The spirit of forgiveness is love and there can be no true love without complete and continuing forgiveness. Pride goeth before a fall and pride goeth along with getting offended even when offense is not intended. If we go around with a chip on our shoulder it will probably fall off by itself. If our heart is full of love and forgiveness then we are not easily offended and if there is no offense then we have nothing to forgive.

If we take offense and harbor those hurt feelings they soon mount up to a great unforgivable grudge that can become a great burden of bitterness that can embitter our lives and dry up spirituality and love. The only way to get rid of this great burden of pain, hate and bitterness is to forgive completely in humility and love. This can only be done with the help of our Savior. Only by coming unto him and accepting all of His teachings can we lighten and get rid of those undesirable burdens of hurt and bitterness.

The other day a friend of ours came to visit us. She seemed to be carrying a great burden and as we sat down to visit with her. She began to unburden her great problem by asking if we thought she could write to the first Presidency of the church about her Problem. We assured her that they would probably refer her to her Stake President and through him to the Area Presidency. She proceeded to enumerate the many offenses, hurts and humiliations that she had received from her Bishop. As they continued to mount up they even included the bishops wife and counselors. She said that she had been to the Stake president and that he had done nothing about it. Even after all the Bishop had done he was still the Bishop and was offending many people. She told of how she had been working faithfully in the Temple and sending many names of her Ancestors to complete the work for them. When she went to the Bishop to renew her recommend that he would not renew it. Well you get the idea of her great pain and bitterness. All the blame she placed upon the Bishop and would not rest until he was removed from being bishop. She would not partake of the Sacrament in that ward as long as he was Bishop. She was now attending another ward where she could partake of the sacrament in peace.

When I could get a little word in edgewise I told her that I thought that the problem was too much pride on both sides. And that she and the bishop were equally to blame.

I resumed by telling her that there is a saying that says that if you harbor feelings and hold a grudge it is like taking poison and waiting for the other party to die. She dismissed that bit of analogy with a wave of her hand and began to enumerate more offenses and even lies that the Bishop had told.

I then managed to tell her the story about the man who had a falling out with his Bishop, who was also the Water Master. He yelled in defiance that as long as the Bishop was the Water Master that he would not take any water and would not attend church. The next water turn came around and the Water Master came to give him the water but in his bitterness refused to take the water. Soon his beautiful Garden began to wilt and dry up. Each water turn the Bishop came to give him the water but each time he gave the Bishop an angry refusal and his bitterness increased day by day. Slowly as his bitterness increased his garden dried up and died. His spiritual garden dried up even faster.

I suggested that this might be what was happening to our friend. She countered with the statement that she was just going on with her life until that Bishop was removed and she could get her Temple recommend.

I finally told her that she would have no peace and tranquility in her life until she humbled herself and replaced that great hurt and bitterness with forgiveness and love. I asked her to ask for the Savior's help. He was the supreme example of forgiveness when as he hung in agony on the cross he cried out, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". She said immediately that the Bishop did know what he was doing but that he had it in for her and was trying to get her out of his ward.

As she left our home she thanked me for my advice. I thought to myself, "what doth it profit if you give advice and it is not received". (A man convinced against his will remains of the same opinion still)

Only one thought at a time can occupy our minds and if they are filled with thoughts of self pity and bitterness we cannot feel any thing else until we place other thoughts to fill our minds and take their place. What a heavy burden our friend is carrying. Only she can throw away the bitterness and hate and receive the Yoke of the Savior and His light burden.

This is a small example of what the lack of humility and forgiveness can do for an otherwise nice person. She was doing a wonderful work many days in the Temple and was faithful in attending. Satan took advantage of her pride and the chip on her shoulder to destroy her good work and her joyful life. We hope she can conquer her pride and with the Lord's help find forgiveness and love in her life.

I was reminded of the when we were working with the Dublan Explorer Scouts we decided to have a project of learning the art of Backpacking. Back in those days to buy a backpack in the store was very expensive so we decided to make our own Backpacks and the bags to go on them. We started to make them our of Mulberry limbs, shaping them as we wanted them. They turned out to be much too easily broken to be of service in a backpack. Next we tried aluminum but we could not find aluminum tubing and found that it was very difficult to weld Aluminum. Finally we hit on half inch metal conduit pipe which was light and strong and could be shaped easily and welded very easy also. We all got our metal frames made and the trappings to go on them. We use rubber foam to pad the shoulder straps and Nylon strips off the parachutes for the straps across the hips.

We started to learn about what to put into our Backpacks and decided that it was useless to carry anything but just what was needed for each trip. Then came the shake down hike into the "Escondida Hills". We all piled into the truck and went as far as the road would take us. Then each of us took our Packs and started up the hill to find a suitable camping place. Eugene Duran was with us because he was a good friend of the boys and was in their class at school. He was not a member of the church or of the group but was invited to come along. After about the first half mile of the climb Genie was sweating and took off his Pack and started to unload. His mother had helped him pack his pack and had made sure that he would have enough food. He started to unload can after can of soups and different foods. Finally he came to the end and selected one can for supper and one can for breakfast and left the other beside the trail. I think we came back another route and all the cans were never retrieved. Some of the boys didn't like what they had taken to eat so they went hungry or had to eat with whoever would share with them. We learned to take just what we wanted to eat and even measure it out according to the menu of each meal. Especially we learned to not put in our packs extra baggage the we would not use and it would just be burden to us. We learned to make out a strict menu and adhere to that menu.

Once we went as a family to spend a week at the Jenkins on Trout Creek. My Bother Donn was the scout master at the time and decided to go to the same place at the same time with his scouts on a Backpacking hike. We went as far as "La Lonja" and packed up the pack mules and rode our horses and mules on down to our camp near the old Jenkins cabin on Trout Creek. The scouts were already camped down the creek a little ways from our camp. We had a wonderful time riding around the country and fishing in the stream. Tracy found a big rock out in the middle of the stream which became his favorite place to fish. He would spend hours on that rock and every once in a while would pull out a beautiful Trout. His patience was always rewarded with a nice string of Trout. The rest of us liked to move from tempting hole to ripple to catch our Trout.

The scouts were busy passing their merit badges and their 10 mile hikes so we didn't see much of them. Finally the day came to go home. The scouts packed up their packs and were off up the steep trail early in the morning. We packed up the mules and saddled up our mounts and followed along leisurely. As we climbed along the trail we began to pick up discarded things along the way a Jacket had become to hot from the climb. Some extra canned stuff and finally I recognized my brother Cluadius' camping dish set abandoned beside the trail. Apparently Conrad's pack had become just too much for him on the steep climb. My brother Claudius was a very good camper and a good cook on the camp but was used to taking everything on the pack mules. I guess he wanted Connie to have all of the equipment and food that he might need and didn't think about the tough climb with the extra weight to carry it out. We came along gathering everything that had been left along the steep trail. We later had fun returning the abandoned things to their owners.

On a stiff climb even in life every little bit of extra baggage can increase the burden beyond our ability to carry it. In desperation we must lighten the load even if it is something that we have nourished like a grudge or a hurt that we have nursed into self pity. When it finally becomes too heavy and we feel that we cannot go on without lightening our burden we finally decide to get rid of the extra baggage that is weighing us down and holding us back even sapping our strength. When we abandon our pride and our offenses and our sins and take on the Savior's yoke, his light burden. He will come along and pick up all of our sins and carry them for us. We then can find peace and relief from our heavy burdens and find peace in his service and learn of him to forgive and to love.

Even a Pack Mule will give up and lie down when he feels that his burden is too heavy for him to carry. He will lie down and wait for his master to come and relieve him of his heavy burden. He will then get up and accept his lightened load and continue in the service of his master.