Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forgive Boromir; Forgive Snape

This last Sunday, Elder Smith and I had the opportunity to teach a primary class. We taught about forgiveness, and that's been on my mind a lot recently. We all know about repentance, it gets talked about a lot. We all know how important it is to say we're sorry and make restitution for what we've done, but the other side doesn't seem as commonly talked about. We know to apologize, and are quick to do it, but are we as quick to forgive? Let me give you a couple (somewhat nerdy) examples:
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship has set out to bring the Ring to Mordor to restore peace in Middle Earth. One of the members is Boromir, a temperamental human who's father is the steward of Gondor (standing in while the real king is MIA). He's hot headed, and was quick to suggest using the Ring for themselves. Somewhat grudgingly, and maybe with alterior motives, Boromir joins the Fellowship and vows to protect Frodo. 
Eventually, they come to a bit of a sticky spot: an Uruk Hai ambush! The Fellowship gets broken up, with Frodo and Sam taking their leave, Merry and Pippin getting abducted, Aragorn, Gimli, Gandalf and Legolas pursuing the kidnapped Hobbits, and Boromir having met his demise. Right before the battle, Boromir snaps. This isn't a surprise to anyone, as Galadriel had foretold it happening. Boromir offered to take the Ring for Frodo, at first sounding helpful, but Frodo knew what was up. Boromir then tries taking it by force. After he realized what happened, though, he was instantly repentant and tried to reconcile his mistake. Well, before he could personally apoligize to Frodo, the battle had started. However, Boromir showed his sincerity in defending Frodo and the rest of the Hobbits to the death... literally. Suffering several shots to the body from Lurtz's arrows, but still fighting throughout (setting up an awesome fight scene between Lurtz and Aragorn where Aragorn wins after decapitating Lurtz). There appeared to be no hard feelings towards Boromir, and he died a hero's death. (Note: This is from the movie, not the books).
Harry Potter: Severus Snape was bit of a jerk. He was always mean and unfair towards Harry and his friends for apparently no reason. We later discover that it was because Snape still carried a grudge against Harry's dad. There is a very tense relationship between Harry and Snape, and they're often forced to work together. 
Dumbledore is convinced, throughout the series, that Snape is a good guy, and fighting on the right side. Despite anything Harry says, Dumbledore maintains his confidence in him. Even when we as the readers are privy to certain information that shows the Snape is not the person Dumbledore thinks it is, there's still more to it
*SPOILER ALERT!!!*: Snape, even after killing Dumbledore, still is in fact a good guy. He seems to be right in the inner-circle of Voldemort, even up until the very end of the series... and his life. As he's dying, he gives Harry some of his memories that Harry is able to see in the Pensieve. He discovers that it was all part of Dumbledore's plan, and even killing him was necessary. Dumbledore told him to kill him. After Harry learns of this, he forgives Snape of the 6 years of insults and unfair treatment. In fact, after all is said and done, Harry names his second son Albus Severus, in honor of Dumbledore and Snape.
Boromir and Snape did some pretty bad things to people: people they were supposed to be helping and overseeing. Frodo never disliked Boromir, really, but Harry despised Snape. In both cases, trust was broken, either from the beginning, or after a certain act. It's hard to earn someone's trust, it's harder to earn it back. However, despite what they did, the people immediately effected by their less than admirable treatment forgave them. They realized that they had made a mistake, repented, and were forgiven. How willing are we to forgive? When someone wrongs us, we're angry. We get mad at them, and we don't want anything to do with them. And what about when they apologize? When they say they're sorry? It's so easy to think "they wronged me, I don't have to forgive them." But the Savior told us we need to forgive, as well as ask forgiveness. He said: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:25, 26). He even forgave them who crucified Him, saying: Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34). It's important to forgive, not only because our Lord said to, but because it will bring peace to those who wronged us, and to us as well. If we can't forgive, we can't be forgiven. If Snape and Boromir can be forgiven, so can someone who wronged you.

1 comment:

  1. These two book/movie series have been on my mind a lot lately, just ask my companion. Also, you're blog is one of my favorites to read. Just an fyi.
    Forgiveness is such a deep topic that I'm not sure anyone can fully comprehend. Because Christ sufferred the Atonement, everyone can be forgiven for the sins they commit in life. Big or small, all can be forgiven.