Sometimes the most difficult thing about change is letting go of our past mistakes and allowing ourselves to be better.
People change. Although this statement is true, we don’t always act like it is. Sometimes we dwell on our mistakes. Sometimes we hold on to our regrets. Sometimes other people use our pasts against us too.
When I was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I first met one of my dearest friends while I was struggling mentally and emotionally. She moved to a different area while I was still unwell. After overcoming my struggles, I found out I’d be joining her in her new area, and I was terrified. I was worried that she would only see the version of me she remembered—not the happier, more capable person I’d become.
In Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Ensign article “The Best is Yet to Be,” he discourages dwelling on the past. Instead, he suggests this: “Let people repent. Let people learn. Believe that people can change and improve.” God always intended for us to grow and to change, but we can’t do that if we don’t let ourselves and others move on from past mistakes and choose to be better.
Fortunately, my friend understood and embodied this principle. When I saw her again, she embraced the changes I’d made and celebrated the person I’d become. I will forever be grateful for her example of Christlike love and for her faith in the ability of people to change.
In the words of Elder Holland, “God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.” God doesn’t dwell on who we used to be, and neither should we.
Read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s full article “The Best is Yet to Be” to learn more about how to support yourself and others through change.
—Rachel Frei, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY JORDAN CORMACK
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Read Elder D. Chad Richardson’s article “Forgiving Oneself” to learn more about forgetting the past.