Does Forgiveness Depend Upon Your Own Works, Or Christ’s?

Have you ever wondered why many Christians claim the LDS Church is not a Christian church? The most important distinction between Mormonism and Christianity can be seen by looking at the doctrines concerning how to gain forgiveness for a sin. In Mormonism, gaining forgiveness for sins depends upon the works of each individual person. In Christianity, gaining forgiveness for sins depends solely upon the works of Christ.

Tomorrow, every LDS Church around the world will be teaching the foundational LDS doctrine of how and why one gains the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel Principles Lesson on Repentance exposes why the Mormon Church is not Christian, and how its teachings are opposed to Christianity. Chapter 19 claims:

“Repentance is the way provided for us to become free from our sins and receive forgiveness for them… To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D&C 1:32). We are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the Sabbath day holy or obey the Word of Wisdom… First, one repents. Having gained that ground he then must live the commandments of the Lord to retain his vantage point. This is necessary to secure complete forgiveness.

This false teaching is near and dear to my heart because I spent so many years believing it. I was tormented by my sins, sincerely trying to do all the required works necessary to gain forgiveness. I spent many hours studying the words of my prophet Spencer W. Kimball in The Miracle of Forgiveness. One paragraph overwhelmed my heart, like an angry storm cloud:

“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 be weeks, it could be 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.” (pages 324-325)

I believed these words because no one had ever told me the truth—that all my sins were already forgiven through Christ’s shed blood. The foundational message of Christianity is that forgiveness depends upon Christ’s works, not our own. John the Baptist testified of this mission of Christ:

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

When Christ offered His life as the final sacrifice for sin, His blood covered the sins of the entire world. John the Beloved testified that Christ’s finished work has already washed us from our sins:

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

This free gift is given to every person who ever lived. Those who don’t believe that Jesus has already won their forgiveness, reject His most precious gift. The Apostle Peter testified that those who believe in Jesus receive forgiveness:

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)

What about repentance? The Greek word for repentance literally means “a change of mind”. Now that I understand this, it resonates in my heart as I see how it differs in Mormonism. Whenever I do something that is against God’s will, I feel regret, sorrow and guilt. But then I turn in thankfulness to my Savior for paying the price for that sin – for taking my guilt upon Himself. When a person truly believes that Christ paid the price for her sins, she does not rely on her own efforts to gain forgiveness for a sin. In actuality, repentance is abandoning trust in yourself and placing all your trust in what Jesus has already accomplished in your place.

When I was LDS, I lived every day trying to gain forgiveness through the LDS Process of Repentance. Now, my most precious gift is the complete forgiveness of all my sins! I live every day in a continual state of repentance—trying not to sin. But also in continual awareness that it is Christ’s work that has made me guilt free! In joy, I respond to my Savior in thankfulness!

Anyone who does not place their faith for forgiveness solely in Christ’s work, rejects this most precious gift. The gift of forgiveness cannot be earned by your works—it is received solely through faith in Christ:

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:3-8)

I am praying that you will believe it, receive it, then respond to it in thanksgiving!!
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I’m often told that I misunderstand the correct LDS definition of Repentance. I have created a Page on this blog with many quotes from LDS leaders defining the Process of Repentance. Click here to read this Page:

Link to LDS Lesson:

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43 Comments

  1. echoechoecho said,

    October 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    LDS Woman said: “repentance is abandoning trust in yourself and placing all your trust in what Jesus has already accomplished in your place”

    I agree 100% with this definition of repentance. This definition of repentance indentifies ALL Mormons as UNREPENTANT because this true definition of repentance is the opposite of what they teach about what repentance means.

  2. ckuhrasch said,

    October 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for your clear and heartfelt message. I will try to keep it in my heart as I pray for any of my loved ones who may be living with this burden.

  3. shematwater said,

    October 12, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I just thought I would point out that I have gone through the LDS process of repentance and forgiveness and found it to be a true miracles, for I have been truly forgiven of my sins.
    (Oh, and we learned about faith this past Sunday.)

    Now, John the Baptist was not referencing the sins of individuals in the verse quoted. Notice that he uses a singular form. Christ removed the sin, not the sins. This is a reference to the Fall of Adam and the first spiritual death that all men must endure. This is the sin of the world, not the sins of men.

    As to Acts, if one truly believes in Christ they will obey his commands to the best of their ability, and thus will receive a forgiveness of sins just as the LDS describe.

    To close I have one question: If all our sins are already forgiven than who will not be saved?

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Shem, it sounds like I must have my LDS curriculum off by one Sunday. So the Gospel Principles class must be studying Chapter 19 on Repentance next Sunday, on the 17th?

    You have some great thoughts, I appreciate that you have read the Post and thought about what I wrote.

    In one of your first thoughts, you wrote: “Now, John the Baptist was not referencing the sins of individuals in the verse quoted. Notice that he uses a singular form. Christ removed the sin, not the sins. This is a reference to the Fall of Adam and the first spiritual death that all men must endure. This is the sin of the world, not the sins of men.

    The passage from John 1:29 could be interpreted that way. But, when we look at other passages from the Bible, it is very clear that Christ’s Atonement has completely removed the sins of every single person who has ever lived.

    First, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied that the Christ who would come to save us would remove our individual sins, not just Adams. At the Cross, Christ took away each of our individual sins and healed us (forgave us):

    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

    John the Beloved testified that Christ’s blood has washed away our sins, not just Adams:

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5)

    The Apostle Paul testified that all of our individual sins were forgiven at the cross:

    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”(Colossians 2:13-14)

    He also testified to the Colossians that through Christ’s blood, we have the forgiveness of sins:

    In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:14)

    To the Ephesians, he testified that it is because of Christ that God has already forgiven us:

    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

    The writer of Hebrews testified that God will not remember our individual sins and iniquities because of Christ’s offering:

    And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:17-18)

    There are many more passages, but this should suffice to prove that Christ’s blood not only forgives Adam’s original sin, but all other sins as well.

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    As to Acts, if one truly believes in Christ they will obey his commands to the best of their ability, and thus will receive a forgiveness of sins just as the LDS describe.

    The passage in Acts states very clearly that it is through “belief” that we “receive” forgiveness of sins:

    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    The moment a person is brought to faith, they receive the forgiveness of sins that has already been won for them at the cross. Before they were brought to faith, because of unbelief, they rejected this precious gift. Therefore, they did not have the forgiveness of sins. Once they believed, they stopped rejecting and received the forgiveness that had already been earned for them–through Christ’s works!

    Then, the true believer will try to obey God’s commands to the best of their ability. I have never once said anything to the contrary. All true believers love God and live a life devoted to Christ. They do this in gratitude for the forgiveness that has already been given to them.

    For Mormons, the forgiveness comes only after they have earned the forgiveness through their own works of righteousness.

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Shem, now to answer your question:

    To close I have one question: If all our sins are already forgiven than who will not be saved?

    All of your sins were forgiven by Christ’s blood. But you refuse to believe in the Savior whose shed blood has already washed your sins away. Because of your unbelief, you reject Christ’s precious gift of forgiveness. Jesus proclaimed:

    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

    There are many false Christs, but only one true Savior. Anyone who does not believe in the one true Savior who has already washed away all their sins, rejects what Christ has done for them. They reject the Savior of the world.

    On Judgment Day, there will only be two groups of people. Those who believe in Jesus and trust in Him for righteousness will be declared perfect–because all their sins have been washed away. They will spend eternity with Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. As well, they will be with other loved ones who also trust in the Savior who washed away their sins.

    Those who don’t believe in Jesus will still be in their sins. Because they didn’t believe in the Savior who washed their sins away, then every single sin they have ever committed will be judged for all to see. They will spend eternity in Hell–in Outer Darkness, with Satan and all his demons.

  7. shematwater said,

    October 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    First, as to all the verses you quote in post 4 (except Isaiah) they are all directed to the saints, people who have been baptized and have been struggling to remain obedient. Similar passages are found all throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, which is also directed to the Saints (according to LDS). They all have the same meaning. “You have been faithful are thus your sins have been forgiven.” It is not “you believe and so your sins are forgiven.

