One Sunday an adorable 12-year-old boy was passing the sacrament for the first time, and I happened to be sitting in his line of duty. I have long since forgotten exactly what happened (and which new, adorable deacon it was), but that new, adorable deacon made some silly mistake, some noticeable breach of “protocol,” in passing the sacrament to me. My heart went out to him in complete and immediate forgiveness. I instantly excused his mistake, thinking, “It’s okay. He’s never done this before.”
As my heart turned back to its repentant self-reflection, I realized that perhaps the Savior looks on us that way sometimes.
“It’s okay. You’ve never done this before.”
Never tried to get through sacrament meeting (or life) with three little kids while pregnant before. Never had this or that calling before. Never tried to x while also dealing with y before.
Do we show ourselves a gentle heart ("Lord, I Would Follow Thee," Hymn #220)? Are we harsh and unforgiving with ourselves? Whatever we struggle with, whether it’s new or intimidating or scary or just plain hard, I am confident that the Lord is reaching out to us, to encourage and understand us, even when we feel no one can. We can be kind to ourselves and understand that we’ve “never done this before” and it’s okay.
It also struck me how important it is to forgive each other freely and completely. We should reach out with the same understanding and compassion we hope to receive from the Lord. There’s no place in Zion – and certainly not in our families – for fault-finding, nitpicking, or bitterness. There’s always more going on than meets the eye. Let’s all cut ourselves a little slack as we move, and help each other move, onward and upward.
Challenge: Have compassion on yourself next time you make a mistake.