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Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: Forgiveness is a healing principle

Published: Friday, March 29 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

“My whole passion is to help men that are in that similar situation start that journey toward their forgiveness, toward redemption,” Blackburn said. “I understood it from a religious standpoint, to be forgiven by God. He created us, so he can forgive us … but when Misty sent me that Facebook message, my whole body shook. Up until that point, forgiveness was a concept, just a little bit out of reach. But now because of her grace and her forgiveness, it has a face.

“Twenty years ago, I did to her what she didn’t deserve … and two years ago, she gave me something I didn’t deserve.

“Forgiveness has transformed everything I do.”

Now Wallace and Blackburn actually call each other friends, although they joked Wallace has yet to make it “official” by accepting his friend request on Facebook.

This amazing story, despite the horrific details, turned out to be a beautiful prelude into this Easter weekend when we celebrate our Savior’s resurrection and ultimate forgiving power. After watching Katie’s show, I began to wonder if I show that kind of forgiving love in my life? My day is filled with constant reminders for my little ones to “say sorry.”

“Did you hit him? Please apologize.”

“Did you take away his toy? Please say you’re sorry.”

But how often have I asked the “victim” to say, “I forgive you”? Those words are so very powerful. They are healing. They can transform us. They can lessen the anger. They can heal the hurt.

That’s a goal I have now. To teach my children to say, “I forgive you” every time another says, “I’m sorry.”

I don’t believe forgiving someone means that whatever it was they did is suddenly OK or acceptable.

For me, it means releasing them from my mind and allowing us both to move on and turn to our Savior.

“Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37).

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.

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