Forgiveness & Tolerance

Forgiveness & Tolerance: Compiled by Nate Richardson,

-“Bless our enemies. Help us to understand them, and
them to understand us.” This was an oft repeated
phrase in President Kimball’s prayers. (“Spencer W. Kimball: A True Disciple of Jesus Christ” by Elder Marvin J Ashton, Gen. Conf. April 1985)

-Holding a grudge is rejecting Christ, and brings us
under condemnation. (Elder Quinton L. Cook, Gen. Conf., Oct. 2017)

-“…we must recognize at the outset that there is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an individual does not grant him or her license to do wrong, nor does your tolerance obligate you to tolerate his or her misdeed. That distinction is fundamental to an understanding of this vital virtue.” (“Teach Us Tolerance and Love” by Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (

-“…Only the comprehension of the true Fatherhood of God can bring full appreciation of the true brotherhood of man. That understanding inspires desire to build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation. Our Creator decreed “that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.”15 Intolerance seeds contention; tolerance supersedes contention. Tolerance is the key that opens the door to mutual understanding and love.” (“Teach Us Tolerance and Love” by Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (

-“…An erroneous assumption could be made that if a little of something is good, a lot must be better. Not so! Overdoses of needed medication can be toxic. Boundless mercy could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness. The Lord drew boundary lines to define acceptable limits of tolerance. Danger rises when those divine limits are disobeyed. Just as parents teach little children not to run and play in the street, the Savior taught us that we need not tolerate evil. “Jesus went into the temple of God, and … and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.”16 Though He loved the sinner, the Lord said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”17 His Apostle Paul specified some of those sins in a letter to the Galatians. The list included “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, … wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.”18 To Paul’s list I might add the regrettable attitudes of bigotry, hypocrisy, and prejudice. These were also decried in 1834 by early Church leaders who foresaw the eventual rise of this church “amid the frowns of bigots and the calumny of hypocrites.”19 The Prophet Joseph Smith prayed that “prejudices may give way before the truth.”20 Hatred stirs up strife21 and digs beneath the dignity of mature men and women in our enlightened era. Paul’s list included “uncleanness.” As members of the Church entrusted with its holy temples, we are commanded that “no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into [His] house to pollute it.”22 That assignment requires great fortitude as well as love. In former days, disciples of the Lord “were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin.”23 In latter days, devoted disciples of the Lord are just as firm. Real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior. Our commitment to the Savior causes us to scorn sin yet heed His commandment to love our neighbors. (“Teach Us Tolerance and Love” by Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (

-“Regardless of who was right about the tithing, evidently both Morrell and the bishop forgot the Savior’s injunction to “agree with thine adversary quickly”2 and Paul’s counsel to “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”3 The fact is they didn’t agree and the sun did go down on Brother Bowen’s wrath for days, then weeks, then years, proving the point made by one of the wisest of the ancient Romans, who said, “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more [destructive] than the injury that provokes it.”4 But the miracle of reconciliation is always available to us, and out of love for his family and the Church he knew to be true, Morrell Bowen came back into full Church activity… Brothers and sisters, Jesus has asked that we “live together in love”6 with “no disputations among you.”7 “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me,” He warned the Nephites.8 Indeed, to a great degree, our relationship to Christ will be determined—or at least affected—by our relationship to each other. “If ye … desire to come unto me,” He said, “and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee— “Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to [him], and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.Surely each of us could cite an endless array of old scars and sorrows and painful memories that this very moment still corrode the peace in someone’s heart or family or neighborhood. Whether we have caused that pain or been the recipient of the pain, those wounds need to be healed so that life can be as rewarding as God intended it to be. Like the food in your refrigerator that your grandchildren carefully check in your behalf, those old grievances have long since exceeded their expiration date. Please don’t give precious space in your soul to them any longer. As Prospero said to the regretful Alonso in The Tempest, “Let us not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone.”10 “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven,”11 Christ taught in New Testament times. And in our day: “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”12 It is, however, important for some of you living in real anguish to note what He did not say. He did not say, “You are not allowed to feel true pain or real sorrow from the shattering experiences you have had at the hand of another.” Nor did He say, “In order to forgive fully, you have to reenter a toxic relationship or return to an abusive, destructive circumstance.” But notwithstanding even the most terrible offenses that might come to us, we can rise above our pain only when we put our feet onto the path of true healing. That path is the forgiving one walked by Jesus of Nazareth, who calls out to each of us, “Come, follow me.”13 In such an invitation to be His disciple and to try to do as He did, Jesus is asking us to be instruments of His grace—to be “ambassadors for Christ” in “the ministry of reconciliation,” as Paul described it to the Corinthians.14 The Healer of every wound, He who rights every wrong, asks us to labor with Him in the daunting task of peacemaking in a world that won’t find it any other way. So, as Phillips Brooks wrote: “You who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day; you who are keeping wretched quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your mind that now is the day to sacrifice your pride and [settle] them; you who are passing men sullenly upon the street, not speaking to them out of some silly spite … ; you who are letting … [someone’s] heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to give … some day, … go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do.15 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.”16 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.17 If you know of an old injury, repair it. Care for one another in love. My beloved friends, in our shared ministry of reconciliation, I ask us to be peacemakers—to love peace, to seek peace, to create peace, to cherish peace. I make that appeal in the name of the Prince of Peace, who knows everything about being “wounded in the house of [His] friends”18 but who still found the strength to forgive and forget—and to heal—and be happy. (“The Ministry of Reconciliation” by Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Gen. Conf., Oct. 2018)

-This is Joel Skousen debunking the idea of universal tolerance:

“Everyone seems to have bought into these kinds of “feel good” statements about universal tolerance, but let me explain why they are dead wrong.

1) Everyone is not entitled to our respect simply because of being a member of a protected class by the Left. Dignity and respect must be earned by one’s individual conduct, attitude and performance. And, the more correct our standards, the more difficult it is for people to gain our respect. But even though a person doesn’t come up to our respect, it doesn’t mean we don’t see their need for help, and extend a guiding hand of concern.

2) We are not all equal in the eyes of God, and God clearly does not respect everyone. Think of all the hundreds of old testament references to the fury of God—aimed at people who disregard his commands and abuse others. In fact, everyone is judged individually by God. Christian liberals often misinterpret the scripture statement about God, “not being a respecter of persons” to mean He doesn’t respect one person above another. This is not true. He clearly favors the righteous. What it really means is that he doesn’t play favorites in arbitrary ways. At its core, it means He judges everyone by the same uniform standards, thus ensuring fairness.

That is why there is no such thing as the “unconditional love” of God. How else do you explain Him calling the Pharisees “vipers, hypocrites, and whited Sepulchers” —that’s certainly no form of acceptance love. Neither is there unconditional acceptance by God just for being a member of any class or group. You must come up to His standards of purity of heart and righteousness or you cannot abide His presence. His rewards or consequences strictly match what you really are.” -Joel Skousen

Nov. 9, 2018

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