    As to Isaiah, his prophecy is not that we are automatically forgiven. His prophecy is saying that Christ will suffer for us, but he says nothing about a free forgiveness. I read this and I see more the idea that Christ has been given the authority over us to determine the requirements for repentence.

    Second, commenting on Acts you said that it is when we come to faith we are forgiven. I would then argue that the way we come to faith is through Baptism, as Christ himself said that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16: 16).
    I would also argue that believing in not simply a profession of faith, but a word of action. I can say that I believe something, but if I do not act on it do I really believe? Just as James said that “Faith without works is dead.” One cannot truly believe something until they have acted on it.

    Third, your answer to my question: You have again contradicted yourself. You said that forgiveness of sins is a free gift. In your own words “This free gift is given to every person who ever lived.”
    If I have been forgiven already than how can I die in my sins? I can die without Christ, but not in my sins.
    Look at it like this: You owe one million dollars. A friend pays the debt. You than tell that friend to take a hike. Are you still in debt? No.
    In the same way, I have sinned. Christ has paid the price and my sins are forgiven. I reject Christ, so I have not been forgiven. It makes not sense.
    Just as the bank will not demand payment from you after a friend has paid the debt of money, God would demand payment from me after Christ has paid the debt of sin.
    It makes not sense.

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    First, as to all the verses you quote in post 4 (except Isaiah) they are all directed to the saints, people who have been baptized and have been struggling to remain obedient. Similar passages are found all throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, which is also directed to the Saints (according to LDS). They all have the same meaning. “You have been faithful are thus your sins have been forgiven.” It is not “you believe and so your sins are forgiven.

    Woa, nowhere did I say that the Bible passages claim that your sins have been forgiven because you have been faithful.

    You are 100% correct—the Doctrine and Covenants does say that your sins will be forgiven if you are faithful. But, the Bible claims that you receive forgiveness ONLY through faith. You say that the passages I gave you from the Bible were “all directed to the saints, people who have been baptized and have been struggling to remain obedient.” This is true, but NOWHERE do these passages even hint that these saints were granted forgiveness through their works. Every passage clearly shows that forgiveness was granted BECAUSE of Christ. Mormon doctrine clearly shows that forgiveness is granted BECAUSE of your own works.

    You also wrote:
    As to Isaiah, his prophecy is not that we are automatically forgiven. His prophecy is saying that Christ will suffer for us, but he says nothing about a free forgiveness. I read this and I see more the idea that Christ has been given the authority over us to determine the requirements for repentence.

    Here is the Isaiah reference again:
    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

    Where in the world do you read anything about Christ being given the authority over us to determine the requirements for repentance? I read that “with his stripes we are healed.” This healing refers to the remission of sins. Even your LDS footnotes for that passage claim that this is speaking of the remission of sins.

    You also wrote:
    Second, commenting on Acts you said that it is when we come to faith we are forgiven. I would then argue that the way we come to faith is through Baptism, as Christ himself said that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16: 16). I would also argue that believing in not simply a profession of faith, but a word of action. I can say that I believe something, but if I do not act on it do I really believe? Just as James said that “Faith without works is dead.” One cannot truly believe something until they have acted on it.

    You are correct, baptism is a means of coming to faith (and, it is not the only means). But, using the passage you gave and your own logic, baptism is not some work that you do, it is something that is done to you and for you. In baptism, God’s Word is spoken and through God’s Word and the water, a person is brought to faith.

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Third, your answer to my question: You have again contradicted yourself. You said that forgiveness of sins is a free gift. In your own words “This free gift is given to every person who ever lived.” If I have been forgiven already than how can I die in my sins? I can die without Christ, but not in my sins. Look at it like this: You owe one million dollars. A friend pays the debt. You than tell that friend to take a hike. Are you still in debt? No. In the same way, I have sinned. Christ has paid the price and my sins are forgiven. I reject Christ, so I have not been forgiven. It makes not sense. Just as the bank will not demand payment from you after a friend has paid the debt of money, God would demand payment from me after Christ has paid the debt of sin. It makes not sense.

    Shem, you are giving examples that do not represent what I said. I said that Christ’s Atonement has forgiven all sins of all people. If a person does not believe that, then that person rejects the forgiveness that has already been won for them. As an illustration: “You owe the bank one million dollars.” I pay that debt for you in full and tell you the debt is cancelled. But, you won’t believe me so you tell the bank that you won’t accept the one million dollars sitting in your account. You tell them that it isn’t truly yours, and that instead, you want to spend your whole life paying off the debt yourself. So, they take it away from your account. (I’m sure that someone in the bank will gladly take that money off your hands.)

    In truth, you refuse to believe that Jesus has paid your debt in full. Even though I have told you and have given you many Bible passages as proof, you have rejected Christ’s full forgiveness of all your sins. Instead, you have chosen to spend your whole life trying to earn your forgiveness with your own works. Because you reject Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, you do not have the forgiveness of sins.

    You are correct that God will not demand a second payment from you. There is only one payment that He will accept and that is the sacrificial offering of a perfect sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews testifies:

    And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Heb 9:22)

    You are not perfect and so you can never pay the price for your sins. You can never gain forgiveness of any sin through your works. The only way to be forgiven is through the blood of a perfect sacrifice.

    This is why all who believe in Jesus can be assured they have eternal life. As well, all who do not believe in Jesus have rejected His gift of forgiveness, and their sins condemn them before God:

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

  10. shematwater said,

    October 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    I will not be commenting I your response to my third comment as I confused myself in making it. I do apologize.

    As to the rest:

    First: No where in LDS doctrine does it say we can gain forgiveness because of our works. It is not because of our works that we are forgiven. It is because of our faith. Only those who believe can gain forgiveness. However, our works are the evidence of our faith, as James clearly explains. As such, without the works we cannot be forgiven because without them we do not have the proper faith.
    Thus it is through our faith that we are forgiven, but only after we have proven our faith through our works.
    No matter how many good works a person has if they have not faith they will not recieve a forgiveness of sins.

    Continuing on this point, I never claimed that you said “that the Bible passages claim that your sins have been forgiven because you have been faithful.”
    I said this, using the fact that these passages were written to the saints to support this. I was pointing out that all the verses you used to show a forgiveness of sins without works (through faith alone) I see as refering to works because of whom they are addressed to.
    In cantrast to these passages addressed to the saints John the Baptist, speaking to the Pharisees when they came to be baptized of him declared “Bring forth therefore fruits ameet for brepentance.” (Matt. 3: 11). To the saints who have brought the fruits (or done the work) we read forgiveness. But for the pharisees who had not we read a damnation and an apparent denial of baptism.
    For these reasons I say that the verses you use indicate people who have done the work, and thus have been faithful. They receive forgiveness because they have shown the fruits of repentence.

    As to Isaiah:
    “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD HATH LIAD ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
    In this ending passage I see a transfer of authority and responsibility from the Father to the Son. The healing is refering to a remission of sins, and I never denied this. But nowhere does it say this healing is free, nor does it mention anything of the requirements to receive it. It simply states that it happens. Thus this verse does not support what you have said concerning forgiveness, nor does it support what I have said.
    Now, returning to a previous point for a bit, without Christ no one could be forgiven. It would be impossible. He made such possible. You seem to ignore this little bit when you claim that “Mormon doctrine clearly shows that forgiveness is granted BECAUSE of your own works.”
    In 2 Nephi 9: 7-8 we read “Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have dremained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.”
    Very clearly LDS doctrine teaches that without Christ no man could be saved. However, Christ has done his part, and we must now do ours.

    Lastly, Acts: You misunderstand what I say. Baptism is a work on our part, as well as on God’s. We don’t just wake up one day and find ourselves in water, nor do we take a shower and suddenly have the clensing effect of the ordinance.
    We choose to seek out one who has the authority to perform the ordinance. We voluntarily submit ourselves to the procedures. We also bring forth fruits worthy of repentence (Matt 3: 11; Luke 3: 8) as I have stated above. We have faith in Christ, and through submitting ourselves to baptism we show that faith, and are thus forgiven of our sins.
    It is not something that is simply done to you or for you. It is something that you must choose and act on, and is thus the first work or ordinance of salvation.

