Happy Thanksgiving!!! Not surprisingly, Thanksgiving isn't celebrated at all really here in Japan. Most people know that the holiday in America is, but that's about it. Thus, no turkey for us today. Most people we've asked here have never even had turkey! How sad!
Anyways, I thought about doing something about gratitude today for my spiritual thought for the week, but for some reason I felt like I should talk a bit about forgiveness. It's a bit long, but please read it and apply it to your personal lives!
*Video and Spiritual Thought/Invitation for the Week*
Thanksgiving is obviously a day of gratitude. I have always loved going around the family table during Thanksgiving dinner and taking turns saying what we are thankful for. Sure, life can be super challenging at times, but there is always so much to be thankful for.
Amidst this excitement of gratitude, I invite you all to think a bit about forgiveness. We have all had people offend us. That's just life. Whether it is several small acts over many years, or one big action, people offend us. Jesus talks a lot about forgiveness in the Bible, here are some examples.
"I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have ... compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?” (Matthew 18:32-33).
"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:37-38).
"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Christian or not, I think we can all agree that no good comes from holding grudges against people. Thus, my invitation and plea for all of you reading this is to decide today to forgive anyone who have anything against. It may seem daunting and maybe seem impossible, but I promise you it is possible. Do I have any right to tell you to forgive people? Not really, just personal experience. I've done this before and creating a list of names helped me start. As I went through the list and prayerfully forgave each person, a new joy and peace filled my life. The same can happen in yours. Thus, my invitation is to 1) decide to forgive, 2) create a list of people you need to forgive, 3) forgive each of them, and then 4) if you feel it will help, reach out to them and apologize. Yes, you apologize to them.
Lastly, please forgive yourself for anything you have done in the past. With the Savior's help, I promise you it is possible.
Here is a pretty remarkable story on a father who was able to forgive a young man who killed his wife and several of his children in a car accident. Please watch!
Okay, I'll step off my soap box now.
Notes on the Week
- Tanaka San is getting baptized!!! On Saturday, my good friend Tanaka San is going to get baptized! We have been teaching him 2-3 times per week for the past two or so months, so I've gotten to know and care about him so much. For an explanation on what baptism means to Mormons, see the blog entry around October 27, 2015, or visit LDS.org for a better explanation.
(The image didn't come through this week, but we will put it up next week)
This was taken before our Eikaiwa class yesterday. My Aunt Carolyn sent me the spinner things and they rocked! The students loved spinning the them, even the two 65 years old adults.
I love you all!!!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton