This is a short lesson on forgiveness, and it simple enough for children to understand. We can gain happiness by obedience to the commandments of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He loves us so much that He forgives us whenever we repent. When the Savior forgives us, He erases the black marks against us and cancels any required punishment for a sin that we have committed if we repent. He helps us to live more righteously. When we forgive other people, we love them and do not harbor ill feelings towards them.
We read in Isaiah of this promise given by God, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). Red represents the deepest of sins, and white is the color of purity, and the Savior has the power to purify the most evil of people if they repent.
In the latter-days the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9). When other people hurt us or treat us unkindly, the nature reaction is to become angry and seek revenge – to say an unkind word, to retaliate in a physical manner, and to seek revenge.
The Savior would have us act instead of react. He wants us to love and forgive each other. We can do this by taking three basic steps. The first step is to rid ourselves of feeling of anger and the desire for revenge. The second step is to forget the unkindness. The third step is to treat the person with kindness and love.
When we really forgive others, we are willing to forget the hurt that they caused and replace our angry feelings with kind and loving ones. The principle of forgiveness is basically for the person who does the forgiving. When we forgive someone who hurt us, we free ourselves from the burdens of sadness, anger, and revenge and let happiness and open our hearts to receive happiness and joy.