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Forgiveness is fundamental to personal peace and happiness. Forgiveness is fundamental to civilization.

I have taught for many years at the university level two exciting world civilization courses entitled “History of Creativity in the Arts, Science, and Technology” that cover the dawn of civilization to the present day. (I also helped to write and edit the two volumes that accompany the course here and here).

This “History of Creativity” course helps learners to see acts of civilization as acts of creativity. All that has brought humanity to where we are today are acts of creativity.

The course also empowers learners to rediscover and act upon their own God-given creativity. Learners remember that one of God’s greatest attributes is as a creator. As sons and daughters of God we partake of His divine capacity for creativity.

President Uchtdorf taught this principle compellingly when he said,

“Remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination. . . .The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” see also the Mormon Message of this quote here).

Of course, learning about the past is not all rosy creativity.

A review of the past invites some trauma and pain. There is much in the collective human past that is terrible, ugly, destructive, unjust, and ungodly.

As we remember the past and as we learn about the past, we might experience feelings of anger or disgust at the actions or inactions of others. We might feel hopeless about the good that has been squandered or lost, or ache over the broken hearts of God’s children that were not gently loved and lifted.

What might sooth such trouble?

It is a principle that I believe we must all embrace to come to peace with all pasts, including our own.

To read the full article by author Taylor Halverson, click here