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How much can we sin and still be okay?

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Title: How much can we sin and still be okay?


1
How much can we sin and still be okay?
  • I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least
    degree of allowance.
  • (DC 131)

2
Our Only Hope
  • Nevertheless, he that repents and does the
    commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.
  • (DC 132)

3
I.
  • Examples of Forgiveness in the Doctrine and
    Covenants

4
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 205 Joseph received a remission of his
    sins
  • DC 253 to Emma, Behold, thy sins are
    forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady
  • DC 293 to Joseph and six elders (Oliver
    Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Peter
    Whitmer, Samuel H. Smith, Thomas B. Marsh Far
    West Record, p. 1) at this time your sins are
    forgiven you

5
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 315 Thomas B. Marsh thrust in your
    sickle with all your soul, and your sins are
    forgiven you
  • DC 361 Edward Partridge your sins are
    forgiven you
  • DC 5036 Parley P. Pratt, John Murdock, and
    several other elders NOTE Several other elders
    might include Joseph Wakefield, John Corrill and
    Edward Partridge whom the Lord addresses in
    verses 37-39. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt,
    61-62) blessed are you who are now hearing
    these words of mine from the mouth of my servant,
    for your sins are forgiven you.

6
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 607 to 28 missionaries preparing to return
    to the east from their missions in Missouri (see
    DC 52) (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual,
    p. 130) declare my word with loud voices For I
    am able to make you holy, and your sins are
    forgiven you.

7
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 612 to Joseph Smith and ten elders
    Reynolds Cahoon, John Corrill, Oliver Cowdery,
    Sidney Gilbert, William E. McLellan, Isaac
    Morley, Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps,
    Sidney Rigdon, Samuel H. Smith, . (see DC 61 and
    Far West Record, pp.6-7) O ye elders of my
    church, who are assembled upon this spot, whose
    sins are now forgiven you, for I, the Lord,
    forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who
    confess their sins with humble hearts.

8
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 623 to Joseph Smith, John Corrill, Oliver
    Cowdery, William E. McLellan, Isaac Morley,
    Edward Partridge, Sidney Rigdon, (and most
    probably Reynolds Cahoon, Sidney Gilbert, William
    W. Phelps, and Samuel H. Smith) and Hyrum Smith,
    John Murdock, Harvey Whitlock, and David Whitmer
    who meet Josephs group. Ye are blessed, for
    the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in
    heaven and your sins are forgiven you.

9
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 643-4 To the elders of my church (v.1).
    Elders listed as present at the conference
    Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Gilbert,
    Sidney Rigdon, Ezra Thayer, John Whitmer, and
    Frederick G. Williams (Far West Record, p. 12)
    There are those among you who have sinned but
    verily I say, for this once, for mine own glory,
    and for the salvation of souls, I have forgiven
    you your sins. I will be merciful unto you

10
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 8460-62 conditional promise to all
    Melchizedek Priesthood holders. The Elders
    during the month of September began to return
    from their missions to the Eastern States and
    while together in these seasons of joy, I
    inquired of the Lord, and received the following
    revelation (Joseph Smith, History of the Church,
    1286-287). I say unto you who now hear my
    words, which are my voice, blessed are ye
    inasmuch as your receive these things For I will
    forgive you of your sins with this
    commandmentthat you remain steadfast in your
    minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in
    bearing testimony to all the world Therefore, go
    ye into all the world

11
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 901 to Joseph Smith I say unto you my
    son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy
    petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy
    brethren have come up into my ears.
  • DC 906 to Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G.
    Williams their sins are forgiven them also

12
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 1081 to Lyman Sherman Lyman Your sins
    are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my
    voice in coming up hither this morning to receive
    counsel of him whom I have appointed.

13
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 1105 to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery
    Behold, your sins are forgiven you you are
    clean before me
  • DC 1123 to Thomas B. Marsh inasmuch as thou
    has abased thyself thou shalt be exalted
    therefore, all thy sins are forgiven thee.

14
Sins forgiven in the DC
  • DC 13249-50 to Joseph Smith I seal upon you
    your exaltation I have seen your sacrifices, and
    will forgive all your sins I have seen your
    sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told
    you

15
II.
  • Other Examples of Complete Forgiveness in the
    Standard Works

16
Immediate and Complete Forgiveness in the BOM
  • Enos (Enos 15)
  • King Benjamins people (Mosiah 52)
  • Alma the younger (Alma 3617-23)
  • Zeezrom (Alma 156-12)
  • King Lamoni, his servants, his wife, his father
    (Alma 1841 1912-16, 29-33)
  • Anti-Nephi-Lehies (Alma 2410)
  • Lamanites who killed the Anti-Nephi-Lehies (Alma
    2424-26)
  • The Lamanites who tried to kill Lehi Nephi
    (Hel. 522-48)

17
Immediate and Complete Forgiveness in the Bible
  • Man sick with palsy (Matt. 92)
  • Woman who anoints Christ (Luke 748)
  • Eleven Apostles (John 1310-11 and again in John
    153)

18
The Prodigal Son Luke 1511-32 1 of 3
  • 18 - I will arise and go to my Father, and will
    say unto him, Father, I have sinned against
    heaven and before thee,
  • 20 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.

