There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix

Now, the last thing I want to talk to you about: a broken bird.

Over the years, as a diversion, I have carved wooden birds. Sometimes it would take a year to complete one. I would get specimens and measure the feathers and study the colors and then carve them. I would carve a setting for them. It was very restful. Sometimes when I would get unsettled, my wife would say, “Why don’t you go carve a bird!” It was a very calming thing in my life.

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle and I were going into town one day. I had one of the carvings. I was taking it in to show someone. We had put it on the backseat. At an intersection, he slammed on the brakes, and the carving tipped upside down on the floor and broke to pieces. He pulled over to the side and looked at it. He was devastated. I was not.

Without thinking, I said, “Forget it. I made it. I can fix it.” And I did. I made it stronger than it was. I improved it a bit.

Now, who made you? Who is your Creator? There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix and will fix. You have to decide. If some of you have made mistakes and you think you are broken and cannot be put together, you do not know the doctrine of the Church. You do not know what the Atonement was about and who the Lord is and what a power He is in your life.

This is His Church. We are His servants. We who hold the priesthood have His authority and power. We can perform miracles. We do not talk about them. Most of those miracles have to do with healing the body. The greater miracles are the miracles of spiritual growth and healing in the lives of every one of us.

So if you are on the wrong path, then you must decide. You have the agency. You have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to guide you. There is that great truth that the gospel is a gospel of repentance. Repentance is like a mathematical equation. Repentance leads to forgiveness.

Boyd K. Packer, “The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, 2 February 2003

Almost a selfish act: quotes on the miracle of forgiveness

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
Josh Billings (1818 – 1885)

Forgiveness is almost a selfish act because of its immense benefits to the one who forgives.
Lawana Blackwell, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999

The hatred you’re carrying is a live coal in your heart – far more damaging to yourself than to them.
Lawana Blackwell, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

It takes a lot of emotional and psychological energy to keep a wound open, to keep a grudge alive. The longer I allow a wound to fester, the more bitterness, anger and self-pity poison my blood and eat at my heart.
Albert Haase

The Risen Christ proclaimed not that we ‘have to forgive,’ but rather, that at last we CAN forgive–and thereby free ourselves from consuming bitterness and the offender from our binding condemnation. This process requires genuine human anger and grief, plus–and here is the awful cost of such freedom–a humble willingness to see the offender as God sees that person, in all his or her terrible brokenness and need for God’s saving power. I would never tell another, ‘You have to forgive.’ But my uncomfortable duty as a Christian is to confess the truth, so lethal to our self centred human nature: ‘Jesus, who suffered your sin unto his own death, calls you likewise to forgive, so that God’s purposes may be accomplished in both you and your offender.
Gordon Dalbey

“Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.”
Lance Morrow

When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it.
Louis B. Smedes

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
Lewis B. Smedes

Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively.
David McArthur & Bruce McArthur

A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit.
Hannah More

Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.
Anonymous

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
Abraham Lincoln

Source: Tentmaker.org

Learning to reclassify others

A hint from Elder Maxwell about forgiving:

In our families, in the Church, and in other relationships, will we stop letting yesterday hold tomorrow hostage? Will we reclassify others, knowing that forgetting is part of forgiving?
Neal A. Maxwell, “The Precious Promise,” Ensign, Apr 2004, 42

I suppose that reclassifying involves seeing others as God sees them, not merely as we have believed them to be.

Letting go in order to forgive

“Many years ago I was taught a lesson by a man I admired very much. He was as saintly a man as I have ever known. He was steady and serene, with a deep spiritual strength that many drew upon.

“He knew just how to minister to others who were suffering. On a number of occasions I was present when he gave blessings to those who were sick or otherwise afflicted.

“His life had been a life of service, both in the Church and in the community. …

“On one occasion when we were alone and the spirit was right, he gave me a lesson for my life from an experience in his. Although I thought I had known him, he told me things I would not have supposed. …

“He married a lovely young woman, and presently everything in his life was just right. He was well employed, with a bright future. They were deeply in love, and she was expecting their first child.

“The night the baby was to be born there were complications. The only doctor was somewhere in the countryside tending to the sick. They were not able to find him. After many hours of labor the condition of the mother-to-be became desperate.

“Finally the doctor arrived. He sensed the emergency, acted quickly, and soon had things in order. The baby was born and the crisis, it appeared, was over.

“Some days later the young mother died from the very infection that the doctor had been treating at the other home that night.

“My friend’s world was shattered. Everything was not right now; everything was all wrong. He had lost his wife, his sweetheart. He had no way to take care of a tiny baby and at once tend to his work.

“As the weeks wore on his grief festered. ‘That doctor should not be allowed to practice,’ he would say. ‘He brought that infection to my wife; if he had been careful she would be alive today.’ He thought of little else, and in his bitterness he became threatening.

“Then one night a knock came at his door. A little youngster said, simply, ‘Daddy wants you to come over. He wants to talk to you.’

“ ‘Daddy’ was the stake president. A grieving, heartbroken young man went to see his spiritual leader. This spiritual shepherd had been watching his flock and had something to say to him.

“The counsel from this wise servant was simply: ‘John, leave it alone. Nothing you do about it will bring her back. Anything you do will make it worse. John, leave it alone.’

“My friend told me then that this had been his trial, his Gethsemane.

“How could he leave it alone? Right was right! A terrible wrong had been committed, and somebody must pay for it.

“He struggled in agony to get hold of himself. It did not happen at once. Finally he determined that whatever else the issues were, he should be obedient. …

“He determined to follow the counsel of that wise spiritual leader. He would leave it alone.

“Then he told me, ‘I was an old man before I finally understood. It was not until I was an old man that I could finally see a poor country doctor—overworked, underpaid, run ragged from patient to patient, with little proper medicine, no hospital, few instruments. He struggled to save lives, and succeeded for the most part.

“ ‘He had come in a moment of crisis when two lives hung in the balance and had acted without delay.

“ ‘I was an old man,’ he repeated, ‘before finally I understood. I would have ruined my life,’ he said, ‘and the lives of others.’

“Many times he had thanked the Lord on his knees for a wise spiritual leader who counseled simply, ‘John, leave it alone.’

“And that is my counsel to you. If you have festering sores, a grudge, some bitterness, disappointment, or jealousy, get hold of yourself. You may not be able to control things out there with others, but you can control things here, inside of you.

“I say, therefore: John, leave it alone. Mary, leave it alone.”
Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 90–91; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 60