As missionaries we have the opportunity to discuss different teachings from the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our brothers and sisters here in Belize. One of Christ's teachings we recently discussed with a family is forgiveness.
As our discussion progressed, we paused and viewed this video below by Elder Holland, one of the Apostles. As we listened to the video, we were reminded to "remember Lot's wife".
Elder Holland councils: "There is something in us, at least in too many of us, that particularly fails to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in life—either mistakes we ourselves have made or the mistakes of others. That is not good. It is not Christian. It stands in terrible opposition to the grandeur and majesty of the Atonement of Christ. To be tied to earlier mistakes—our own or other people’s—is the worst kind of wallowing in the past from which we are called to cease and desist."
I invite you to listen to this 6 minute video and remember Lot's wife.
You can see the above video by clicking here
You can also see the whole talk given at BYU on their webpage by clicking here.
Remember Lot's Wife
by Jeffery R. Holland
Jan. 13, 2009 • Devotional, Brigham Young University
Jan. 13, 2009 • Devotional, Brigham Young University
As a scriptural theme for this discussion, I have chosen the second-shortest verse in all of holy scripture. It is Luke 17:32, where the Savior cautions, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
The original story, of course, comes to us out of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, when the Lord, having had as much as He could stand of the worst that men and women could do, told Lot and his family to flee because those cities were about to be destroyed. “Escape for thy life,” the Lord said, “look not behind thee . . . ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed” (Genesis 19:17; emphasis added).
With less than immediate obedience and more than a little negotiation, Lot and his family ultimately did leave town, but just in the nick of time. The scriptures tell us what happened at daybreak the morning following their escape:
The Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities. [Genesis 19:24–25]
With the Lord’s counsel “look not behind thee” ringing clearly in her ears, Lot’s wife, the record says, “looked back.”
It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. It isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future.
I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. We remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. She thought that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.
There is something in us, at least in too many of us, that particularly fails to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in life—either mistakes we ourselves have made or the mistakes of others. That is not good. It is not Christian. It stands in terrible opposition to the grandeur and majesty of the Atonement of Christ. To be tied to earlier mistakes—our own or other people’s—is the worst kind of wallowing in the past from which we are called to cease and desist.
I can’t tell you the number of couples I have counseled who, when they are deeply hurt or even just deeply stressed, reach farther and farther into the past to find yet a bigger brick to throw through the window “pain” of their marriage. When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal.
Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!
And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what God, our Father in Heaven, pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.
Such dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
Thank you, Elder Holland, for the reminder to ask God to "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors". Matthew 6:12