Having completed our amends list from Step Eight, and having gained a willingness to attempt reconciliation, we are now ready to put that willingness into action. Our character has acquired the principles of humility, selflessness, and meekness. Step Nine requires that we apply these principles with actions.
We are ready to step forward and apologize for our past actions and behaviors to those we
Our worst fears may surface as we plan to make amends. The transition from considering what amends we may need to make; and actually putting them into a physical reality requires courage, trust, and faith. We cannot know how the other person will receive our petitions or respond to our attempts at making amends. We may not be received at all, or we may face retaliation and anger for our past behaviors. What we expect and want to happen can deter us in working this step. However, we cannot make our decision to make amends based on our expectations of what we would like to have happen. Every possibility exists, good and bad, and we must be willing to follow through regardless of the potential outcome.
Making direct amends does not include asking others to forgive us. Expecting others to forgive us may create an uncomfortable situation for those we are making amends to and possibly cause further injury. When making direct amends, we are simply apologizing for our part in past conflicts. Forgiveness is a gift given by another and will come over time as others observe our sincere change of heart, changed character, and improved behavior. Remember that when we make amends by offering apologies and performing restitution (as needed); it is only the starting point in rebuilding relationships. We need to continue to make a conscious effort each day to not injure others, or to return to former destructive behaviors.
It is possible that attempting to make amends may cause further harm to some of those on our list or other persons. If this is the case, we will need to delay making amends to a future time when we would not be creating more problems. If there are any questions about proceeding, we should ask Heavenly Father for guidance.
The burden of our past conflicts can be eased as we complete the task of making amends to those persons whom we can. We have done what God has asked us to do. As we reconcile ourselves with others, we fulfill the Lord’s purposes in our part of becoming peacemakers. Having done this with full purpose of heart (as far as we have been able to), we are promised to be received by Christ concerning the amends we have now been able to make. (See 3 Nephi 12: 24.)
“And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of King Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.”
What did “striving to repair all the injuries” and “confessing all their sins” do for Alma the younger, and the sons of Mosiah? What will it do for you?
3 Nephi 12:24
“Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.”
Why must we first be reconciled to one another before we can be received of God regarding our past conflicts?
“...they came forth and did confess their sins, and were baptized unto repentance, and immediately returned to the Nephites to endeavor to repair unto them the wrongs which they had done.”
What is it that motivates us to “repair the wrongs” when we are converted to God?
Moroni 7:45 “And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
A measure of charity is required in order to make direct amends to anyone. What qualities, from the above list, do you find present in your character as you begin your work on this step?
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
If you are concerned that making amends would cause further injury to another, what should your course of action be?
Summarize of what you have learned or special notes for Steps Seven through Step Nine: