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You are here: Allan's TIME > Spirituality > Book Reports > To Him That Believeth: Claiming Heaven's Blessings

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To Him That Believeth: Claiming Heaven's Blessings

Review by David W. Allan
Dec. 2003

The book To Him That Believeth: Claiming Heaven's Blessings by Frederick and June Babbel is one of the most inspiring I have ever read. They have written eight books Ė four of them around this title Ė and all of them are inspirationally oriented.

Frederick Babbel and Ezra Taft Benson were the first civilians from the US to go into war torn Europe after WW II. Their mission was to deliver food and clothes, and to reestablish faith amongst people. This experience is documented in their book On Wings of Faith, and is very inspiring as well. It is like reading from the book of Acts in the Bible, as you read about miracle after miracle and one faith promoting story after another.

The book To Him That Believeth: Claiming Heaven's Blessings is full of personal, faith-promoting experiences, and I highly recommend the reading of it for those who desire to know the Lord and His marvelous ways. I have selected the experience below, because it is the most powerful I have ever read about the poison of resentment, if we let it enter and canker our lives.

The need to remove ALL resentment from our lives is a fundamental part of our repentance and of our need to receive fully of the grace extended by the Savior. If we harbor any resentments at all, it cankerís our souls. This message is fundamentally in the Saviorís sermon on the mount, but in this personal experience shared by Babbel, it is brought vividly to our hearts.


Resentmentís Damaging Power

To Him That Believeth by Frederick & June Babbel, pp. 53-60

 

The Power of Forgiveness

One day at the Church offices,... President Levi Edgar Young motioned... me to ...his office. ...he ...said, "Brother Babbel, ...please sit down."

...he said, "Did you happen to notice that elderly gentleman whom I just helped into the elevator?" I replied affirmatively. The man had approached President Young earlier that afternoon, and queried, "Are you president Young?" "Levi Edgar Young?" Came his next question. President Young responded affirmatively to both inquiries.

"Were you ever a missionary in Germany?"

"Yes." came the reply. "In fact, that was my first mission."

"Did you ever labor in the city Leipzig?"

"Yes, that was my first field of labor."

Then this elderly man continued: "do you remember a time when you were tracting on the third floor of an apartment building? As you attempted to give a man one of your tracts and a brief message, he became very angry. He struck you, through you down the stairs, and continued to maul you until you reached the street, or he left you lying in the gutter bruised and bleeding. Do you remember that?"

President Young said that he had to ponder... for some time before he could remember it.

With tears coursing down his aged cheeks, this man dropped to his knees and pleaded: "President Young. I am that man. I have waited for over 50 years for this that I might come here and ask your forgiveness for what I did to you at that time. I did accept your message later and became a member of the Church..."

After gaining control of his own feelings, President Young responded, "Of course, dear Brother. I forgive you. Donít you remember that I turned and forgave you while I was lying in the gutter?"

Then President Young continued: "Brother Babbel, because I honestly forgave that man as sincerely as Jesus forgave those who maligned him while he hung on the cross, the memory of that event had been taken from me completely. Until this good Brother brought it to my attention, it had never crossed my mind."

Then he shared with me this sterling counsel: "This is one of the great lessons we have to learn in life. The Lord has said, ĎI the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.í (D&C 64:10.) It is pleasing to him if we forgive the moment that such an incident occurs.

"When this is done," he concluded, the load is lifted from you and the healing influence can go from you to make the matter right. On the other hand, if that person who was guilty of the offense does not seek forgiveness, he will carry a burden that will way him down and he becomes more distressed with each passing year. What compassion I feel for this elderly brother who has lived with his tormented conscience for over 50 years!"

The Curse of Resentments

Later when I was living in the Portland, OR, area, an urgent call came from a valued friend who had been bedfast for nearly a year. When I reached his home,... His wife was ironing his burial clothes.

He told me that his family doctor had informed him... that his life was nearing its end and that it was now only a matter of a day or two, or perhaps a week, until he would expire. Then he remarked: "The strange thing is that the doctors still do not know what is wrong with me. Tonight I just felt that I wanted to visit with you before I prepare to meet my Maker."

While continuing our conversation, I received a divine insight as to his problem. "Brother," I responded, "I believe I know what is wrong."

He seemed startled, but genuinely interested, as he urged, "Please tell me."

"Youíve had a number of very serious hurts and disappointments in your life," I said, "that have filled you with bitter resentment. Many of these have never been resolved."

