Sunday, February 16, 2014


I am a sincere believer in the need we have as travelers on this speeding train of life to slow down and sometimes even come to a complete stop in order to activate the processes of rejuvenation and re-creation in our lives. We need to open up time which allows our senses to be stimulated by the wonderful smells of nature, let the beauties which surround us fill our natural lenses, take time to touch the textural differences of things and to leisurely taste of the tantalizing buffet which surrounds us.

However, one of the best ways to accomplish a relief from the rigors of our regimens comes from a more difficult to access inner sense which, sadly, we all too seldom activate.

Long ago on the northern deserts of the Sinai Peninsula, the Lord gave a formula to Israel which would enable a whole nation to go through the refreshing, rejuvenating, re-creating and regenerating process of rebirth. The Lord in His infinite wisdom wrote into the Law of Moses a system of sabbatical years during which celebrations of universal forgiveness of accumulated encumbrances took place.

As in so many areas of human development, once again we find the Lord’s Law given to Moses standing at the rostrum in the role of schoolmaster. Is not the Lord marking on our slates of learning the marvelous principle which, if applied as individuals as well as communities and nations, can have the same rejuvenating effect on us that it had on ancient Israel?

The principle of forgiveness entails a washing more than a wiping which radically rids whatever encumbrance another may have written upon our hearts, heals the deepest wounds and brings reconciliation to separated kin.

The principle of forgiveness was never intended to be a principle of condescension toward others.

The principle of forgiveness, if properly lived, becomes a liberating and cleansing act which not only allows the forgiver to be more sensitive to the beautiful smells which surround them, to see with greater light through their lenses, to touch all things created with greater tenderness and to taste with greater satisfaction, but also frees one’s soul and opens their being to vistas of the stimulating possibilities of growth.

When I truly forgive my neighbor and lift the burden of responsibility of past deeds from another’s ledger the weight upon my own shoulders diminishes dramatically.

When I forgive another, I, at the same time lift from my own life, hours, sometimes years, of worthless worry about something which was rendering a portion of my life into counter-productiveness.

I will find I will have put off an equal if not greater burden from my own life, which will now free up hours and years which can be used in useful pursuits.

As I begin to erase the scars and wounds of mistrust and hatred for another, I will find myself being healed and I will begin to feel whole within and without.

As I strip myself of the false armor of imagined and un-necessary battles, I will find myself unencumbered, more prepared and fully fitted to participate in the daily skirmishes of life.

It will be an illuminating experience to see the increased velocity of my character growth.

I will find myself more girded with the armor of self-assurance and self-mastery.

I will be more fully fortified and able to ward off the lashes as I encounter future insults.

Future offenses will find it increasingly difficult to pierce my reinforced suit of mail.

Another wonderful miracle which will attend the rebirth which comes with forgiveness is that as I become less susceptible to the stings and jibes of my fellow wanderers, I will find myself becoming more open to the recognition of the strengths of others. I will find my world and the life I am living a more positive place and experience.

It has been my experience that those who cannot recognize the benefits of applying the principles of forgiveness are those who have not nor will not apply them.

I am convinced that once someone has experienced the marvelous, refreshing newness of life which accompanies a forgiveness experience and having recognized wherein the new found regeneration was formulated, they will set out to become a forever forgiving person so that the accompanying joys might be constant and increasing.

May we all be so inclined to love ourselves sufficiently that we might give ourselves the gift of forgiving others and thereby become blessed celebrants of the Lord’s sabbatical law!


  1. Yeah verily; well said, as usual mi amigo

    Paul Hansen

  2. Thanks for the thought. I love that I am on your list.

    Julie Hennings Beutler

  3. Dear Brother Riley:

    Your message always come at the right time when I needed most. I feel that Heavenly Father is sending his love through your message. I was struggling to forgive my ex-husband. My life is a Roller Coaster. My emotion is up and down. Yet, I try to live a normal and healthy life.

    I learn not to hate, but I couldn't forget what he did. Yet, I know to be Christ-like. I have to have charity towards him and forgive and forget about him. However, when you have children, divorce is never a divorce. I constantly, have to see or deal with him. I still love the man I married, but I don't trust or respect the man I divorced. Whenever, I see him, my days will be disrupted. I will feel like I am fallen into a deepest pit struggling to climb out by myself.

    Love always,

    Daisy Ryan

  4. 💗 Loved it. So happy to still receive bits of your wisdom!

