Jesus Gives the Parable of the Prodigal Son

(See Luke 15:11–32.)

President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“I wish today to speak of forgiveness. I think it may be the greatest virtue on earth, and certainly the most needed. There is so much of meanness and abuse, of intolerance and hatred. There is so great a need for repentance and forgiveness. It is the great principle emphasized in all of scripture, both ancient and modern.

“In all of our sacred scripture, there is no more beautiful story of forgiveness than that of the prodigal son found in the 15th chapter of Luke. Everyone should read and ponder it occasionally.

“‘And when [the prodigal] had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

“‘And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

“‘And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

“‘And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

“‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

“‘And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

“‘And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

“‘And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son’ (Luke 15:14–21).

“And the father caused that a great feast should be held, and when his other son complained, he said to him, ‘It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found’ (Luke 15:32).

“When there has been wrongdoing and then there has come repentance, followed by forgiveness, then literally the offender who was lost is found, and he who was dead is made alive.

“How wonderful are the blessings of mercy and forgiveness.

“The Marshall Plan following World War II with the gift of millions of dollars helped put Europe on its feet.

“In Japan, after this same war, I saw great steel mills, the money for which I was told had come from America, Japan’s former enemy. How much better this world is because of the forgiveness of a generous nation in behalf of its former enemies.”

(“Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 81–82.)

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