Step Eight is the process of making personal amends towards those we harmed by our past behavior. To make amends means to “apologize and make restitution to another person.” Taking care to not place blame on others, we examine our actions of wrongdoing without justifying or excusing ourselves. This step is not about what others have done to us. It is about taking personal responsibility for what we have done to others. If we have caused harm to anyone, at any time, we need to include them on our list of those people to whom we owe amends.
As we reflect upon our past, we should consider everyone in our immediate and extended relationships. Did our misbehavior betray their trust in us? Did we lie to them? Did we steal from them? Did we break promises or covenants we made with them? We should prayerfully seek clarification from Heavenly Father if we are uncertain as to our role in past conflicts or who to include in our amends.
By making a list of the people we have injured, we are taking ownership of the harm we have caused each person on that list. We will begin to feel relief from the burden of guilt we have carried as we take personal ownership and responsibility for our past actions. As each person is added to the list, we can reflect on what we might say to them if we were given the opportunity. Remember to include your own name on the list, for we have also harmed ourselves. If we can show love to those we have harmed, by being willing to make amends, we shall then receive the blessing of becoming peacemakers.
Applying this step to our lives will render us more Christ-like in character. Jesus said,
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35)
“Let us not therefore judge one another anymore; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
How does seeking for peace turn away contention from your life?
“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
How will extending love and peace to people in your life return love and peace to you?
“And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.”
What is it that causes us to no longer desire to injure, nor seek revenge upon another? (Read Mosiah Chapter 4).
David O. McKay, former LDS Church president is quoted as saying:
“If you want peace, yours is the responsibility to obtain it.”
(Church News, 11 Mar.1961, page 15).
The gospel has to be lived in order to be fully realized and its power received. What weaknesses do you yet find in your character that prevents you from being a peacemaker?
3 Nephi 12:9
"And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
What are some of the blessings that come from being a peacemaker?
How would you benefit from making a list of all persons you have harmed?