Interfaithfully Speaking: Forgiving and finding peace in the springtime

by Sue Zylstra , Claremont Church of the Latter Day Saints

Spring is upon us! New life is everywhere, from budding and blooming flowers to the hatching of eggs and the birth of sweet new baby animals. A beautiful renewal of life is all around us in springtime.

Yet even with the beauties and sweetness of spring, there is strife in the world. From the conflicts and war in lands far away, to Claremont families struggling with illness, canceled schools, canceled jobs, and difficulties of all sorts.

During these frustrating times it is easy to feel angry, to harbor grudges, find fault, argue, or place blame. Even over little things.

Can we shun all of this from our hearts and free ourselves? Can we learn from Him, who said “Fa-ther, forgive them, for they know not what they do?” Can we look to the perfect example of Jesus Christ to help us learn better to forgive and find peace?

It was springtime when Christ rose from the tomb with power, love, kindness, and forgiveness. Yes, forgiveness. He forgave those who nailed Him to the cross. He forgave many others, and He sets the perfect example of forgiveness for us. Can we follow Him and forgive others, too? Can we find renewal and joy?

President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly called Mormons) suggests that we “exercise the humility, courage, and strength required, both to forgive and to seek forgiveness.” This, of course can be very challenging, but the resulting peace is truly worth it.

I believe that Claremont will benefit greatly as we each work to kindly, happily, and generously forgive those who wrong us. And as we ask forgiveness for our own misdeeds.

When my children were young, we had a saying that helped them to ask for forgiveness more easily: “I lost my head!” It usually lightened what might otherwise have been tense situations. This “catch-all” phrase for “I’m sorry, please forgive me” often helped all of us in our home remember that we all make mistakes and we all are in need of forgiveness at times.

My hope and prayer is that we may strive to make the world a little lighter, a little happier and kinder by forgiving as we would be forgiven.


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