19
Prodigal Son continued
  • 21 And the son said unto him, Father I have
    sinned and am no more worthy to be called thy
    son.
  • 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring
    forth the best robe, and put it on him and put a
    ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.

20
Prodigal Son continued
  • 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive
    again, he was lost, and is found.

21
Can the Law of Restitution be suspended for the
truly Repentant? 1of2
  • But sometimes you cannot give back what you
    have taken because you dont have it to give. If
    you have caused others to suffer
    unbearablydefiled someones virtue, for
    exampleit is not within your power to give it
    back.
  • There are times you cannot mend that which you
    have broken. Perhaps the offense was long ago, or
    the injured refused your penance
  • Your repentance cannot be accepted unless there
    is a restitution. If you cannot undo what you
    have done, you are trapped. It is easy to
    understand how helpless and hopeless you then
    feel and why you might want to give up, just as
    Alma did.

22
Quote continued
  • The thought that rescued Alma, when he acted
    upon it, is this Restoring what you cannot
    restore, healing the wound you cannot heal,
    fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is
    the very purpose of the atonement of Christ.
  • When your desire is firm and you are willing to
    pay the uttermost farthing, (see Matt. 525-26)
    the law of restitution is suspended. Your
    obligation is transferred to the Lord. He will
    settle your accounts.
  • (Boyd K. Packer, The Brilliant Morning of
    Forgiveness, Nov. 1995)

23
III.
  • WARNINGS
  • False Motives and False Repentance What
    Repentance is NOT

24
Planned Repentance
  • Some foolishly rationalize that it is no big
    deal to sin now because they can always repent
    later The idea of sinning a little is
    self-deception. Sin is sin! Sin weakens you
    spiritually, and it always places the sinner at
    eternal risk. Choosing to sin, even with the
    intent to repent, is simply turning away from God
    and violating covenants.
  • (Russell M. Ballard, Keeping Covenants,
    Ensign, May 1993, 6)

25
Ill just repent later
  • Please, never say Who does it hurt? Why not
    a little freedom? I can transgress now and repent
    later. Please dont be so foolish and so cruel.
    You cannot with impunity crucify Christ afresh
    (see Heb. 66).
  • (Jeffrey R. Holland, Personal Purity, Ensign,
    Nov. 1988)

26
Trifling with Repentance
  • Repentance is a thing that cannot be
    trifled with every day. Daily transgression
    and daily repentance is not that which is
    pleasing in the sight of God.
  • (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 3379)

27
Are we better off having sinned and then repented?
  • Some Latter-day Saints. . . wrongly think. . .
    that a person is better off after he has sinned
    and repented. Get a little experience with
    sin, one argument goes...
  • I plead with you... avoid transgression! The
    idea that one can deliberately sin and easily
    repent or that one is better off after sinning
    and repenting are devilish lies of the adversary.
    Would anyone seriously contend that it is better
    to learn firsthand that a certain blow will break
    a bone...
  • (Dallin H. Oaks, Sin and Suffering, Ensign,
    July 1992, 70)

28
IV.
  • Things that affect or influence Repentance

29
How long does it take to repent?
  • Your faith, purity, and obedience and that of
    the priesthood holder have great effect on the
    pronouncement and realization of the blessing.
    Healing can occur in the act, yet more often it
    occurs over a period of time determined by the
    faith and obedience of the individual and the
    will of the Lord. I feel that the pace of
    repentance and healing is generally set by the
    individual, not by the Lord.
  • (Richard G. Scott, To Be Healed, Ensign, May
    1994, 7)

30
Bearing Testimony brings forgiveness
  • The Lord has related the forgiveness of sins to
    the bearing of testimony respecting the
    latter-day work For I will forgive you of your
    sins with this commandment-that you remain
    steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the
    spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the
    world of those things which are communicated unto
    you. (DC 8461).
  • The Lord said Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for
    the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in
    heaven for the angels to look upon ... and your
    sins are forgiven you. (DC 623)
  • Here he promises a forgiveness of sins to those
    elders who had been valiant in proselyting and
    bearing testimony.
  • (Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 204)

31
The Requirement to Forgive
  • I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive,
    but of you it is required to forgive all men.
  • (DC 6410)

