Wednesday, March 7, 2012


2 Cor. 2:1-11

Evidently, someone in the church in Corinth had offended the members of the church, to the point that disciplinary action of some sort was required. Paul teaches that once that action has been taken, we are to forgive and welcome the offender back with open arms. In a situation like this, the offender might be embarrassed or self-conscious, or even too hard on himself-- "...lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow." (v 7)

The Lord gave similar advice to Joseph Smith in D&C 121:43 "Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, then showing forth afterwards and increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy." A key in this scripture is "when moved upon by the Holy Ghost". We need to be carefully guided by the Spirit when "reproving" someone, and then we need to be quick to move on and not keep revisiting the issue, showing forth an "increase of love" at such a tender time.

In Matthew 6 we are taught that only when we forgive others can we expect to be forgiven of our own sins. (v 14) We are dependent on the Lord's mercy for forgiveness of our own sins, we have no business, right, or time, to be concerned about whether or not someone else deserves our forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others, leave it up to the Lord to decide whether or not repentance has really taken place. If we choose not to forgive, we are under greater condemnation. (D&C 64:9,10)

What a relief this is, if you think about it. I have enough in my life to keep track of. On the list of all my things to do on any given day, deciding whether or not someone deserves my forgiveness is NOT on that list of things with which I must be concerned! Sadly, that is easier said than done sometimes, but it certainly comes with a great promise-- and I am in constant need of being forgiven by the Lord of my trespasses.

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