To Forgive Or Not To Forgive, That Is The Question | Taylor Lyman

“Hate nothing and no one, no matter how much they have wronged you. You give energy to what you focus on.”

-Kristen Butler

What are YOU focused on?

Isn’t this the same as the law of the harvest?  The law of attraction?  We could call it so many things but ultimately, what holds our attention holds us.  This can be such a great reminder of the most important things and people to us. If you are holding on to bitterness and resentment toward someone or a group of people, you will only fuel the fire. I’ve been studying forgiveness for many years now and I’m still not sure if I’ve figured it out completely. One thing I learned from my therapist and the groups I attended was the Serenity Prayer.    

God grant me the serenity 

To accept the things I cannot change; 

Courage to change the things I can; 

And wisdom to know the difference. 

Living one day at a time; 

Enjoying one moment at a time; 

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 

Taking, as He did, this sinful world 

As it is, not as I would have it; 

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will; 

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life 

And supremely happy with Him 

Forever and ever in the next.



I read a different version of the first stanza years after I was introduced to the Serenity Prayer and it has had such a powerful impact on my life. It reads, “God grant me the serenity to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change, courage to change THE ONE I CAN and wisdom to know IT’S ME.” This doesn’t mean we have to hang out with those people who have lost our trust or hurt us. Forgiving is different than forgetting. There’s nothing wrong with you if holding your boundaries means you spend as little time around toxic people as possible. And if they have a problem with your boundaries, then it’s their problem, not yours.

If an Amish community in Pennsylvania can forgive a man for shooting several of their family members and help the man’s now widow and children, then I can forgive those who have hurt me. After all, Howard W. Hunter said, “God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see.” (“The Opening and Closing of Doors,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 60.). God himself commands us to forgive. ““I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (D&C 64:9, 10). In his talk The Healing Power of Forgiveness, James E. Faust provides several blessings by forgiving others.

  • A higher level of self-esteem and well-being
  • Less angry
  • More hopeful
  • Less depressed, anxious and stressed
  • Greater physical well-being
  • A gift to yourself

Would you rather experience all of these and more or be tormented with hate and resentment? The choice is ours. Really, all we have to do is make a decision. Don’t wait. Choose the higher road. You’ll be glad you did!

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