32
Our Judgment based in part on how we judge others
  • The Lord shall come to recompense unto every
    man according to his work, and measure to every
    man according to the measure which he has
    measured to his fellow man.
  • (DC 110)

33
Model of the Lords Prayer
  • And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
    debtors.
  • (Matt. 611)

34
Forgiveness for sins after forgiving others
  • Inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your
    trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
  • (DC 821)

35
As we judge, we shall be judged
  • For with that same judgment which ye judge ye
    shall also be judged.
  • (Moroni 718)

36
Parable of the Unmerciful Servant Matt. 1823-35
  • A Servant owed ten thousand talents
  • Begged forgiveness was forgiven
  • Forgave not his fellow servant of a small
    trespass (100 pence)
  • Forgiveness revoked from unmerciful servant

37
Required to forgive to be forgiven
  • Joseph remarked that all was well between him
    and the heavens that he had no enmity against any
    one and as the prayer of Jesus, or his pattern,
    so prayed Joseph, Father forgive me my
    trespasses as I forgive those who trespass
    against me, for I freely forgive all men.
  • (Joseph Smith Diary by Willard Richards, as
    found in Words of Joseph Smith, 229)

38
If we forgive, our Father will be equally merciful
  • Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy,
    and be ready to forgive our brother on the first
    intimations of repentance, and asking
    forgiveness and should we even forgive our
    brother, or even our enemy, before he repent or
    ask forgiveness, our heavenly Father would be
    equally as merciful unto us.
  • (Joseph Smith, History of The Church vol. 3383)

39
The Sacrament and forgiveness
  • Do you remember the feeling you had when you
    were baptizedthat sweet, clean feeling of a pure
    soul, having been forgiven, washed clean through
    the merits of the Savior? If we partake of the
    sacrament worthily, we can feel that way
    regularly, for we renew that covenant, which
    includes his forgiveness.
  • (John H. Groberg, Ensign, May 1989, 38-40)

40
Penitent partakers are Cleansed from all sin.
  • In preparation for the sacrament each week you
    should prepare for that sacred ordinance with a
    broken heart and a contrite spirit. As you renew
    the baptismal covenant, the Lord renews the
    promised remission of your sins. Cleansed from
    sin, you are able to always have his Spirit to
    be with you (DC 2077)
  • (True To The Faith, p.148)

41
Fruits of a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit
  • To have a broken heart and a contrite
    spirit is to be broken down with deep sorrow
    for sin, to be humbly and thoroughly penitent, to
    have attained sincere and purposeful repentance.
  • (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 161)

42
Partaking of the Sacrament Worthily 1 of 2
  • What does it mean to partake of the sacrament
    worthily? Or how do we know if we are unworthy?
  • If we desire to improve (which is to repent) and
    are not under priesthood restriction, then, in my
    opinion, we are worthy. If, however, we have not
    desire to improve, if we have no intention of
    following the guidance of the Spirit, we must ask

43
Quote continued
  • Are we worthy to partake, or are we making a
    mockery of the very purpose of the sacrament,
    which is to act as a catalyst for personal
    repentance and improvement? If, however, we
    refuse to repent and improve, if we do not
    remember him and keep his commandments, then we
    have stopped our growth, and that is damnation to
    our souls.
  • (John H. Groberg, Ensign, May 1989, 38-40)

44
Must obey all commandments to be forgiven
  • Complete forgiveness is reserved for those
    only who turn their whole hearts to the Lord and
    begin to keep all of his commandments not just
    those commandments disobeyed in the past, but
    those in all fields. "He that repents and does
    the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven"
    (DC 132) .
  • (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 295)

45
In Complete Harmony with Divine will
  • At what times and under what circumstances do
    men gain forgiveness of their sins? Manifestly,
    they attain this reward at any time when they are
    in complete harmony with the divine will, that is
    at any time when they have complied with the
    Lord's law whereunder they are enabled to become
    pure and spotless before him.
  • (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 295)

46
What does it mean to be Born again?
  • To gain salvation in the celestial kingdom men
    must be born again (Alma 714) born of water and
    of the Spirit (John 31-13) born of God, so that
    they are changed from their carnal and fallen
    state, to a state of righteousness, becoming new
    creatures of the Holy Ghost. (Mos. 2724-29).
  • (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 100)

47
Being Born Again Complete Forgiveness
  • Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in
    sin for the Spirit of God remaineth in him, and
    he cannot sin, because he is born of God, having
    received that holy Spirit of promise.
  • (1 John 39 JST)

48
Always retaining a remission of our sins
  • With sincere repentance as a pattern in our
    lives, measured by our willingness to confess
    them and forsake them, (DC 5843 see also
    Ezek. 1821-24, 31-32) the Lord has promised that
    we may always retain a remission of our sins.
    (Mosiah 412 italics added)
  • (Boyd K. Packer, The Brilliant Morning of
    Forgiveness, Ensign, Nov. 1995)

