Whenever we refuse to forgive and forget the trespasses that a brother or sister have committed against us, and constantly remind them of their wrongdoings and misdeeds, we in essence label them as prisoners of their past who have no hope of ever having the prison door unlocked and being set free.
Because we insist on holding a brother or sister in condemnation for the wrongs that they may have committed, we are in effect saying to them that the grace of God is not sufficient to wash away their sins even though they have already repented of their misdeeds and have asked for forgiveness. We are saying to them that there is no love or mercy that could ever be extended to them. Most importantly, when we continue to re-live the wrongs that have been committed by a brother or sister, and refuse to allow them to bury their past and move on, we are sending them a message that even the blessings of the atonement are not meant for them – the Lord Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and was crucified on that cruel Roman cross on Golgotha’s lonely hill for everyone else, but not for them.
Are we so holy and so righteous that we can even begin to sit in judgment upon another? While we are busy gathering stones to cast at our brother or sister, perhaps we need to take a step back and examine our own lives a little more closely, and then decide if we should be casting any stones, or perhaps those stones which we have already gathered should be heaped upon ourselves.
If God has forgiven each of us in all of our sins and trespasses, who are we not to forgive those who sin or trespass against us, and to let those trespasses be forever forgotten? When I think about the goodness of God and all that He has done for me in my short lifetime, personally I find that I have no stones to throw at anyone. And so, my dear brothers and sisters of the jury, I put the question before you to decide at this hour as you deliberate your verdict – who among YOU will cast the first stone?
Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.”
Doctrine and Covenants 64:10 – “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”