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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

320: APOLOGY

In the revelation given to Joseph Smith, truth is defined as knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:24). This knowledge of truth is absolute. Absolute truth is unchanging, fixed, and unalterable facts. Truth that is independent for all people, even if it is not recognized it to be true. 

The opposite of absolute truth is relative truth. To say that something is relatively true means that it can be true for one person and not for another. It is “true” according to differences in perception and consideration. 

When two well intentioned people see things completely different, conflict can arise, especially if one professes their “relative truth” as absolute truth.   

For example, one could define a "hero" as someone who doesn’t leave his village in its time of need. He stays to help and hopefully save his family. He does all that he can to make it a better place. He ministers for his love of the common people, not necessary for the mayor and city leaders. On the other hand, one might define a true hero as someone who bravely leaves his hometown to stand for truth. Which one is the hero?

I think everyone would prefer to be a hero rather than the coward. We would prefer to do what is right than to do what is wrong. To quote a recent apocalyptic movie, “Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves?”

We are all wanderers in this lone and dreary world. We are all in search of our better self.. but what is your better self? 

Our better self is one who forgives and repents. 

Part of forgiving is to say, I Love You.
Part of repenting is to say I am sorry.. I apologize. 

Hugh Nibley taught: “We don’t need to go on forever suffering the same nonsense in order to see the things we can be tested for, namely the two things and the only two things we are good at: we can forgive and we can repent. These are the two things the angels envy us for…..What defines a righteous man? Who is righteous? Anyone who is repenting. No matter how bad he has been, if he is repenting he is a righteous man. There is hope for him. And no matter how good he has been all his life, if he is not repenting, he is a wicked man. The difference is which way you are facing. The man on the top of the stairs facing down is much worse off than the man on the bottom step who is facing up. The direction we are facing, that is repentance; and that is what determines whether we are good or bad.

Some of the Lord’s first words to Adam were: “Thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (Moses 5:8). When the Lord came to the Nephites, among his first words to them were these: “This is the gospel, that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent” (3 Nephi 11:32).

We all need to repent, we all need to forgive more. Heaven help us.

If I am in error, I want to be corrected. If I have been deceived, I want to be taught the truth. If I have been prideful, I want to be humbled. If I don't understand, I want to comprehend. If I am unkind,  I pray to have charity. If I get angry, I want to have more patience. If I have been wronged by someone, I want to forgive them. If I mess up, I want to apologize.