How much can we sin and still be okay

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					How much can we sin and
     still be okay?
―I the Lord cannot look
upon sin with the least
degree of allowance.‖
(D&C 1:31)
    Our Only Hope

―Nevertheless, he that
repents and does the
commandments of the
Lord shall be forgiven.‖
(D&C 1:32)
          I.

Examples of Forgiveness
  in the Doctrine and
       Covenants
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 20:5 – Joseph ―received a remission of
    his sins…‖
   D&C 25:3 – to Emma, ―Behold, thy sins are
    forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady…‖
   D&C 29:3 – 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…‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C
   D&C 31:5 – Thomas B. Marsh ―…thrust in your
    sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven
    you…‖
   D&C 36:1 – Edward Partridge ―…your sins are
    forgiven you…‖
   D&C 50:36 – 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.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 60:7 – to 28 missionaries
    preparing to return to the east from
    their missions in Missouri (see D&C
    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.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C
   D&C 61:2 – 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 D&C 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.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C
   D&C 62:3 – 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 Joseph’s group. ―…Ye
    are blessed, for the testimony which ye
    have borne is recorded in heaven… and
    your sins are forgiven you.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C
   D&C 64:3-4 – 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…‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C
   D&C 84:60-62 – 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, 1:286-287). ―…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
    commandment—that 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…‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 90:1 – 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.‖
   D&C 90:6 – to Sidney Rigdon and
    Frederick G. Williams ―…their sins are
    forgiven them also…‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 108:1 – 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.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 110:5 – to Joseph Smith and
    Oliver Cowdery ―Behold, your sins are
    forgiven you; you are clean before
    me…‖
   D&C 112:3 – to Thomas B. Marsh
    ―…inasmuch as thou has abased thyself
    thou shalt be exalted; therefore, all thy
    sins are forgiven thee.‖
    Sins forgiven in the D&C

   D&C 132:49-50 – 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…‖
         II.

   Other Examples of
Complete Forgiveness in
  the Standard Works
Immediate and Complete
 Forgiveness in the BOM
   Enos (Enos 1:5)
   King Benjamin’s people (Mosiah 5:2)
   Alma the younger (Alma 36:17-23)
   Zeezrom (Alma 15:6-12)
   King Lamoni, his servants, his wife, his
    father (Alma 18:41; 19:12-16, 29-33)
   Anti-Nephi-Lehies (Alma 24:10)
   Lamanites who killed the Anti-Nephi-Lehies
    (Alma 24:24-26)
   The Lamanites who tried to kill Lehi &
    Nephi (Hel. 5:22-48)
Immediate and Complete
Forgiveness in the Bible
   Man sick with palsy (Matt. 9:2)
   Woman who anoints Christ (Luke
    7:48)
   Eleven Apostles (John 13:10-11; and
    again in John 15:3)
         The Prodigal Son
         Luke 15:11-32          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.
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.
Prodigal Son continued…

   24 – For this my son was dead, and is
    alive again, he was lost, and is found.
 Can the Law of Restitution be
    suspended for the truly
        Repentant?               1of2


     But sometimes you cannot give back what you
     have taken because you don’t have it to give. If
     you have caused others to suffer unbearably—
defiled someone’s virtue, for example—it 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.
     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. 5:25-26) 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)
         III.

      WARNINGS
False Motives and False
  Repentance – What
  Repentance is NOT:
   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)
  I’ll just repent later…

   Please, never say: ―Who does it
   hurt? Why not a little freedom? I
can transgress now and repent later.‖
Please don’t be so foolish and so cruel.
You cannot with impunity ―crucify
Christ afresh‖ (see Heb. 6:6).
(Jeffrey R. Holland, ―Personal Purity,‖ Ensign, Nov.
1988)
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, 3:379)
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)
         IV.

  Things that affect or
influence Repentance…
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)
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. (D&C 84:61).
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. (D&C 62:3)
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)
   The Requirement to
        Forgive
I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will
forgive, but of you it is required to
forgive all men.
(D&C 64:10)
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.
(D&C 1:10)
   Model of the Lord’s
        Prayer
And forgive us our debts, as we
forgive our debtors.
(Matt. 6:11)
Forgiveness for sins after
    forgiving others
…Inasmuch as you have forgiven one
another your trespasses, even so I,
the Lord, forgive you.
(D&C 82:1)
As we judge, we shall be
        judged
…For with that same judgment which
ye judge ye shall also be judged.
(Moroni 7:18)
Parable of the Unmerciful
Servant – Matt. 18:23-35
   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
    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)
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. 3:383)
   The Sacrament and
      forgiveness
    Do you remember the feeling you had
    when you were baptized—that 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)
 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]‖ (D&C 20:77)
(True To The Faith, p.148)
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)
   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:
    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)
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" (D&C 1:32) .
(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 295)
 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)
What does it mean to be
    “Born again?”
To gain salvation in the celestial
kingdom men must be born again (Alma
7:14); born of water and of the Spirit
(John 3:1-13); 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.
27:24-29).
(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 100)
  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 3:9 JST)
    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,‖ (D&C
58:43; see also Ezek. 18:21-24, 31-32) the
Lord has promised that we may ―always
retain a remission of [our] sins.‖ (Mosiah
4:12; italics added)
(Boyd K. Packer, ―The Brilliant Morning of
Forgiveness,‖ Ensign, Nov. 1995)
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)
      V.

The Mercy of God
   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. 4:425)
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
     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)
  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)
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)
Qualifying for complete
      forgiveness
                   If some few of you are
                   carrying such wounds—and I
                   know that you are—to 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)
 Moroni - Speaking of
members of the Church
―As oft as they repented
and sought forgiveness,
with real intent, they were
forgiven.‖
(Moroni 6:8)
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 path—thus charting a course leading to
eternal life—and then, being on that path, pass out
     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 life—
though you haven’t fully overcome the world and
you haven’t done all you hoped you might do—
you’re still going to be saved.
     Quote continued…
     …If you're on that path when death comes—
because this is the time and the day appointed, this
the probationary estate—you'll never fall from it,
and, for all practical purposes, your calling and
election is made sure. . . .
     There’s great hope for Latter-day Saints.
There’s great hope for anyone who will repent,
believe, obey, strive, struggle and seek to work out
his salvation. There isn’t 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.)