The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

July 17, 2017

Adversity, Forgiveness, Video

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Because I have been forgiven much, I, too must forgive.

Among many other things, our Savior is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, a Savior for our sorrows and for our grief.

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July 7, 2017

Bowen, Discouragement, Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on Is it possible to reclaim a life that has become so strewn with garbage that the person appears unforgivable?

Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can’t forgive himself?

. . . .

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever.

Elder Shayne M. Bowen
The Atonement Can Clean, Reclaim, and Sanctify Our Lives, Ensign, Nov. 2006, 33–34

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June 26, 2017

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Packer, Repentance, Restitution

Comments Off on Fixing that which you broke and cannot fix is the very purpose of the Atonement of Christ

The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. 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.

. . . .

When an offense is minor, so simple a thing as an apology will satisfy the law. Most mistakes can be settled between us and the Lord, and that should be done speedily. (See D&C 109:21) It requires a confession to Him, and whatever obvious repairs need to be made.

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)

. . . .

To earn forgiveness, one must make restitution. That means you give back what you have taken or ease the pain of those you have injured.

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. Perhaps the damage was so severe that you cannot fix it no matter how desperately you want to.

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.

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.

President Boyd K. Packer
The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness“, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 18

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June 24, 2017

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Uchtdorf

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Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.

Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another.


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference, April, 2012

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June 14, 2017

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Mercy, Poelman, Repentance

Comments Off on Forgiveness is Not Complete Until It is Accepted

Recently I was in private conversation with one who, having committed a serious transgression, had also made intense effort to repent and receive forgiveness from those personally offended, from the Church, and from the Lord. When I asked, “Do you feel forgiven by your Heavenly Father?” he answered hesitantly with an affirmative but qualified response. “How do we obtain divine forgiveness?” I asked.

He spoke of how he had forsaken his transgressive behavior of the past, confessed to proper priesthood authorities, and attempted to make restitution to those offended. He further described his efforts to live according to gospel principles and Church standards.

The Savior and his atoning sacrifice were not mentioned. The underlying assumption seemed to be that divine forgiveness is obtained through those steps of repentance limited to changing one’s behavior. Despite the brother’s earnest efforts to repent, he appeared to be burdened still by remorse and regret and to feel that he must continue to pay for his sins.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Others, to my knowledge, are burdened by past mistakes, large and small, because of an incomplete or incorrect understanding of our Father’s plan of redemption and mercy. Those so burdened may unnecessarily struggle through life without the joy and peace of mind which are the intended result of true repentance and divine forgiveness.

One who assumes that he can or must pay the price for his sins and thereby earn divine forgiveness will not feel free to continue progress toward realizing his divine potential, that is, eternal life.

The fact is we cannot save ourselves.

. . . .

We learn from the prophet Alma that we are subject to divine law, which all have transgressed in some respect, making us subject to the demands of justice (see Alma 42:14, 18). God’s justice is based upon divine laws, under which we receive what we deserve according to our disobedience or obedience to the law.

Justice affords no forgiveness for transgressors but imposes penalties (see D&C 82:4). None is exempt (see D&C 107:84). After all we can do to repent, we are still subject to the demands of justice and its penalties, which we cannot satisfy.

. . . .

The beginning and completion of repentance leading to forgiveness is faith in Jesus Christ, who is the “author and the finisher of [our] faith” (Moroni 6:4). Our faith in him as Savior and Redeemer engenders in us godly sorrow for our transgressions, a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and a sense of personal accountability. There follows a change in attitude and a turning toward God.

. . . .

The Lord’s gift of forgiveness, however, is not complete until it is accepted. True and complete repentance is a process by which we may become reconciled with God and accept the divine gift of forgiveness.

In the words of Nephi, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

The effect of the infinite, atoning sacrifice was twofold: First, resurrection and immortality for all, unconditionally granted. Second, eternal life for each one who fulfills the prescribed conditions, which are faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer, followed by repentance.

Then we must qualify for and receive the saving and exalting ordinances of the gospel with their associated covenants, continuously striving to keep those covenants and obey the commandments of God.

Being mortal, and despite our resolve and efforts, we will continue to fall short of perfection. However, with Nephi of old, conscious of our weaknesses, temptations, and past mistakes, we may say, “Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted” (2 Nephi 4:19). There follows a natural resolve to renew our efforts.

Essential to receiving divine forgiveness are personal, individual recognition and acceptance of our Father’s mercy, made available to us by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and a renewed covenant to obey the principles of the gospel.

Elder Ronald E. Poelman
Divine Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov 1993, 84

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May 13, 2017

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Hanks

Comments Off on To Really Forgive, To Really Forget, and To Really Rejoice

As I observed two of our lovely grown daughters that night an incident from the past came to mind that forms the burden of my brief message today. I still think of it with a tendency to tears. Another little girl had joined our family and was of course much loved. Occasionally I had called her older sister “Princess,” but had thought about that, and, since the second young lady was equally deserving of royal treatment, had concluded that it would be well for her to share the title, if it were used at all.

