"Are not the words of Abraham Lincoln beautiful which he spoke out of the tragedy of a terrible civil war: 'With malice toward none, with charity for all,... let us... bind up the... wounds.'
"My brothers and sisters, let us bind up the wounds—oh, the many wounds that have been caused by cutting words, by stubbornly cultivated grievances, by scheming plans to 'get even' with those who may have wronged us. We all have a little of this spirit of revenge in us. Fortunately, we all have the power to rise above it, if we will 'clothe [ourselves] with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.' (D&C 88:125.)
"'To err is human, to forgive divine.' (Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 2:1711.) There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds. There is peace only in repentance and forgiveness. This is the sweet peace of the Christ, who said, 'blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.' (Matt. 5:9.)"
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Of You It Is Required to Forgive," Ensign, June 1991, p. 2
Click here to read the full article
What does it mean to have "charity for all" in our lives? Is that just an encouragement to be generous with our means in helping those in need? Or does it speak of some higher emotion or attitude that should undergird our interactions?
President Hinckley suggests that we all have situations in our lives where experiences of the past have taken away the "Christlike love" from our hearts and replaced it with a "spirit of revenge" or a subtle need to "get even" with others. His invitation is to "rise above" those feelings and replace them with true charity.
True peace in life comes only as we learn to repent and to forgive others, for the two are certainly linked. "He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven." (Thomas Fuller) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)