BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.”  As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.

In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.

In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America.  (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names.  We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)

Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.

Mormonism: Experience in Forgiveness

To one having trouble forgiving,

I am in love with my iPod. His name is Bruce. I carry him everywhere, I
use him all the time. He holds my music, my emails, my to-do lists,
Facebook, etc. He is quite wonderful and my day is that much better with
him in my pocket. These few sentences do not justify the love I have
for dear, dear Bruce, but you must have some understanding of how
important my iPod is to me.

It was my senior year, the week before Thanksgiving break. I walked into
my first period class, very tired and very “out of it.” I had my iPod
out to play a song my friend and I needed to practice singing. My
teacher needed me near the end of class, so I went into her office; we
chatted, the bell rang, and I grabbed my things and hurried to my next
class so that I would not be tardy. Halfway through second period, I
remembered I had left my iPod on the chair in my first class. I panicked
and asked my second period teacher if I could go back and get my iPod.
She said I could wait until lunch. When the bell rang I rushed back to
my first classroom, praying that it was still there. It wasn’t.

I was devastated and angry at myself for being careless, even in my “out
of it” state. I was also angry at the one who had taken my beloved iPod,
but what could I do? It was gone. After my anger subsided, I had an
idea. I wrote a message on the corner of the white board, describing my
iPod in detail and offering a reward for whoever found it. I also added a
small note at the bottom explaining that I was not angry at the person
who had taken my iPod. I just wanted it back. I said that if it was
returned to me, I would be beyond grateful and I would forgive the one
who had stolen it.

My friends thought it was silly. They said I would never get my iPod back
and that I should just erase the message, but I said no. I kept it up
there, hoping that it would have some small impact. Thanksgiving break
came and went and I had gone two weeks without my iPod. I had prayed and
prayed for the thief’’s heart to be softened by my message, but still
no iPod. Towards the end of the third week, I began to doubt the return
of my beloved iPod and was going to erase the message I had left.
However, on November 29th, nearly three weeks after my iPod was stolen,
it was delivered to me during my fifth period class. One of the office
staff came in, called my name, and handed it to me.

I was dumbstruck! My iPod! It had been given back to me! I rejoiced and I
cried wonderful tears of joy. I turned my iPod on, and I noticed that a
lot of pictures and notes had been deleted. But I found one note on
there addressed to me. I still have that note. It says:

Dear person, im sorry i stole your ipod.. Keep ur reward i dnt deserve it.
It was wrong of me so this is the right thing to do.. I also erased the
notes and some pictures the day i took it because i was at the time
being stupid and at the time was going to keep it but i was raised
better than that. I hope u forgive me even though u dnt knw who i am. I
am sorry if u forgive me then that spot were u wrote missung ipod plz
just say u r forgive.. Im sorry again here is ur ipod back.. Im sure ur a
good person and god loves u. Frm.. Sorry and stupid

I was blown away by the note and filled with gratitude for the return of
my iPod. I erased my previous message and wrote another saying that I
was extremely happy for the return of my iPod, that I had completely
forgiven the thief, and that I loved them very much for giving it back
to me. I still don’t know who did it, but I hope they saw my message and
knew they were forgiven.

I could have stayed angry at the thief, I could have wept and wailed and
gnashed my teeth, crying about how unfair it was that my iPod was
stolen. However, that would have weighed me down, and my grudge would
have made me bitter. Instead, I chose to forgive and I believe that both
of our lives were blessed because of it.

In Alma chapter 60 of the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni writes an epistle
to Pahoran, the chief judge of the Nephites. Moroni is in the middle of
a war and writes to chastise Pahoran for his seeming lack of care for
the Nephite armies. He tells of the hunger, fatigue, and other
afflictions the Nephite army had been enduring and pretty much told
Pahoran that he was a thoughtless traitor for not sending help where it
was needed. Little did Moroni know that Pahoran had been having troubles
of his own; there were insurrections and rebellions against the
government and Pahoran was having about as much trouble as Moroni was.

Now, Pahoran could have been angry at Moroni for insulting him. He had every
right to be mad at Moroni and his false accusations. Men were trying to
overthrow him and the government. Moroni had sent him a terrible
letter. Who wouldn’t be at least a little angry
after being called a thoughtless traitor? Pahoran didn’t get angry
though. In chapter 61,he said to Moroni, “…in your epistle you have
censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the
greatness of your heart.” He forgave Moroni, and they were both blessed
for it. Moroni came to the city and helped Pahoran to retain his
judgment seat.

My point is that forgiveness is a beautiful thing. You can hold grudges
and take personally the curve-balls life throws you, or you can choose
to be happy and choose to forgive. I urge you to forgive–your life will
be blessed because of it.

One whom forgiveness has brought great joy

If these reflections helped you, or if you have any questions, I would love to hear from you.

Additional Resources:

Mormons and Christ

I Believe: Expressions of Faith

Meet with Mormon missionaries

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