Forgiveness. Received only after a member repents of all sins and keeps all the commandments. D&C 1:32 says, “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.” D&C 82:7 adds, “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.” Eleventh President Harold B. Lee did not seem to have much sympathy for those who struggle with sin when he said, “The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more, because the Lord has said in a revelation to us in our day: ‘Go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God’ (D&C 82:7). Have that in mind, all of you who may be troubled with a burden of sin” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 120). In his classic work The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball explained,“To be forgiven one must repent. Repentance means not only to convict yourselves of the horror of the sin, but to confess it, abandon it, and restore to all who have been damaged to the total extent possible; then spend the balance of your lives trying to live the commandments of the Lord so he can eventually pardon you and cleanse you” (p. 200). He also said, “God cannot forgive unless the transgressor shows a true repentance which spreads to all areas of his life” (p. 203. See also Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual: Religion 231 and 232, p. 41). He said, “And incomplete repentance never brought complete forgiveness” ( p. 212). He also taught, “Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness upon total repentance and meeting all the requirements, but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works—many works—and an all-out, total surrender, with a great humility and ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could he weeks, it could he years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility your sincerity, your works, your attitudes” (pp. 324-325). Fortunately for Christianity, these explanations of forgiveness are not even close to biblical truth.
For more information on the issue of forgiveness, see:
- “The Miracle of Forgiveness”
- Viewpoint on Mormonism series on The Miracle of Forgiveness (starting Jan. 12, 2012)
- “Forgiveness: A 28 (or more)-Step Program”
- “Celestial Law”
- “Salvation According to Mormonism
Is Forgiveness Likely According to the LDS Standard Works? In a less-than-4-minute video, Carissa Johnson shares seven verses a Mormon should consider regarding the issue of forgiveness in Mormonism.
Return to dictionary here.