Monday, January 7, 2019

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on forgiveness of others and of ourselves

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"Our Savior has spoken so clearly on this subject [forgiveness] that there is little room for private interpretation. 'I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive,' but then He said, '...of you it is required to forgive all men' (D&C 64:10 emphasis added).
"May I add a footnote here? When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves. Sometimes, of all the people in the world, the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of our forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy," General Conference April 2012
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Sometimes it's easy to forgive others; sometimes it is more difficult. The depth of the injury inflicted against us might be part of the difference; or the perceived attitude of the person who gave the offense. But I think it's also clear that we get better at forgiving others as we make more efforts to do so. It's a skill, a talent, maybe even a spiritual gift that can be developed. In any case, there is no question that forgiving others is the right thing to do, in the Gospel plan of love and unity.

President Uchtdorf gave an additional insight when he suggested that sometimes our greater challenge is to forgive ourselves:

In other words, we tend to hold on to our mistakes and our occasions of stumbling. We remind ourselves for too long that we've fallen short, we're inadequate, we're unworthy, we're not as good as someone else, or we've failed at some task or goal. President Uchtdorf's suggestion is that when the Lord forgives us, we need to forgive ourselves and move on from the problem.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)


  1. Just what I needed on a lovely Monday morning! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. It took a special visit from the Holy Ghost and five life lessons from the Holy Ghost to teach me this lesson as number 2 in the series of five with the importance of self as number 1 lesson.


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