Happiness is around the next corner, wealth down the street
"Unfortunately, many Latter-day Saints today continue to carry the burden of past sins because they refuse to forgive themselves. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) observed: “It has always struck me as being sad that those among us who would not think of reprimanding our neighbor, much less a total stranger, for mistakes that have been made or weaknesses that might be evident, will nevertheless be cruel and unforgiving to themselves. When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others.”3
Apparently, many individuals do not understand the importance of self-forgiveness in the process of repentance. The Lord, however, makes no exceptions when He declares, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10; emphasis added). This includes forgiving ourselves.
Without doubt, Satan uses this refusal to forgive ourselves as a means of enslaving us by turning past sins into addictions. He tempts some, for example, to believe that if they make themselves suffer enough, they will not return to the sin. This often leads, however, to self-loathing or self-abuse.
Satan tempts others to judge themselves harshly and to believe they don’t deserve to be forgiven, even when the Lord is willing to forgive them. Such individuals continue to dwell on their transgressions and mistakes, remembering the details and thus increasing the danger of repeating them. According to President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior.”4
People trapped in this cycle of sin, self-condemnation, and further sin, tend to become discouraged. Satan also uses discouragement to create addictions. A discouraged individual will be tempted to stop trying or to seek solace in more sin. In contrast, the Savior beckons us forward with the promise that we can become free from the chains of sin as we fully repent and forgive ourselves."
"Forgetting is part of forgiving. But forgiving oneself involves a special kind of forgetting. We don’t forget the sin and its effects; rather, the memory ceases to be part of how we see ourselves. For example, when Alma had been forgiven of his sins, he said, “I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more” (Alma 36:19). The fact that he could describe his repentance to his son Helaman showed that a memory was still there. But through Christ’s Atonement and forgiveness, that memory lost its edge of guilt and self-recrimination."
"Nice tune," said Granny.
"It keeps my spirits up," Oats admitted.
"You take comfort from it, do you?"
"I suppose so."
"Even that bit about 'smiting evil with thy sword'? That'd worry me, if I was an Omnian. Do you get just a little sort of tap for a white lie but minced up for murder? That's the sort of thing that'd keep me awake o' nights."
"It's the version my grandmother taught me," said Oats.
"She was keen on crushing infidels?"
"Well, mainly she was in favor of crushing Mrs. Ahrim next door, but you've got the right idea, yes. She thought the world would be a better place with a bit more crushing and smiting."
"Not as much smiting and crushing as she'd like, though, I think," said Oats. "A bit judgmental, my grandmother."
"Nothing wrong with that. Judging is human. Bein' human means judgin' all the time. This and that, good and bad, making choices every day... that's human."
"And are you so sure you make the right decisions?"
"No. But I do the best I can."
"And hope for mercy, eh?"
The bony finger prodded him in the back.
"Mercy's a fine thing, but judgin' comes first. Otherwise you don't know what you're bein' merciful about."
"Well, there are two sides to every question..." [said Oats.]
"What do you do when one of em's wrong" The reply came back like an arrow.
"Mistress Weatherwax, you are a natural disputant! You'd certain enjoy yourself at the Synod, anyway. They've been known to argue for days about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."
"And that's what your holy men discuss?"
"Not usually. There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example."
"And what do they think? Against it, are they?"
"It's not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray."
"There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."
It's a lot more complicated than that-"
"No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."
"Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-"
"But they starts with thinking about people as things..."