It has not been easy for me to learn to forgive. Actually, I've spent my whole life attempting to learn the principle. I'm getting better, but I have not completely mastered it.
On January 3, 1971, Elder Richard L. Evans had this to say about forgiveness in a broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word:
The older I get, the more I realize how short our time is here on earth. The kinds of things that would infuriate me in my youth don't seem to bother me anymore. Little injustices just don't seem to matter. There was a time when I could really hold a grudge. I don't anymore. I get angry. I get hurt. I get over it. There is just so little time for drama, and I don't have the energy for it. What good is it? Does it serve any purpose?"Once a year—or oftener—all of us should clear out the clutter, the things that are useless to us, that get in our way and add confusion to our lives and impede our progress. But even oftener we should look at our unforgiving grudges, and not nurse them or hold to them or keep them alive. An unresolved grudge gnaws at our hearts, disturbs our peace, and is a burden we would well be rid of. God will forgive whom he will, but of us it is required to forgive. We should forgive not only for what it does for others, but as a favor to ourselves, because forgiving relieves us of a lingering uneasiness inside ourselves. Oh, what easing of our relationships with loved ones, and with others also, with a lightening of our own lives, as we learn to forgive!"
We're coming to the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. It is the time of year we think about the Christ child, His life, and the atonement. What better time to throw out the meanness in our hearts. Bitterness breeds more bitterness and even hatred. Forgiveness breeds forgiveness and kindness.
Roderick J. Linton said in The Forgiving Heart, April 1993 Ensign:
"Forgiveness is a personal attribute, not just a decision we make from time to time when we feel we should. To have a forgiving heart is to see the world in a different light. It is to forsake the tendency to judge, condemn, exclude, or hate any human soul. A forgiving heart seeks to love and to be patient with imperfection. The forgiving heart understands that we are all in need of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
There is our challenge. Will it be the status quo, or shall we stand a little taller? Will we make forgiveness our own personal attribute? Will we learn to have a forgiving heart? Having a forgiving heart takes effort. It isn't something that comes naturally to most people. How much effort are we willing to devote to have a forgiving heart? I would venture to say that probably the most important thing we can hope to learn in this life is the principle of forgiveness. It is attainable. We just need to put forth the effort. Through prayer, we can have His help. I publicly promise this day that I will do my best to stand a little taller.A forgiving heart is one of the most Christlike virtues we can possess. If we have a forgiving heart, our very nature will be kind, patient, long-suffering, and charitable. Forgiveness plants and nourishes the seeds of Christlike love in both the giver and the receiver. Indeed, forgiveness, in its fullest expression, is synonymous with charity, the pure love of Christ."