Melanie Stroud


After a conversation I had last night, I was tempted to make an Instagram story that said, “I changed my mind about what I said on the podcast today,   I hope that person burns!🔥🔥”. (Then you all could see how “real” I actually am. ) 😩😩 Ugh.

But upon further inspection I realized that I talk about forgiveness all day long, but if I can’t actually stop bringing stuff up that still hurts me then I haven’t truly forgiven at all.  If my forgiveness is conditional only on getting an apology or on someone else changing something, then I’m never going to find the peace I need to find.  Ever.

I have to let it go.  We need to learn to let it go. 

And then we ask Christ with all the power of our whole souls to help us let it go.  And we may have to go through it again and again until we can finally learn how great it feels to let go of hurt and hold onto grace.  I’ve felt it.  I know it works! Why do I forget? Why do I let the natural man sneak back in and drudge up stuff that only makes me sad?  

I’m grateful that God forgives my stupidity every day.  I’m thankful Christ doesn’t throw my imperfections and the the mistakes I’ve made back in my face every day.  Can you imagine that? No! They would never do that.  We just apologize and work harder at doing better and we are forgiven!

True, life-changing forgiveness takes real humility, a lot of help from the Savior, and trust that when we let it go, as Elder Budge so beautifully put in conference, we make space for joy.  I loved the poem he shared in his talk.  He spoke about sorrow, but I think if you replace the word sorrow with “forgiveness” the message is the same.  Even more applicable maybe, because bitterness leaves no place for joy.  It fills up the whole space that sorrow carved out and we won’t ever be able to feel the promised joy until we learn to fully forgive and let it go.

Here is part of the poem from  Elder Budge’s talk, “[Forgivenss] prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow…”

I want that.  I need that.  We all need it. 

I’m including Elder Budge’s talk and a video I remember seeing years ago that is actually titled, Let it Go.  I’m pretty sure the guy wrote a book too.  But if this guy can let go of his anger and forgive the drunk driver that killed 3 members of his family, surely I can forgive the people in my life that have hurt me right?  He’s amazing.  The Savior is amazing.  And it feels amazing to apologize and forgive, even if we feel it isn’t warranted or if it’s never accepted.  We need to always remember that! 

This reminded me of several other stories that I’ve heard about forgiveness. One was the woman who was almost killed when some teenagers threw a frozen turkey off a bridge and destroyed her face. I was sad to hear that she recently died. I couldn’t find any great videos or stories about it, but it was in a talk by Gordon B. Hinckley so I’m going to include it too. Also, the story of the Amish children who were killed in a school shooting and how members of the community reached out to the shooter’s family. My forgiveness is such a small thing to give in comparison.

And lastly, as I was searching for these videos I ran across another Matthew West song that I haven’t heard titled, “Forgiveness.” I’ve included his songs and lyrics in many podcasts. He’s a Christian Musician that I love. He puts into words what my heart so often feels so beautifully. I’m including the only version of that song I could find. It even includes the words, let it go. Must be a theme today.

“It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is youForgiveness, Matthew West

Lots of listening. Lots to learn. 

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