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    First: No where in LDS doctrine does it say we can gain forgiveness because of our works. It is not because of our works that we are forgiven. It is because of our faith. Only those who believe can gain forgiveness. However, our works are the evidence of our faith, as James clearly explains. As such, without the works we cannot be forgiven because without them we do not have the proper faith. Thus it is through our faith that we are forgiven, but only after we have proven our faith through our works. No matter how many good works a person has if they have not faith they will not recieve a forgiveness of sins.

    What? How could you say that “No where in LDS doctrine does is say we can gain forgiveness because of our works”? You must not have attended the Gospel Principles class last week. Obviously you did not click the link at the bottom of the Post which provides the proof of what I state. You also must not realize that I spent more years in Mormonism than you have, since you are only 25. It is true that one of the elements of the LDS Process of Repentance is having faith, but that faith is not what gains a Mormon the forgiveness of sins. Your forgiveness depends upon your works.

    President Kimball was the prophet when I was LDS and I clung to the words in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness. This quote shows quite clearly that Mormons gain forgiveness because of their works:

    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 be weeks, it could be 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.” (pages 324-325)

    I did not want to burden my post with all the quotes which prove my words. But, since you did not go to the link I provided, here are the words of LDS Prophets and Apostles testifying how a person gains forgiveness of their sins. First, from the book the Miracle of Forgiveness:

    Page163: There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin…
    Pages 164-165:Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong
    Page 170: Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.”…

    LDS Scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 1:32: “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”)

    Gospel Principles, Pages 123-127:
    What Is Repentance? Repentance is the way provided for us to become free from our sins and receive forgiveness for them. How Do We Repent? Elder Spencer W. Kimball declared: “There is no royal road to repentance, no privileged path to forgiveness. Every man must follow the same course whether he be rich or poor, educated or untrained, tall or short, prince or pauper, king or commoner. … There is only one way. It is a long road spiked with thorns and briars and pitfalls and problems” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 149)…
    We Must Forsake Our Sins…
    We Must Confess Our Sins…
    We Must Make Restitution…
    We Must Forgive Others
    We Must Keep the Commandments of God. To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D&C 1:32)…
    Elder Kimball said: “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” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 200).”

    Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher’s Manual (Lessons for 12 & 13 year olds, taught in even years) pp 62-67
    Repentance is necessary for everyone. It is a great blessing that allows us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins so we can achieve exaltation. Repentance Allows Us to Become Clean Again…
    Explain that repentance is the process Heavenly Father has given us for “erasing” our sins. Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with him after this life, but no unclean, or sinful, person can live with him (see Moses 6:57). Heavenly Father knows that everyone will make mistakes and commit sins while on the earth, so he has given us a way to become clean again after we have sinned. This is repentance. Testify of the joy and gratitude you feel for the principle of repentance, which enables us to be forgiven of our sins…Explain that as the bleach makes the water clear again, sincere repentance enables us to be forgiven and become clean again after we have sinned.

    Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, pages 36-40:
    What is repentance? (See D&C 58:42–43. Repentance is the process of becoming cleansed from our sins and receiving forgiveness for them through the power of the Savior’s Atonement. To repent, we must confess and forsake our sins and turn away from evil. We must also turn our heart and will to God, sincerely striving to obey His commandments. To discuss the process of repentance, see the second additional teaching idea.)…Why is it necessary that we repent to be forgiven of our sins? Explain that when we sin, we become unclean and subject to the punishments required by the law of justice. Being imperfect, we cannot become clean again or meet the demands of justice on our own. By atoning for our sins, the Savior took upon Himself the punishments required by the law of justice and is able to offer the mercy and forgiveness we need to become clean. These blessings of the Atonement are available to us only on the condition that we repent (Alma 7:14). Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve outlined the essential elements of repentance as follows: Sorrow for sin. [This will] bring a sincere desire for change and a willingness to submit to every requirement for forgiveness. …“Abandonment of sin. This is an unyielding, permanent resolve to not repeat the transgression. …“Confession of sin. You always need to confess your sins to the Lord. If they are serious transgressions, such as immorality, they need to be confessed to a bishop or stake president. …“Restitution for sin. You must restore as far as possible all that which is stolen, damaged, or defiled. …“Obedience to all the commandments. Full obedience brings the complete power of the gospel into your life. … It includes things you might not initially consider part of repentance, such as attending meetings, paying tithing, giving service, and forgiving others…

    Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, page 116
    He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more. … Repentance is like soap; it can wash sin away. Ground-in dirt may take the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out, but out they will come”.

    New Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, page 14
    What does it mean to repent?
    a. Feeling godly sorrow for sin (2 Corinthians 7:9–10).
    b. Confessing and forsaking sins (D&C 58:42–43).
    c. Making amends, where possible, for wrongs done (Luke 19:8).
    d. Obeying the commandments (D&C 1:31–32).
    e. Turning to the Lord and serving him (Mosiah 7:33).

    Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, page 72
    What did King Benjamin teach about how we obtain a remission of our sins?” (Mosiah 4:9–10) 10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.) What did he teach about how we retain a remission of our sins? (See Mosiah 4:11–12, 26) 26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church Spencer W. Kimball, pages 34-44:
    President Spencer W. Kimball taught that “repentance is ever the key to a better, happier life. All of us need it.” He also observed that “hope is … the great incentive to repentance, for without it no one would make the difficult, extended effort required.”… What relief! What comfort! What joy! Those laden with transgressions and sorrows and sin may be forgiven and cleansed and purified if they will return to their Lord, learn of him, and keep his commandments. And all of us needing to repent of day-to-day follies and weaknesses can likewise share in this miracle. We all need repentance. “… There cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God. …” (1 Ne. 15:34.) And again, “… no unclean thing can dwell with God. …” (1 Ne. 10:21.) To the prophets the term unclean in this context means what it means to God. To man the word may be relative in meaning—one minute speck of dirt does not make a white shirt or dress unclean, for example. But to God who is perfection, cleanliness means moral and personal cleanliness. Less than that is, in one degree or another, uncleanliness and hence cannot dwell with God. Were it not for the blessed gifts of repentance and forgiveness this would be a hopeless situation for man, since no one except the Master has ever lived sinless on the earth… Abandonment of sin includes building a new life… There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. Providing that a person discontinues his sin with the right motives—because of a growing consciousness of the gravity of the sin and a willingness to comply with the laws of the Lord—he is genuinely repenting. This criterion has been set by the Lord: “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43. Italics added.) In other words, it is not real repentance until one has abandoned the error of his way and started on a new path. … The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. True repentance prods one to action… “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43. Italics added.)… Knowing the hearts of men, and their intents, and their abilities to repent and regenerate themselves, the Lord waits to forgive until the repentance has matured. The transgressor must have a “broken heart and a contrite spirit” and be willing to humble himself and do all that is required… Restitution is a necessary part of repentance…True repentance includes a commitment to live the Lord’s commandments.
    In his preface to modern revelation, the Lord outlined what is one of the most difficult requirements in true repentance. For some it is the hardest part of repentance, because it puts one on guard for the remainder of his life. The Lord says: “… I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.” (D&C 1:31–32. Italics added.) This scripture is most precise. First, one repents. Having gained that ground he then must live the commandments of the Lord to retain his vantage point. This is necessary to secure complete forgiveness. … Repentance must involve an all-out, total surrender to the program of the Lord. That transgressor is not fully repentant who neglects his tithing, misses his meetings, breaks the Sabbath, fails in his family prayers, does not sustain the authorities of the Church, breaks the Word of Wisdom, does not love the Lord nor his fellowmen. … God cannot forgive unless the transgressor shows a true repentance which spreads to all areas of his life. …“Doing the commandments” includes the many activities required of the faithful. … General good works and devotion accompanied by constructive attitudes are what is needed. In addition, a sound way to neutralize the effects of sin in one’s life is to bring the light of the gospel to others who do not now enjoy it. This can mean working with both inactive members of the Church and nonmembers—perhaps more usually the latter. Note how 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. Italics added.)