He seemed incredulous and somewhat apprehensive as he inquired, "What do you know about them?"

"Not a thing," I replied, "unless you tell me about them. I only perceive that you have been deeply hurt many times. Yet you have never forgiven those who were responsible for these offenses."

"Well, I must admit," he countered, "I have had some bitter experiences. But since I accepted the gospel, I believe that I could forgive those who were responsible if they asked for my forgiveness."

"But that is not how the principle of forgiveness works," I said, "When any serious grievance takes place, the Lord requires us to forgive the guilty party the moment the infraction occurs, if possible."

I related to my friend the experience that President Levi Edgar Young had shared with me earlier. I could tell that he was beginning to get the message... "...these negative feelings will finally consume and destroy [you] This is what has been troubling you and what, even now, has brought you to the point of death."

My friend began to sob unashamedly. In the process he removed his nightshirt and showed me his bare back. I had never seen a back like this, not even in the concentration camps of Europe. Across his back were large crisscrossed scars that were scabbed over with ugly flesh. Some of them were so deep a person could almost lay his arm in them.

Then he related to me how his father used to come home occasionally in a mean, drunken stupor. His temper would flare up and he would take a heavy whip from the wall and flog whoever was within reach. This whip, a "cat oí nine tails," was leather with several strands. At the end of each strand was fastened a large brass ball with metal spikes that could tear the hide off an animal.

On one occasion my friend was the victim. Just 14 years old at the time, he was whipped into unconsciousness. How long he lay on the floor he did not know, but as he regained consciousness, he found himself lying in a pool of his own blood, with his back fairly torn to shreds. He managed somehow to crawl from his house, and he vowed he would never return.

"Youíve never forgiven your father for that flogging, have you?" I next inquired.

"No, I guess not," was his reply. "But if Dad were to ask for forgiveness, I think I could forgive him now."

"Iím concerned," I said, "that you still donít understand the underlying principle. You have had the divine responsibility of forgiving your father from the moment that you regained consciousness, so that the healing power of forgiveness could come into your own life and relieve you of this terrible burden. In doing so, you might also have started the process of healing for your father as well. But because you have continued to nurture this resentment, it has festered and grown until it is literally consuming you. In addition, I feel you still have a number of other resentments against others that likewise have never been resolved. These are adding to your burden and hastening youíre untimely death."

My friend then recalled numerous other cases...,none of which had been resolved.

When we finished talking, I invited him to sit upon a chair so I could give him a special blessing and outline for him what must be done. In the blessing he was instructed to get out of bed the following morning, take his wife, and drive to his fatherís home in North Dakota, with the assurance that his father was still alive. He was also to drive to the homes of all the other people against whom he had resentments, no matter where they lived.

In each case he was to ask for their forgiveness for having harbored resentments against them... ... your assignment is to ask their forgiveness for your having failed to make a reconciliation these many years."

About four are five weeks later my friend stopped his car in our driveway. As he stepped out of his car, I greeted him with, "Brother, youíre a well man now, arenít you?"

"Yes," he responded, "I havenít felt this good in many years."

He... related his experiences. He told me about meeting his aged father, who was now in his Ď80s and nearly blind. When his father came to the door, he inquired in his usual gruff manner, "Who are you?"

My friend informed him that he was his son. Still rather brusquely, his father responded, "Well, what do you want now?"

My friend answered: "Dad, I have come home to ask for your forgiveness. For years I have held a bitter resentment against you for what you did to me when I was a young man. I had no right to feel resentment toward you. Can you forgive me for holding a grudge all these years?"

He said that his father looked stunned for a moment. Then he broke down and cried, threw his arms around his son, and sobbed, "Son, Iím the one who should have asked for your forgiveness, but I didnít have the courage. Can you forgive me?"

Then my friend added: "You know, we made a complete reconciliation. The spirit of peace and forgiveness flooded both of our lives. I had a similar experience in every home I visited, as you directed me to do in my blessing. Today I am a happy, healthy man. Iím at peace with myself and with my Lord."

Within six months my friend was the third-highest sales producer for the large life insurance company he represented. Just before Christmas he and his wife were called to go on a special mission to New Zealand. More than thirty years later, as far as I am aware, he is still very much alive, enjoying life and serving his fellowman Ė this man who was doomed to die thirty years ago!

See also:

Spiritual Writings by David W. Allan - index

 

Page posted Dec. 26, 2003

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