So many times when I am thinking about a subject, it seems like all things in the universe converge to bring that thing to mind. Someone will say something, or I will hear a lesson at church, or something will happen to reinforce what I've been thinking about. Believe it or not, today was such a day. We had a special conference at church today, and our Bishop gave a special talk. In our religion, we don't just have one preacher who talks every week, we have many people talk on different subjects. But today he spoke and guess what his subject was. It was forgiveness. In particular he focused on forgiveness of self. He made two points that really struck me.
One point is that one tool that Satan uses to destroy us is discouragement. If he can get us to hate ourselves, or dislike ourselves, he has accomplished much in destroying us. He would like us to think there is no hope, and that we aren't worthy or deserving of anything good. He would like for nothing more than for us to be miserable.
The Bishop went on to tell a story that was meaningful to me. He said there was a woman who wanted to come to America. So she saved her money to buy passage on a ship. She had very limited funds, so decided that she would take provisions with her on the boat so that she wouldn't have to buy food on the boat. She was careful to ration out her food, but near the end of the trip she still ran out. She decided she would just suffer and tough it out until the ship reached shore. As the days went by, she finally decided that she had to spend some of her money to buy some food, maybe one last meal to tide her over.
When she went to the cafeteria and asked how much the food cost, she was told that all meals were included in the price of the ticket on the boat. All that time she had suffered needlessly because she didn't understand.
So many times we don't forgive ourselves because we don't understand. Or maybe we think we deserve to suffer. Many people go on like this for years, when all along they could have been enjoying peace, if they just understood.