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church Harold B. Lee, pages 29-30:
    First, those in sin must confess them. “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (Doc. and Cov. D&C 58:43) That confession must be made first to him or her who has been most wronged by your acts. A sincere confession is not merely admitting guilt after the proof is already in evidence…
    Following confession, one in sin must show forth the fruits of his repentance by good deeds that are weighed against the bad. He must make proper restitution to the limit of his power to restore that which he has taken away or to repair the damage he has done. He that repents thus of his sins and altogether turns away therefrom, to return no more to a repetition thereof, is entitled to the promise of a forgiveness of his sins.

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church Joseph F. Smith, pages 61:
    Does repentance consist of sorrow for wrong doing? Yes, but is this all? By no means. True repentance only is acceptable to God, nothing short of it will answer the purpose. Then what is true repentance? True repentance is not only sorrow for sins, and humble penitence and contrition before God, but it involves the necessity of turning away from them, a discontinuance of all evil practices and deeds, a thorough reformation of life, a vital change from evil to good, from vice to virtue, from darkness to light. Not only so, but to make restitution, so far as it is possible, for all the wrongs we have done, to pay our debts, and restore to God and man their rights—that which is due to them from us. This is true repentance, and the exercise of the will and all the powers of body and mind is demanded, to complete this glorious work of repentance; then God will accept it. No mouth profession of repentance is acceptable to God unless it is carried out in practice. We must have works as well as faith; we must do as well as pretend to do.

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church Brigham Young, page 64
    Has water, in itself, any virtue to wash away sin? Certainly not; but the Lord says, “If the sinner will repent of his sins, and go down into the waters of baptism, and there be buried in the likeness of being put into the earth and buried, and again be delivered from the water, in the likeness of being born—if in the sincerity of his heart he will do this, his sins shall be washed away.” [See D&C 128:12–13.] Will the water of itself wash them away? No; but keeping the commandments of God will cleanse away the stain of sin (DBY, 159).

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church Wilford Woodruff, pages 71-72
    And what is repentance? The forsaking of sin. The man who repents, if he be a swearer, swears no more; or a thief, steals no more; he turns away from all former sins and commits them no more. It is not repentance to say, I repent today, and then steal tomorrow; that is the repentance of the world, which is displeasing in the sight of God.

    The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A, Pages 16-19
    In order to repent, we must follow a certain process. This process is explained in Gospel Principles chapter 19, pages 123–26. Discuss the seven parts of repentance discussed in Gospel Principles chapter 19…
    1. Recognizing sin
    2. Feeling sorrow for sin
    3. Forsaking sin
    4. Confessing sin
    5. Making restitution
    6. Forgiving others
    7. Keeping the commandments of God

    Because Jesus Christ paid for our sins, He has the power to forgive us. When we follow the process of repentance, the Savior promises that He will forgive us of our sins and remember them no more. Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:42.
    Through repentance we become clean and pure again.

    Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part A, pages 208-210
    How Does a Person Repent? Sin is like dirt on our bodies. It makes us spiritually unclean. Repentance is like washing off the dirt. After repenting, we feel refreshed and clean. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle explained it this way:
    Repentance is like soap. It is the soap of life. Like soap, it washes away the sins of life. It is to be used as frequently as necessary. One must keep in mind, however, that misuse—lack of thorough cleansing and half-hearted effort—may result in ‘tattletale gray.’ Properly used, however, the soap of life cleanses thoroughly, completely, and permanently. … “One day we … will be ushered before the judgment bar of the Lord. There we shall stand either besmirched, dirty, and unclean, or by acceptance and application of the great and marvelous gift of cleansing—by the soap of life—we may stand clean, forgiven, and pure before the Lord. The next time you use soap, you might also want to think of cleansing your spirit by applying the soap of life, the universal law of repentance” (“Repentance,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1968, 64, 67). In order to repent, we must follow certain steps. Discuss the seven parts of repentance as explained in the Gospel Principles manual, chapter 19… (The seven parts are recognizing sin, feeling sorrow for sin, forsaking sin, confessing sin, making restitution, forgiving others, and keeping the commandments of God.) True repentance is not easy. It takes time and effort. For this reason, we cannot put off the day of our repentance (see Alma 13:27). The Joy of Repentance. We repent to gain forgiveness of our sins. But if Jesus Christ had not paid for our sins and died for us, we could never be forgiven. It is only through His atoning sacrifice that mercy can satisfy justice and we can have our sins cleansed from us (see Alma 34:10–16). This is a great blessing, and we should always be thankful for it. Jesus paid for our sins, but they are not removed from us unless we repent.

    Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, pages 82-85
    Write the following phrases on wordstrips:
    a. Recognize our sins
    b. Feel sorrow for our sins
    c. Have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ
    d. Confess our sins
    e. Abandon our sins
    f. Make restitution for our sins
    g. Keep His commandments and endure to the end…
    To earn God’s forgiveness we should go the extra mile, forsaking not only our sins, but doing good wherever we can…

    Young Women Manual 1, pages 98-100
    Repentance Is Necessary to Obtain Forgiveness…
    Read the following quotation in which one of our Church leaders compares repentance to an eraser:
    “God … has a pencil with an eraser on it and he has promised us that he will use it if we will repent and change our ways. … He has said that if we would forsake our evil and thoroughly make up our minds against it, then he would wash it out of his mind and just forget the whole thing…Begin by posting the wordstrip “Steps to Repentance:”
    “1. Recognize we have done wrong.
    “2. Covenant with the Lord that we will never repeat the sin we have committed and are repenting of. ‘By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.’ (D&C 58:43.)
    “3. Recommit ourselves to living a better life in all phases of the gospel.
    “4. Make restitution for the wrongs we have committed by—“a. Repenting in prayer to the Lord. b. Confessing to our bishop … [if the sin is a major one]. “c. Apologizing to those we have offended.
    “5. The depth of our repentance must be as deep as the sin we have committed. There is no easy way. It hurts, but it also cleanses…
    “7. Complete forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness without any feelings of retribution toward those who have offended us.
    “8. Finally, the greatest of all blessings: the forgiveness of the Lord. We no longer look back with depression and hurt, but forward to the future with hope and joy and love for God, self, and all mankind” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1976, p. 34; or Ensign, Nov. 1976, p. 26)… “We all make mistakes. If our repentance is sincere, we have the right to approach [Heavenly Father] for forgiveness, but remember we are not entitled to any quota of mistakes…
    “When we speak of the continual need of repentance, let it not be understood that we refer to a cycle of sinning and repenting and sinning again. That is not complete repentance. We must see the right and follow it, recognize the wrong and forsake it with a ‘Godly sorrow’ if we would obtain the blessings of complete repentance”.

    True to the Faith, Pages 132-135:
    The Need for Repentance. The Lord has declared that “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” (Alma 11:37). Your sins make you unclean—unworthy to return and dwell in the presence of your Heavenly Father. They also bring anguish to your soul in this life. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father has provided the only way for you to be forgiven of your sins (see “Forgiveness,” pages 70–72). Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for your sins so you can be forgiven if you sincerely repent. As you repent and rely on His saving grace, you will be cleansed from sin… Faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ… Remember that you can be forgiven only on His terms…
    Abandonment of Sin
    . Although confession is an essential element of repentance, it is not enough. The Lord has said, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43)…
    Restitution…Righteous Living. It is not enough to simply try to resist evil or empty your life of sin. You must fill your life with righteousness and engage in activities that bring spiritual power… Full obedience brings the complete power of the gospel into your life, including increased strength to overcome your weaknesses. This obedience includes actions you might not initially consider part of repentance, such as attending meetings, paying tithing, giving service, and forgiving others. The Lord promised, “He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven” (D&C 1:32).

    Shem, I pray that you believe that you gain forgiveness through your faith–because this is what the Bible proclaims. But, this is not what LDS prophets and apostles teach.

  12. shematwater said,

    October 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I don’t really care how long you were a member. More time spent in the church does not mean you know more of the doctrine than I do. Nor does reading more. You may know the words of the prophets, but that does not mean you know the doctrine they teach.

    You can through all the quotes you want to at me and it will change nothing. You are using only quotes that speak of a single aspect of doctrine, and not the doctrine as a whole. You are so focused on the Process of Repentance that you miss the entire principle of Repentance.

