was in order.  I sat down with the missionaries and told them I was sorry for some things I had said.  They too expressed sorrow for contributing to the situation. The three of us exchanged an embrace and they ended up being the set of Elders that became the closest to me and my family while I served in that calling.  The healing that comes when both parties can humbly submit to each other is powerful.

So the next time we stubbornly refuse to say those two contrite words, “I’m Sorry,”  let us remember that it is not a weakness to admit mistakes, but rather, it requires strength of character.

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