    Debi Woffinden

  5. Wow, you have such a wonderful gift for putting what you feel and believe into words and teaching us inner truths.


    Mike Byrne

  6. This was extremely well written and I do so appreciate your thoughts on forgivness because Christ has told us that we must forgive others if we are ever to be forgiven of our own trespasses. I remember hearing a story of a woman who had had a problem with another sister in her ward. The problem was of a serious nature (I guess) and the one sister told the other sister she could never forgive her for what she'd done. Then, years later she wrote a letter to that sister and told her that she'd heard a lesson that day in Sunday School wherein she'd been told that she had to forgive her in order for herself to be forgiven. So, she was writing the letter to say that she'd forgiven her, BUT, she said, "I'll never forget it!" If that story is true, it's a very sad story. I'd like to think it was told to make people laugh ~~ if not, all I can say is, "So much for forgivness for that woman!!!"

    Carla Johnson

  7. Mil gracias por los pensamientos.Los disfruto y medito desde Gilbert AZ.

    Armando Gomez

  8. You always go way beyond the mile to help others understand a principle. Thanks for sharing so much more than I have considered. So well expressed!

    Jean Seavey

  9. Queridos Presidente y herman Rilley:

    Me da mucho gusto saludarlos después de un buen tiempo. No significa que los olvidé, al contrario, siempre están en mis recuerdos. Sólo que llevo dos años pasando por una etapa un poco difícil de definir y superar, pero bueno, quiero decirles que les quiero mucho, que sigo leyendo periódicamente sus hermosos pensamientos de cada semana y me han sido de consuelo y fortaleza en muchas ocasiones.

    Gracias por las lecciones que aprendí de ustedes y el amor y paciencia que me tuvieron durante la misión. Que el Señor siga derramándoles las mejores bendiciones de salud, felicidad y prosperidad.



  10. Bill,
    As you know well, MLK spoke eloquently many times. However it is no surprise that his last speech is his most replayed and often quoted.
    My continual assumption is that the words of The Christ were recorded and preserved for our benefit. Jesus spoke and taught us spiritual truths as none other. Ought we to pay special heed to His final words as if to us? Among those very few last teachings He elevated the importance of forgiveness, even of those who have committed the most extreme personal violation:
    "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
    While I'm at it Bill, Jesus didn't seem to dwell a lot on our responsibilities for our immediate families during his ministry. In the end though I believe He made it clear that it is our responsibility to see that our families are to be cared for:
    "Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."
    That's just the way I see it: we are the scriptures purpose. If not, for what?

    Paul Maddox

  11. PS. I like the teaching about forgiveness, following it is another thing, not easy for me

    Paul Maddox

  12. muchas gracias Bill!! Me encantan sus reflexiones. Le cuento que yo estoy en la Base Orcadas situada en la Isla Laurie, Antartida Argentina, y aqui no hay capilla, y extraño los mensajes que solia recibir en la capilla cada domingo, pero mi templo tambien es el lugar donde mora el Espiritu asi que regocija mi alma cada mensaje que recibo,


    Mercedes Castillo

  13. Indeed! The hour is nigh at hand and we'd better be prepared! I'm giving the Relief Society lesson tomorrow and it's Dallin H. Oaks' talk from Oct. Conference, 2013,
    titled: "No Other Gods" We are so blessed to have the gospel and prophets to lead us during these trying times.

    Carla Johnson

  14. REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!! Loved this.

    Debbie Lark

  15. Wonderful!!! Thank you.

    Kathryn Eisenbise

  16. maravilloso, gusto mucho.

    Enalvis Padilla Berrio

  17. Bill,
    I agree completely. So it appears from your response that once again I failed to make the point I intended. I must do better.
    Once, In a land (a state) far away in a forgone time another favorite teacher scrawled on one of my papers, "More words." It appears that I am yet unable or unwilling to bring myself to explain my perspectives with sufficient completeness.
    Briefly, but with more words :), an example of the church (OK, never formally) rewarding and supporting a man of questionable moral merit because of his mammonly and supposed political success was Mitt Romney. The pity is that another Mormon man with similar church and governing credentials ran in the primaries for nomination for president at the same time. He was not supported in any serious way by his brethren simply because the promise of success seemed better with Romney, the man with lower political and more questionable moral credentials. Turned out to be a poor choice both practically and spiritually.
    To the best my research can avail, Romney has done everything asked of him by his church. His church has recognized his ability, put it to use. He evidently stands tall in his church. As a man he seems the very essence of the sort of man of which Jesus was critical - callous toward the needy and unfortunate, a liar beyond normal political pretense and rationalization during his campaign and protective of his and his peers place of privilege (mammon) in our society.

    Thus another of my malleable views,

    Paul Maddox

  18. Muchas Gracias y siempre... para siempre... todo mi amor por la maravillosa oportunidad y privilegio de haber servido en una obra divina con ustedes, Mis amados presidentes de misión. Ojalá hubiera sido un mejor misionero del que fuí... para hacer cosas con mas entendimiento y mejor responsabilidad. Ustedes me dieron a través de mensajes como estos lo que no se compra con dinero ni con precio... Y me enseñaron de maneras sutiles... el amor que siento hacia ustedes.

    Abrazo y amor

    Julio Medina