    I cannot give quotes, and that is fine, because I know the doctrine, and I speak what God has told me, and not what I read from others. It is through faith that we are forgiven, and every prophet who ever lived would agree. This is true for one simple fact. Even if a person does all that is required as listed in the many quotes you give, they will not be forgiven if they have no faith in Christ. It is a simple principle.

    Many people live very righteous lives and desire to correct any wrong that they might do. They can cast out all evil from themselves and live the most moral and chaste life possible. But if they do not believe in Christ they will not be forgiven of their sins in this life, regardless of how often they confess, forsake and restore. It doesn’t matter.

    The process of Repentance is built on the Principle of Faith. One cannot truly repent unless they have faith. Thus it is not our works that gain us forgiveness, but our faith as proven by our works.

    I have read the Miracle of Forgiveness and this is what it teaches, and what all the prophets from Adam to Thomas S. Monson have always taught. Without faith nothing can please God.

    Faith is the power through which Forgiveness is granted to all those who obey.

  13. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    OK Shem, if what you are saying is your own belief, then I think that is wonderful.

    However, if you are saying that LDS Prophets and Apostles teach that a person gains forgiveness of sins through their faith and not through their works, then I ask you to provide me with a quote from one of these General Authorities which says so. And, I would like that quote to have a link to lds.org, so that I can read that quote in context with the entire talk.

    Thanks, Becki

  14. echoechoecho said,

    October 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Shem said: “I don’t really care how long you were a member. More time spent in the church does not mean you know more of the doctrine than I do. Nor does reading more. You may know the words of the prophets, but that does not mean you know the doctrine they teach.”

    AND

    Shem said: ” I cannot give quotes, and that is fine, because I know the doctrine, and I speak what God has told me, and not what I read from others.”

    What evidence do you have to show us that you understand the doctrine the prophets teach and Becki doesn’t understand?

    If you cannot give quotes as you yourself stated above, and Becki has given quotes from the mouth of the prophets themselves, why should anyone believe you? Havn’t the LDS prophets already spoken here for themselves?

    You said you “speak what God has told you”, Becki could just as easily say that she speaks what God has told her and yet you and she contradict each other. How do you know, how can you be certain, it was God speaking to you and not Satan or his demons?

  15. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 23, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Hi Shem,

    I just re-read your comment and I think that maybe I have misunderstood your words. I thought we were focusing on the aspect that Mormon leaders teach that in order for a member of the church to gain forgiveness for a sin, that person must first meet the requirements of the Process of repentance. But now, I am wondering if you are simply saying that unless a person has faith, they cannot gain forgiveness–even if they live moral lives.

    You wrote:
    Many people live very righteous lives and desire to correct any wrong that they might do. They can cast out all evil from themselves and live the most moral and chaste life possible. But if they do not believe in Christ they will not be forgiven of their sins in this life, regardless of how often they confess, forsake and restore. It doesn’t matter. The process of Repentance is built on the Principle of Faith. One cannot truly repent unless they have faith.

    If that is what you are saying, then yes I would agree with you. The first element in the LDS process of repentance is faith. As you have said, LDS leaders teach that the first step in obtaining the forgiveness of sins is faith in Christ. But, merely having that faith will not gain a person forgiveness. It is just the first step in the process of repentance. After faith, then one must meet all the other requirements before forgiveness is granted.

    Is that what you meant in your comment?

    As far as what the Bible teaches, faith is necessary to receive the forgiveness that Jesus has earned for us with His works. If you do not believe what Jesus has done for you, then you reject this most precious gift. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, as the writer of Hebrews testified:

    But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

  16. shematwater said,

    October 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

    LDSWOMAN

    You are closer to what I mean, yes. However, it is not that faith is simply the first step. Faith begins it and finishes it. It is like climbing a staircase. Each step must be passed in order to reach the top. However, faith is the power, or energy that allows us to take each step. Just as a man who is physically weak cannot climb stairs, so too a man who is weak in faith cannot fullfill the requirements of repentence. Some have sufficient faith to confess, but lack the faith to continue. Others can both confess and forsake, but lack the faith to restore. It is not that one must have faith, and then they must do these things. It is that a person must have faith so they are able to do these things.

    As to quotes, you give it yourself in this last post. Hebrews 11: 6. Paul is just as much a prophet as Thomas S. Monson, as his words are just as binding as doctrine.

    No person can, nor should they try, and separate the scriptures from the living prophets. What one teaches the other will agree with. So, Paul teaches that without faith nothing can please God. Thus, without faith repentence is nothing, as it will not please God.

    If I had the time I could find other quotes, as I have read most of them. When I said I couldn’t give any I was refering to the fact that I really don’t have a lot of time to dig them out. However, if you read in the “Lectures of Faith” you will read that Faith is the governing principal by which all things are done, and nothing is done except by it. This is why I call it the power by which repentence bings a remission of sins.

    ECHO

    I can give quotes, but lack sufficient time to do so. However, my post was in response (and reaction) to that given by LDSWOMAN where she made arguments based in logical falicy. Time and reading do not garuntee a better understanding, and the post was very condessending based on these two arguments. She provided quotes, yes, but argued that she new their meaning better than me because she had been a member longer. I was not arguing against the quotes, but against what he argument was based on.

    Now, from lds.org, in the A-Z index, under faith, sub-heading “Living By Faith,” we read the following.
    “Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live. The Savior promised, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moroni 7:33). Faith in Jesus Christ can motivate us to follow His perfect example (see John 14:12). OUR FAITH CAN LEAD US TO do good works, obey the commandments, and REPENT OF OUR SINS(see James 2:18; 1 Nephi 3:7; Alma 34:17).”
    Then, under Repentence and the sub-heading “Elements of Repentence,” we get the following list of elements.
    1. Faith in Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
    2. Sorrow for Sin.
    3. Confession.
    4. Abandonment of Sin.
    5. Restitution.
    6. Righteous Living.
    Under the first element of Faith we read the following
    “The power of sin is great. To become free from it, we must turn to our Heavenly Father, pray in faith, and act as He asks us to.
    Repentance is an act of faith in Jesus Christ—an acknowledgment of the power of His Atonement. We can be forgiven only on His terms. As we gratefully recognize His Atonement and His power to cleanse us from sin, we are able to “exercise [our] faith unto repentance” (Alma 34:17).”

    Here are the quotes you wanted that spell it out very plainly. They are not in a book that was written by an apostle or prophet. They are not in the many talks and pamphlets that are spread around. They are simply a brief explanation of the core essentials of the doctrine of the church, as approved by the First Presidency and presented to all those who seek to understand LDS doctrine, and they agree completely with what I have described.

  17. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    However, it is not that faith is simply the first step. Faith begins it and finishes it… As to quotes, you give it yourself in this last post. Hebrews 11: 6. Paul is just as much a prophet as Thomas S. Monson, as his words are just as binding as doctrine. No person can, nor should they try, and separate the scriptures from the living prophets. What one teaches the other will agree with. So, Paul teaches that without faith nothing can please God. Thus, without faith repentence is nothing, as it will not please God. If I had the time I could find other quotes, as I have read most of them. When I said I couldn’t give any I was refering to the fact that I really don’t have a lot of time to dig them out.

    Shem, you cannot convince me with what you have said. Please, let me first re-state very simply what we have been discussing:

    I have continually declared the Biblical truth that through faith alone a person receives the forgiveness of sins. The evidence is seen in the Bible verses by looking at when a person recieves the forgiveness of sins: immediately after being brought to faith.

    Broken down, here is the teaching of God’s Prophets and Apostles:
    1. When Christ was offered as the perfect sacrifice for sins, every sin was paid for and forgiven.
    2. If a person does not believe in the Savior who has forgiven every sin with His blood, then they reject His precious gift of forgiveness and remain in their sins.
    3. The very moment the Holy Ghost brings a person to faith (through baptism or the hearing of God’s Word) they receive the forgiveness that they have previously been rejecting through their unbelief.
    4. It is through faith alone that one receives the entire forgiveness of all of their sins—past, present and future.

