A Story of Forgiveness

A Story of Forgiveness

By Ken K. Gourdin

The Deseret News of January 11, 2014 has an interesting recounting of a dream Brian Larson, of Riverton, Utah, had about his father, Bruce, who was murdered by Eugene Woodland when Brian was nine years old. See here, last accessed January 11: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865619377/Captain-Nemo-dies-dream-helps-his-victims-son-fully-forgive-him-years-later.html. Brian tells the Deseret News‘ Pat Reavy of the process he went through in striving to forgive Woodland. Then, Reavy writes:

[R]ather than experiencing feelings of anger or of ill will, [Brian] Larson dreamt that his father was one of the first people to greet Woodland.

“I had a vision that my father was one of the first people to welcome him on the other side and see him come across, fully forgiving of what took place and understanding of the situation because I don’t think Eugene Woodland would have done what he did if he had been completely himself at the time,” Larson said.

“Seeing him [Bruce Larson] in this dream, [Larson] welcomes him [Woodland] with open arms and wanted to teach him.”

Those who doubt the existence of an afterlife might be eager to dismiss Brian Larson’s experience. If it had been a waking vision, perhaps skeptics would dismiss it as Brian’s senses playing tricks on him. However, it was not an experience involving a purported external reality, but rather a dream. Still determined to dismiss it, they might say that the dream is simply a manifestation of Brian’s inner desires; that attempted explanation, however, becomes less tenable when one factors in the fact that Brian struggled (or at least, he went through a protracted process) to forgive his father’s killer.

I’m reminded of the line from Shakespeare: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Such experiences might do nothing to overcome the skepticism of those who don’t believe in an afterlife, but, they are not so easily explained away in the minds of those who do.

A word of explanation to those who do not follow the Mormon tradition. Our belief in 1 Peter 4:6, that the gospel is preached to the dead who did not hear it in this life, is literal. Says that scripture: “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

Brian’s newfound willingness to forgive is laudable, and is made possible by the atoning sacrifice of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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2 Responses to A Story of Forgiveness

  1. john says:

    Thank You for this Ken. Such personal accounts and testimonies, of people enduring hardship with conviction, and overcoming, is wonderful. While skeptics can cast dispersions, a greater good is done by the testimony for others, who may briefly garner a glimpse of the world through the eye’s of the believer. Such a world has hope, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. And so seeing such a world, we strive to learn from these and emulate them. The skeptic may doubt the event, but the positive result is nonetheless tangible. I would not have known about this had you not written it here. So you are part of the trail of good that this man’s trial and overcoming gives us.

  2. Pingback: Another Story of Forgiveness | Commentary on the passing scene

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