49
Sincere Repentance as a Pattern
  • Where do I start?... Prayer will open the
    door to repentance and forgiveness One of the
    questions we must ask of our Heavenly Father in
    private prayer is this What have I done today,
    or not done, which displeases Thee? If I can
    only know, I will repent with all my heart
    without delay. That humble prayer will be
    answered.
  • (Henry B. Eyring, Do Not Delay, Ensign, Nov.
    1999)

50
V.
  • The Mercy of God

51
Who may qualify for Mercy?
  • There is never a time when the spirit is too old
    to approach God. All are within the reach of
    pardoning mercy, who have not committed the
    unpardonable sin, which hath no forgiveness,
    neither in this world, nor in the world to come.
  • (Joseph Smith, History of The Church, vol.
    4425)

52
Mercy and Forgiveness are not out of reach 1 of 2
  • If those you teach feel that they have somehow
    made too many mistakes already, if they feel
    that they live and labor lower than the light of
    Christ can shine, teach them that God has a
    forgiving disposition, that Christ is merciful
    and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and
    full of Goodness (Lectures on Faith 1985, 42).
  • Mercy, with its sister virtues of repentance

53
Quote continued
  • and forgiveness, is at the very heart of the
    Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything in the
    gospel teaches us that we can change if we really
    want to, that we can be helped if we truly ask
    for it, that we can be made whole, whatever the
    problems of the past.
  • (Jeffrey R. Holland, Teaching, Preaching,
    Healing, Ensign, Jan. 2003)

54
For whom is complete forgiveness available?
  • Letters come from those who have made tragic
    mistakes. They ask, Can I ever be forgiven?
  • The answer is yes!
  • Save for those few who defect to perdition
    after having known a fulness, there is no habit,
    no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no
    offense exempted from the promise of complete
    forgiveness How all can be repaired, we do not
    know. It may not all be accomplished in this
    life.
  • (Boyd K. Packer, The Brilliant Morning of
    Forgiveness, Ensign, Nov. 1995)

55
The Father is more Merciful than we Comprehend
  • Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful,
    infinitely more charitable, than even the best
    of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is
    mightier in power to save than our narrow finite
    minds can comprehend.
  • (Orson F. Whitney, Conf. Rpt. Apr. 1929, 110)

56
Qualifying for complete forgiveness
  • If some few of you are carrying such
    woundsand I know that you areto you is
    extended the peace and renewal of
    repentance available through the atoning
    sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ His
    compassion and mercy, with all their cleansing
    and healing power, are freely given to all who
    truly wish complete forgiveness and will take the
    steps that lead to it.
  • (Jeffrey R. Holland, Personal Purity, Ensign,
    Nov. 1998)

57
Moroni - Speaking of members of the Church
  • As oft as they repented and sought forgiveness,
    with real intent, they were forgiven.
  • (Moroni 68)

58
Calling and Election made sure 1 of 3
  • Everyone in the Church who is on the
    straight and narrow path, who is striving
    and struggling and desiring to do what is
    right, though is far from perfect in this
    life if he passes out of this life while he's on
    the straight and narrow, he's going to go on to
    eternal reward in his Father's kingdom.
  • We don't need to get a complex or get a feeling
    that you have to be perfect to be saved. You
    don't. There's only been one perfect person, and
    that's the Lord Jesus, but in order to be saved
    in the Kingdom of God and in order to pass the
    test of mortality, what you have to do is get on
    the straight and narrow paththus charting a
    course leading to eternal lifeand then, being on
    that path, pass out

59
Quote continued
  • of this life in full fellowship. I'm not saying
    that you don't have to keep the commandments. I'm
    saying you don't have to be perfect to be saved.
  • If you're on that path and pressing forward,
    and you die, you'll never get off the path. There
    is no such thing as falling off the straight and
    narrow path in the life to come, and the reason
    is that this life is the time that is given to
    men to prepare for eternity. Now is the time and
    the day of your salvation, so if you're working
    zealously in this lifethough you havent fully
    overcome the world and you havent done all you
    hoped you might doyoure still going to be saved.

60
Quote continued
  • If you're on that path when death
    comesbecause this is the time and the day
    appointed, this the probationary estateyou'll
    never fall from it, and, for all practical
    purposes, your calling and election is made sure.
    . . .
  • Theres great hope for Latter-day Saints.
    Theres great hope for anyone who will repent,
    believe, obey, strive, struggle and seek to work
    out his salvation. There isnt hope for anyone
    who will not.
  • (Bruce R. McConkie, Probationary Test of
    Mortality, address delivered at Institute of
    Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10 Jan. 1982.)
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