    I have compared this Biblical truth with LDS doctrine. I have provided page after page after page of quotes from LDS prophets and apostles, proving that emphatically, they declare that it is through faith and works that a person receives the forgiveness of sins. Faith is merely the first step, and forgiveness is not granted through faith.

    The evidence of what I say can be seen by looking at when forgiveness is finally granted to an LDS person. Forgiveness is withheld until a person meets all the requirements of the LDS Process of Repentance.

    You have refused to believe the quotes that I have given, even though they are the words of your very own prophets and apostles. Instead, you insist that the LDS Church teaches that you receive forgiveness solely through faith.

    Now you are quoting an apostle from the New Testament as proof that the LDS Church believes a person receives forgiveness solely through their faith. This is absurd! I have been comparing the words of Biblical prophets and Apostles with LDS prophets and apostles. You can’t now use a Bible verse and say: “Paul is just as much a prophet as Thomas S. Monson and so his words are just as binding as doctrine.

    The entire purpose of my original post was to compare the words of LDS prophets and apostles with the words of the Old and New Testament Prophets and Apostles.

    You say that you do not have time to find any other quotes that prove what you state. I am OK with that. But, if you ever do have the time, I will be waiting.

    Shem, I pray for you every day, that you may turn to the one true Savior, who has already washed you clean with His blood. Believe it and receive it.

  18. shematwater said,

    October 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    The absurd thing is for you to claim that the LDS church ignores the bible when it is one of the core standards of doctrine. When I am speaking of LDS doctrine it is perfectly logical for me to reference all those documents that the LDS church accepts as authoritative, and it is rediculos for you to claim otherwise.
    I have not truly commdented on the Biblical references you give, but I would say that none of them mean what you are claiming. If they did than why did John the Baptist tell the pharisees to bring forth “fruit meet for repentance” as I quoted earlier? If they mean what you say than Christ would not have declared “He who believes and is baptised shall be saved.” He would have said simply “He who believes will be saved.”
    No one has ever been forgiven of sins without showing the work required, not even in the Bible. As such it is absurd to say that anyone ever will.

    As to LDS doctrine, I belive every quote you give, but I do not believe the incorrect interpretation you give them. After reading on lds.org I think that stairs are a poor analogy for repentence. I like that it calls them the ELEMENTS of repentence. Thus it is more like the cemical (or spiritual) reaction, with faith being the catalyst that causes the desired effect. Without it all you have are the separate elements, but with it you get a reaction that results in a remission of sins.

    This is the doctrine of the LDS church. It is through faith that we are granted forgiveness. This is also what I read in the Bible, inckuding all your quotes, and so the two are in perfect harmony.

  19. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    October 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Shem, I give up.

  20. echoechoecho said,

    October 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Shem,

    Can an unclean person enter the presence of God?
    What makes a person unclean?

  21. catzgalore said,

    October 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Shem,

    Hard to know, isn’t it, whose eyes are blinded. The rest of us read what was written by your leaders and see one thing, and you see another. We see that your leaders believe that forgiveness is earned; you say differently. You think that OUR eyes are blinded; we think it is YOU that doesn’t really know Jesus. How can we know?

    And I feel like giving up too from time to time. I suppose even Echo feels like giving up sometimes. I know that God has us all here for a reason though. And somehow he doesn’t let us give up. 🙂

    It also somehow feels like there are two of you, Shem. The one who writes fluently and the one who meanders and can’t spell worth beans. One seems older, more mature, more concise; the other, younger and less experienced. I don’t think your posts are always written by the same person… Which one is the real YOU? Why is someone helping you (although you probably would deny it)? If there is only ONE of you, why the difference in posts? Just wondering.

  22. echoechoecho said,

    October 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Catz said: “It also somehow feels like there are two of you, Shem.”

    Your not the only one who has noticed this.

  23. shematwater said,

    November 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    CATZ

    You see something different because you are not looking at the whole picture.
    Take Da Vinci’s last supper panting. If you zoom your focus into the center all you will see is a single figure sitting at a table. With only this the painting seems to be very simple and strait forward. However, if you zoom out and look at the whole picture there is a much more complicated story being told as we see the relationship between the many men at the table, and we are able to understand better what Da Vinci’s intent was in drawing that one figure we were focused on.
    In the same manner you have zoomed your understanding in to view only a portion of the doctrine, which gives the illusion that it is simple in meaning. However, I ask that you step back and consider the entire doctrine so that you can see the more complex nature of how the various doctinre relate to one another, and thus be more able to understand the meaning of the leaders in these quotes that you are focused on.

    I did give quotes and references from lds.org that clearly show the doctrine I have explained.

    As to there being more than one of me; there isn’t. It is just me posting under this name. However, with some posts I have greater time to devote to what I say, and frequently erase my first thoughts as I realize they are the wrong thing to say. At other times I am in a hurry and do not take the time to edit. It is also true that at times I do not feel that it is just me talking, but that I am being guided by the spirit in what to say. Other times I do not feel this, but am left to my own devices. There are also the times the what others say to me draw out such strong emotions that I react without really thinking (and thus without the spirit) causing what I say to lack the evidence of my true understanding of the subject.

    There is no other mortal person helping me write these posts, but the spirit and my own emotions have a tendency to alter how I react to various statements made by others.

  24. echoechoecho said,

    November 2, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Shem, you missed the questions…

    Can an unclean person enter the presence of God?
    What makes a person unclean?

  25. shematwater said,

    November 3, 2010 at 10:26 am

    ECHO

    I did not have the time to answer the questions.

    First Question:
    1 Ne. 10: 21 “…no unclean thing can dwell with God…”
    Alma 11: 37 “…he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven…”
    Alma 40: 26 “…no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God
    3 Ne. 27: 19 “And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom…”
    Moses 6: 57 “…for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence…”
    I think these passages answer the question very well, and more directly than any passage in the Bible.

    Second Question
    1 Ne. 10: 21 “Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God…”
    Alma 40: 26 “But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean”
    These two do a very good job of explaining what makes a person unclean. They who are wicked, or have sought to do wickedly. In other words, not all who sin, but all who seek out sin.

    Third Question (I know you gave only two, but this one also needs to be answered: How do we become clean?)
    3 Ne. 27: 19 “therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.”
    Moses 6: 57 “Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must arepent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God…”
    Through these verse we see that it is through the Atonement, Faith, Repentence, and Obediecne that we are made clean and are thus enabled to inherit the Kingdom of God.

  26. echoechoecho said,

    November 6, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Shem said: “They who are wicked, or have sought to do wickedly. In other words, not all who sin, but all who seek out sin”.

    Shem, with God as your witness, have you ever sought out sin, which is the same as asking: have you ever desired to sin?

  27. shematwater said,

    November 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

    ECHO

    With God as my witness I would not answer that question on a public forum, or even a private one, as such is between me, God, and the designated authorities of God on Earth.

    However, I can say this: What this is saying, as I see it, is those who not just sek to sin, but seek it with no remorse or thought of repentence.
    There are good people who are led astray by false doctrine into thinking that sin is okay, as you can always repent on your death bed. There are also those who seek out sins because they don’t know it is sin, or because they think in doing such the result will be good and thus the sin is justified.
    These people are not wicked, just misguided, or believing a lie.

    The fun thing is that only the LDS doctrine makes room for such. To everyone else these people are either comdemned for not believing or saved for their faith regardless of their works. Only the LDS make a distinction between the wicked, the misguided, and the righteous.

  28. echoechoecho said,

    November 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Shem said: “The fun thing is that only the LDS doctrine makes room for such. To everyone else these people are either comdemned for not believing or saved for their faith regardless of their works. Only the LDS make a distinction between the wicked, the misguided, and the righteous.

    You have not spoken the truth about us. You’re misguided. We do make a distinction. But in discussing just the righteous, we believe the righteous are those who have been fully and completely forgiven for all their sins.
    If I understood you correctly, you believe the righteous are those who have remorse or thought of repentance. Correct?

  29. shematwater said,

    November 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    ECHO

    No, the righteous are not those who have remorse or thoughts of repentence. The Good are those who have such. There is a difference.

