Conflicting Views of Repentance

Talking points

  • Spencer Kimball taught that the only repentance which brings forgiveness requires a permanent and successful abandonment of sin.
  • This repentance is by nature something not repeatable. The forgiveness that it conceivably brings is likewise not repeatable.
  • This paradigm for repentance and forgiveness contributes to the pressure of perfectionism, since only permanently keeping all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins.
  • BYU professors have chided Mormons for believing what their own leaders have taught, and promote instead a softer view of a repeatable repentance which brings repeatable forgiveness.
  • Instead of attributing unwanted views to Mormon prophets and apostles, BYU professors blame theological problems on Mormon lay culture. This form of deflection demonstrates a lack of integrity.

Mormonism has had conflicting views on the repentance which brings forgiveness. For the purpose of clarification, we shall call the two main views the Kimballite paradigm and the Robinsonian paradigm.