The principle of forgiveness can be a difficult one to fully understand and obey. Knowing the blessings promised to those who do forgive, however, can be a powerful motivating force to do so. Here is a list of 10 beautiful blessings promised by general conference speakers to those who will forgive.
1. Tranquility to the Soul
From Elder Holland's "The Ministry of Reconciliation":
"My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify that forgiving and forsaking offenses, old or new, is central to the grandeur of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I testify that ultimately such spiritual repair can come only from our divine Redeemer, He who rushes to our aid 'with healing in his wings.' We thank Him, and our Heavenly Father who sent Him, that renewal and rebirth, a future free from old sorrows and past mistakes, are not only possible, but they have already been purchased, paid for, at an excruciating cost symbolized by the blood of the Lamb who shed it.
"With the apostolic authority granted me by the Savior of the world, I testify of the tranquility to the soul that reconciliation with God and each other will bring if we are meek and courageous enough to pursue it. 'Cease to contend one with another,' the Savior pled. If you know of an old injury, repair it. Care for one another in love."
2. An Increased Capacity to Love
From Elder Uchtdorf's "The Merciful Obtain Mercy":
"Forgiving ourselves and others is not easy. In fact, for most of us it requires a major change in our attitude and way of thinking—even a change of heart. But there is good news. This 'mighty change' of heart is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to bring into our lives.
"How is it done? Through the love of God.
"When our hearts are filled with the love of God, something good and pure happens to us. We 'keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.'
"The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade."
3. A Nobler, More Courageous Soul
From Elder Uchtdorf's "Is There a Point of No Return":
"Jesus taught us eternal truth when He taught us to pray: 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. … For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not … neither will your Father forgive your trespasses' (3 Nephi 13:11, 14–15).
"Therefore, extending forgiveness is a precondition to receiving forgiveness.
"For our own good, we need the moral courage to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Never is the soul nobler and more courageous than when we forgive. This includes forgiving ourselves."
4. A Peace That Is Otherwise Unattainable
From President Hinckley's "Of You It Is Required to Forgive":
"If there be any who nurture in their hearts the poisonous brew of enmity toward another, I plead with you to ask the Lord for strength to forgive. This expression of desire will be of the very substance of your repentance. It may not be easy, and it may not come quickly. But if you will seek it with sincerity and cultivate it, it will come. And even though he whom you have forgiven continues to pursue and threaten you, you will know you have done what you could to effect a reconciliation. There will come into your heart a peace otherwise unattainable. That peace will be the peace of Him who said:
'For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
'But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.'"
5. Greater Self-Esteem
From President James E. Faust's "The Healing Power of Forgiveness":
"If we can find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have caused us hurt and injury, we will rise to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being. Some recent studies show that people who are taught to forgive become 'less angry, more hopeful, less depressed, less anxious and less stressed,' which leads to greater physical well-being. Another of these studies concludes 'that forgiveness … is a liberating gift [that] people can give to themselves.'"