So one day I called to her, “Come on, Princess. Let’s go to the store for mother.” She seemed not to hear. “Honey,” her mother said, “daddy is calling you.”

“Oh,” she answered, with a quiet sadness that hurt my heart, “he doesn’t mean me.”

In memory I can still see the resignation on her innocent child face and hear it in her voice, when she thought that her father didn’t mean her.

I am one who believes that God loves and will never cease to love all of his children, and that he will not cease to hope for us or reach for us or wait for us. In Isaiah it is written:

“And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you” (Isa. 30:18).

And yet over the earth, across the years, I have met some of God’s choicest children who find it very difficult to believe in their hearts that he really means them. They know that he is the source of comfort and pardon and peace and that they must seek him and open the door for him and accept his love, and yet even in their extremity they find it difficult to believe that his promised blessings are for them. Some have offended God and their own consciences and are earnestly repentant but they find the way back blocked by their unwillingness to forgive themselves or to believe that God will forgive them, or sometimes by a strange reluctance in some of us to really forgive, to really forget, and to really rejoice.

. . . .

“Holocausts,” it has been written, “are caused not only by atomic explosion. A holocaust occurs whenever a person is put to shame.” (Abraham Joshua Heschel.)

It is good to remember what Joseph Smith wrote a long time ago to the Saints scattered abroad:

“Let everyone labor to prepare himself for the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken-hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and obedient shall be blessed. Souls are as precious in the sight of God as they ever were; and the Elders were never called to drive any down to hell, but to persuade and invite all men everywhere to repent, that they may become the heirs of salvation.” (History of the Church, 2:229.)

My child at first did not understand that my invitation was meant for her. She thought it was for someone else. “He didn’t mean me.” If any within the sound of my voice today need assurance that God’s call to repentance and his invitation to mercy and forgiveness and love is for them.


Elder Marion D. Hanks
He Means Me

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April 22, 2017

Eyring, Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Prayer, Repentance

Comments Off on We are Spirit Children Temporarily Away from a Loving Heavenly Father

When we teach those we love that we are spirit children temporarily away from a loving Heavenly Father, we open the door of prayer to them.

We lived in His presence before we came here to be tested. We knew His face, and He knew ours. Just as my earthly father watched me go away from him, our Father in Heaven watched us go into mortality.

His Beloved Son, Jehovah, left those glorious courts to come down into the world to suffer what we would suffer and to pay the price of all the sins we would commit. He provided for us the only way to go home again to our Heavenly Father and to Him. If the Holy Ghost can tell us just that much about who we are, we and our children might feel what Enos felt. He prayed this way:

“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Enos 1:4-5).

I can promise you that no joy will exceed what you would feel if a child of yours prays in the hour of need and receives such an answer. You will someday be separated from them, with a longing in your heart to be reunited. A loving Heavenly Father knows that longing would last forever unless we are reunited as families with Him and His Beloved Son. He put in place all His children will need to have that blessing. To find it, they must ask of God for themselves, nothing doubting, as the boy Joseph Smith did.

Elder Henry B. Eyring

“‘Write upon My Heart’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 85–87

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March 28, 2017

Forgiveness, General Conference, Repentance

Comments Off on The Cleansing Power of the Atonement Makes It Possible for Us to be Virtuous

Remember, it is the cleansing power of the Atonement that makes it possible for us to be virtuous. We all make mistakes, but “because the Savior loves you and has given His life for you, you can repent. Repentance is an act of faith in Jesus Christ. … The Savior’s atoning sacrifice has made it possible for you to be forgiven of your sins. … Determine to partake worthily of the sacrament each week and fill your life with virtuous activities that will bring spiritual power. As you do this, you will grow stronger in your ability to resist temptation, keep the commandments [remain clean], and become more like Jesus Christ”


Mary N. Cook
First Counselor in the Young Women General Pres
A Virtuous Life—Step by Step, April, 2009 General Conference
(Quote from Young Women Personal Progress [insert, 2009], 3)

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March 27, 2017

Christmas, Forgiveness, Hymns, Rescue

Comments Off on Prone to Wander – A Season for Prodigals to Return

I woke up very early this morning with the words of this hymn running through my mind and thought I would share it with you.

For me, it represents the open arms that Christ extends to every man or woman who has wandered off into strange paths and desires to return.

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March 16, 2017

England, Forgiveness, Mercy

Comments Off on A Free Act of Mercy

Christ’s sacrificial love was not conditional upon our qualities, our repentance, anything: he expressed his love to us while we were yet in our sins – not completing the process of forgiveness, which depends upon our response, but initiating it in a free act of mercy. This is a kind of love quite independent from the notion of justice.

Eugene England
“That They Might Not Suffer: The Gift of Atonement,” Dialogue 1:3 (Autumn 1966): 141.

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