If we don’t let go of the past, we run the risk of committing the greater sin of focusing on the past instead of enjoying the present.
Do you know what it’s like to have your past mistakes loop through your head repeatedly? I do. After you’ve done all you could to correct them and repent, it feels like you can’t move on. I’ve endured these feelings for years because of my OCD, but even if I didn’t have OCD, I imagine I would still obsess over past mistakes.
I used to confess the same mistake repeatedly to my parents and my bishop, and they would all say I was fine. But I didn’t feel fine. How could I let go of my past? In Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “‘Remember Lot’s Wife’: Faith Is for the Future,” he gently teaches us how to accomplish this.
He says, “When something…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.” Who knew that we’re not supposed to hold on to our past mistakes once we have done all we could to fix them?
He continues to say, “When honest effort is being made to progress, we are guilty of the greater sin if we keep remembering and recalling and rebashing someone with their earlier mistake—and that ‘someone’ might be ourselves.” I never knew that not moving forward or not allowing others to move forward was something wrong, but repentance is possible through Jesus Christ, and looking forward will help us move on from the past.
It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to use his advice to help me enjoy the present with faith and joy, and I hope you do too.
Learn more about how to let go of past mistakes by reading Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “‘Remember Lot’s Wife’: Faith Is for the Future.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Xochitl Bott, Latter-day Saint Insights
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Find more insights:
Read Elizabeth Gallacher’s article “The Beauty of Broken” to find out why being “broken” can be great.
Read Brooklyn Bird’s article “Faith in Christ, Faith in Yourself” to learn why our mistakes help us achieve our destinies.