“One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is, to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive [the sinner] also.”4
-The Prophet Joseph Smith
I too believe that an act of forgiveness is one of the most pleasing scenes played out in this life. Whether you are on the giving or receiving end, both parties benefit from such a transaction. Because of this, the Prophet Joseph Smith also counsels us to, “Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive our brother on the first intimations of repentance, and asking forgiveness; and should we even forgive our brother, or even our enemy, before he repent or ask forgiveness, our heavenly Father would be equally as merciful unto us.”5
Joseph Smith showed us by example that sometimes forgiveness takes persistance and work and determination. On January 1, 1836, the Prophet said the following about his efforts to resolve [a] difficulty in his family: “...my heart is pained within me, because of the difficulty that exists in my father’s family. … I am determined that nothing on my part shall be lacking to adjust and amicably dispose of and settle all family difficulties on this day, that the ensuing year and years, be they few or many, may be spent in righteousness before God. …"
But one of the best lines I have read that captures the sweetness and beauty of forgiveness was written by Joseph in a letter to a friend. Joseph wrote, "Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, For friends at first, are friends again at last."
Forgiveness is poetic, powerful, and possible for all of us to extend to others.