    The Righteous are those who both know the truth of God’s Law and obey it to the best of their ability.
    One can be a good person and not be among the righteous. This is why I call them the Misguided. They are good people, truly seeking that which is good, but they are not righteous because they do not understand what true righteousness is.
    The truly righteous will inherit the Celestial Kingdom. The good, but misguided will inherit the Terrestial. The wicked the Telestial.

    I never said you did not make a distinction with the misguided, but from what I have heard of most Christians there is no difference in reward. In other words, you believe in only one heaven and one hell. Thus, the righteous go to Heaven, the wicked to Hell.
    There is a distinction that some are not truly wicked, just misguided. However, I have yet to hear anyone outside the LDS church say they were not either going to Heaven (despite their works) or to Hell (because of false faith).
    With only two options you do not have room for a third category.

  30. echoechoecho said,

    November 11, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Shem said: “I never said you did not make a distinction with the misguided,”

    I never said you did either 🙂 I misunderstood you, you mistunderstood me. No harm done. It’s not really important.

    Shem said: “There is a distinction that some are not truly wicked, just misguided. However, I have yet to hear anyone outside the LDS church say they were not either going to Heaven (despite their works) or to Hell (because of false faith).
    With only two options you do not have room for a third category.”

    We believe that anyone who believes the message of the gospel is saved(goes to heaven) despite what ever other areas in doctrine they are misguided in. We believe that all those who don’t believe the message of the gospel are condemned. (go to Hell)

    However we don’t believe people are considered righteous “BEFORE GOD” because they know the truth of God’s law and obey it to the best of their ability. We believe that people are considered righteous because Jesus has clothed them in his righteousness.

    Luther said this; “Lord Jesus, I am your sin, you are my righteousness. You have made me what I was not; I have made you what you were not. Amen”

    In Jesus suffering and death he became you and suffered the punishment you deserve.
    You became him, you became perfect, Holy and innocent, free from spot and blemish.
    That’s an identity you get to keep now and on through forever-through faith!

    That is what makes a person righteous BEFORE GOD.

    What makes a person righteous BEFORE MEN are those who express their gratitude to God for having made them perfect through faith alone. They express that gratitude by desiring to obey God’s law to the best of their ability.

    So the difference between us is that we do all our good works out of gratitude alone. Our gratitude stems from the fact that God has done everything necessary for our salvation and our salvation therefore doesn’t depend on what we do. We have absolute confidence where we are going when we die but it doesn’t depend on what we do.

    As per your description, good works may well be done out of gratitude, but salvation does depend on what you do. Therefore your good works aren’t done out of gratitude alone but also because what you do makes all the difference in where you end up in eternity.

    We call good works like that: “glittering vices”. We believe glittering vices will all burn up in the judgment.

  31. shematwater said,

    November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    ECHO

    You still do not quite understand.

    First, no man is righteous who has not accepted the atonement of Christ, as Faith is the first step. As such on this point we are agreed.

    Second, those who do the works simply to gain the reward are not the righteous. Remember that it is not just physical actions that are included in the concept of Good Works, but also thought and desire. One who chooses to do good for the reward has fallen short in a sense, because their motivation was not right.

    Third, everything I do is out of gratitude to God. I am grateful for his sacrifice, as to show that gratitude I do all I can to make his sacrifice effective in my life. The difference is not that we act on anything besides gratitude, but that we are greatful for different things, which causes us to act in different ways.

    Let us use school as an example: You are grateful that because of his sacrifice you are going to graduate with honors, no matter what you do during your carreer as a student.
    On the other hand, we are grateful that he has paid our tuition, allowing us to attend the school.
    Consider how this alters one’s perception of the work they are doing?

    For you, you get the good grades so that you can tell your classmates that you are grateful (righteous before men).
    On the other hand we strive to get the good grades to show Christ how grateful we are.

  32. ckuhrasch said,

    November 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    “For you, you get the good grades so that you can tell your classmates that you are grateful (righteous before men).
    On the other hand we strive to get the good grades to show Christ how grateful we are.”

    Either way, the righteousness is ours, not Christ’s. If we are truly grateful for the work of Christ, our work will be our witness of Him. A life lived witnessing our belief in Christ results in Him indwelling us with His spirit and causing His fruit to flow from us as a result.

  33. echoechoecho said,

    November 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    SHEM, No, you havn’t gotten our view correct yet.

    In your school, who gets credit for your degree?
    In our school, who gets credit for our degree?

  34. shematwater said,

    November 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    ECHO

    Yes, I understand your view point.

    If you want me to be blunt about it, in your school the credit goes to the selfserving headmaster who doesn’t care what his students do, he just passes them so he can have the glory of 100% graduation.
    This is what I see.

    However, in our school the credit is shared by both the head master (for providing the classes and scholarship for us to learn), the teachers (for taking the time to teach us), and us (for actually following the rules). In this way we do not have 100% graduation, like you might, but all our graduates are fully trained and able to enter the work force upon graduating.

    What will your graduates be prepared for?

    I have always said that everything we do must be for the glory of our Father. However, everything he does is for our glory. This is the biggest difference in our faiths.

    CKUHRASCH

    If you know the whole doctrine than you know that the righteousness is not ours. In the idea of the school, our grades, though we do the work, are still his, for without him we would not even be in the school. In like manner, our righteousness is his, for it is through him that we are given the power to do what we must do. It is the desire and the will that we must provide, but without him we could do nothing. And thus all the glory of our righteousness becomes his righteousness.

  35. echoechoecho said,

    November 21, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Shem said: “Yes, I understand your view point.

    If you want me to be blunt about it, in your school the credit goes to the selfserving headmaster who doesn’t care what his students do, he just passes them so he can have the glory of 100% graduation.
    This is what I see.

    What is it that makes you think that we believe in a God who doesn’t care what we do?

  36. catzgalore said,

    November 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Shem wrote: “If you want me to be blunt about it, in your school the credit goes to the selfserving headmaster who doesn’t care what his students do, he just passes them so he can have the glory of 100% graduation.
    This is what I see.

    You don’t get it. If you did you would never say something like this about my Lord and Savior. It is obvious that you don’t know Him at all.

  37. shematwater said,

    November 23, 2010 at 9:59 am

    ECHO

    I never said he doesn’t care, now did I. He cares, yes.

    Let me ask a very simple question. Why did God create us? Answer this, and then I will explain why I said what I said.

    CATZ

    I don’t really want to know your Lord. Your Lord is not as merciful as mine, not as just, and not as loving. I have perfect faith in my Lord because of these things, but cannot have such faith in your Lord because he lacks these things.

  38. echoechoecho said,

    November 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Shem, you said: “ the selfserving headmaster who doesn’t care what his students do

    To which I asked: “What is it that makes you think that we believe in a God who doesn’t care what we do?

    To which you replied: “I never said he doesn’t care, now did I. He cares, yes.

    I am scratching my head.

    Shem said: “Let me ask a very simple question. Why did God create us?

    God created us to love us and to have us love him.

  39. catzgalore said,

    November 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I am also scratching my head…. Shem said…

    I don’t really want to know your Lord. Your Lord is not as merciful as mine, not as just, and not as loving. I have perfect faith in my Lord because of these things, but cannot have such faith in your Lord because he lacks these things.

    So…. we don’t believe in the same god. So why do you wish to be considered as “Christian” when you don’t believe in the same god as Christians do?

  40. shematwater said,

    November 24, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    ECHO

    I do apologyze. I misread your comment.

    Now, as to why I said he doesn’t care what we do: This is simple. According to you all you have to do is believe to be saved, or using my analogy, all you have to do to gain a degree is attend school. If nothing depends on what you do than it doesn’t matter what you do.
    So, if he does care at all, he does not care enough to actually enforce anything. While I did put it in a rather rude way, I still think I was accurate. He cares more about having people graduate than he does about what they do.

    Now, when I said he cared, I was talking in a more general sense, which is how I read your post. He cares about you, just not about what you do.

