We take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper every week except for Stake Conference and General Conference. Although taking the sacrament gives me the weekly opportunity to review my attitudes and actions and repent, it is at the conferences that I get the prompting as to what I need to consider more closely.
Nearly two years ago some things happened that started a long and difficult period of peculiar persecution. The situation resulted from several factors, none of which were under my control. The persecution ended, at least it it on the back burner now, in January. I have had an immense burden lifted from my life.
One of the questions I had to address involved forgiveness of those who created the situation through their deliberate actions.
One of them is my sister.
She sent an e-mail to the FBI saying my second son would kill someone and they had to take her seriously.
She has only had minimal contact with that son, only at funerals for my parents. Otherwise she thought she knew what he intended because of things she read on Facebook.
The FBI took it seriously enough that they communicated with the local police who turned up in numbers and tased him when he asked for a warrant. He spent weeks in a mental institution with threat of six months in the state mental hospital. At last an actual psychiatrist interviewed him and said he was no threat. After that we requested records from the city to indicate why the police had responded in such a violent and potentially lethal manner. The result of the inquiry was that they charged him with the crime of resisting arrest. After eighteen months of appearing in court for delays and continuances, the trial date was set. My sister was one of the witnesses. She didn't appear. The charge was not dismissed but only set aside unless and until further evidence came forth.
Perhaps to some this doesn't sound like persecution, but I had already witnessed my son being tripled tased to the ground then hustled out of my home and stuffed into the back of a police car. From that point on I lived in fear of a police force that could intrude on my peace and safety with very little excuse.
So it came to a definite pause and a weight lifted off me. But then I had to decide what to do about my sister. While the trial was active I was prevented by advice of the lawyer from contacting her because of the risk of 'tampering with a witness'. Once the threat retreated I had to decide if and and when I should contact her.
I made the choice to take no action in contacting her. I have forgiven her, but as Dieter F Uchdorf spoke at this conference I had to decide if my continued lack of contact is a sign of unforgiving.
For now I cite the various situations in history and scriptures where people chose to end contact with their oppressors. Moses left Egypt, Lehi left Jerusalem, Nephi left his brothers and their people, Alma left Noah's court, Limhi and his people left their city in the dead of night. Paul left a lot of places after being persecuted.
So avoiding people is sometimes okay. For now, that is what I choose to do with my sister.