Every year in the month of December I watch as many versions of movies based on Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol as I can. I own a lot of them on DVD and there are many of them available on Amazon and other streaming services. I wrote a schedule for watching them on my other blog if you are interested in all the ones I could find online this year.
Each time I watch one I cry a little at the end. It doesn’t matter if it is a modern retelling, a comedy or one that sticks closely to the book. I love them all.
Most years I am touched by how Mr Scrooge changes. He makes a decision and based on the story he sticks to it the rest of his life. I am always inspired to change a little more and become a little better each year.
As of today I am about halfway through my list, then I think I will rewatch a few favorites. But this year a new thing stuck out to me. Something that is also apparent in every version I have seen. When Mr. Scrooge decides to change he is accepted immediately by all of the people around him. His nephew and wife welcome him with open arms, Bob Cratchit and his family accept him and everyone gets a bit happier.
It made me think about the people in our lives who may have done something wrong or hurt us in some way. Are we ready and willing to accept their apology and let them try again the same way our Heavenly Father does? Are we willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and move forward with love for them? Sometimes it’s a difficult thing to do if we have been hurt over and over again but what is expected of us? To forgive 70 time 7.
This coming year that is the thing I will focus on. Forgiving quickly and with love when someone sincerely apologizes and wishes to make amends.
Elder Lynn G Robbins of the Seventy gave a talk titled Until Seventy Times Seven and in it he says this:
The Lord used the math of seventy times seven as a metaphor of His infinite Atonement, His boundless love, and His limitless grace. “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.”16
That doesn’t mean that the sacrament becomes a license to sin. That’s one reason this phrase was included in the book of Moroni: “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.”17
Real intent implies with real effort and real change. “Change” is the principal word the Guide to the Scriptures uses to define repentance: “A change of mind and heart that brings a fresh attitude toward God, oneself, and life in general.”18 That kind of change results in spiritual growth. Our success, then, isn’t going from failure to failure, but growing from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.
I pray that we can continue to grow from failure to failure until we are perfected in Christ.