    Finally, your answer to my question shows exactly what I said.
    You said: “God created us to love us and to have us love him.”
    He created us to benefit him. He needed something to love, and he needed something to love him. Thus, his motivation is centered on himself, not on us. This makes him selfserving. As he is willing to give out degrees when no work is done on the part of students he is even more selfserving, as all he seems to want is us around to praise him for making us graduate.
    Quite honestly I have yet to hear anyone in the mainstream Christian religions describe God in a way that does not make him out to be a selfserving God who is only out for his own glory, and you have not been the exception.

    Now, I would like to return to your one question of who gets the credit, as I have thought about it, and I think I can explain it better now.

    The Father is the Headmaster and handles the school according to justice. Christ is the “Dean of Students” in a sense. He works with us in all that we need, proving whatever services are required to help us in our work. He knows us all personally and loves us. He sends tutors and teachers to show us what to do, and even offers make-up courses if we happen to fail a class.
    When graduation comes and we stand to receive our diploma Christ is there to hand it to us, declaring “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” He acknowledges all we have done and gives us that slip of paper. We then accept it with quiet gratitude declaring “I never could have done it without you.”
    Thus, from our perspective all the honor and credit goes to Christ, who worked so hard and did so much to assist us in our labors. However, from his perspective the credit goes to us, as we have struggled and fought with all our ability to stand with him at that time.

    See the difference? For us it will always be Christ who gets the credit for all that we accomplish, as well he should. But to him it is our efforts that take the credit.
    On the other hand, what you describe is that from our perspective he gets the credit, and from his perspective he gets the credit.

  41. echoechoecho said,

    November 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Shem said: Now, as to why I said he doesn’t care what we do: This is simple. According to you all you have to do is believe to be saved, or using my analogy, all you have to do to gain a degree is attend school. If nothing depends on what you do than it doesn’t matter what you do.
    So, if he does care at all, he does not care enough to actually enforce anything. While I did put it in a rather rude way, I still think I was accurate. He cares more about having people graduate than he does about what they do.

    Now, when I said he cared, I was talking in a more general sense, which is how I read your post. He cares about you, just not about what you do.

    Nobody has ever said that just because it doesn’t depend on us it doesn’t matter what we do. It’s like this…Perfection is required. Nobody is perfect. So it’s not that it doesn’t matter what we do but the fact is that it is impossible for us to do.

    There is a big difference between:

    1) it not mattering what we do

    and

    2) it being impossible for us to do

    Don’t you think?
    What do you think the difference is there?

    Shem said: “Finally, your answer to my question shows exactly what I said.
    You said: “God created us to love us and to have us love him.”
    He created us to benefit him. He needed something to love, and he needed something to love him. Thus, his motivation is centered on himself, not on us. This makes him selfserving. As he is willing to give out degrees when no work is done on the part of students he is even more selfserving, as all he seems to want is us around to praise him for making us graduate.

    He didn’t create us to benefit him. He created us to benefit us.
    Are you a parent Shem? If so, giving birth to them makes you self-serving. That’s your logic which is not logical at all.

    The Father is the Headmaster and handles the school according to justice. Christ is the “Dean of Students” in a sense. He works with us in all that we need, proving whatever services are required to help us in our work. He knows us all personally and loves us. He sends tutors and teachers to show us what to do, and even offers make-up courses if we happen to fail a class.
    When graduation comes and we stand to receive our diploma Christ is there to hand it to us, declaring “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” He acknowledges all we have done and gives us that slip of paper. We then accept it with quiet gratitude declaring “I never could have done it without you.”
    Thus, from our perspective all the honor and credit goes to Christ, who worked so hard and did so much to assist us in our labors. However, from his perspective the credit goes to us, as we have struggled and fought with all our ability to stand with him at that time.

    See the difference? For us it will always be Christ who gets the credit for all that we accomplish, as well he should. But to him it is our efforts that take the credit.
    On the other hand, what you describe is that from our perspective he gets the credit, and from his perspective he gets the credit.

    As I said before, you don’t understand what we believe just yet. So let me use your analogy to explain it better and I will compare your beliefs with mine…

    FOR YOU…

    You go to school and with the teachers help, you earn a degree.

    You spend your whole life earning a degree that at graduation that will land you one of three careers. The harder you work in school, the higher your pay will be and the greater the career. This is self-serving. It is self-serving because you get something for doing something.

    FOR US…

    Jesus went to school for us and graduated the top of the class with perfect scores in every subject he took. He then gave us his EDUCATION and his DEGREE. What that means is that now we are fully educated with the same education Jesus had, having the same perfect marks as Jesus had, and the same degree that Jesus had. We don’t need to go to school, we are already fully and perfectly educated. We have also already graduated with perfect honors. We began and finished our career and now we are retired.

    So we spend our whole lives loving our neighbor. This is the opposite of self-serving, this is serving others. We do everything expecting to get nothing in return.

    SUMMARY

    Shem , you have not even begun to love your neighbor because you are still in school under a schoolmaster.
    In the judgement, you will be found empty handed. We have long since graduated from school and being under a schoolmaster…

    Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

  42. shematwater said,

    November 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    ECHO

    You said: “There is a big difference between: 1) it not mattering what we do and 2) it being impossible for us to do; Don’t you think?
    What do you think the difference is there?”

    There is a definite difference, and I never claimed otherwise. The Problem is that it is not a practical difference. The logical conclusion of the doctrine leads to the practical belief that it doesn’t matter.
    Put it this way: If a man is told that in order to graduate he has to get strait A’s, but is also told that such is impossible so he is just going to be counted as having strait A’s, where is the motivation to even try?
    Now, I have heard all the wonderful ideas that we try because we love Christ, but it doesn’t work. The simple fact of the doctrine is that anyone who believes, no matter what they do they will be saved, and thus you have opened the way for the justification of sin.
    So, maybe it isn’t that he don’t care, but that he don’t care enough.

    You said: “He didn’t create us to benefit him. He created us to benefit us.”

    This is not what your answer said. Read it again. Did he create us to make us happy? No. According to your answer he created us so HE could love us and so we could love HIM. The central figure of that statement is him, not us, and thus it is for him that it was done.

    You said: “giving birth to them makes you self-serving. That’s your logic which is not logical at all.”

    No, that is not my logic. You assuming that actions are what makes a person self-serving, and that is not the case, nor what I said. It is motivation that makes one self-serving. I have three children. I have several reasons for having children.
    1. God has commanded it: “Be fruitful.”
    2. They are my spirit brethren, and they also need physical bodies in order to progress. I want to have as many children as I can to ensure that they all gain those bodies.
    3. As they are my spirit brethren I want them to be born into a good family where they will learn the truths of our Father’s Gospel, and I can provide that.
    4. It only fourth on the list that I do this for my own benefit.

    I am not self-serving in having children, because I have children to benefit them, not me. Just as our Father in Heaven created us for our benefit, as he says in Moses 1: 39.
    However, from your own words your God has created us for his benefit.
    It is the motivation that makes him self-serving, not his actions.

    Now, lastly you talk about the school analogy. Great.

    Tell me, if you have all of Christ’s Knowledge and education, how did God create the Earth? Explain to me the nature of Heaven. Or can you tell me exactly what you will be doing after this life?
    These are things that Christ knows, and could answer. As you claim to have his education and learning, then you should also be able to answer them.

    Galatians 3: 24 is referring to the Law of Moses as a schoolmaster, not the High Law established by Christ. As neither of us are under the Law of Moses neither of us are under a schoolmaster. However, if you understood Hebrew tradition you would know that, the next step is not graduation, but formal education under the supervision of a teacher. You seem to think that skipping this step is okay, but me, I want to complete my education. And when I am done I will be able to answer the questions I have asked you, as I will have learned the answer myself, and will truly have gained all knowledge.

  43. echoechoecho said,

    November 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Shem said: “Put it this way: If a man is told that in order to graduate he has to get strait A’s, but is also told that such is impossible so he is just going to be counted as having strait A’s, where is the motivation to even try?
    Now, I have heard all the wonderful ideas that we try because we love Christ, but it doesn’t work.”

    Christ’s love alone doesn’t motivate YOU Shem, that’s whats coming up out of your own heart, however Christ’s love alone does motivate us.

    Can you explain to me why Christ’s love alone doesn’t motivate you?
    What is it that motivates you then?


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